Of all the things you'll see there, gun dogs are the No. 1 attraction at the Pheasants Forever National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic.
There are puppies, trainers, breeders and not to mention a parade featuring nearly 40 bird dog breeds that opens the event. As the largest show in the country for upland hunters, it's a unique opportunity to see some of the rarer sporting dog breeds that, while uncommon, have dedicated followings across the country.
Here's a look at eight of the rare bird dog breeds you'll see at Pheasant Fest.
While not an uncommon breed, Airedales aren't yet a common sight in the uplands. In 2009, Airedales took their place on the American Kennel Club list of breeds recognized as gun dogs, eligible to earn AKC Hunting Test Titles. Learn more from the Airedale Terrier Club of America
at National Pheasant Fest.
One of the oldest breeds, there are usually only around 200 pups available annually to flushing dog enthusiasts in the U.S. Catch the Clumber in the Bird Dog Parade.
This breed currently ranks 153 out of 175 on the American Kennel Club's list of most-popular dog breeds, perhaps surprising to those who own this multi-purpose hunting retriever. Touting the merits of the Curly at National Pheasant Fest will be the Curly-Coated Retriever Club of America.
(Photo courtesy of the Curly-Coated Retriever Club of America)
German Longhaired Pointer
German Longhaired Pointers have proven themselves in the field for more than a century, but those versatile abilities haven't coincided with overwhelming popularity. The German Longhaired Pointer will make its appearance in the Bird Dog Parade.
Intelligent and excels at both waterfowl and upland hunting. Labs? No, we're talking about the Poodle, which, like Airedales, are a well-known breed but a rare sight in the field. Learn more from the Poodle Club of America.
There are only about 4,500 Stabyhouns worldwide, and just 250 in the U.S., and the versatile breed will be making its inaugural appearance at National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic this year thanks to the Ameri-Can Stabyhoun Association.
(Photo courtesy of the Ameri-can Stabyhoun Association)
A medium-sized gun dog, the Wachtelhund's history dates back to the 1700s. The Deutscher Wachtelund of North America
formed in 2007 and will be exhibiting at National Pheasant Fest.
(Photo courtesy of the Deutscher Wachtelund of North America)
While still common in France, this sporting dog has remained obscure elsewhere, but there are a few U.S. breeders of this pointing breed. Look for the Braque Francais in the Bird Dog Parade that kicks off National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic
at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee on February 14th.