5 Best Bird Dog Breeds for First-Timers
Dogs obviously make wonderful companions. Especially for serious bird hunters, without a bird dog is on the road to frustration and boredom.
Dogs proved to be very helpful for finding and flushing birds – not to mention retrieving the downed birds.
If you are a beginner, don't miss our list of the 5 Best Bird Dog Breeds.
Although no one breed will perfectly excel in every situation, consider which breed will best suit the type of hunting you want to do and your lifestyle.
1.German Shorthaired Pointer
German shorthairs are the most popular breed in the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association, and possibly the most popular versatile breed in the US and Europe.
They are a big breed with a coat that is short, smooth, and thick in general. Their snazzy point, diverse hunting abilities, and sense of humor soon win their owners' hearts.
They are suitable to excel at hunting a variety of different animals. This includes both upland birds and waterfowl since they like running and searching, as well as diving into the water for a swim. German Shorthaired Pointers make excellent family dogs for people who can provide them with enough exercise, as these intelligent and motivated pups can become destructive if understimulated.
2. English Springer Spaniel
English Springer Spaniels are muscular dogs that are 19 to 20 inches and weigh between 40 and 50 pounds. They are often cited as a great choice for a first dog. Springers are generally white with black, brown, or liver patches and dots. Their ears are large and luscious, and their eyes are kind and trusting.
They are capable of retrieving pheasants in the field, grouse in the woods, or ducks in smaller bodies of water. English springer spaniels are energetic hunters, and their enthusiasm can cause them to range too far in front of the gun at times. Proper training and gentle reminders are required.
3. English Setter
The English Setter is a large breed with a coat that is generally long with feathering at the ears, tail, and underside. They have many shapes and sizes. Setter is a fast and efficient worker with a great nose and ground speed, defining feature for upland bird hunting.
They are elegant hunters who can cover a lot of ground by combining agility and stamina. They are active dogs with a long history of finding and pointing upland birds. They are a gentle and loving breed with a fairly mellow temperament that tends to train better with positive reinforcement.
4. Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers are great all-around dogs who excel in everything from search-and-rescue to tracking to Frisbee-style disc games. Labrador retrievers are medium- to large-sized animals with a thick, short, double-layered coat that adheres tightly to their body.
There are three colors of Labrador retrievers: black, chocolate, and yellow. They are gifted with quickness and also have a lot of stamina and a strong drive to retrieve for hours on end. Labs are extremely sociable, affectionate enough to be considered part of the family and perform effectively in a range of hunting-related duties.
They are the ideal combination dog for the hunter who wants to chase both waterfowl and upland birds.
5. American Brittany
The Brittany is a medium-sized breed with a thick, wavy coat that comes in orange-and-white or liver-and-white colors. While not large in stature, they have the speed and agility to cover a lot of ground.
In general, Brittany is a very energetic and alert dog with a pleasant temperament. Brittany's outgoing personality makes it a great upland hunting partner as well as an outstanding household dog. Brittanys make good house dogs if they get enough exercise.
Choosing the right bird dog breed for you will be an interesting exploration of who you are as a bird hunter. We hope that list of the 5 best bird dog breeds for beginners will be helpful. You and your dog can become a team, sharing adventures both at home and the field.