When it comes to venturing outdoors, dogs make great buddies. Whether you’re camping or hiking, having your faithful dog by your side will always make you feel safe and protected. And, if you like to hunt in your free time, a dog is the best companion to bring along. After all, tracking down the game is a lot similar to fetching. In both cases, the dog uses its exceptional sense of smell to determine the exact location of a certain object or animal. With that being said, with the aid of a hunting dog, you can locate game a lot faster and more accurately.
When it comes to hunting with dogs, there are some pieces of equipment that you need to have on hand. Some just make your experience more convenient, while others are absolutely necessary. With the following equipment, you can train and track your hunting dog while also making sure he/she is well-fed and comfortable during the whole trip.
GPS Dog Collar
Hunting areas are vast and covered with thick bush. So, once you let your dog out of its leash, it practically disappears into the background. With that being said, retrieving your dog can be as difficult as finding game. As a result, every hunter needs to outfit their dog with a tracking device. The traditional option used to be collars with bells, but now there are far more modern alternatives, like getting a GPS dog collar.
A GPS dog collar is a device that sends a signal to a handheld GPS unit with a screen, allowing you to determine your dog’s exact location, and whetehr or not it’s moving. These tracking collars can locate dogs up to 16 kilometres away, and sometimes even farther depending on the model. As a result, dog tracking collars are very reliable tools for making sure your dog doesn’t get lost.
And unlike bells, a GPS dog collar is completely silent so there’s no risk of disturbing a potential prey. All that bells can tell you is that your dog is somewhere within earshot, and that’s not a lot of help. Besides, once you have been exposed to loud gunfire, it gets harder and harder to actually hear the sound of a bell. However, with a GPS dog collar, you can know the exact location of your hunting companion.
When training your dog, it’s a lot better to use an ultrasonic dog whistle than to yell out orders. Not only can yelling tire out your voice, but it also isn’t very effective over long distances. A dog whistle, on the other hand, can produce a noise that’s much louder than you can shout. The unique ultrasonic frequency of the whistle stands out among all the other noises around, which means that the dog is more likely to understand the order clearly.
High Visibility Dog Harness
You wouldn’t go out hunting without a high visibility vest – and the same should go for your dog too. This piece of gear is incredibly important for keeping your companion safe in a hunting area. Not only can a good dog harness provide an extra layer of protection against the cold and the bush, but it will also make sure that no one mistakes your pet for prey. It’s important to pick a harness with a bright colour that’s easy to distinguish at first glance.
Travel Dog Bowls
Of course, all that running will eventually make your furry friend hungry and thirsty. So, it’s essential that you bring along a good amount of food and water to replenish his/her energy. To avoid taking up too much room in your backpack, pick a bowl that’s specialised for travelling. Many travel dog bowls are made of silicone and can be easily folded to fit in compactly.
When you’re hunting around bushy and rocky terrain, there are a lot of things that can hurt your dog’s feet. As a result, it’s recommended to protect his/her feet with quality dog boots. First of all, check whether the bottom of the shoes is thick enough to provide protection from the terrain. In addition, make sure the boots are waterproof if you’re going to a wet area or plan to hunt for waterfowl. During the winter, invest in boots with ample insulation to keep the dog’s feet warm.
Your dog is going to have a long day of running around, so the least you can do is to conveniently transport it to and from the hunting ground with a crate. There are various types of crates on the market to choose from. Make sure that the crate is correctly sized, allows for plenty of ventilation and is made of materials suitable for the conditions you’ll be hunting in. A dog crate can be used in all kinds of situations where you need to transport your dog safely, like for instance when going to the vet or travelling on the road. As a result, investing in one is a very practical choice. Additionally, you can also purchase a waterproof cover that you can put over the crate for protection in the case it rains.