Hunting dogs are extremely helpful for locating and flushing birds; they are also perfect for retrieving downed birds for the hunter. Let’s look at a few of the best bird hunting dog breed, and why they are so perfect for the task. First, we will look at two distinctions between types of hunting dogs, the upland bird dogs, and the wetland bird dogs. Second, we will list several of the best hunting dogs, along with their particular characteristics.
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Upland Bird Dog Characteristics
Upland bird dogs show a strong prey drive as well as the ability to point and flush birds from cover. They have appropriate coat length and texture for roaming through tall grass and thorns. They are trained to look for falling birds and to then retrieve them upon command.
Wetland Bird (Waterfowl) Dog Characteristics
Once the hunter has fired upon a duck or goose, it is the wetland bird dog’s job to watch where the bird falls and then jump into the water to retrieve it. They normally have a thick physical build, double coats to keep them warm, and webbed feet for swimming.
Best Hunting Dogs for the Job
- Labrador Retriever
With its sweet temperament and eagerness to please, labs were developed to retrieve waterfowl. They love water and they have webbed toes and a tail suitable for steering through the water. With its soft mouth, labs can work with upland birds as well as in wetland environments.
- English Pointers
Bred to point and flush, English pointers have incredible noses and great endurance to play in the field all day long.
- Brittany Spaniel
Brittanys have a strong prey drive and excel at pointing and flushing. Smart and friendly, Brittanys will stick close to their owner.
- Springer Spaniel
Easy going, Springers were developed to flush birds and have a strong prey drive to do so.
- Boykin Spaniel
This South Carolina treasure, with its expressive face, was developed to be one of the best flushing dogs available. Boykins can work upland birds or as a retriever in the wetlands. Boykins are tenacious, brave, and they also make great family pets.