Classification of Hunting Dogs | An Overview
Biologist have debated over the evolution of the canine species over the years, and most now agree that all dogs were descended from Canis Lupus, or the Grey Wolf. Much speculation was made on how primitive men were able to tame a naturally feral wolf specie but one thing remains certain among them. Their discovery of taming wolves most likely corresponds to the era when the skill of animal husbandry was discovered.
Theories cited that probably hunting parties have managed to slay a mother but spared and reared the young. As the young cub grew, it also becomes domesticated and thus, the first characteristics of dog appeared. Once again, when selective breeding was discovered, naturally dogs were subjected to breeding practices, allowing different classes to emerge and further enhancing the qualities of each class.
It may be due to those ancient practices of animal husbandry but now, several types of hunting dogs have emerged with each type entirely different from the other.
Hounds are among the oldest breed of hunting dogs. And they are also the true breed of hunting dogs. They usually hunted in packs and take part of the hunting actively. They are very aggressive and possess a refined sense of tracking. Sighthounds are true hunters with speed and sight. They are dogs that specialize in pursuing; their streamlined and long legged structure allows them fast and strong sprints. The fastest sighthound, the Greyhound, can reach speeds of just over 40 mph or 64 km/h. Scenthounds are regarded as dogs that have the most sensitive nose. Characterized by droopy ears and stout legs, these dogs pursue their prey with endurance. Large booming barks is also a characteristic of these breed a valuable trait that allows the hunter to follow the dog.
These types of hunting dogs are those that accompany hunters with guns. While some do actively participate in the hunt, others serve only as a spotter. Like the Retriever, whose role is to find and return shot game to the hunter. They have the uncanny ability to remember the location of downed game. They can swim and dive into the water and retrieve games, even one by one. Setters are mostly upland hunting dogs. With an excellent detecting system that can point at upland game. They freezes and usually points the direction by facing the area. Once the hunter is in place, they flush the game for the hunter to shoot. Spaniels, like the Cocker Spaniel, have also been dominant hunting dogs for centuries. English trappers are even depicted in art accompanied by a spaniel. Spaniels locate and flush games from their hiding place for the hunter. Terriers are used almost exclusively to hunt mammals, and usually Terriers are used to protect ranches. Because these hunting dogs are a territorial breed, they make good guards for the herds and they are unusually strong, making them efficient capture-and-kill the animal.