Like the pointer, the aptly named Labrador retriever is a well-rounded hunting companion. Perhaps Labradors are best known as water dogs because of their moisture-repellent coats and weblike feet that propel them easily through water to fetch prey. Retrievers are also equipped with a high level of intelligence and good temperament, which make them ideal for training. These qualities serve as part of the reason that Labradors, as well as golden retrievers, are consistently ranked as the most popular breeds in the United States [source: AKC].
Like spaniels, retrievers' mouths also have a gentle grip that lets them retrieve prey without damaging it. Their willingness to please lends them well to tasks other than retrieving. Labradors also make good trackers and pointers, and they quickly adapt to a wide range of environments.
With a sturdy build and weighing about 55 to 75 pounds (25 to 34 kilograms), Labradors are true utilitarian dogs, equally at ease gathering quail as they are fetching fallen ducks from an icy pond. Their well-roundedness makes them quality hunting dogs in any season.
- 5 Hunting Safety Tips
- How Hunting Licenses Work
- How Hunting with Respect for Life Works
- How Fair Chase Hunting Works
- How Hunting Preserves Work
- How is the deer population counted?
- Hunting with Dogs Quiz
- Is it legal to hunt wolves?
- What is considered unfair hunting?
- What is still hunting?
- Why can you only hunt certain game in certain seasons?
- American Kennel Club (AKC). "AKC Dog Registration Statistics." (Nov. 17, 2008) http://www.akc.org/reg/dogreg_stats.cfm
- American Kennel Club (AKC). "Breeds." (Nov. 12, 2008) http://www.akc.org/breeds/index.cfm?nav_area=breeds
- Animal Planet. "All About Dog Breeds." (Nov. 12, 2008) http://animal.discovery.com/guides/dogs/choosing-a-dog/choosing.html
- Bentley, Cliff. "Searching For The Bell That's Stopped." Gun Dog. (Nov. 12, 2008) http://www.gundogmag.com/gundog_breeds/GD_searchingforthe_200807/index. html
- Carty, Dave. "Fact or Fiction." Petersen's Hunting. (Nov. 12, 2008) http://www.huntingmag.com/small_game/huntdog_032907/index.html
- Dog Breed Info Center. "Beagle." (Dec. 14, 2011) http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/beagle.htm
- Dog Breed Info Center. "Brittany." (Dec. 14, 2011) http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/brittany.htm
- Dog Breed Info Center. "Dachshund." (Dec. 14, 2011) http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/dachshund.htm
- Dog Breed Info Center. "Smooth Fox Terrier." (Dec. 14, 2011) http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/smoothfoxterrier.htm
- Dog Breed Info Center. "Spanish Water Dog." (Dec. 14, 2011) http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/spanishwaterdog.htm
- Encyclopedia Britannica. "Hunting." 2008. (Nov. 13, 2008) http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/277043/hunting
- Gribb, John. "The Greatest Upland Hunting Dog of All?" Game & Fish. (Nov. 12, 2008) http://www.gameandfishmag.com/hunting/hunting-dogs/RA_0605_03/index.html
- Hawkins, Kirsten. "Choosing A Good Hunting Dog." Bird Dogs of America. (Nov. 12, 2008) http://www.swampdogg.com/Choosing_Hunting_Dog.asp
- The Hunting Dog. Breeds of Dogs With Lots Of Versatility." (Nov. 12, 2008) http://www.the-hunting-dog.com/breeds-of-dogs.html
- Iams. "Beagle." 2000. (Dec. 14, 2011) http://www.iams.com/pet-health/dog-breeds/beagle
- Iams. "Brittany." 2000. (Dec. 14, 2011) http://www.iams.com/pet-health/dog-breeds/brittany
- Iams. "Dachshund." 2008. (Dec. 14, 2011) http://www.iams.com/pet-health/dog-breeds/dachshund
- Iams. "Smooth Fox Terrier." 2000 (Dec. 14, 2011) http://www.iams.com/pet-health/dog-breeds/smooth-fox-terrier
- Love to Know Corp. "Best Hunting Dogs." (Nov. 12, 2008) http://best.lovetoknow.com/Best_Hunting_Dogs
- Mckane, Frank. "Are You Ready For A Hunting Dog?" Game & Fish. June 2007. (Nov. 12, 2008) http://www.gameandfishmag.com/hunting/hunting-dogs/RA_0607_02/index.html
- Outdoor Site Library. "Hunting Terminology." (Dec. 14, 2005) http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPage?mode=terms&cat=Hunting&storeId=10151&catalogId=10001&langId=-1
- Pet Place. "AKC Breeds by Size." (Dec. 16, 2011) http://www.petplace.com/dogs/akc-breeds-by-size/page1.aspx
- Routh, Dusty. "Hunting for Pup's First Pheasant." Game & Fish. (Nov. 12, 2008) http://www.gameandfishmag.com/hunting/pheasant-hunting/gf_aa116104a/
- Spanish Water Dog Club. "Hunting." (Dec. 14, 2011) http://www.swdclub.org/index.php?page=hunting
- Thoms, Jerry. "Today's English Springer Spaniel." Gun Dog. (Nov. 12, 2008) http://www.gundogmag.com/gundog_breeds/gd_todayspaniel_200804/index.html
- Ultimate Hunts. "Bird Dog Breeds." (Nov. 12, 2008) http://www.dovehunt.com/bird_dog_breeds.htm
- United Blood Trackers. "United Blood Trackers." (Dec. 14, 2011) http://www.unitedbloodtrackers.org
Hunting ATVs allow hunters to get to areas that would normally be unreachable. Learn all about hunting ATVs at HowStuffWorks.