If you’re looking to get some hunting dog equipment for that adventure you have planned with your dog, then you’re right on time. Our guide will be exposing all the tidbits on everything you need to know about hunting dog equipment.
Dogs have been there for man for centuries and over time, they’ve, increasingly, become everything we want and need. Face it, having a dog can solve a good portion of your problems.
Are you lonely and have no friends? Your dog will always be there for you. Do you have a lot of friends? Your dog can be there for all of you! No kids? Get a doggie. Do you have a lot of kids? Kids love dogs! Have your kids left the nest? A dog is sure to cure you of your empty nest syndrome.
Even when you go hunting. Yea we know! You’ve either tried it or would love to try it, taking your dog hunting that is. Since you are this excited you should know that your dog has to be properly decked to thrive in the woods, right?
However, before you decide to drag your cute little Chihuahua on a hunting expedition, you might want to pipe down and read through what we’ve got. “Why can’t your Chihuahua hunt with you?” you ask. Well stick with us, we’ll answer all your questions.
Hunting dogs are, as the term implies, dogs that hunt with you or for you.
The reason we said that thing about your Chihuahua is that not all dog breeds can be hunting dogs. Some dogs are just meant to be pampered while they enjoy the good life. Still, there are a number of dog breeds that are capable of braving the wild and being your hunting buddy. Some of them are:
Hounds are basically of two kinds; scent hounds and sighthounds. What these two do is right there in their names.
Scent hounds are usually used to follow a trail because of their hypersensitive noses. Their sense of smell is their primary “hunting weapon.”
Dogs under this category include the bloodhound, the beagle, and even the coonhound family. Scent hounds can hunt any animal on land or even in the sea.
Scent hounds love to hunt in packs but they could work alone if need be.
Sighthounds, on the other hand, hunt by sight. They can spot their prey from a mile away. They also have speed. So it is not just about sighting their kill, they have the speed to get to their kill.
For them, the fun is majorly in the chase than in the kill (they love the kill though). The sighthounds will be perfect for hunting in open fields and meadows. Unlike scent hounds, sighthounds work alone, always.
This is another breed whose function in hunting is right there in the name. Retrievers don’t chase to kill, they run or bound to retrieve. They are loyal to a fault and adorably stubborn. These are two qualities that make them awesome hunting buddies.
With their seemingly unending strength, they can go to great lengths to retrieve what you’ve killed, and they would. Under this category are the golden retriever and the Labrador retriever.
Terriers go way back as one of those dog breeds that were bred specifically to kill vermin. Terriers have quick reflexes, an incredibly high pain threshold, and can be quite ruthless. These are qualities you’ll need in a dog if you are serious about hunting.
However, irrespective of their seeming ruthlessness, they only hunt small animals like rats and medium-sized ones like foxes. Terriers include rat terriers, cairn terriers and Jack Russell terriers.
4. Setters and Pointers
These ones hunt game birds like pheasants and quails. They adopt the surprise attack tactic; using their sense of smell to locate their prey and then leading their human to the bird’s hideout.
A number of them have long coats that protect them against intense humidity and thorns. This breed has the Hungarian Viszla, Bracco Italiano, Irish setters and Gordon setters among its members.
Now that we know what dog to and not to take hunting, there is something else you need to know.
Some Hunting Dog Equipment
If you are a parent to a ‘regular’ dog, you know that there are a number of things you always have to have in hand. It doesn’t matter whether the dog never goes out or never stays in. There are a couple of things that are a must-have as a dog parent.
Same goes for parents of hunting dogs. There are some specialized hunting dog equipment and stuff that you need to have when you’re hunting and when you’re not.
Many hunter dog parents have put forth a number of hunting dog equipment that they think are absolutely necessary but we like what breedingbusiness.com lists. So we give you a list of hunting dog equipment you must have if you are a hunter dog parent
1. Tracking Collar
In this world of technological advancements, it is certainly out of place to see a hunter dog wearing no tracking collar. This tracking collar ensures that you always know where your dog is when you both go hunting.
However, it can get pretty expensive depending on the distance that the tracker can cover. The longer the distance, the more expensive the tracker. What you want to do is get a tracker that you think is affordable and just work with the distance it covers.
Don’t be too focused on the tracking that you forget to be particular about the collar. So, what you are looking for is a tracker collar that is comfortable, within your budget, and covers a reasonable distance.
2. High-Visibility Harness
This is one hunting dog equipment you must not do without. Much like the high visibility vest we humans wear, this high visibility harness allows your dog stand out.
You want your dog to be wearing one when you both go hunting especially when you’re hunting with a group of other people. You don’t want anybody to mistake your hunt help for hunt prey. The harness is your way of saying ‘this one is mine, do not touch!’ and, hopefully, everyone will respect that.
3. Performance Food
It might not sound much like a hunting dog equipment, but it sure forms an essential part of your hunting pack.
Because your dog is more active than regular dogs, her food has to be adapted for her level of activity. Just as hunter dogs vary according to breed, weight and age, their diets should also vary. You will want to feed your hunter dog a high protein and fat diet; she works a lot, she should eat a lot.
Studies show that if you adapt your dog’s food for her activities, she gets improved cognition, health, and physical capabilities.
Now, because we are talking about meals, you will want to discuss with your vet. They should give you suggestions on what and what should constitute your hunter dog’s diet.
When you’re out hunting, a good idea is to go along with wet food. You’ll need it if your dog is too exhausted to eat. Wet food is usually more enticing than dry food for dogs that won’t eat.
4. Travel Dog Bowls
If you’re just staying at home you can do with the regular food bowls but if you’ll be going on the hunt, you’ll need something that is portable. Why not invest in a few travel size dog bowls? They are usually made in such a way that you can fold them and are waterproof. So you can use them as both feeding bowls and drinking bowls. See how you save space?
If you are so inclined, you could also get a portable container for dog food. It makes a lot of sense actually because it allows you carry all the dog food you want (well, maybe not all you want but all your dog needs) without making it seem like you own a dog food store.
5. Water Bottle
This you will need if you want your dog to remain hydrated while hunting. You could get the regular water bottles or you could go for the ones that have a bowl attached to them.
The one with the bowl makes for easier use as you must have guessed. All you need do is pour the water in the bowl, allow your dog do her business while you take a much-needed rest.
With this water bottle, you don’t have to bother about sharing your water. This is good news because while hunting you both need all the water you can get to stay hydrated. If you’re for saving yet more space, you should get the ones that allow to be hanged around your dog’s waist or yours.
6. Dog Whistle
This is another essential hunting dog equipment, essentially because it carries farther than any human voice does. However, with dog whistles, you’d need a bit of training before you can get optimum results.
A dog whistle is one instrument that you and your dog have to spend time with for it to have any form of use. You have to train your dog to come to you at the sound of the whistle.
You also need to be trained because there are certain times when it is either dangerous or inefficient to use the whistle. The best thing all round is to get professional advice.
We talked about the tracker that helps you locate your dog’s exact whereabouts. You could say the tracker collar corroborates the function of the whistle. The former finds and the latter calls. Perfect synergy.
7. Dog Crates
Crates are basically used to housetrain dogs. The idea is to restrict their access to certain parts of and furniture in the house while they learn what is and isn’t off limits. As a hunting dog equipment, you need it to transport your dog in.
You might need it when things are looking to be a little rough and you want to give your dog a little break. She just needs to hop in while you tote her around like a good parent (when you are not hunting, that is).
Pick the right size for your dog so that she is not hunched over. The idea is for her to be comfortable and relax not to be worse off than she was when she was walking. Make sure that you’re not using the crate as a kind of punishment.
8. Dog First Aid Kit
Of course, a first aid kit has to make it to our list as a hunting dog equipment. You’ll definitely need a first aid kit if you are going to be roughing it up in the wild and so does your hunting dog.
You can just go right ahead and get a pre-packed first aid kit, it’s easier and should be comprehensive enough. You might think your first aid kit will do for you both but it actually won’t, your dog might need some things that you don’t. Here are the things that your dog’s first aid kit should contain:
- Paperwork: We know you have your dog’s medical papers on all your devices but please humor us and keep the hard copy in your dog’s first aid kit.
- Hydrogen Peroxide: You’ll need this in case your dog mistakenly swallows something poisonous. You might need to administer it to her so that she can vomit the something poisonous. You should seek professional advice, though.
- Antibiotics Ointment: Your dog will need this for cuts, pains, and infections.
- Scissors, Rubber Gloves and Tape.
- Wet Wipes
- A blanket
- Medication: Do not pick any off-the-counter drugs. Speak with your vet and let them give you a list of medications that should be in your dog’s first aid kit.
9. Dog Boots
Need we say more? Hunting, bumpy roads and uneven terrains spell boots for your dog. Go for boots that are both tough and warm and have traction. The shoes shouldn’t be abrasive and if they are waterproof it will make a whole lot of sense.
Going hunting is definitely more interesting (not to talk of being more productive) when you do it with a hunter dog. Whether the dog is helping you chase and kill, retrieve your kill, or just being a companion, you could do with a hunter dog when next you go hunting.
Your hunter dog will greatly benefit from a good set of hunting dog equipment. So be sure to take all the information we’ve doled out in this article to heart. It will certainly help you prepare more intelligently for your next hunting expedition.
PS: Remember we told you to get your dog’s medical documents in hard copy? Go right ahead and do that. There’s no time like the present!