For 12 days in December, we're featuring some of our most popular dog breeds with the release of 12 limited-edition hats + highlighting some eye-opening stats on vehicle safety.
All proceeds from these hats will be donated to our local Nashville Humane Association during the month of December, which has a 99% save rate. Without further ado, here are those top breeds among the GUNNER clan, broken down by group:
The Labrador Retriever is one of the most recognizable breeds in America, which makes sense why it has been the most popular breed for more than twenty years. These love-able dogs can be just as happy sleeping at your feet by the fire as they are hearing wings whistle overheard at dawn. Since Labs are such biddable and hard working dogs, they’re often put to work sniffing for various items to keep the community safe (see why they’re a fan favorite?).
Labs are typically healthy dogs who live a long life. They can be three colors: yellow, chocolate and black, with variations of each. Labrador Retrievers are often divided into two categories of English and American Labs.
Shop the GUNNER Lab hat.
The Golden Retriever is one of the most beloved breeds in the United States, and it has been for years. Aside from being fantastic family dogs who love bouncing in the backyard with children, they’re also highly motivated hunting companions. These dogs live long, healthy lives and seem to never meet a stranger.
In the early days, hunters in the Scottish Highlands needed strong, biddable dogs to pursue game in open fields and in the tough marshes. In the mid to late 1800s, these dogs were crossbred with Tweed Water Spaniels and then Irish Setters, bloodhounds and a St. John’s water dog. The result of this breeding journey was a happy, healthy and hard hunting dog: the Golden Retriever. Since then, the Golden has used its strong nose and soft mouth to find and retrieve game all over the world. These adaptable dogs can be happy and successful on either cold, tough hunts for divers in New York or long hunts flushing pheasants in the Dakotas.
As the state dog of South Carolina, the Boykin Spaniel is quickly gaining fans around the country. These hard working, Little Brown Dogs can be found scouring fields in search of birds or in a duck hunter’s lap while paddling a kayak into a hidden honey hole. Ranging from 25-40lbs, the Boykin Spaniels are versatile little dogs who love working and being a family member, too. Since Boykins are bred to run and swim, it’s important to provide them with ample exercise, or you might find them getting into trouble.
Did you know? Some people hunt turkeys with their Boykins in the fall!
Shop the GUNNER Boykin hat.
The Brittany breed of dogs started in France a few hundred years ago by hunters who needed a tough, energetic and versatile companion. These compact dogs are often considered one of the most all-around gundogs because of how useful they can be when hunting a variety of birds. They’re high energy, athletic and determined. If you’re looking for a hunting partner who can put in some work, a Brittany might be in your future.
When training a Brittany, or any dog breed, it’s important to know what motivates them and how to support their individual training. Typically, a Brittany needs a lot of exercise (like, a lot of exercise) and does not respond well to criticism. Most people consider them to be “soft dogs,” which really means they prefer positive reinforcement and gentle, more frequent corrections. Over time and with consistent repetitions, a Brittany can learn just about anything.
Fact: the Brittany was considered a spaniel for a long time but in 1982, the AKC actually changed their listing because they are more of a pointer than a flusher.
Shop the GUNNER Brittany hat.
The German Shorthaired Pointer is one of the most versatile hunting dogs around. Because of their strong nose, ability to run for miles on end and their willingness to work, hunters have been using them to secure wild game for hundreds of years. GSPs are pointing dogs, so they methodically quarter a field in search of a scent cone. Once they pinpoint where the scent is, they’ll snap onto point and eagerly wait for their partner to flush the bird.
Aside from being rugged hunting dogs, they’re also loyal family dogs whose breed popularity has skyrocketed over the past few years in America. GSPs are lean, athletic dogs whose short coats can vary between white, liver, liver roan, black and black roan.
Shop the GUNNER GSP hat.
The German Wirehaired Pointer is an all purpose gun dog, always ready to hunt. These dogs are great for tracking downed game, quartering fields for birds or retrieving ducks in a swamp. Because of their coarse, wirey coat, they can move efficiently through a patch of briars or shed chilly water during cold duck hunts.
The GWP has been meticulously bred to hunt for hundreds of years, so they are not ideal for the movie buff or the video game fanatic; these dogs need an active lifestyle to be happy.
German Wirehairs are quite similar to their cousins, the German Shorthaired Pointer. Both are excellent versatile dogs with a long history. The GWP is, on average, slightly larger than their cousin and represents the bearded dog community well.
Shop the GUNNER GWP hat.
Part of the herding group, the Belgian Malinois is known for being one of the most intelligent, toughest working dogs around. In fact, most special forces units around the world choose them as their K9 partners and teach them various skills used in combat.
The Malinois is unique because it can be a variety of colors from fawn to brindle and frankly, all colors are stunning. Malinois’ can be described as eager, courageous and athletic companions. While they are certainly energetic working dogs who need both mental and physical stimulation, they can also be fantastic house dogs who enjoy spending time with families.
Shop the GUNNER BSD hat.
In the late 19th century, German Shepherds were bred and refined to be the most ideal sheep herder. When the sheep industry slowed down in Germany, their breed was (successfully) marketed to the police force. Now, we know the German Shepherd as a fearless herding dog who is often described as a working dog. These dogs still have such a natural instinct for protection and desire to please, so they’re commonly used in many K9 units around the world.
German Shepherds are easily trainable and come in eleven different colors, weighing between 50-85lbs. German Shepherds have such a thick coat, it’s recommended they be thoroughly brushed several times per week. They tend to live a shorter life than some other breeds (roughly 7-9 years), but some have been known to live longer.
Shop the GUNNER GSD hat.
The Australian Shepherd is a medium-sized, herding dog with immense athleticism. Their enthusiasm for herding is one of the reasons why they are often associated with vast ranches in the Western United States. Many cowboys have used their persistence and agility to herd and move livestock. If you’re looking for a laid back, snuggly partner to watch movies with all day, this may not be the breed for you. These dogs work and these dogs run. Nowadays, many people enjoy chasing agility titles with their Aussies and they certainly perform well. Their compact body and speedy footwork helps aid them on the agility course.
Their coloring is beautiful and it seems as though each dog is completely unique; Aussies’ coloring ranges from blue and blue merle to red and red merle with all sorts of white and tan markings across their body.
Shop the GUNNER Aussie hat.
Border Collies are the acrobats of the herding breed. If they aren’t corralling sheep with unwavering enthusiasm, they can often be found leaping and diving for frisbees at the park. Collies can be found in about a dozen different colors, so when they hit their top speed of about 30 mph, they’re most certainly a blur as they zoom by.
Collies are generally known for being a healthy breed that requires exercise and mental stimulation. There’s actually two types of coats within the breed: the rough coat and the smooth coat. The rough coat is medium-length and is often feathered while the smooth coat is shorter and more coarse. Both coats require frequent brushing because they have a thick, dense double-coat.
Shop the GUNNER Border Collie hat.
The Australian Cattle dog is a medium-sized, herding breed whose scrappy work ethic is legendary. Also known as a Blue Heeler, these remarkable little dogs are born with white hair and then it gradually turns into the beautiful blue-gray or red mottled coloring. These dogs are often considered alert athletes, so their “always on” attitude helps them be such successful cattle dogs.
Like most dogs, but especially Cattle Dogs, early socialization and a foundation of strong obedience is key. If you have a Cattle Dog and don’t live on a ranch, you might want to consider joining an agility club or take the dog hiking to burn both physical and mental energy. Trust me, both you and your dog will be grateful for it.
Shop the GUNNER ACD hat.
Over the past two years, there has been a steep increase in the number of dogs adopted in the US. With so many people working from home and wanting a companion by their side, shelters have been busy rehoming dogs. Many of the dogs that are in shelters are great dogs who have run into some unfortunate luck and while some are purebreds, most are not.
Roughly 23% of pet owners find their friends at a shelter and it’s important to understand that the stigma of a shelter dog being less trainable or less friendly is simply incorrect. Dogs from a rescue shelter can be just as fantastic as a pup with a polished pedigree. We firmly believe that every dog deserves a chance and that every dog should be well cared for. Adopting a dog is great and there’s certainly enough dogs that need homes. Remember to find a dog that suits your lifestyle.
Shop the GUNNER RESCUE hat.
Did you know?
The AKC created a group for mixed breed dogs to compete at various events called the AKC Canine Partners. Yes, your buddy can be part Collie and part Labrador and participate in agility contests now!
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