Humans and dogs go all the way back to the time of ancient civilizations like in Egypt and Rome. In the early civilizations, dogs were well taken care of. Some dog breeds are previously exclusive for people of high social levels. Their intelligence, strong nature, and loyalty do bring in some name for them. All around the world, there are proofs where dogs have lived side by side with humans. Some also show how close the relationship between humans and dogs are.
Due to this, humans find dogs to be reliable in helping them hunt and guard their family and territory from threat. Despite being naturally built for hunting, hunting dogs would still be loyal to at least one human being.
Most of them have a high sense of belonging to their human master and their fellow hunting dog friends. There are some of them who are more introverted than others, but they will basically submit to one master and enjoy being part of a group or a family. There is a huge variety of hunting dogs in the world and we will get to know them a little better this time.
1. Dogs Are Considered To Be The First And Only Carnivores Domesticated By Human
Dogs and humans have been good friends even when humans were still in the hunter-gatherer stage. Dogs are the first and only animals to enter into a domestic relationship with humans during the Pleistocene era.
In every ancient cave painting around the world you can always see a picture of humans and dogs together. Compared to wolves, dogs are on the friendlier side making them easier to control. Thus, people would bring them in to help guard their lands and as hunting companions. It is safe to say that humans and dogs grow together through time.
2. Basenji Is The Oldest Hunting Dog Breed
Basenji originated in West Africa. They are known as the “Africa’s barkless dog”. Instead of barking, they make a yodle-like sound. Known to be independent, they take careful attention to their hygiene where they will groom themselves like a cat. As a hunt dog, they are very intelligent and fast, always on alert every time.
There are only a small number of Basenjis, thus if you are lucky enough to own one, you will get their utmost devotion. In addition with their independent nature, training a Basenji is not an easy job and they would only get close to one or two people in their whole life.
3. One Type Of Dog For Each Position
Hunting is similar to a sports game, you need the right person for each position. It goes the same for hunting dogs. Each breed has its own position: hounds, gun dogs, terriers, cur types.
Hounds are divided into scent hounds and sight hounds which differ by their means of hunting, whether it is by smell or sight, respectively. Gun dogs are divided into retrievers, flushing spaniels, and pointers. Retrievers are there to retrieve.
Flushing spaniels are for flushing. Pointers are the ones that point out the prey’s location. Terriers and cur-types are responsible for finding homes for their prey, differing only on the size of the prey they tackle.
4. Terriers Were Originally Bred To Be Annoying
The Terrier or the squirrel dog was not originally meant for hunting. They are originally meant to create annoyance around your house or farm to send a threat to potential prey, both big and small prey.
In the UK, Terriers were used to hunt rats and mice in industrial or rural areas. People would call them the “large dog in a small body”. If you consider getting one of them, make sure not to leave them alone for too long: they will really get annoyed and eventually turn annoying.
5. Pointers The Hello Kitty Hunting Dogs
Pointers are the type of hunt dogs that specialize in pointing out prey. You can consider them the hunt dog with a hello kitty heart. Naturally excellent to hunt, pointers are definitely a family dog. Instead of viewing themselves as a dog, they view themselves as part of the family even when they are with their hunting partners. Pointers are wonderful babysitters for young children.
They will play with them all day due to their overflowing energy. Even so, supervision will still be necessary, they are hunting dogs after all and they can knock little kids with their tails. Pointers also make great watchdogs: they are dignified and protective toward their family and territory.
6. Beagle Are Meant For Beagling
The neighborhood friendly dog, the beagle, is actually meant for hunting. They are in charge of the beagling. Nowadays, it means hunting with beagles, but it originally means hunting rabbits.
Beagles have a great smelling and sensing ability and their tracking instinct is one of the best out there. The beagles also have a special kind of bark, called baying, which can be heard easily by hunters even in the deep forest. They have the energy and perseverance to trail down rabbits even until sun down.
7. Retrievers Have The Brain Of A Great Hunter
Whether it is the Labrador retriever or the Golden retriever, they take part in retrieving birds or ducks during a hunt. Naturally willing to please their humans, retrievers are the most hardworking out there and their learning and adapting ability is just top notch.
To complete their wonderful nature, they also have the intelligence and an eager sense of loyalty. Teach them one thing and they will master it in no time. They are not fierce hunters, but they have the brains. Retrievers do make the cut to be the assistant hunter.
8. Miniature Dachshunds Are The Smallest Hunt Dog
Included in the hound groups, the Miniature Dachshunds are the smallest hunting dogs out there, specializing in hunting the gerbers. They are smart and always on guard, and have the bark of a big dog, making them a great watch dog.
Despite being mini, they are still very brave, stubborn, and naturally bred to be an independent hunter. Whether hunters of dangerous prey or the hunters of your heart, they are winning them all.
9. Wolfhounds Are The Biggest Hunt Dog
Wolfhounds are the wolf hunters. They are able to defeat a wolf in a single combat. Their hunting career goes way back to the times of the Roman Empire. There are many types of wolfhounds, but the tallest ones are the Irish Wolfhounds.
The Irish wolfhound is the most serene hunting dog out there. In the past, they were exclusive only to be owned by the Irish kings and nobles.
Only by the sight of their build will it scare away intruders. With their agreeable nature, they make a great companion. If you are thinking of owning one of these Irish wolfhounds, be prepared to accommodate their athletic needs. Raising Irish Wolfhounds requires a commitment as big as their build.
10. African Hunting Dogs Are Known As The “Painted Wolf”
The African hunting dog has a scientific name of Lycian pictus which means “painted wolf”. This name represents how they may have coats with yellow, black, red, brown, and white patches. Also, every dog has its own unique color pattern making each one of them look like a one-of-a-kind painting.
11. African Hunting Dogs Are Endangered Species
As of today, there are only 1407 species left in the wild. Due to habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, and infectious diseases like the rabies, they are slowly getting smaller and smaller in number.
They usually live in packs of 10 dogs and hunt medium sized prey like gazelle, running at 44 miles per hour. Previously, they were hunted by people to prevent them from killing their livestock.
12. Afghan Hounds Are Hypoallergenic
Afghan Hounds are the type of hound that has extremely long, thick, and silky hair. Surprisingly, they don’t shed so much and are one of the best dog breeds for those who have allergies.
Despite not shedding too much, you need to regularly brush them. You need to bathe and groom them twice a week or else things will get too messy.
13. Not All Hounds Hunt By Scent
While dogs are known for their great sense of smell, you might think that they all hunt with them. However, some hounds hunt by speed and sight. They are known as sighthounds or gazehounds. These sighthounds are known to have incredible eyesight: they have 270 degree range of vision while humans have only 180 degree range of vision.
This means they are able to see things both on their back and half a mile in front of them. Greyhounds are the example of these sighthounds. They are so fast that they are known to spend 75% of their time running on the air.
14. Greyhounds Are The Universal Blood Donor For All Dogs
Greyhounds are the blood type O in dogs. They are the universal blood donor for all dogs. They have the DEA (Dog Erythrocyte Antigen) 1.1 negative which can be donated to dogs who have DEA 1.1 positive and negative.
Dog Erythrocyte Antigen is basically a dog’s red blood cell. Dogs are known to have over 13 different blood types and DEA 1.1 being the most common one. Only a small number of dogs, including the greyhounds, have a DEA 1.1 negative blood type.
15. Mummy Dogs
Back in the days, Egyptians used dogs for hunting. Since they spend their whole life hunting with their master, Egyptians take their dogs with them when they die. There are nearly 8 million mummified animals found in Egypt where most of them are dogs. In many of their cave paintings, we can see this relationship between the Egyptian and their hunting dogs very clearly.
Even the famous Queen Cleopatra is well known to have her very own greyhound. Anubis, the Egyptian God of death, also has the head of a canine. With all these, we can see how important dogs are to the Egyptians.
While we are no longer in the hunting-gathering stage, hunting dogs still make a great companion and family dog. They will be satisfied living in a house playing with you all day as long as you show them some love and full commitment of taking good care of them. So, hesitate no more to bring your best friend home with you today!