by Brian Lynn - Monday, September 19, 2011
Part I of this article that examined canine-human attributes was so popular that we’ve come up with five more breeds that hunters take afield. Pointer, setter, spaniel, retriever or hound, it matters not; the gun dog at your side tells the world more than that you just hunt.
Breed of Dog: Vizsla
Armed with a distinguished and distinct beauty, the golden-rust colored vizsla was bred to hunt the fields, woods and waters of its native Hungary. This versatile breed is agile and energetic and possesses plenty of endurance, as well as a great nose, for trailing feathered or furred game for miles. A pointing breed primarily used for upland game, vizslas retain their tractability for multi-purpose training but can turn off their aggressive hunting drive and relax at home with the family.
Your Personality: A hard worker with an independent streak, you’re driven to succeed in all endeavors and won’t be boxed into a monotonous occupation. Regardless of whether your day job is in the blue- or white-collar sector, you’re not a “yes” man; you work hard and follow the rules, but domineering superiors and gossiping co-workers mind their tongue around you. For you, there’s a definite division between work and play—focused while working, at night you’re down on the floor playing with the kids. Like your chosen breed, you’re loyal to those close to you but take a while to warm up to strangers—and your senses are always alert for possible danger.
The Reliable Stylist
Breed of Dog: Brittany
The medium build and even disposition of the typically orange/white or liver/white Brittany lends itself to the suburban upland hunter with a busy work schedule who enjoys watching focused drive and style afield. Attractive without being obnoxiously high maintenance, the Brittany features a moderate coat with reasonable feathering that maintains style and class. In the field, Britts move like miniature assassins, darting through fields at a close-to-moderate range and holding point on coveys and singles alike. While active and intelligent, the flashy little workers fit into a family household very well.
Your Personality: You enjoy quality in everything, but forego pretentiousness for consistency and class. While you love to hunt, if you own only one dog and it’s a Brittany, it means that life keeps you from getting into the field as often as you want; two or more of the darting little hunters in your household means you’ll skip work, and preferably dinner with the in-laws, to watch pups work game birds. A generally happy person in life and love, you enjoy friendly banter and socialization but don’t seek the spotlight.
The Fine Family Man
Breed of Dog: Setters
Among the oldest of gun dogs, setters are the aristocrats of the bird-dog world. And they look and act the part. Long-legged with flowing, feathered locks, they lack the all-out prey drive and flash of English pointers—and their attitude during training can border on prima donna-ism at times. However, if selected from a hunting pedigree, and not show, companion or other lines, no other gun dog looks as stylish on point as a locked-up setter. Those supermodel legs allow them to challenge even pointers when it comes to stamina and range, but true to their royal heritage, they’ll course the field at their own steady pace.
Your Personality: As your chosen breed suggests, you like to surround yourself with quality— fine dining, engraved firearms and yearly trips abroad suit your tastes. But this doesn’t mean you’re a snob; you just know what you like and you make it happen through hard work and consistency. Quality to you isn’t just about appearances though, sound workmanship is a must. Life isn’t a race but a journey you savor; slowing down and appreciating the little things around you allows you to stay focused on long-term goals. Friendly without being needy, you’re content in the life you’ve built for you and your family, and you enjoy time with them at home and in the field.
The Party Chaser
Breed of Dog: Beagle
Small and gregarious, the beagle, one of the most popular dogs in the country, lives to work and play. Curious and friendly, they will follow their nose and track a trail blindly, giving chase regardless of surroundings. Great for the suburban hunter, and even apartment dweller if desensitized to the strange sounds of nearby neighbors, the beagle works rabbits and other small game with a baying zeal. A dog or two can be a joy to watch while putting game in the bag, but a pack of beagles working in unison on the hunt is the epitome of joyful pursuit.
Your Personality: Friendly, laidback and happy-go-lucky, you approach life and love with a playful ease. Not happy with simply punching a time clock and collecting a paycheck, your work is something you must enjoy; in fact for you, work, hobbies and life often intermingle to the point that those around you don’t know which you enjoy more. While quite capable of being alone, you’re not a loner by nature. You enjoy a good party, spontaneous road trips with friends and the raucous excitement of sporting events. Driven by some internal desire, you pursue dreams, goals and fun with reckless persistence.
The Creative Charmer
Breed of Dog: Irish Water Spaniel
Among the most ancient of dogs, with remains found dating to the 7th Century A.D., the Irish Water Spaniel is the tallest spaniel, featuring a water-repellent double coat consisting of tight curls and a rat-like tail. Bred to tackle both the upland fields and waterfowl marshes, Irish Water Spaniels require a knowledgeable trainer due to their often stubborn-yet-comedic intelligence. They can do any work, but the trainer should be able to discern when the dog is attempting to escape its responsibilities and when it’s truly confused. Good with kids in a family environment, the active IWS can be aloof with strangers.
Your Personality: If you own an Irish Water Spaniel, you really don’t care what people think— you’re definitely your own person. Instead of living and hunting with more mainstream dual-purpose canines like the Labrador retriever or English springer spaniel, you chose the IWS because you relish the attention of being different. Quick to entertain with a joke or story in social settings, your self-deprecating humor endears you to friends and family. Your chosen occupation gives you the freedom to improvise when needed; you do best when allowed to access your creative side when problem solving.
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