The Versatile Hunting Dog
The versatile hunting dog is a foot hunting dog developed for work before and after the shot under a variety of conditions in the field, forest, and water. Generally speaking, most of the versatile hunting dogs were developed in Europe during the 19th century due to hunting laws which required all game to be recovered after it was shot. This change in hunting ethics led to the need for a dog that could perform universally at a range of tasks. Breeders of that time took traits from the best of the specialist breeds and combined them into what are known as the versatile breeds today. Because of the demands placed on them, versatile dogs must be intelligent, with the willpower to persevere and the ability to concentrate under numerous and variable conditions. Searching, pointing, tracking wounded game, cold water retrieving, blood tracking and blind searching are all necessary capabilities for versatile hunting dogs.
Since most versatile dogs enjoy a long tradition of selective breeding for highly cooperative and trainable character, they make great companions in and around the home. Well bred versatile dogs are highly intelligent with a calm demeanor. These characteristics make them suitable family dogs as they love people and are gentle around children.