Disclosure: We may earn commissions if you purchase products after clicking on a link from our site.
Are you looking for the best hunting dog breeds for your next hunt? If so, you have come to the right place! In this blog post, we will discuss some of the best breeds of dogs for hunters. We will cover everything from pointers and retrievers to hounds and terriers. So, whether you are a first-time hunter or a seasoned pro, read on to learn more about the best hunting dog breeds out there!
Table of Contents
- 10 Best Hunting Dog Breeds
- 11 1. Golden Retriever
- 12 2. English Setter
- 13 3. Irish Setter
- 14 4. English Springer Spaniel
- 15 5. Pointers
- 16 6. German Shorthaired Pointers
- 17 7. Beagle
- 18 8. Labrador Retriever
- 19 9. American Foxhound
- 20 10. Treeing Walker Hound
- 21 11. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
- 22 12. Appalachian Turkey Dogs
- 23 13. Dogo Argentino
- 24 14. Plott Hound
- 25 15. Bluetick Coonhound
- 26 16. Mountain cur
- 27 17. German Shorthaired Pointer
- 28 18. Weimaraner
- 29 19. Brittany
- 30 20. German Wirehaired Pointer
- 31 21. Boykin Spaniel
- 32 22. Jack Russel Terrier
- 33 Dog Breeds to Avoid
- 34 The Bottom Line
Best Hunting Dog Breeds
1. Golden Retriever
Golden retrievers are similar to Labradors. They are gun dogs and are excellent for hunting birds and other small prey. Golden retrievers usually grow to a height in the range of 21 to 24 inches and weigh from 55 to 75 pounds. They are easy to train and are loyal dogs. They are eager to please their owners. They get along with children and are good family companions.
They have a great sense of smell that makes them great for hunting. They do cover a lot of ground and are gentle with their prey. Golden retrievers are one of the most popular choices for a hunting dog in the United States. They are intelligent and have a strong instinct for retrieving their prey. This makes them ideal for hunting waterfowl and upland birds. Retrievers have a life expectancy of 10 to 23 years.
2. English Setter
The English setter is a gun dog that is known for its pointing, running and hunting skills. They are great for bird hunting as they can be trained to retrieve the game. The English setter’s height is in the range of 25 to 27 inches and weighs 65 to 80 pounds. The English setter is now put into two categories such as conformation dogs (show dogs and pets) and field dogs (hunting dogs). if you hunt birds, then the English Setter should be on your shortlist of hunting dogs. They live for 10 to 12 years.
3. Irish Setter
The Irish setter is a rugged, hard-working gun dog. It has a beautiful red coat and possesses graceful agility. Like the English setters, the Irish setter is divided into show-quality and field dogs. The Irish setter pursues birds with the determination to retrieve them. The Irish setters are good family companions as they are friendly and affectionate. They usually weigh 35 to 70 pounds and have a height in the range of 24 to 27 inches. They are good tracking and working dogs that live for 12 to 15 years.
4. English Springer Spaniel
The English springer spaniel is known for their stamina and its tenacity for flushing out game birds and chasing pheasants. The English springer spaniel has to retrieve skills similar to those of the Labrador and golden retriever. They are ideal for navigating smaller spaces as they are smaller in size. They are good family dogs, weigh about 40 to 53 pounds, and live for about 12 to 14 years.
The pointer pursues its prey with a lot of vigor. It is also called the English pointer. It is a bird dog that is well suited for hunting in warmer climates. The Pointer goes after its prey with a determined spirit and high drive. The pointer is a loyal and loving companion. It lives for 11 to 14 years and weighed 45 to 75 pounds. It usually grows to a height of 17 to 21 inches.
6. German Shorthaired Pointers
The German Shorthaired Pointer is great at retrieving game on land and water. They excel at tracking game. They have the stamina and great sense of smell to pursue the prey wherever it goes for refuge. They are great for climbing steep and rugged hillsides as well as chasing prey even through the nastiest terrains. The German shorthaired pointer should be on every hunter’s shortlist of hunting dogs.
Beagles have an excellent sense of smell and are ideal for chasing and flushing out game as they are small and can fit in small spaces. They are also used as detection dogs due to their great sense of smell. Beagles are also great family dogs and one of the favorites of kids with their even disposition and friendly demeanor. They are loving dogs and love to please.
Beagles are often used for tracking deer, rabbits, and other small game animals. Beagles have muscular bodies and weigh 20 to 25 pounds with a height from 13 to 15 inches. They usually live between 12 to 15 years.
8. Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds. They excel at marking, retrieving, and delivering waterfowl up to the hunter’s hand. They are loyal and intelligent hunting dogs that are also great hunting companions. They are obedient dogs that are easy to train. They love to please and are great swimmers. if you hunt near water, then the Labrador retriever should be a hunting dog you have on your list.
They mature faster than other dog breeds and this makes them grasp the training at a younger age. They also quickly learn whistle and hand signals at great distances while performing blind retrieves and complex concepts. They are ideal for cold water retrieving with a double coat for warmth and water repellency. The Labrador Retriever is ideal for duck hunting.
They are friendly and great family dogs. They weigh about 55 to 80 pounds, grow to a height of 21 to 24 inches and have a life span of 10 to 12 years. This is considered the U.S. A. favorite hunting dog. You can read about the best duck hunting tips to help you take more ducks home during the duck hunting season.
9. American Foxhound
The American foxhound is a scent hound full of determination. It is a running hound that loves to chase its prey. They were known for chasing foxes but now they are also used in hunting for hunting down deer. It has an abundance of energy and stamina that is ideal for running deer drives. The American foxhound weighs 60 to 70 pounds, has a height of 21 to 28 inches, and lives for 11 to 13 years. If you hunt deer, and who doesn’t, and likes deer drives, then you want to consider the American Foxhound, George Washington’s favorite. We discussed the best whitetail deer hunting tips in this article to help you become a more successful deer hunter.
10. Treeing Walker Hound
Treeing walker hounds are known for their great sense of smell, speed, voice, prey drive, and chasing ability. They chase down rabbits, squirrels, deer, raccoons, bears, coyotes, and even cougars. Imagine having a Treeing walker hound as your hunting dog. You will never lose track of the prey. It clings to the tree and keeps the prey stranded in the tree. You can read about how to hunt from a tree stand in this article.
11. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
The Chesapeake Bay retriever is great for hunting waterfowl. They are well suited for cold-water retrievals. The Chesapeake Bay retriever is a hard-working and determined and athletic gun dog that makes it ideal for duck hunting. It is solidly built and has an oily coat that protects them from cold water.
The Chesapeake Bay retriever is an intelligent dog that loves to please its owner. It is a family dog but not very welcoming of strangers. It is a loyal dog to its owner. The Chessie lives for 12 to 14 years and grows to weigh 55 to 80 pounds with a height of 21 to 26 inches.
12. Appalachian Turkey Dogs
Appalachian turkey dog is bred to specifically hunt down turkeys. It has good stamina, speed, and skills for hunting waterfowl. The Appalachian turkey dog is a combination of the Setter, Pointer, and Plott hound. The best turkey hunting tips were discussed in this article to help you take more turkey home during the turkey hunting season.
13. Dogo Argentino
Dogo Argentino is a chasing dog that finds and pursues hogs. They are not afraid to engage the hogs. They will detain the hogs until the hunter arrives on the scene. Dogo Argentino is large and more powerful than a pit bull. They are ideal for big-game hunting. It is originally from South America and is friendly and loyal despite its fierce and intimidating look.
14. Plott Hound
The Plott hound is a muscular, athletic, and tenacious hunting dog that can pick up the scent of black bears and track them down. It is smart, tough, and gritty. They can also track wild hogs and cougars. The Plott hound is a big game-hunting dog. If you usually hunt big game, then a muscular and gritty Plott hound should always be at the forefront of your mind when looking for a hunting dog. You can read about the best bear hunting tips in this article.
15. Bluetick Coonhound
The Bluetick coonhound has a good sense of smell and can pick up an old trail. They have the stamina to chase down big cats and stand their ground against very dangerous cats. The Bluetick coonhound weighs about 45 to 80 pounds and lives for 11 to 12 years. It grows to a height of 21 to 27 inches. It is a high-energy hunting dog.
16. Mountain cur
Mountain curs hunt and mark squirrels and raccoons. They are originally from Europe and were brought to the United States in the 20th century. They are athletic, have a medium-sized frame, and have speed and enthusiasm for small prey. If you love hunting small game animals, then the Mountain Cur should be on your list.
17. German Shorthaired Pointer
The German shorthair pointer has a good sense of smell and the stamina to keep up with upland birds. This hunting dog is intelligent and witty. This dog is well-built to climb rugged hills in pursuit of upland birds. They are obedient, loyal, and have the determination to pursue upland birds no matter where they go. They usually weigh about 45 to 70 pounds and live for about 12 to 14 years.
The Weimaraner is ideal for hunting pheasants and other upland birds. They have long legs, an elegant appearance, and a calm demeanor. They are athletic and intelligent but are not the most disciplined dogs. The Weimaraner usually lives for 10 to 13 years and weighs 55 to 90 pounds. This hunting dog originated in Germany. The best pheasant hunting tips were discussed in this article to help you take more pheasants home during the hunting season.
The Brittany dog is similar to the setters. They can do a number of hunting tasks like flushing, retrieving, and pointing. This dog requires a lot of exercises and will become restless if it doesn’t get the workout. It usually weighs about 30 to 40 pounds and lives up to 15 years on average. The Brittany dog originated in France. It is a quick and curious breed. This dog is also a family at home.
20. German Wirehaired Pointer
The German wirehaired pointer is a hunting dog that will track and retrieve upland birds no matter where they go. They are the result of foxhounds, griffons, poodles, and shorthairs. They originated from Germany. The German wirehaired pointer is relentless in tracking and retrieving. This dog is tough and very protective of its owner.
21. Boykin Spaniel
The Boykin spaniel loves to flush and retrieve the prey. This is a good hunting dog for birds. They are easy to train and have the determination to flush and retrieve the prey. It is an excellent family dog as it is loving and easygoing. The Boykin Spaniel is an energetic and hard-working dog. They weigh about 25 to 40 pounds and live for about 14 to 16 years.
22. Jack Russel Terrier
The Jack Russell Terrier is a small and compact hunting dog. It is easy to train, very intelligent, and full of energy. The Jack Russel terrier is ideal for small game hunting. It has an abundance of energy just waiting to be unleashed. They are good at flushing out small game animals.
If you love hunting rabbits, then the Jack Russel terrier should be on your list. The Jack Russel terrier is a smart and loving dog. They weigh about 10 to 20 pounds and live for about 13 to 16 years. You can improve your rabbit hunting skills from this article on the best rabbit hunting tips.
Other hunting dogs are the American Pit bull terrier, Bloodhound, Coonhound, American Water Spaniel, Clumber Spaniel, Bloodhound, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Field Spaniel, Sussex Spaniel, Spinone Italiano, Vizsla, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Cocker Spaniel, Redbone Hound, and Whippets.
Dog Breeds to Avoid
Not all dog breeds are ideal for hunting. The Cavalier King, Charles spaniel, Maltese, and Japanese Chin are not good for hunting.
The Bottom Line
Many dogs make great hunting dogs for their personalities and capabilities. If you are researching which dog breed to get for hunting, then this article will help you with the information to choose the best hunting job for the type of hunting you do. You can improve your skills in training your dog by reading this article on how to train your hunting dog.