Hunting dogs

Last weekend Oven-Baked Tradition was at Montreal’s Hunting, Fishing and Camping show. Here are some pictures from the event.

The crowd

It was fun for the adults.

And the kids.
Our booth.

Our booth with people.

There were a lot of people at this show, and among them, a lot of dog lovers. That does not come as a surprise!

Hunting has everything a dog loves: Running around in the wild, spending quality time with his master, being active and burning a lot of energy, and using his predation instinct which is so often suppressed in daily life. Hunting dogs are more than hunting partners; they make wonderful pets as long as their needs are respected and their behaviour understood. There are several types of hunting dogs classified according to the tasks that they were developed for.

1) Terriers: There are small terriers such as Westies and large terriers such as Airedale Terriers. They were bred to hunt mammals: they would roam to find the animals, get them, kill them and bring them back to their masters. Terriers are often called “terrors” in the canine jargon because of their strong character, high-energy and independent nature. They are however very intelligent dogs that can be trained to work with their owner.

2) Teckels: While the breeds were initially developed to dig, teckels were quick to demonstrate their hunting polyvalence. Teckels, or dachshunds, are classified in breeds according to their size and coat variety. Teckels are intelligent, playful but a bit obstinate and barky.

3) Hounds: These hunting dogs find and track preys. Hounds are divided according to the primary scent they use; sighthounds like Whippets find the preys by sight while scenthounds like Basset hounds use their nose. Hounds are known to be independent dogs that will usually find their environment more stimulating than their owners, unless their “humans” work hard with them to keep their interest.

4) Pointers: Pointer breeds include more than just pointers: Braques, Setters, Vizslas, Griffons, and Brittany (French Épagneul) are also considered pointing breeds. They all locate the prey and “point”, ie. stop and aim their muzzle toward the prey, so that there master can find and kill the animal. While pointer breeds are very different in looks and temperaments, they all share a high-energy level and a strong will to work.

5) Retrievers: Retrievers look at where the preys went down, memorize them and go retrieve the animals on command. Retrievers are smart, playful and they love to please.

Even if you do not enjoy hunting, you can still have fun with your dog by picking activities that fit with his hunting skills. For instance, Labradors will do anything to catch and retrieve balls, beagles will be in heaven if you bring them on a hiking trip and vizslas will have a lot of fun playing hide and seek with you. You can come up with a lot of activities if you just use your imagination!