Exploring the idea that hunting dogs are a reflection of the hunting culture where they were developed
In this episode, co-hosts Craig Koshyk and Jennifer Wapenski explore the idea that hunting dogs are a reflection of the culture in the region of the breed’s origin. This broad survey of hunting cultures across time and place will set the stage for future discussions at the regional and breed level.
Craig’s experiences while researching pointing dog breeds across Europe were not only educational, but also deeply enriching for his own hunting practices and traditions. Cultural exchanges with hunters from other backgrounds turned out to be valuable for both parties – whether it was the type of game hunted, how the game was prepared, or how the dogs were trained to behave on the hunt.
Listen as they share stories about how hunting cultures vary between North America and Europe, which in turn gave rise to a variety of hunting dog characteristics that reflect the preferences and values of those hunters. For example, German foresters needed dogs that could “do it all” – find birds, control predator populations, and stand up to “bad guy” poachers. On the other hand, the French breeds tended to be a little more specialized and laid-back in their approach to life.
For someone who is interested in enriching their own hunting experience, a trip to Europe is certainly a great way to expand your horizons. If that’s not possible, here are a few recommendations:
Learn about your own culture and hunting heritage. Why are things done the way they are? What makes them unique?
Travel the world with your laptop and see how things are done in other places. Not sure where to get started? Start with the two YouTube links mentioned in the episode:
Learn to blow the German hunting horn with the German cowboy
Upland bird hunting in Japan with a miniature longhaired dachshund
Tune in to hear the stories, uncover the myths, and discover the history of the dogs that we know and love today.
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Hunting Dog Confidential is presented by Eukanuba Premium Performance Dog Food
Jennifer Wapenski is the Director of Operations and Managing Partner at Project Upland Media Group. She has a lifelong passion for the outdoors, dogs, and wildlife; as an adult, she discovered that upland bird and waterfowl hunting were natural extensions of these interests. What started as initial curiosity soon escalated into a life-changing pursuit of conservation, advocacy, and education. Jennifer serves in a variety of roles such as the Breed Warden for the Deutsch Langhaar—Gruppe Nordamerika breed club, on the board of the Minority Outdoor Alliance, and on an advisory committee for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.