Popular Sporting Breeds
The sporting group is among the most versatile of dog breeds, spanning all forms of spaniel, retriever, pointer, and setter, as well as the vizsla, griffon, Lagotto Romagnolo, and Spinone Italiano. These dogs are both athletic and friendly, and are able to adapt quickly to any hunting or field activity. Three of the most popular breeds from this well-loved group are described below.
The Labrador Retriever is not only the most popular sporting breed, but is the most popular breed of dog worldwide. In the field, this dog is an intelligent, eager to please, and reliable gun dog. The water-loving nature of Labrador Retrievers (as well as their water-repelling coat) makes them great companions for waterfowl hunting. Outside of the field they make wonderful family pets as they are especially tolerant of animals and children and are commonly described as having a friendly and outgoing personality. Labrador Retrievers are large dogs, with the ideal size being 65 – 80 lbs for males, and 55 – 70 lbs for females. Owners should beware that these highly food motivated dogs are prone to obesity, so a strict diet and exercise routine should be closely followed. Many Labrador Retrievers live to be 10 – 12 years old.
Another popular sporting dog, one that is smaller in size than the large Labrador Retriever, is the Brittany. Known for its up-beat and loving personality, as well as its characteristic floppy ears, the Brittany excels as a waterfowl and small game retrieving gun dog. The Brittany is also a great family companion when well socialized, as it has a gentle spirit and is eager to please. However, families that are considering purchasing a Brittany should know that these dogs require regular exercise, as they are quite energetic. This breed suffers from few health problems, is relatively low maintenance, and has a lifespan of 14 – 15 years. With an ideal weight ranging 30 – 45 lbs, the Brittany is the perfect mid-sized companion dog.
German Shorthaired Pointer
The German Shorthaired Pointer is a quick and athletic dog known for its versatility in the field. It is bred to be bold and independent, yet is also extremely affectionate with its owners. In the field, German Shorthaired Pointers excel at every gun dog task, including trailing, pointing, retrieving, and flushing. They generally love water, and can also be used for hunting waterfowl. Unlike some dogs in the sporting group, German Shorthaired Pointers can even be used for hunting larger and more dangerous game, such as bears. As family companions German Shorthaired Pointers are exceptionally compassionate dogs that get along well with other pets and children if properly trained. They have extensive exercise requirements, however, and need regular and vigorous exercise in order to avoid being too hyperactive in the house. German Shorthaired Pointers vary in size from 45 – 70 lbs. This breed is also relatively healthy, suffering from few common health complaints. Typical lifespan for the German Shorthaired Pointer is 12 – 14 years of age.
At HuntEmUp.com, we know sporting dogs. From the time they’re a puppy, through their senior years, we’ll keep you informed on the latest news and information. For more information on Training, Preparing and Caring for your Dogs, read our Hunting and Sporting Dog blog.
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