10 Holiday Gift Ideas for Gun Dogs

If you already own a dog, then you know it’s easier to buy things – both necessary and frivolous – for your pet than it is for members of your biological family. There’s just something about dogs—especially working dogs. They give themselves without expectation of a return. They retrieve, they stay, they come when called, they accompany you in all sorts of weather, and the best of them help gather wild, winged protein. Sure, sometimes they may eat the stray sock or growl at the neighbors, but that’s a small sacrifice for a lifetime of service. Here are some ways you can reward your dog this season for all the joy, giggles, and recreation (okay, and a measure of aggravation) they provide the rest of the year.

1. Browning Dog Collar

Browning Dog Collar
Browning Dog Collar
Price: $16
Amazon

This is the canine equivalent of tighty whities. Just as we humans (well, most of us) consider underwear a required garment, a collar is the base layer for a dog's adornment. Browning's collar is basic—simple stitched nylon webbing, but it has a number of welcome attributes, including reflective stitching for low-light visability, a locking buckle that won't come undone even if you have to really whale on the leash, and a brushed metal D-ring that offers a secure attachment point for a leash. If you really want to dress up Rover, you can get this in Mossy Oak camo. ($16; Amazon)

2. Dogtra Pathfinder E-Collar

Dogtra Pathfinder E-Collar
Dogtra Pathfinder E-Collar
Price: $400
Amazon

This may be the ultimate electronic training collar for a hard-working dog. The Pathfinder brings both GPS and e-collar technology to your phone, and can be operated through an app that turns your phone into a collar control center. The guts of the unit is a battery-charged module that can emit either a shock or a tone to signal your dog, but that gets at only a portion of its utility. The app is tied to a digital map that allows you to not only track your hound but also to alert you—and the dog—when it approaches a designated boundary. The unit is powerful—it has a 9-mile range, making it useful for wide-ranging lion and coon dogs—is fully waterproof and is expandable to 21 dogs and hunters, making it a smart choice for kennels and trainers working multiple dogs. ($400; Amazon)

3. T3 Patrol Lead

T3 Patrol Lead
T3 Patrol LeadT3 Gear

When a simple nylon leash won't do, you might want to consider this stout, military-grade lead that will handle the hardest-charging dogs. The 62-inch-long lead features a frog clamp that allows the animal to be released under even the highest levels of tension. Add a loop handle and a bungee within the lead, and the leash acts as a shock-reducing bumper that is easy to hold and control. The lead works fine with a traditional collar, but it's really designed to be used with a K9 vest. If you have a big-boned hound or a Lab that's breaking early, the attachment point between the shoulders offers a secure connection to the dog and allows you to release him without fumbling with the collar. ($100; T3 Gear)

4. Dokken DeadFowl Training Dummy

Dokken DeadFowl Training Dummy
Dokken DeadFowl Training Dummy
Price: #30
Bass Pro Shops

If your dog has a habit of shaking game on retrieval, this dummy might be for you. Each model in the line—you can pick from mallards, pheasants, or geese—are made of soft foam with a free-swinging plastic head and feet. The idea is that the soft body is secure to hold, but the appendages will whack around when the dummy is shaken, thereby encouraging your dog to maintain a secure hold. The density of the foam is lifelike, and there's an internal chamber that allows you to add scent to the dummy. ($30; Bass Pro Shops)

5. Ruffwear Basecamp Food Bowl

Ruffwear Basecamp Food Bowl
Ruffwear Basecamp Food Bowl
Price: $35
Bass Pro Shops

This durable silicone-and-stainless bowl holds up to 5 cups of either food or water, and the non-slip base keeps it where you put it. Canine vets helped design the bowl, which has a wide belly that collects food and water in the middle, where even aged dogs can easily reach it. ($35; Bass Pro Shops)

6. Mud River Renegade Roll-Up Bowl

Mud River Renegade Roll-Up Bowl
Mud River Renegade Roll-Up Bowl
Price: $13
Bass Pro Shops

This is the other end of the food-and-water delivery spectrum, a highly compact and portable bowl that is easy to tuck into a vest and deploy in the field. The nylon bowl expands to a whopping 12 cups and features a durable leak-proof liner. Best of all, it rolls up and clips to a bag, vest, side of kennel, or your belt loop. ($13; Bass Pro Shops)

7. Pendleton National Park Pet Bed

Pendleton National Park Pet Bed
Pendleton National Park Pet Bed
Price: $90
Bass Pro Shops

I've gone through an awful lot of dog beds in my life, and the best thing I can say about most of them is that their presence in our house was only temporary. Most are bulky, ugly stink pads that the dog either loves to death or totally neglects. I can't guarantee your dog will love this bed, but I'm pretty sure it will look wonderful in whatever sort of house you have, whether a rustic cabin or a modern ranch house. ($90; Bass Pro Shops)

8. Milk Bone

Milk Bone dog treats
Milk Bone
Price: $10
Amazon

C'mon. Splurge a little on ole Gonzo this year. He's given you ducks, roosters, a roadkilled cat, and probably fleas. The least you can do is give him a little pick-me-up for the holidays. This is the classic canine reward. Milk Bones are fortified with vitamins and their toasty flavor is so good you'll consider dunking one in a glass of frothy milk for yourself. Or not. ($10; Amazon)

9. Ruffwear Track Jacket Reflective Vest

Ruffwear Track Jacket Reflective Vest
Ruffwear Track Jacket Reflective Vest
$40
Bass Pro Shops

This time of year, my dog is hitting the heaviest, nastiest cover for late-season pheasants, and because she's a yellow Lab, she can be hard to see in cattails and dead grass. I use this reflective vest to not only keep tabs on her, but it's a good idea for my buddies to also know where my dog is when a rooster flushes. Plus, the polyester fabric helps keep her body heat on especially cold, windy days – the best days for hunting heavy-cover roosters. ($40; Bass Pro Shops)

10. Redhead Nail Trimmers

Redhead Nail Trimmers
Redhead Nail Trimmers
Price: $11
Bass Pro Shops

If you have a dog that hunts hard all fall, then you may not have need for this tool that keeps canine nails trimmed down. But a lot of us have dogs that don't get out as much as we'd like, and their nails can get so long that they become painful to walk on, especially on hard surfaces. This trimmer is safe, easy to use, and can save big money in vet bills. ($11; Bass Pro Shops)