do golden retrievers kill birds

Picture this: youre out on a walk with your favorite fur buddy. The two of you hit the trails through a peaceful forest. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping; all is well in the world. The trails lead you to a serene pond. You hear faint quacks in the distance. Oh no. Your heart sinks. You go to grasp your pooch’s collar but its too late!

As he bounds back with his fresh kill, your dog is probably wondering why you are so upset. After all, he did just bring you back some delicious dinner, at least in his eyes. But owning a bird-killer can be no fun at all. The problem becomes even worse if you live on a farm, and the birds being murdered are yours!

Dogs kill birds because of their instincts. Birds make a great meal, and the urge to hunt (which is thousands of years old) doesnt just disappear because now Rover gets a bowl of meat cereal. Some dogs have even been bred specifically to catch birds and bring them back, like Labrador Retrievers.

Prey drive is not a bad thing on its own. Some people use their dogs keen skills for shows or hunting trips. But if youre losing many a bird to foul play, you may want to learn how to at least curb this natural habit. Be warned, some dogs will never fully give up this instinct and will require supervision around our feathered friends for their whole lives.

To embark on your bird-saving journey, its good to be prepared. Having the following should help:

If your dog is indeed excellent at catching birds, its a shame to waste such a sought out skill. You might want to look into local hunting clubs to learn about training for hunting dogs. Your pooch will love you for it and its a great way to bond.

Below are some methods to try to take the killer out of your canine. Remember, even after lots of training, you should never leave your dog unattended with any small animal.

Best Bird Hunting Dog Breeds

The effectiveness of a bird hunter is primarily determined by the agility and prowess of their hunting dog. A hunting dog’s ability to point, flush out, and retrieve quickly makes it possible for a hunter to consistently bag their limit. Selecting a dog from one of these well-established bird hunting breeds will help you experience the thrill and success of hunting pheasants, quail, doves, and other birds.

The Golden Retriever is a famous breed of dog that is bred specifically for hunting birds. These dogs are quick, alert, intelligent, and easy to train. They are the perfect hunting companion for both rifle and bow seasons because they are generally not gun shy.

They additionally are expert swimmers and are protected from cold and wet by their thick, water-resistant fur. Golden Retrievers will confidently swim into lakes, rivers, ponds, and other bodies of water to retrieve ducks, geese, and other birds for you. Retrievers are used to fetch game that has been shot and return it to the hunter without harm. By nature, Retrievers are loving and endlessly eager to please.

Look for bird dogs that have been raised by a reputable breeder when you are shopping. A Golden Retriever with a thick, glossy coat and clear, bright eyes would be your ideal hunting partner; they should also be amiable and vigilant.

Known for their love of the great outdoors and hunting, labrador retrievers Farmers and ranchers prefer them because of their aptitude with cattle and other livestock. Additionally, because of their quickness, intelligence, and eagerness to retrieve, they are favored by bird hunters.

Although labradors can be any color, the most popular colors are black, yellow, or white. They can weigh up to 85 pounds and are typically 25 inches tall. They are still quick in the field when retrieving despite their size, though They keep a close eye on you as you hunt quail and pheasants so they can pursue the birds and return to you right away.

True to their name, this breed will go to any length to retrieve your kill, even if it means jumping into cold water. Don’t worry though, their water-repellant coat and love for the water makes them perfect for going after prey. Fortunately, their coat is also made for cold weather, and you can look forward to taking them with you on your winter hunting trips. Labradors are considered to be ideal for bird hunting, especially ducks. They are also known for their soft bite that allows them to carry delicate fowl without causing harm, and Labrador Retrievers have been known to even be able to carry an egg in their jaws without breaking it.

A good Labrador retriever’s bright, clear eyes and sturdy, straight stance are key indicators of quality. In addition to having glossy, thick fur, the ideal Labrador hunting dog should also have a strong, muscular body. Additionally, trustworthy breeders ought to provide details regarding the dog’s pedigree and lineage.

Looking at this dog’s muscular frame tells you that they were meant to hike through difficult terrain. Due to their high level of energy, vizslas can stay focused and enthusiastic during extended hunting excursions. When they are not out hunting, they make excellent family pets because they are also amiable, gregarious, and playful. Since this breed thrives when socialization starts at a young age, be sure to only select Vizsla puppies for sale from licensed breeders who take training seriously when searching for one.

Another well-liked bird hunting dog that virtually always ensures a successful hunt is the Brittany Spaniel. Natural pointers, Brittany Spaniels are incredibly simple to train. Additionally, they have amiable personalities that make them the ideal off-season companion for your family.

One of the smaller hunting dog breeds, the Brittany Spaniel usually stands just 17 inches tall from the ground to the shoulder. But because of their small stature, they can move quickly, covering a lot of ground when locating targets.

Brittany Spaniels will not back down from a gunfight and will remain still while you fire. Because of their attention to detail, they are also able to track your bow and determine exactly where to run in order to retrieve your kill.

Just like selecting any other excellent companion dog for bird hunting, you should select a Brittany from a reputable and established breeder. The dog ought to come from a lineage that has been selectively bred for hunting birds.

This is another breed that people readily think of when they consider dogs for hunting. The Pointer gets their name from the way they freeze and point with their body towards the prey they spot. Pointers are also just as good on water as they are on land, although their thinner coat makes them less desirable for northern hunting grounds where the weather turns too cold for their comfort. On warmer hunting trips, however, they make excellent bird dogs, and they can also be trained in tracking.

Pointers generally have shorter coats and smaller stature than Setters. Often used for hunting birds and rabbits, Pointers are named for their characteristic stance that involves indicating the position of game with the muzzle.

The English Pointer is arguably one of the most recognizable bird hunting breeds today. These dogs are not happy unless they are hunting and retrieving. While friendly enough to keep as a family dog, the typical English Pointer would rather be out in the field hunting and retrieving your birds than lounging around in your home.

Compared to other pointer breeds, these dogs are larger, weighing up to 75 pounds and standing 21 to 24 inches tall from shoulder to ground. Their short white fur is speckled with orange or liver spots. Additionally, these dogs have tipped tails that stand tall when they are focused and are muscular.

These dogs are not only fast and agile, but they also don’t shy away from guns. They won’t run away at the sound of gunfire, so you can use them in both the bow and rifle seasons.

The Standard Poodle is frequently not the first dog that comes to mind when people envision the ideal bird hunting dog. These cuddly, fluffy dogs don’t resemble serious bird hunters at all; instead, they resemble fashion accessories or toys.

However, unlike their Miniature or Small Poodle counterparts, Standard Poodles hunt just as well as other canine breeds like Labradors or Brittany Spaniels. These dogs excel as water retrievers and will happily swim into any body of water to bring you back your kill.

Because their thick, curly fur shields them from the elements and from the cold, poodles make better hunters. A well-trained standard poodle will also remain motionless as you fire, taking down your target.

However, it’s crucial that you pick a Standard Poodle from a breeder who trains these canines especially for hunting. A dog with a proven hunting pedigree is what you want, not one whose parents prioritized leisure or family bonding.

These dogs require more upkeep than other hunting breeds because of their extremely thick and curly fur. To prevent matting, ticks, and fleas from living in the dog’s fur, regular grooming is required. For maintenance, you might need to take your dog to a professional groomer.

In the past, the American Foxhound was revered for their refined abilities to track and hunt foxes. Now, however, hunters are also taking advantage of their superior running speed to hunt down deer. While foxes may be their preferred targets, you can train this breed to hunt almost any type of game with you.

Setters tend to be the largest type of bird dog and are commonly used to hunt birds such as pheasant and grouse. Setters search for game by following scents, and get their name from the crouching position in which they freeze when they find the hiding spot of the game. These dogs are then trained to flush the birds out into the air so the hunters can shoot.

These smaller dogs are often overlooked as hunting dogs due to their reputation as being Wiener-Dogs. Yet, hunters know this breed’s small, elongated body is only one of their most distinctive qualities. Dachshunds are fearless when it comes to hunting badgers, and they are also excellent at hunting rabbits and foxes. Due to their short legs, it is best to avoid treacherous terrain with high step-ups, but you can expect them to go the distance on flat ground.

This is another breed that is noted for its high intelligence, but it is truly the Bloodhound’s ability to sniff out a scent that is their claim to fame. Their accuracy on the trail is so well known that detectives have used them during searches for missing persons, yet their quiet demeanor allows you to take them along without worrying about them barking with excitement when they catch a scent. Although Bloodhounds tend to get lazy as they get older, they are still hardworking when called upon and quite boisterous during their youth.

Like many hunting dogs, this lanky-legged breed was bred for one thing but now is known best for hunting another. Weimaraners originally began hunting big game such as bears and deer. However, they are now preferred for hunting birds such as pheasants and quail. When going after their prey, they can quickly shift from a swift run to a state of calm when given the command, and this breed has a sense for wanderlust that will keep them obedient on long hunting trips into the depths of the wilderness. When they are not hunting, the gorgeous silver coat and blue eyes of this breed draw constant attention, and their friendly demeanor allows them to bond with people of all ages.

As their name implies, this breed is ideal for raccoon hunting. Once they detect the scent of their prey, they will relentlessly pursue them until your hunt is successful. You can train these dogs to hunt with you in any season because they are ideal for any kind of terrain or weather. Coonhounds are popular among farmers because of their attraction to common pests like possums, but they can also pursue predators like bears and cougars.

Tiny, compact and full of stamina, Beagles have many traits that make them an ideal hunting companion. Similar to Dachshunds, Beagles have smaller legs that make it harder for them to catch large game such as deer. However, they are avid varmint hunters, and they will eagerly bring you back more than enough rabbits to call it a day.

The Vocal Commands Method

do golden retrievers kill birds

Perfect the “come” command with your dog. Some people have discovered that blowing a whistle works better than just speaking.

Go to an area where there are lots of distractions, such as a park, and observe how well your dog performs there.

Once your dog understands the meaning of “come,” proceed to “leave it.”

Practice this command using your dogs favorite toy. When he gives it up without any issues, you’ll know he’s ready.

Make an appointment with a trainer if your dog has a particularly nasty habit of killing birds. They can provide you with additional instructions to support your efforts.

The Controlled Confrontation Method

do golden retrievers kill birds

Go buy a stuffed bird. If it squeaks, thats a bonus.

Use the “leave it” command to get your dog to give up his bird companion. Bribe with treats if necessary.

This one is more for the farm dogs. Place a duck or hen in a cage and let your dog get up close to the animal.

If your dog gets too close to the bird, firmly tell them to “leave it.”

Give your dog a treat as soon as she looks up at you after you give the command!

Keep practicing these routines a few times every week. When you give your dog a command, they ought to learn to obey you right away.


Do Golden Retrievers hunt birds?

Golden retrievers are bred to be versatile and to have a strong hunting instinct. This makes them good hunting dogs for a variety of activities, including waterfowl hunting, upland bird hunting, and small game hunting. Golden retrievers are also good family dogs.

Is it common for dogs to kill birds?

Dogs kill birds because of their instincts. Birds make a great meal, and the urge to hunt (which is thousands of years old) doesn’t just disappear because now Rover gets a bowl of meat cereal. Some dogs have even been bred specifically to catch birds and bring them back, like Labrador Retrievers.

Will Golden Retrievers kill chickens?

While Golden Retrievers can be great with chickens, they will require some initial training. “They will rapidly learn to let the chicken be,” says Ben, adding, “They’re also a loving pet.” With training, Golden Retrievers make great chicken companions.

Are Golden Retrievers vicious dogs?

Due to low rates of aggression, golden retrievers account for very few dog bites or attacks compared to breeds like pit bulls. However, no breed is 100% safe. Any golden retriever can bite if provoked. Aggression should never be taken lightly, even in “friendly” breeds.