5 Levels of Behavior Needed in Hunting Dogs

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5 Levels of Behavior Needed in Hunting Dogs

Posted in : Behavior, Blog on by : Kevin Painter

Dogs have different levels of behavior that make them good or bad hunting dogs. Certain behaviors will be valuable in a hunting dog and others will inhibit the success of your hunting expedition. Most hunting dogs are required to be socialized and trained while they are still young.

There are five levels of dog behavior:

1. Intelligence – Intelligence is one of the most important qualities of a good hunting dog. An intelligent dog will be able to learn gestures and commands fast. He will learn what is expected of him and act accordingly in the right circumstances.

2. Reflexes – A reflex is something that happens automatically when a certain stimulus is experienced. For example, a dog may suddenly and without warning change direction when on a finding mission. This might be because he picked up the scent of a bird and instinctively or reflexively changed direction. Fast reflexes are not essential to make a good bird dog. Older dogs with slower reflexes can do the job just as well, it might just take them a bit longer.

3. Emotion – Dogs have emotions, there is no question about that. The question is how you want to use those emotions when hunting. Some dogs can be trained to be harsh and unyielding. However, some breeds, like Labradors and spaniels, have sensitive personalities and will not do well with being treated harshly. You will need to consider whether you want a family dog that is also a hunting dog. You will also need to remember that training is necessary, but has limits.

4. Instincts – All dogs are descendant from wolves and have a built-in hunting instinct. It is part of their inherent survival skills. However, with domestication, these instincts may seem deeply buried. Bird dogs and other hunting dogs are bred to enhance these hunting instincts. This makes them good hunters, flushers, and retrievers.

5. Good Senses – A good hunting dog will have good senses. He will need all five his senses to be a good hunting companion. Smell is the most important sense for a hunting dog, but it is not the only one. The senses need to work together to track and find a bird while listening for commands from his owner.

You will find these behaviors in all dogs. Hunting dogs are bred to enhance the occurrence of the ideal qualities. When looking for a bird dog or hunting dog, make sure the dog you choose has the qualities you need in a hunting dog.