Dogs have been hunting companions for humans for a long time.
Not only do some breeds love to hunt as much as we do, they also are good at picking up our subtle cues. Hunting with dogs is like getting into a partnership where we are mutually co-dependent.
And so, we should choose the best hunting dog breed compatible with our needs.
In this blog post, I’ll go through the top 10 best hunting dog breeds and tell you a little bit about each one of them.
So, without further ado, let’s begin!
- 1 Hunting Dog Breeds: What You Should Know
- 2 Top 10 Best Hunting Dog Breeds
- 3 Summing up: Top 10 Best Hunting Dog Breeds
Hunting Dog Breeds: What You Should Know
The best hunting dog breeds are those that hunt for or with human beings.
In fact, dogs and humans have known to be hunting together for thousands of years and make a good, mutually dependent team.
Following are the major categories of hunting dogs:
- Hounds: These are further divided into three categories:
- Sighthounds: Trace visual activity as well as speed
- Scent Hounds: Good ar tracking scent
- Lurchers: Mix between sighthounds and working dogs
- Gun dogs: These dogs are used to hunt small game. They include the following:
- Retrievers: They find and retrieve the shot game
- Setters: These upland gun dogs locate at point at game birds
- Spaniels: They locate as well as flush game for hunters
- Pointers: They locate as well as point at a small game
- Water dogs: These dogs are strong swimmers and have a lot of endurance
- Terriers: Used to hunt small game. They locate and capture the hunt
- Feists: These small dogs hunt smaller game and usually hunt in a pack
- Dachshunds: These are good at tracking and chasing smaller prey
- Cur: Similar to Terriers, they hunt larger game
It is the dog’s skill sets which determine whether or not he’ll be a good hunting companion.
Top 10 Best Hunting Dog Breeds
Now that you know about all the dogs that are officially good hunting companions, it’s time to take a look at some breeds that make good companions for hunters.
In this section of the blog post, we will look at the top 10 best hunting dog breeds and I will go into as much detail as possible about each of the breeds.
1. Labrador Retriever
Generally, any Retriever dog makes a good hunting companion.
Labradors are known to be energetic and eager dogs that can go to almost any lengths to retrieve your kill. They’re intelligent and highly trainable to mark, retrieve, and deliver waterfowl.
Sporting a water-repellent double coat, webbed feet, and excellent swimming skills, these dogs can swim to large lengths to retrieve your kill.
And, boy, are the fast!
These dogs are excellent at picking up hand and whistle cues from a great distance.
It is this ability that makes them one of the best hunting companions.
Read more: Best Food for Labrador Retrievers
These dogs are known to have one of the best noses in the canine world.
This iconic hunting dog loves the chase and has a lot of energy to run after the prey. However, the shot legs make hunting of larger prey a little difficult.
These are the best dogs to hunt rabbits.
Their short stature might make you believe that these dogs won’t make good hunting companions but, the natural instincts of this dog are amazing which makes it a fierce hunter.
These dogs may be a little harder to train but, are very intelligent and catch on to things rather easily.
If you like hunting hares, these are the perfect pick for you!
On to the next one…
3. American Foxhound
The American Foxhound was bred in America from the English Foxhounds and some other breeds. These were beloved by George Washington who’s known as the father of the breed.
These dogs are a good pick for hunting foxes and deer.
This dog has an excellent nose, a good stamina, lots of energy, and amazing hearing—everything that makes it a good hunting machine.
These dogs work well in a pack or alone.
American Foxhounds will chase down anything you command them to. They’re also easy to train and rather intelligent and will be an ideal hunting partner for you.
The name ‘Bloodhound’ is one that instills fears and says something about this dog’s personality.
This dog has a very strong nose and makes an excellent tracker.
The dog was initially named after Saint Hubert—the saint of hunters. Even though this dog has excellent tracking skills, it’s not very intelligent but, is trainable.
A trained trained bloodhound is accepted in the court of law as evidence due to its accuracy and diligence.
In fact, these dogs have been known to track foxes and deer.
They also have worked as prison dogs, search & rescue dogs, and police dogs because of their ability to track.
On to the next one…
5. German Shorthaired Pointer
Known as the quintessential bird dog, the German shorthaired pointer deserves to be on my list of the top hunting dogs.
This dog is willing and eager to learn new things and is very intelligent which makes him highly trainable and a good hunting companion.
This dog has a great stamina and an excellent nose.
Able to tread the steepest hill slides, this dog has excellent tracking skills and a muscular body which makes it an excellent hunting companion as he can withstand heat and has a keen sense of smell.
6. Golden Retriever
Yet another retriever in this list, the Golden Retriever is known for his good looks and charming personality.
But, don’t let those looks fool you at all!
Golden Retrievers make excellent hunting dogs and are good companions for you if you hunt waterfowl. These dogs have a thick double coat and webbed feet which make them good swimmers.
Also, these dogs have a good stamina.
Not just that, they are friendly and very intelligent which makes them highly trainable.
7. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Another sea duck hunting dog, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a hard working and utilitarian and hard working dog.
This one-man dog can be trained to protect your guns, gear, and bot so that you don’t need to worry about anything other than hunting.
These dogs are built more strongly than Labradors or Golden Retrievers.
They have a double coat that can withstand cold and rough waters and webbed feet that make them amazing swimmers. These dogs will be eager to jump even in icy cold water to retrieve your hunt.
These dogs can be a little tricky and hard to train but, with the right trainer, they can thrive.
Coonhounds make good raccoon hunting dogs. With their amazing tracking ability and a good nose, these dogs can help you get rid of your raccoon problem once and for all.
These dogs make great hunters.
With their amazing nose, great speed, prey drive, voice, and the ability to chase almost anything down such as raccoons, cougars, deer, squirrels, and even bears!
They are also hot-nosed.
This means that you won’t have to spend all day and night tracking your prey. These dogs are perfect companions for those who like a quick hunt.
The Weimaraner is known to be a capable hunting dog.
This gun dog is a versatile hunter and a good companion if you like to hunt waterfowl, predators, game birds, or even big game!
This dog is good at tracking, pointing, hunting, and retrieving—making it an ideal companion for most. However, this dog can be demanding because it is made for hunting and needs a lot of exercises.
Other than that…
Because of their strong hunting instincts, Weimaraners will chase down anything and everything.
These dogs are highly intelligent which makes training an easy task for the owners.
10. Irish Setter
The Irish Setter will be the last hunting dog on my list.
Ideal for hunting Turkey, the Irish Setter makes an amazing pointer as well as a hunting dog. Known to be a good gundog, Irish Setters have amazing and strong hunting instincts.
They are amazing for catching birds!
These mischievous dogs are known for their high intelligence, which makes training them an easy task.
With high energy levels, a strong nose, and good hunting instincts, these dogs make good hunting companions.
Summing up: Top 10 Best Hunting Dog Breeds
To choose which dog breed will make a good hunting companion, you should consider which of these breeds will suit your lifestyle and needs the best.
To be fair, all of these dogs make pretty good hunting companions.
What may be an awesome hunting companion may not be a good fit for your best friend. So, there are individual differences as well as hunting preferences that you need to consider.
I hope you found your hunting partner after reading this blog post!
If you have any questions or doubts, let me know in the comments section and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible!