From terriers to teckels — and even a miniature poodle — any breed can make a good deer dog with the right training, says Chris Dalton
Most readers will be aware that I almost always have a deer dog with me when I am stalking, and have operated like this for many years. I am working Zosia, a German shorthaired pointer, and she will be a fixture at my side when I am out. The only occasion she won’t be with me is more to do with the logistics of travelling or the accommodation situation and nothing to do with her ability to do the job.
I don’t follow the normal convention you might expect with a deer dog by having her at heel. I like her to operate out in front where she gets a wider scent picture and I can see her reaction the moment she smells deer. In effect, she is a mobile early-warning radar.
Her second function is to locate a lost deer. A perfectly well-shot deer can, even after a relatively short dash into cover, be incredibly difficult to find. This is often compounded by low light, so Zosia is always on hand if there is a wounded deer to deal with.