Double Duty

double duty dog

If you’re like me, every time you see a dog, you stop, pet it, maybe even talk to it, and certainly admire it. All dogs are cool; with the exception of maybe those ChEEwawa things. Okay, I guess in their own right, even them, too. Upon visual inspection, it quickly becomes apparent that most breeds of dog are built for a purpose. This is certainly the case with the family known as hunting dogs.

Built for speed and endurance, these animals are poetry in motion when at full gate. For many dog aficionados, there is no more a stunning sight than a Hungarian Wire-haired Vizsla or a liver spotted English Pointer working through an upland field. Equally as attractive when lounging around the living room, many of these same dogs make great friends for the home. Maybe your need is more for a couch companion than a partner to find and retrieve a grouse.

Choosing your new best friend can depend on many factors such as color, size, an energetic or easy going demeanor, and even the size of the vet bill that comes along with them. Regardless of your choice, hunting or retriever dogs are amazingly loyal and usually very family friendly. Having grown up with an English Labrador Retriever as a nanny, I can vouch for the unmatched love a good dog has for his family.

Whether your hunting dog earns his supper by retrieving a Hungarian partridge or retrieving the remote, they will quickly become a fixture in the family Christmas photos. It is true what they say, that any dog worth having is far more a member of the family than simple pet. Hunting dog breeds have an allure their own that any other breed is hard pressed to match. And trust me when I tell you, each and every one comes equipped, from birth, with that adorable set of puppy dog eyes and a certain emotional skill set that entitles them to whatever they want. This includes the leftovers…and two-thirds of the bed.


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Stewart Venable lives in Fort Mill and is an avid outdoorsman. He coordinates a local chapter of Heroes On The Water, a nonprofit that serves wounded veterans by providing healing and rehabilitating kayak outings. Contact Stewart at