Choosing your hunting dog

We asked Bastien, our ambassador and specialist in hunting with setters, who currently owns a 2-year old pointer, for his advice on the subject.

Choosing your hunting dog

Choosing your hunting dog

After choosing the breed of dog you want, you should start by looking the entire litter to make sure that the puppies are all about the same :size and weight. A size within the standards of the breed is the safest guarantee of having a dog in good health later on.  

Also, enquire about the hunting skills and the origin of its parents. Are they hunters? Have they taken part in any competitions? Have they passed the natural aptitude test?

The stronger their hunting skills, the higher the chance that your puppy will be a natural hunter, like its mother and father. Also, check that the dog has been vaccinated, preferably by a vet, and has its microchip implant.

Then, it is up to you to decide whether you prefer a male or a female, given that adult females tend to be smaller and slimmer than adult males. They usually run faster than males, but they may also come on heat during the hunting season.

Choosing your hunting dog

You should choose your dog according to a number of rational criteria, but Bastien also advises you to call on your intuition or preferences.

Observe how the dog behaves outdoors and look whether it tends to stay close to people or is more adventurous, preferring to set off in discovery of new places. Puppies that tend to sniff around or that like to go and see what is going on nearby will probably become curious hunting dogs.

Made up your mind yet? Now it's time to welcome your new dog to your home. It will be separated from its mother and siblings and find itself in unfamiliar surroundings.

Take a walk around the house and remove anything that could be dangerous: sharp objects, toxic products, medicines, small objects that it could chew or swallow, and any heavy objects at height that could fall onto the puppy.

Then, prepare a space in the house for the dog, where you can put its basket, bowls for food and water and any toys. Prefer a passageway, where it can see and hear you. Never put the dog's place in the room where you take your meals. This will prevent the dog from asking for your food and not eating its own bowl of food.

Bastien recommends that your dog sleeps in a box until the age of 18 months. He will adopt this space as being his own, where he must be good and feels safe, so that you can also sleep soundly yourself.