I had an interesting conversation with a man who has been training hunting dogs for the past 25 years. I told him what i hoped to do with the dog. He told me that he is training more and more Labs for pointing and flushing. Every one knows their history at retrieving. He further stated that Labs would be great for sniffing out rabbits. he said that they could find the rabbit, hold, then flush on comand. If this is true. i've found my dog! Assuming the Hawk gets along with the dog, it would be quite interesting to see them working together. Has any one else heard this about Labs?
I agree with Chis' earlier statement about any dog will work if it's trained right. I have a golden retriever now that I use for quail (shotgun, not hawk since I don't have one, yet!) She's pretty good and I can see that she would work just fine with falconry. She'd just have to be socialized with the hawk, which might take some doing. The real story I wanted to tell was about my old collie. When I was first apprenticed back in the early '70s, the dog I had was a 4 yr old male sable collie. My sponser laughed when I suggested my dog might help us hunt quail with our coops. He quit laughing after the first time he went along with us. He was well aquainted with hawks, having been tagged a few times, and gave them a lot of respect. He would stay by my side while we walked until we flushed the first covey. We'd release our birds and we'd have a hit or not. The dog would freeze and watch where the quail would go. He could even keep track of different groups or individuals. After we'd pick up our birds, I would give him the go ahead and he'd get out in front of us and lead us to one of the groups he'd marked. Now you have to understand that the quail in our country was Scale or Gambrel. They run! They'll drive a normal bird dog crazy because the won't stay still. Nobody used bird dogs in southwest Texas and New Mexico. We had the advantage of the hawks though. Once the quail realized there were coops around, you couldn't hardly get them to flush. They would hold up in the mesquite and stay there. My collie would wait until we came up in good position and I would just say "Go get'em" and he would run into the thorny brush barking and snapping until the quail couldn't stand it any more and would flush where our coops could get them. I think my sponsor ended up bragging more about my dog tha I did.
Just surfing and found the following book called "Rabbit Hawker's Dogs" showing all of the breeds you guys have been discussing: Jack Russel, mini-dachshund, beagle and Brittanys www.dragonhoods.com/ab09.jpg