Cocker Spaniel. Photo: Åsa Norrby
Hunting with a flushing dog
Hunting with flushing dogs involves fast shots and fleeing small game in fields where dense stocks of small game live.
The dog stays close to the hunter and under the rifle, close enough that the hunter can shoot the game flushed out by the dog. This means that the dog is allowed to stray only about twenty meters sideways and ten meters in front of the hunter. Since the dog seeks so close to the hunter, it tis the hunter's job to find the areas for the dog to search.
If the vegetation consists of dense terrain, flushing dogs are particularly effective since they are able to easily enter even the densest and prickliest areas. The ground is carefully searched and the dog marks once it’s on the scent, showing with its body language that it is locating an animal, which it then flushes out and into the hunter’s firing range. The dog must not chase the game, as it risks missing other game that may be hiding nearby. The only exception is when the dog comes across a running bird, as it needs to get close to it.
Game hunted with flushing dogs is mainly fowl, but these dogs are also used to hunt hare and rabbit. The dog must also be able to retrieve the game once it has been shot.