Quail hunting is a great family tradition here in Georgia. Hunters of all generations gather together to enjoy a fun hunt, and Quail hunting wouldn’t be complete without bringing in our favorite quail hunting dogs. In this article, we look at the best quail hunting dogs, going through the different breeds and how to train them to spot and retrieve their prey. Let’s start.
Quail hunting dog breeds
English pointer – this is probably the most known dog breed when it comes to quail hunting. English pointers are best known for their sharp senses. They are clever and have a great sense of smell. They are very hard workers too, showing a lot of endurance and perseverance. One great advantage is that they are both great at working with other dogs, but they can also work independently. This breed suits warmer climates due to their thinner hair coat.
English Springer Spaniel – If you’re looking for a great flusher and retriever, then look no further. English springer spaniels are very energetic and perfect for upland hunting. It is worth noting that their sharp sense of smell makes them suitable for both wetlands and uplands. If you are looking for a dog that can cover some ground and can be friendly, the English Springer Spaniel might be the right breed for you.
Brittany Spaniel – We now call this breed Brittany. If you are looking for a dog that is a good pointer and good at flushing, this breed is a great choice. Their good nature makes them both easy to train and also makes them ideal companions. Their small to average size also confers their agility and speed. All around, the Brittany breed makes for excellent quail hunting dogs.
Boykin Spaniel – This breed is highly fierce and tenacious, which is why they are so popular. Boykin Spaniels are the ideal flushing dogs. Don’t let their fierce nature dissuade you, as they make for a great family dog too! It is worth noting that the Boykin Spaniel is great at adapting to both uplands and wetlands.
German Shorthair Pointer – People often say this breed is the best quail hunting dog breed. They are easy to train, eager to catch prey, and have a short to medium range. It is often a toss-up between German shorthair pointers and the Brittany as to which one is the ideal quail hunting dog. Rest assured, they are also a great pet, perfect for the family.
Quail hunting dog training
Pointing – Pointing is all about having your dog point towards the location of the prey with his muzzle. Some dogs can sometimes point by holding one of their front legs towards the target. You will have to train your dog to freeze and maintain its position, as you don’t want them to scare the prey away accidentally. The idea behind the dog freezing is so that that the prey doesn’t detect them. The dog has to forego his instinct to catch the prey by himself, often using vocal commands. The result of good training means all of this will happen when the dog is off-leash.
Flushing – The idea is for the dog to make the birds fly, putting them into the air, so they are available to be shot. Like with pointing, the dog must recognize verbal commands while off-leash. Teaching your dog to recognize and remember bird-holding spots means they will naturally spend more time looking for them. A combination of experience and recognizing your commands, combined with a sense of identifying directions, should make a dog a good flusher.
Retrieving – This can be similar to training a dog how to fetch. It needs to recognize your ‘fetch command’. However, there is a catch in that you don’t want your dog to destroy the prey it is bringing back. Teaching your dog the difference between hunting and retrieving can take place through vocal commands, so they recognize the difference between, let’s say, ‘hunt’ or ‘go get it’. It takes practice from using a simple ball to using live bait.
Enjoy hunting with your favorite companion
This concludes our short article about quail hunting dogs. We hope it helps to introduce you to the concept of hunting dogs. As you will find out, they are essential when hunting quail and other upland birds. If you wish to know more about quail hunting dogs, you can always contact us online while you’re booking your quail hunt. We will do our best to give you all the details you need and explain why all our quail hunts come with quail hunting dogs for the best possible experience.