Falconry is one of the few sports where multiple species work together for a common goal. Thousands of years ago, humans and raptors learned that a dog could increase their chance of a successful hunt, thus dogs became an integral part of falconry. Falconry dogs are still used to this day, but only with the right training and the right partners. Read on to learn more:
Choosing the breed
Hunting and working breeds tend to be better suited to falconry. Nevertheless, almost any kind of dog can be trained. The most commonly used dogs are spaniels and pointers, but other falconry dog breeds include the following:
- Sight Hounds: Also known as Lurchers, these are pursuit dogs that are best at chasing prey on the open ground. Dog breeds include Grey Hounds and Salukis.
- Scent Hounds: These track prey by following a scent trail. The pace is usually slower, and the most common Scent Hounds are Beagles, Jack Russel terriers, English Springer, Brittany spaniels, mini – Dachshunds.
Getting the equipment
The right equipment can help you train your dog and make things easier as you go forward. While there are many supplies that you can get, we recommend obtaining both of the following:
- Dog Whistle: This will help you control your dog and prevent them from killing the prey. A whistle can denote commands such as stop, go, etc.
- Dog Collar: Many falconry dog collars have a tracking mechanism to help you follow and locate your dog if they’re out of sight. Some also prevent a dog from barking and scaring off the prey.
Basic obedience training can teach your dog various commands that will help immensely in falconry. While you can do it yourself, an obedience training class offers the best results. Whichever way you choose, make sure you’re using positive reinforcement to train your dog. This is a far more effective technique, as dogs learn through praises and rewards rather than scolding or punishment. We also recommend buying a few books on falconry dog training for greater success.