Can German Shepherds Be Hunting Dogs? (Explained) 2022

  • By: Hs Saini
  • Time to read: 6 min.

German shepherds include themselves into the best athletic and intelligent dogs. Their people-centric nature clarifies that they are pretty friendly.

The overall structure reflects that the breed is suitable for fieldwork, i.e., from the military to protect and even perfect as the guarding pup.

Can German shepherds be hunting dogs? The answer is quite surprising that”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 never means that the breed can’t be a hunter; you can train them.

Moreover, it entirely depends on the parent’s dedication. If they want to put their Shepherd in hunting, let’s train them. Even training the breed from a young age can make them perfect in hunting tasks.

Therefore, just like other teaching and training sessions, all you have to do is to be patient and consistent for desired results.

German shepherds and hunting are poles apart. 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 the unique qualities that you can teach them about hunting.

Can you use a German shepherd to hunt?

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.

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

Just start teaching the about hunting terrain along with the sounds of the hunt, and after that, you will notice a flawless hunter with an eagle eye.

Make sure that you are training them properly in such a way that it will signal you soon after tracking the wounded animal. Motivate your dogs and provide them with a treat to keep them focused and dedicated.

What skills does a German shepherd need to be a hunting dog?

What skills does a German shepherd need to be a hunting dog?

New lessons need some traits which should be there in dogs, such as to be a hunter pup must have the energy and stamina to chase prey. Along with this, several other features are expected in the dogs to be flawless hunters. 

Mouth

In hunting, we expect our dog to bring back creatures in the same form and not embed the 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 the owner, so bring 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.

Nose

I think that is something which is special in each dog no matter what the breed, their sense of smell is quite strong. Moving ahead, the next crucial trait in a hunter is the nose. Obviously, they should know about smelling blood in order to identify the prey.

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

Obedience

How to train a dog who is not even paying attention to the commands? But luckily, it’s not the problem when it’s about German Shepherds. German Shepherd grabs all of the scores when it’s about intelligence and obedience.

However, the breed is descended from the livestock guarding and carries a “mind of their own.”

How do you train a German shepherd to hunt?

How do you train a German shepherd to hunt

While finding the training methods, you will realize that 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.

Draw the attention

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 paths and even on prey.

Show the overall method to your Shepherd that how to find prey and take it back. Drawing attention by pointing and as well as with whispering is easy.

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.

Repeat

Moving ahead, 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 quickly. Similarly, they will learn to hunt within a week or two. In the repetition, keep the scenario under control and keep tracking if your dog is just chasing prey or bringing it back to you.

Reward

Dog Treat

Dogs are never going to do anything for free. Just like human’s pay, they need their treatment to work. While training your dog to hunt, keep the tasty treat in hand. Soon after it brings back the prey or even chases it, serve Shepherd with reward.

Don’t offer a treat and even don’t show the reward when your dog is not successful in chasing prey. There are chances that it may interrupt it wrong and may waste all your hard work.

Also, providing rewards is good to keep the German Shepherd motivated and interested in the session. No reward means no more try for the chasing and hence no hunting.

Socialize

The German Shepherd is a social and people-oriented breed and needs to socialize before teaching them something new.

Keeping them house for all day and month means reducing all of their learning abilities. So keep socializing your pet not just with people but also with other pets.

Encouraging positive and smooth playing with toys is also a good practice. Before putting your dog into the training session, make sure that it is energetic enough to run behind prey.

The dog will be energetic if it has a balanced and proper diet; otherwise, it will not be able to catch prey. An overweight dog is not suitable for hunting, no matter what the breed.

Similarly, if your pup is underweight, again, it’s unacceptable as the hunter. Therefore, along with the training sessions, you must bring proper dog food to keep it active during hunting.

For this purpose, you can consult a vet to know about the proper diet for a German shepherd when you are turning it into a hunter.

To wrap it up

German Shepherds are not hunters by birth but know about chasing and are rich in prey drive. When parents are pretty interested in hunting and want the best companion for them, go ahead with German Shepherds.

Luckily, German shepherds are pretty easy to train if you start the sessions from the very first day after adopting. Additionally, if you focus more on the breed, you will notice that they contain the hunter’s mouth.

Such as, they do not ruin the prey and hold them with a soft grip to bring it back safely to the owner. As well as, German shepherds are obedient so that parents can use the best commands and lessons to turn them into hunting.

Fortunately, there is a wide range of methods when it’s about training dogs for hunting. Dog parents can train their pups themselves and even can hire experienced trainers.

If you want the simple solution, keep the dog on a leash and try to bring it at preying regularly. You will notice that your Shepherd will start running after the prey in order to get it back.

For the dogs, it’s the same as the fetching games, and when it’s about catching objects and running back to the owner, no breed is better than a German shepherd.

References

https://www.anythinggermanshepherd.com/can-a-german-shepherd-be-a-hunting-dog-find-out-if-hunting-is-a-good-fit-for-a-gsd/

https://dogbreedslist.com/dog-breeds/are-german-shepherds-good-hunting-dogs/#:~:text=German%20Shepherds%20can%20be%20trained,rabbits%2C%20vermin%2C%20and%20fowl.&text=But%2C%20while%20other%20hunting%20dogs,only%20for%20tracking%20and%20retrieving.