Many of us have admired the German Shepherd’s keen sense of hearing and ability to follow orders. In many cases, this is why many people get a German Shepherd. But would they make a good hunting dog?
While German Shepherds are often used as guard dogs, it’s not as common to see one on a hunt. It all comes down to their instinct. They are bred primarily as working dogs, and hunters should look for breeds with similar skillsets, such as pointers or retrievers, for this purpose.
There is no reason a German Shepherd couldn’t become a good hunting dog. It would just take time and patience to train the dog to use its nose and instincts.
How Do You Train a German Shepherd to Hunt?
To prepare a German Shepherd to be a good hunting dog, you first need to know their ancestors. Many German Shepherds have the same genes as other working dogs. For instance, the Herding dog genes are responsible for their calm temperament and low-key scenting abilities. These working dogs need to get rid of this calmness and energy they can’t use while hunting.
It would be best to look for a hunting dog club or a trainer who has experience training hunting dogs. The trainer will bring your dog on hunts and teach it how to track and locate prey. Eventually, your dog may get used to this sport.
You will need to train your pup with specific scenting tools. Use a dog that you know well to be on the other end of the leash when training your dog.
Introduce your dog to its prey
It would be best if you introduced dogs to their prey before going on the hunt. If possible, you can practice the hunt in an enclosed area so that you will know what your dog will do during an actual hunting scenario.
Bring your dog on hunts.
It is among the most critical steps. You will need to go on multiple hunts so that you can get a sense of how your dog performs under pressure. You’ll need to understand if that’s the life you want for your dog or if it needs a different role in life. You should also be aware that your dog will likely try to protect you while out in the field, as it considers you to be its pack leader.
Practice and Repeat
While the training process might take some time, it is not as slow as you might think. While the entire process can be divided into multiple steps, it is best to keep a consistent schedule to learn how your dog reacts in different situations.
While German Shepherds can make good hunting dogs, you need to know what you want out of them first before guiding them towards a role as a hunter.
Do German shepherds make good tracking dogs?
German Shepherds are known to be some of the best tracking dogs in the world. They are excellent at following a scent, and they will not lose the scent unless someone hides it well. They do not have to be taught how to track, as they can already read a scent and track prey.
Like most trackers, they use their noses to find the scent of prey. As they follow the scent, they will stop when it gets weaker and then head in another direction until they get it again, before following to its location. Once they track a prey down, they will continue tracking until it is done. German Shepherd hunting instincts are strong, making them excellent trackers.
What Do German Shepherds Hunt?
The German Shepherd is known as a natural hunter. They are used as vermin hunters and guard dogs for farms and ranches. While they are commonly used in this role, they also play a part in hunting games such as wild boar, deer, and rabbits. When they are on the hunt, they often lie in wait and then pounce on their prey.
To German Shepherds, it’s not just about catching the prey. It’s more about making sure that the prey is dead. They don’t want to see it struggling when they are putting the prey down. That is why they are excellent at following through with killing prey, significantly larger prey.
Can a German Shepherd catch a deer?
Yes, German Shepherds can catch a deer. They can track the deer blood trails and let their prey catch the scent as they move through the forestland. They are known as excellent tracking dogs, and they will find the deer’s scent and follow it until it is dead. For your dog to catch a deer, you will have to teach them how to read a scent and track prey. You can do this with some simple training that would take about a month or so before they are ready for deer hunting.
How fast can a German Shepherd hunt?
German Shepherds are known to be some of the fastest hunting dogs globally, but that is not always the case in all cases. It depends on how much training a dog has had, how well it understands commands, and how well it follows those commands. Also, the type of prey helps determine how quickly an animal can track.
Can a German Shepherd hunt in different environments?
Like most other hunting dogs, the German Shepherd can track prey in cold and warm weather. However, some seasons will need to be outside more often because of the weather conditions. For instance, they will need to be out at least twice during the day or once at night during summer. In addition, if they don’t have enough exercise, their effects will be seen while on the hunt.
How far can a German Shepherd track?
The German Shepherd can track prey over a long distance. They can read a scent and follow it until it is found. Many people say that it is easier to teach them how to track than to teach them how to hunt. It does not matter how many rounds do you take hunting. It also helps that they have some of the strongest hunting instincts in all dog hunting breeds.
Do German Shepherds have prey drive?
The German Shepherd has a strong prey drive. They will chase and kill their prey and guard it to ensure that no other animals come near. For this main reason, they protect homes and farms; they are excellent at their jobs. You should breed your dog to suit your needs while keeping in mind that it could cause problems for your family or neighbors if you want it to hunt.
Are German Shepherds good for bird hunting?
The German Shepherd is known for being excellent at following a scent and tracking its prey. However, that means that they won’t be hunting fast animals like birds. They will take longer to catch up to slower-moving animals. If you want your dog to hunt birds, you will have to train it to do so. You can also train your german shepherds for duck hunting.
Pros and Cons of Using German Shepherds for Hunting
If you’re considering training and using a German Shepherd for hunting, these pros and cons must be considered so that it can be ingrained in their psyche. If you want a German Shepherd as your hunting companion, you will have to plan and prepare before going on any hunt. You will need to know how well your dog reacts in real hunting situations.
Pros of Owning a German Shepherd for Hunting
Intelligence and Sensitivity
Many hunters have noticed that German Shepherds are extremely intelligent. The breed is susceptible as well as very intuitive. That can be a problem if you want to use them for hunting purposes, but it also means that they will be very good at following your commands. They will not go against your commands if they know what the command means. If you want a dog that follows instructions, this might be the breed for you.
Ability to Work for Long Hours
If you are planning on hunting and depending on your dog, it can be a lot of work. You will have to take it out in the field first thing in the morning after training. You will also have to ensure that it gets enough exercise and playtime. If you want your dog for hunting purposes, you need to make sure that it can work hard when needed.
Great for Family
The German Shepherd is not just meant to be a hunting dog. It is very popular as a family dog. When you get one, you will still be able to take it anywhere and make sure that it gets plenty of exercise and playtime. You will not have to worry about being tied up in the backyard all day since they love being outdoors.
Easy to Train
The German Shepherd is considered among the easiest dogs to train in all dog breeds. They are brilliant, and they pick up on things quite quickly. For instance, if you want them to sit and stay, they will learn the first time. Not only will they learn it quickly, but it will be a life-long trait that they never forget.
Loyalty and Affectionate
The German Shepherd is a highly loyal dog that loves its family almost to a fault. Once you get one, you will know what to expect from it. They are very affectionate, and they enjoy spending time with the family. If you have a German Shepherd as your hunting partner, you can be sure that it will be loyal to you and respect your authority as its master.
Cons of Owning a German Shepherd for Hunting
Highly Protective of Family
Since the German Shepherd is known for being protective, they will be guarding their master as you hunt. In addition, they will want to protect you and your family by getting rid of anything that seems to be a threat. People often perceive them as watchdogs that may attack anyone who comes close to them or their families due to this reason.
Unreliable for Scary Terrain
If you are planning to hunt in scary terrain, the German Shepherd should be left home. They do not dare to face off dangerous animals, especially significant threats like bears or wolves. Of course, that doesn’t mean that they will not fight back, but it could be deadly for you and your dog.
German Shepherds are known for having skin problems. They can be allergic to certain things and will bite the source. One food that they can’t eat is pork, or they will have many problems with their skin. Fleas and ticks pose another problem. Therefore, using flea/tick preventatives for hunting dogs can be a brilliant idea.
The German Shepherd has saliva that is uncomfortable for you and your dog. It can cause skin problems, but it also makes a horrible smell. That is one reason you should never take your dog hunting because it will make anyone uncomfortable.
You must train the German Shepherd to work for you. When they hunt alone, they will not listen to others. It means that everyone you bring along must listen to what the dog has been taught and follow the commands.
To sum it up, the German Shepherd is a powerful and obedient dog breed. They are natural hunters, but they need to be trained early on to make them better than they are. Training should start from the very beginning to make the dog become a better hunter. If you are going to train your German Shepherd, you may want to consider a professional trainer who can help you out with the process.