Tracy McMillen has been squirrel hunting with dogs for 20 years. While there are number of great dog breeds that can be used for squirrel hunting, he shares his favorite and how to train them.
Best Dog Breed for Squirrel Hunting
Some people hunt with hounds or feists, but Tracy prefers the Original Mountain Cur. According to the AKC, the Mountain Cur is a hunting dog with a good treeing instinct. It is a very courageous fighter and extremely intelligent, doing whatever job its master desires. They respond best to training with a lot of human contact, and in addition to hunting, make great companions and watch dogs. Tracy likes their gritty nature. His dogs love to hunt and can go all day.
Best Way to Train a Squirrel Dog
You have to keep your squirrel dogs in the woods, starting as a pup. It takes a lot of walking to train a squirrel dog. You start when they're a puppy and let them see and smell the squirrels. Then start training them on trailing the squirrel. Rewards are a must in dog training; they love human praise. The main thing you have to teach a squirrel dog is how to stay on a tree, often by training to the tree once they locate a squirrel. Put them in the woods, start them early, and don't get discouraged. Some take longer than others. Be patient. They'll do what they're bred to do.