Many hunters get dogs from breeders with strong bloodlines, but an unwanted dog from pound, for instance, can make a great hunting companion as well. You will come across all types of dogs that end up in the pound, even Beagles and Retrievers. And German Shepherds have been known to be excellent canines for hunting birds.
Puppies will end up in the pound, which is perfect if you plant to train them. However, older dogs from the pound will also make good hunting companions, even if they were never raised by hunters. Pet owners tend to drop their dogs off at the pound if the dog has too much energy, or is unwieldy in any way. One of the main reasons why dogs tend to display aggressive or unruly behavior is because they are not getting enough attention or exercise with their owners.
Many pet owners simply do not take the time to train and instill discipline in dogs. These pets often make the best types hunting dogs, because they will have the energy and stamina. With the right training, shelter dogs can be some of the best hunters out there. Whenever getting a dog from the shelter, be aware of any diseases or health problems. When I got my mixed beagle out of the pound, he needed to be treated for worms.
Getting Dogs from Other Owners...
Besides the pound, a hunting buddy can be found from other pet owners. If you know someone who plans to get rid of a dog that will make a good rabbit hunter, swoop in and claim them right away. Go on Craigslist to see if anyone is giving away their dogs. Or you can answer flyers from people who are giving away extra puppies. Dealing with owners directly will save you money, and you\'ll be preventing another dog from entering the pound. Beagle and Retriever puppies are some common breeds that owners tend to give away. Ask the owner if the dog has had a prior history of health or behavior problems. Examine the eyes, teeth and body to inspect the health of the animal. And see if the dog may already know some tricks, which is a good sign that it can be trainable.
Are these dogs trainable?
Any dog can be trainable with the right effort, especially at a young age. Even the dogs that are not traditionally considered rabbit hunting dogs would make great pets with the right training, especially with mixed breeds. In another article, I talked about the potential that mixed breeds have in becoming stellar retriever and hunting dogs. Any dog with Boxer, Retriever or Beagle lineages are some of the most desired hunting canines, along with any other dog that displays good hunting sensibilities.