Hunters and their dog companions, it is a partnership that spans tens of thousands of years. Quickly scan the hunting scene, and it’s not hard to understand why you need a dog. From the physical qualities that dogs uniquely bring to the game to the overall mutually beneficial bond built between you two— it’s a companionship that’s more than love and respect.
In other words, dogs can make the hunt more exciting, more fun, and more thrilling than it was without them.
Because they live for it, sometimes, more than we do. It is a dog's courage to go after ducks lost in-between the marshes that inspires us. It is their endurance to keep going after a long day’s work. It is their passion that pushes us along when we want to give up that day.
That is what makes the partnership so incredible and exactly why you should consider adding a dog to your hunting pack. But before you run off to find your new partner, let’s take a look at the best hunting dog breeds you should consider.
Without a doubt, the number one duck hunting dog you can find is Labrador Retrievers. Bred for marking, retrieving, and delivering waterfowl directly to your hands, Labradors are one breed you should consider when picking your duck hunting partner. Just take a look at their physical attributes. A Labrador’s double fur coat keeps them warm while also acting as a water-repellent layer. Their webbed feet and muscularly frame help them easily maneuver through the water. Also, a thick otter tail gives them extra balance.
If those physical attributes weren’t reason enough, Labradors are also extremely intelligent. Their quick learning skills make it easier for them to grasp training and handle the learning curve for complex concepts involved in blind retrieval. Only a few weeks into training and you will quickly understand why this breed is a duck hunter’s favorite.
Chesapeake Bay Retriever
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a known duck dog that is powerfully bred and built for the hunt. Chessies take to training but have a distinctive mind of their own to go after what they deem fit. This breed perfectly embodies the classic traits of retrievers: loyal, affectionate, friendly, and polite, but it is also very protective of their owners. A well-trained Chessie could be the world-class hunting buddy you need on your blinds.
German Shorthaired Pointer
If you are a hunter that likes taking your time on the hunt, the German Shorthaired Pointer is the right dog breed for you. It’s no wonder why the German Shorthaired Pointer is America’s go-to bird dog. Wherever there are birds in the United States, GSPs are there to point them out.
GSPs are built for long work days in the field or on the lake due to their power, speed, agility, and long-standing endurance. From your sofa to the lake, GSPs are capable of every activity you throw at them.
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
As the name suggests, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is known for its duck hunting abilities. Originally used as a decoy to distract waterfowl, this breed of Retrievers originated in the early 19th century where they were known as the Little River Duck Dog. As one of the most playful kinds, Tollers use their fluttering tails and quick-witted skills to lure ducks in. This playful side also comes in handy outside of the hunt making it a great companion on and off the field.
Whichever, dog breed you choose, it’s important you take the time to do your research. Find a companion that comes from a long pedigree of hunting dogs. Not only will this help in terms of ability but also ensures that you can properly train, as well.
Before you head out on your next duck hunt, read through our duck hunting packing list article. For additional help finding the perfect hunting partner, contact the duck hunting experts at Mud Buddy Motors.