The use of all hunting dogs is based on their inherent hunting instinct – a complex unconditioned, i.e., innate reflex. The wild ancestors of our domestic dogs, like all wild predators, were based on the hunting instinct on the food reflex as a factor necessary for existence. In the process of domestication of the dog, the man, taking care of the feed, gradually removed the ultimate goal of the wild predators’ hunting reflex – to eat the prey and developed it, and also strengthened the hunting instinct from them.In many cases, the process of hunting for a dog ends with sniffing at the game shot by the hunter or, at best, with a taste incentive (for example, in the hound, with the tongue of a dead hare). Very often, in the days of hunting, many dogs, especially the cops and hounds, hardly ever eat anything, refusing taste incentives, so much nervous excitement.
Man not only secured the hunting instinct of dogs, but also changed and developed it in accordance with the requirements of hunting for certain animals and their habits. Through training, selection and selection in the right direction for many generations, different groups of dogs created their own special hunting properties. Simultaneously with the creation and development of these properties, body type and signs of the exterior were selected and fixed, ensuring the working capacity of the dogs in accordance with the nature of the work performed. So, for the capture of the fast-footed antelopes, hares, foxes and wolves in the open landscapes of the steppe, semi-desert and desert zones, the greyhounds were bred.
In the forest zone for hunting large ungulates and predators, so-called pickling dogs arose, a pack stalking and holding the beast until the hunters came. Later they were transformed into modern hounds, only chasing the beast and used mainly for hunting hares and foxes. In the forest zone of Europe and Asia, huskies were bred, searching alone and barking at animals and birds, which, due to their peculiar habits, do not run away or fly away from the dog.
As conditions, techniques and ways of hunting changed, more specialized types were created, and then breeds of hunting dogs. For the prey of burrows and foxes, burrows were bred. With the advent of shotgun firearms, which drastically changed the methods of hunting and caused the wide spread of sports hunting for poultry, there is a need for a special gun dog. In connection with this, a large group of breeds of dogs with stance was created, as well as modern spaniels – bird hounds, the purpose of which is to raise a bird for a shot, and then find and file killed or wounded game. Retrievers were also bred – dogs only searching for and feeding the hunter killed game or wounded animals.
It is these differences in the form of the manifestation of the hunting instinct, created by man by artificial selection and fixed by breeding selection, determine the nature of the application and the basic properties of a particular group of dog breeds.
“Guide for hunting dog” section “Exterior of hunting dogs and methods of its evaluation” – A.P. Mazover.