The Retriever is a muscular, solid dog with a short water resistant double coat, which is either solid black, yellow or chocolate color.

These gun dogs are a lovable, patient dog, highly intelligent and loyal. They love to play in water and with their webbed feet make excellent swimmers. They need a lot of exercise and love to work and play hard.

They can grow to about 24 inches in height and weigh about 75 pounds; they live for around 12 years and are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia and eye disorders.

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I have only given a brief overview here, but I would recommend a search for Bill Tarrant who has been described by Hunting Retriever magazine as "one of the premier dog writers in America." He has won numerous awards and was twice named dog writer of the year by the Dog Writer's Association of America. You will find over a dozen titles at Amazon, just follow the link at the bottom of the page.

retriver One of the best, and if not the most effective ways to track downed game is to have a hunting dog to assist you. Hunting dogs are trained exactly for this purpose: to assist hunters when they are hunting.

Hunting dogs can track down game by following their scent. They are a special breed of dogs that have the skills to support hunters. These dogs have been trained to hunt since they were pups.

Some hunters train their dogs to find their prey by training them to follow a blood trail: in a field they might set up a blood trail that leads to a piece of venison, etc. They would allow the blood settle for a while; then send their dog to follow the trickles of blood that lead to the end of the trail. Once the hunting dog has completed the trail he is rewarded with praise and signs of approval. This will help the hunting dog get acclimated to the scent of the prey.

An example of a hunting dog that assist hunters is a retriever. Retrievers are skilled at retrieving birds that have been shot in the fields or wilderness. They are often taught to pick up a downed bird with their mouth and deliver it back to their master without damaging the bird.

Apart from retrieving, these gun dogs are talented trackers and hunters.

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