Hunting Dog Breeds
Although not as popular these days, hunting has been an activity practiced by men for many centuries. As with many activities of early human civilizations, dogs played an important role, doing many hunting related activities that helped their masters. Over centuries, and with humans getting involved in the process of dog breeding, this has resulted in the creation of several hunting dog breeds.
Of course, just because a dog belongs to one of the many hunting dog breeds, that does not mean that the dog is aggressive or that it can not belong in family or play with children. Dogs are very social animals and with proper upbringing, they can adapt to an environment, in fact, they will never resort to hunting if not trained or given the chance to.
Although there are several types of hunting dog breeds, most of them can be classified in one of these areas.
Sighthounds. These hunting dog breeds have excellent eyesight (for a dog), which they use to locate and follow prey. They are among the fastest and most agile dogs there are, and are capable of running after and overcoming large preys, like deer. Examples of these hunting dog breeds are the Whippet and the Saluki.
Scent hounds. These hunting dog breeds, as their name implies, are better to detect the scent of prey and find it for their masters. They are often used in packs, and are better for hunting game that tends to hide or climb trees, rather than run away. They have deep nose cavities and long ears that drop that allow them to gather particles on the ground and detect scents of prey that has passed by more easily. They also tend to bark when following a scent, which allows hunters to follow them even if they go out of sight.
Retrievers. These hunting dog breeds are not used for the task of finding the prey and killing it, like others. But rather, their task is to retrieve downed prey, mostly birds, that the hunter killed. They are quiet and patient, being able to stay still for hours until their master gives them the command to retrieve the pray. They also have a good memory, being able to recall where each downed bird fell.
Pointers. These hunting dog breeds do just what their name implies, pointing to the hunter the location of prey. This activity has become so famous, it has been depicted in several forms of expression, including cartoons.