Mole hunting and garden antics – is owning a Gun Dog the right choice for your family
During our weekly Pawfect management meeting, my business partner and co-founder of Pawfect, Belinda Bolte, was sharing about an extremely challenging dog that she had been working with. In her role as an expert dog trainer she is often approached to assist with a dog or dogs who are exhibiting challenging behaviours. Sometimes it is the dog, but most of the time it is also the humans that need to the training. Especially now, with so many people experiencing stress the dogs are picking up on these human emotions.
One of our dogs is a deaf, partially sighted Great Dane so I really understand challenging behaviour and appreciate that each dog is individual however sometimes these situations can be avoided. Firstly, it is so important to take your puppy to puppy school for basic obedience training and socialisation. Secondly, even before puppy school when you or your family are considering getting a puppy or dog seriously consider the what breed will suit you or your family best?
According to KUSA, Kennel Union of South Africa, there are seven groups of dogs: Gundogs, Hounds, Herders, Toys, Terriers, Working dogs, and Utility.
The first category is Gundogs which are Labradors, Retrievers, Spaniels, Pointers, and Weimeraners. This is a perfect for a sporty family who love to exercise. Gundogs were originally bred to assist with hunting, some were bred to flush out or retrieve game, while others were bred to track game, keep it at bay and alert the hunter to its location. Most of the time Gundogs are naturally intelligent while having an easy-going nature and willingness to please makes them a popular choice but again the key is training and exercise. Keeping them stimulated so they don’t go and stimulate themselves and get into mischief is vital. As I am writing this George, my black Labrador has casually strolled into my office and presented me with a “prize” his mole hunting afternoon activity. He is very proud of his achievement but I dread to think what my garden looks like…
I need to stress that choosing the right breed for your lifestyle and family is really important. Next week we will look at if a Hound might be the right choice for your family.