While any dog can be trained for hunting, some of the breeds may have better hunting instincts. These dogs can therefore learn rather easily and can be trained in lesser time.
Apart from the Terriers, other dog breeds (including Feists and Curs that carry some of the bloodlines of the original breed) make for the best squirrel dog breeds. These dogs have been bred for hunting squirrels for centuries and are usually standardized. They have an unmatched prey drive and are also intelligent. The Terriers can catch the squirrels by their scent in the air and can then follow the squirrel through the sound. The Airedale Terrier is one of the most well-known hunting dog breeds from England, and is also a large size Terrier.
This breed of dog may have many more capabilities than other squirrel dogs. For instance, it can also locate and bark at a snake moving in a trail and can also help the hunter find his way back. These dogs were bred initially for eliminating vermin and for hunting small games.
This particular breed is considered to be the best and the most versatile hunter. The dog can have a size varying between medium to large. The Leopard Cur is a highly energetic dog breed that can also adapt to the prevailing weather conditions with ease.
American Blue Gascon Hound
Also known as Big Blu, the American Gascon Hound is a passionate hunter for the squirrels and the raccoons. These dogs have better trailing and loud baying abilities.
The Finnish Spitz is also Lulou Finnoi and Finsk Spets. The dog breed has superior vocal abilities. It also has better hunting prowess and can hunt small as well as big animals.
Squirrel hunting does not require massive territories and acres of land as deer hunting may require. It can also be a more affordable outdoor pursuit as it does not require any special equipment. People may be introduced relatively easily to the hunting sport through squirrel hunting, and the sport and the hunting game turn out to be fun and easy ways to disconnect. There are also special squirrel hunting dog breeds available for you to have a better hunting experience.
Hunting Squirrels with Dogs
There has always been a close relationship between the dog and the hunter. You can take along your canine buddy with you for squirrel hunting and tracking and locating the bushy tails. The premise is simple. The dog tries to locate the squirrel and finds out the tree where the bushy tail is in. When the dog barks at the tree (where it is staying on), you can shoot the squirrel. Dogs can also alert you of any incoming danger while helping you pinpoint the food source. Some of the advantages of squirrel hunting with dogs include:
The activity has a closed working nature that is well-suited for the busy roads and the smaller parcels of land.
Squirrels can be found in plentiful numbers on the public lands that are located in the vicinity of the urban centers.
Squirrel hunting may have a long season and provides easy entry.
Gear Needed for Squirrel Hunting
The gear that you may need for hunting a squirrel may include:
A GPS-based dog tracking system.
Reflective collars (with nameplates).
Shotgun or Rifle.
The orange vest (with game pouch).
The Procedure of Dog Squirrel Hunting
The late-season time may be best for squirrel hunting with dogs, as the amount of hard mast is less and leaves are off. Dogs are released (cast out) and pursue the squirrels in a fence row, block of woods, or in any other suitable habitat. You can locate and hunt a squirrel in less than an hour if the squirrel is venturing outside its den and is wandering on the ground surface.
The well-trained squirrel dogs are better at locating the squirrels even in cases when the population of the squirrel in the area is inactive or low. The winds can bring to the trained dog’s squirrel scent that is enough for the dog to locate and chase a squirrel. During the shooting, the squirrel may get nervous and may jump from the tree. Your dog can again relocate the squirrel or may even catch it on the ground. Dogs continue their hot pursuit even when the squirrels move from one treetop to another or timber out. The squirrel dogs may trail a lot silently when compared to dogs that are used for hunting raccoons or rabbits.
Training Your dog for Squirrel Hunting
The dogs can be an inexpensive yet exciting counterpart in hunting. You can give them a small crash course or training, and be better equipped at squirrel hunting.
Bonding: the dog should be trained from the very early and younger years. Basic commands that the dog should learn include the stay, sit, and come commands. The dogs can also be trained for leading and barking. The longer the association, the better team a dog and a hunter could make for.
Introducing dogs to squirrels: a tail of a squirrel can be tied to a tree or pole, which will help the dogs learn how they can follow the squirrel or know about their presence through the scent in the air. Some trainers also want their dogs to speak. The dogs may also be rewarded for following the trail and for other activities. If possible, you can also use a live squirrel (put inside a cage trap) for training purposes.
Live pursuit of squirrels: the canine partners can accompany the hunters in the small patches of land and forest where the squirrels are found in high numbers. In a live pursuit, the dogs can see the squirrels and can also trail them to the trees.
The positive and short training sessions can help the dog gain more experience. The more regular the training sessions are, the better it is for the dog as it may provide for faster learning and gain of expertise.
Hunting squirrels can be a fun activity and can help you and your family members escape the stress of daily life. However, it is also important to check for local hunting regulations and to choose a more potent dog breed for squirrel hunting.
With adequate and quality gear, and a well-trained dog you can be successful at your very first attempt. Squirrels are found in abundance in lands close to urban centers. Therefore the activity is also hassle-free and does not require you to move long distances.