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Top 3 Emerging Hunting Dog Breeds

Our list of new gun dogs might surprise you, but give them a chance as these breeds are proving to be exceptional upland and waterfowl hunters.

Top 3 Emerging Hunting Dog Breeds

Due to the success of the Pomeranian and other unusual hunting breeds, gun dog owners everywhere are beginning to re-think what characteristics make the perfect gun dog. (Photo By: Jessyca Sortillon)

Although these three breeds aren’t generally thought of as gun dogs, they have become popular choices for bird hunters who seek a faithful sidekick with brilliant, unmatched performance in the field. If you’re thinking about getting a hunting companion and are on the fence about which breed to get, consider one of these front-running hunting breeds.

SEE THESE PUPS IN ACTION!!


Toy Poodle

The wildly adorable, athletic, and highly intelligent toy poodle is capturing the attention (and hearts) of bird hunters across the globe. The tiny toy poodle excels at busting through the briars to flush and retrieve game birds.

Toy poodle hunting dog
Despite what you might think, toy poodles are excellent retrievers! (Photo By: Chris Ingram)

Equally confident and capable in the uplands and wetlands (and the show ring), this people-pleasing, pocket-sized pooch fits perfectly inside any hunting vest or blind bag. And you can forget your snap-judged stereotype, this carefully cultivated gun dog breed is no longer a sissy, yippy little lap dog. These compact and eager hunters epitomize versatility while combining an elegant aesthetic with first-rate field function.

Pomeranian

The spunky and sassy Pomeranian is a brainy and biddable little ball of floof. A thick, double-layer coat keeps its body warm in cold temperatures and prevents overheating on early season scorchers. Their functionable fluff also provides complete protection against burrs, thorns, and stickers. It’s no surprise this loveable, double-duty dog breed is as popular in the uplands as it is in the competitive show circuit.

Pomeranian hunting dog
The Pomeranian loves to run and chase birds with a fluffy fur coat designed for the field. (Photo By: Jessyca Sortillon)

Pomeranians descend from hard-working spitz-type sled dogs. They are the smallest of the spitz breeds, averaging only four to seven pounds; however, don’t let their tiny stature fool you. Their demeanor is that of a large, powerful dog. Just like their sled dog ancestors, Pomeranians are bold and enjoy running, making them ideal upland hunters because of their highly desirable ability to flush birds with their loud barking. Poms also love to retrieve and will steal the show with their entertaining smile for all your grip-‘n-grin tailgate hero shots.

Chinese Crested

Despite its diminutive size (and awfully cute appearance), the Chinese Crested makes an incredible bird dog, according to recent surveys, and the breed has one of the strongest prey drives ever measured. During the 14th century, Chinese Crested dogs helped prevent the spread of the Black Death (bubonic plague) by hunting and killing rodents infested with fleas on Chinese ships and have been earning their esteem as capable hunting dogs ever since.

Chinese Crested hunting dog
Although only emerging onto the upland bird hunting scene, Chinese Crested dogs have been known for their natural hunting drive for centuries. (Photo By: martincihak/Shutterstock.com)

There are two field-bred varieties of the Chinese Crested: the posh powderpuff and the hard-working hairless. The powderpuff variety has long, sleek hair, while the hairless version has tufts of hair only on its head, feet, and tail. Both will undoubtedly make great hunting companions and conversation starters; however, if you choose the hairless version, additional care is needed when in the outdoors. Be sure to slather your hairless pup with a generous amount of sunscreen each day to protect it against harmful UV rays. During cold weather, always dress them in a functionable and fashionable hunting vest to keep them warm and comfortable.

Although the toy poodle, Pomeranian, and Chinese Crested aren’t yet iconic hunting breeds, they are just as, and in some instances more, capable to assist bird hunters afield. From flushing small-bodied quail to retrieving hulking Canada geese, these top three emerging hunting breeds have impressed bird dog owners everywhere and are changing the notion of what makes a great gun dog.

April Fools!


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