Can German Shepherds Be Hunting Dogs?

Do German Shepherds make good hunting dogs?

German Shepherds are one of the best athletic and intelligent dog breeds. They are a working breed of dog. But can German Shepherds be hunting dogs?

Can German Shepherds Be Hunting Dogs

Can German Shepherds be hunting dogs? 

The answer is quite surprising, it depends on the particular dog. Some German Shepherds are into hunting from puppyhood, while others do not have this trait in them. Hunting is not a natural trait in German Shepherds. But it does not mean that the breed can’t be a hunter; you can train them.

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It also depends on the owner’s dedication. They need to put in the work to train them to be hunting dogs.

Dog breeds such as Labradors, bloodhounds, and beagles are often involved in tracking and retrieving.

While on the other hand, huskies and some other dogs are not meant to hunt, and even you can’t train them. But luckily, a German shepherd has unique qualities that you can teach them about hunting.

German Shepherd Hunting

Yes, sure, why not? The German Shepherd can hunt in actual scenarios, such as locating deer or tracking a wounded deer. However, all of this will be possible if your dog is trained enough to run for a deer scent.

The German Shepherd is an active, motivated, and as well as intelligent working breed with a keen smelling sense.

Can German Shepherds Be Hunting Dogs

German Shepherd Hunting Dog: Skills Needed

A hunting dog must have the energy and stamina to chase prey. Along with this, several other features are expected in the dogs to be good hunters. 

1. Mouth

In hunting, we expect our dogs to bring back prey in the same form and not embed their teeth into the prey’s body.

Mouth, we are not talking about the structure here but the grip. The very first thing to expect in a hunting dog is the soft mouth of the soft grip. In this way, the dog will gently carry the prey rather than tearing it.

Also, the dog needs to learn that the prey is not for it but for the owner, so brings it without eating. The mouth or soft mouth will be beneficial when prey is small such as birds. While on the other hand, the trait is not required when the prey is of large size.

2. Nose

Obviously, they should know about smelling blood in order to identify the prey.

But according to experts, the breed does not use the sense of smell; instead, they use hearing and sight. Even German Shepherds use their other senses frequently in the tasks such as bomb detection and in other (supposed to be) nose works.

3. Obedience

Your German Shepherd needs to be obedient to your commands. 

Can German Shepherds Be Hunting Dogs

Training German Shepherd for Hunting

There are multiple ways to train German Shepherds to hunt. Currently, the mentoring method is getting positive reviews and is highly effective in getting desired results.

1. Teach it to fetch prey

Firstly, you must involve your dog in hunting. For example, keep him on the leash and take it out while you are looking for the prey. Importantly, walk slowly and keep your dog focused on the path and even on prey.

Show your Shepherd how to find prey and take it back.

2. Charge

Charge toward the prey, such as shouting as you go for it. Keep in mind that dogs notice the parent’s behavior. So when your darling pup notices you running for the prey, they will practice the same.

But before all this, you should know whether you want your dog to chase or even flush the prey.

3. Repeat

When your dog is attentive enough and knows about taking charge, repeat the process. We are expecting a level of consistency until your dog completely learns this new behavior.

Luckily, German Shepherds are great learners and pick things up quickly. Similarly, they will learn to hunt within a week or two. 

4. Reward

Dogs are never going to do anything for free. Just like humans get paid, they need their treats to work. While training your dog to hunt, keep the tasty treat in your hand. After it brings back the prey or even chases it, give your German Shepherd the reward.

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