The friendship between man and dog goes back centuries. During this time, man has bred a huge number of breeds of dogs for hunting. They perform the functions of corralling, tracking and delivery, much more efficiently than the person himself. Their outstanding sense of smell, keen hearing, intelligence and superior learning ability are unmatched. A cheerful disposition and obedience will melt any heart. However, a dog’s charisma should not deprive its owner of discipline. Hunting must be carried out according to rules that promote safety and ensure compassion for the animals. We will consider the basic rules of hunting with dogs. Find out what breeds of dogs are used for hunting and consider tips from the best trainers and clubs.
Main rules of hunting with dogs
Each state and county has its own rules for hunting. What is allowed in one place may be prohibited in another. It is extremely important to check local laws and restrictions before going hunting. Prohibitions apply to species of animals that cannot be hunted with a dog and animals that can be hunted with a dog during a specified period.
It should be noted that hunting for most parasites is allowed by the vast majority of states all year round, 24/7. Including with the use of night vision and bullying by dogs. If you can’t find the rules, you can always check with your local sporting goods or hunting store. They always give detailed instructions.
Most laws prohibit a dog from physically harming wild animals. They allow bullying, but they forbid mutilation. The dog must be disciplined enough to stop in time and strictly follow the instructions of the owner. If a dog has injured a wild animal, the owner will face a heavy fine.
Almost all states require wearing a collar with the name of the owner, his address and phone number. Most of the recommendations require the wearing of a token with the contact details of the owner. Many recommend the implantation of a chip with complete data about the dog and its owner. When participating in a waterfowl hunt, the dog must wear a detachable collar. This allows the dog to break free if the collar gets caught on an aquatic plant or branch.
It is highly desirable to install a GPS tracker on the dog’s collar to track its location in real time using a tablet or other device. For hunting big game, the collar is equipped with an intercom, with which the owner gives commands.
For transportation of the dog, a suitably equipped box is used, which is fastened in the back of a truck or pickup truck. The rules prohibit leaving a dog alone in the back of the car unattended if it is not in the transport box.
The box must be protected from bad weather and wind, have a soft place to rest.
When hunting on private property, the owner of the dog must obtain written permission from the owner with a date. The law places all responsibility for damage to wildlife on the owner of the site. Therefore, if a dog harms a wild animal on a private property, the owner of the property pays the fine. Quite often, a dog follows an animal and may enter private property without written permission from the owner.
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The owner of the dog must understand the extent of responsibility for the animal and the consequences of its behavior.
The law requires the owner of the dog to have a first aid kit to help the pet in case of injury or deterioration in health. It is also important to comply with all vaccinations and the introduction of vaccines in case of infection of the dog from wild animals.
The rules for the orange color worn for hunting apply to the dog. She must wear an orange vest. If the dog swims, wearing a life jacket is highly recommended. If hunting takes place at night, then you need a vest with reflective elements.
Many problems of night hunting with a dog are easily solved with the help of night vision glasses. At night it is really hard to see what exactly is making noise in the bushes. It could be a fox, or it could be your dog. Night vision goggles can easily recognize your pet and make a successful shot much easier. With night vision goggles you can move around with your dog without fear of losing it in the dark. You will see as well as during the day, but in shades of green or gray. With night vision glasses, you cannot worry about an accidental friendly shot, because the hunter sees what he is shooting at. In addition, it is much easier for the hunter to guide the dog, because he sees wild animals and can predict their behavior.
Breeds of dogs
Dog breeds are divided into hounds, terriers, dachshunds, dog dogs and gun dogs. These are the main groups that are divided into many breeds. Beagles include Beagles, Greyhounds and Lurches. The hounds use their nose to find the animal. They are great when you need to find and drive the beast. Greyhounds are distinguished by sharp eyesight and good agility. They are phenomenal in speed and are able to catch up with the nimblest representatives of the fauna.
Lurchers were bred to be a more versatile dog, smart and fast. When crossing, they used greyhounds and terriers or a shepherd dog and a greyhound.
The second large class of dog is called gun dogs and includes retrievers, spaniels, pointers, water dogs, setters, and pointers. These are breeds bred for hunting small game with a shotgun.
Retrievers are needed to find a downed waterfowl and deliver it to the owner. Setters are useful in mountain hunting. They find and lift into the air a flock of birds that are being hunted. Spaniels are good for finding game in dense thickets. They are excellent both on land and in the lake. Pointers had a larger range of game than spaniels, but served the same purpose. Water dogs, as the name implies, are designed to catch waterfowl.
Dachshund stands apart. This cute, strong and intelligent animal is designed to hunt animals that live in holes. This is the only dog that fights underground. Her phenomenal scent is used to catch badgers, foxes, rabbits and any wounded animals.
Terriers do not fit into the classification, just like the Dachshund. Initially, they were designed to fight parasites. But now, the breed has many subspecies that differ greatly in weight, appearance and use. Terrier hunting is diverse and includes both small and large animals.
Tips for hunting with dogs
Most owners love their woolly family members and show maximum care and attention. But it should be noted that in addition to attention, a hunting dog needs systematic training, consistent education and socialization.
It is best to start at the tender age of 8-12 weeks and accustom the puppy to the environment that surrounds hunting. If you are a duck hunter, the puppy must get used to the smell of the duck, play with dummies, hear the sounds of weapons and, as an adult, get used to the shots. It is useful to take a dog with you for sighting weapons, for reconnaissance of the area.
A teenage dog must play with frozen game wrapped in cloth, then it is changed to dead and finally alive. Partridges or something small that is easy to purchase or grow is suitable for this. If for some reason the owner cannot systematically work with the dog, then it makes sense to take the dog to the trainer.
The dog must unquestioningly follow the commands and show remarkable endurance. Such dogs are called “broken”. This term means that the dog ignores instinct consciously, driven by the desire to make his master happy. This is because dog training is based on a deep mental connection between dog and owner.
The owner should take good care of the dog, and redouble his efforts during the hunt. You should always keep an eye on your hydration level, especially if the weather is hot. A bottle of water and a bowl should always be with you. The dog consumes a lot of energy, so you can supplement your regular diet or bring a treat with you. In addition, after hunting, you need to check all the folds and hidden places on the body of the animal for the presence of ticks and abrasions. If the dog has long hair, then a comb is needed for combing. If there are injuries, they should be treated immediately. Sometimes there are dogs that like to wallow in cow cakes. A little bit of travel shampoo for dogs can solve this problem.
During the hunt, the dog may get wet. Take towels with you and provide a warm place to dry.
Cases of heat stroke in hunting dogs are quite common. Watch for signs of shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and lethargy. If they are, interrupt the hunt and provide cool rest.
Before hunting, the dog must be absolutely healthy, not stressed and vaccinated. If your dog is wearing a trekker, check its batteries. If you are going to wild ducks, bring a dog mat that is raised above the water level. Then your pet will accompany you in the water behind the curtain without compromising health.
On the hunt, take something tasty and your favorite toys. Your pet should have fun. The dog should experience the pleasure of hunting and should not be bored. Make things harder for her gradually. Pump her skills incrementally, reinforcing her with treats and approval.
Take the time to prepare your pet for hunting season. Don’t think that a dog is born with all hunting skills in DNA and unconditioned reflexes. Your dog undoubtedly has the makings and tendencies that require development and regular training. Train not only skills, but also take your dog’s physical form seriously. Maybe she needs to shed some weight after the winter or build some muscle. Hunting is a serious physical, mental and emotional burden. Take care of your dog’s health and safety before, during and after the hunt. As a result, everyone will be satisfied and happy.