Which Dogs Used to Be Hunting Dogs?

There are many different types of dogs in the world, and each one has its own unique history and purpose. Some dogs were bred for hunting, while others were bred for companionship. Here’s a closer look at which dogs were originally used to be hunting dogs!

Dogs have been used for hunting since ancient times. They were bred to be fast and agile, and to have a strong prey drive. Some of the most popular breeds of dogs used for hunting include retrievers, pointers, dachshunds, setters, and hounds. Here’s a closer look at the characteristics of these former hunting dogs.


This breed of dog is known for its friendly nature and strong retrieving abilities. They are great at finding game, carrying it back to the hunter, and swimming long distances. Retrievers were bred specifically for hunting water fowl, but can also be used for upland game. Nowadays, many retrievers are also great family pets.


This breed is known for their strong sense of smell and ability to point out game. They are extremely fast and have a keen eye for locating birds or other animals. Pointers were bred for hunting in the field, but can also be used for tracking. Today, Pointers are primarily used for hunting, but sometimes they are also pets.


These small dogs have a long body and short legs, and were originally bred for hunting badgers and other small animals. They are known for their courage and tenacity, and can go into tight burrows to dig out the game. It’s hard to believe this is what dachshunds were originally bred for when you look at miniature dachshund puppies and other cute dachshund breeds today. Nowadays, dachshunds are usually kept as companion pets, but they can still be used for hunting small game.


This breed of dog was developed specifically for pointing and retrieving game birds. They are agile, fast, and have a good sense of smell. Setters can be used for a wide variety of game, from pheasant to grouse. They are also great family pets and can provide companionship and loyalty.


This group of dogs is known for their strong sense of smell and vocal abilities. Hounds have been bred for centuries to track and chase game. They have a good sense of direction and can follow the scent of their prey over long distances. Hounds come in a variety of sizes and shapes, from Beagles to Bloodhounds.


This breed was developed in Germany in the early 19th century and is a combination of various hounds and other breeds. Weimaraners are known for their speed and agility, as well as their strong sense of smell. They are great at hunting large game like deer, wild boar, and even bear. They are also known for their loyalty and intelligence, making them great family companions.

Springer Spaniel

Just like Retrievers, these dogs were developed specifically for hunting and retrieving waterfowl. They are known for their keen sense of smell, which allows them to locate game birds quickly and efficiently. Springer Spaniels are also known for their sociable nature, making them great family pets.


Beagles are small hounds that have been used for centuries to hunt rabbits and other small game. They have a keen sense of smell, great stamina, and are highly sociable. They were bred specifically for hunting, but nowadays, they are more commonly kept as companion pets.


Vizslas are a breed of dog that was developed in Hungary. They were bred for hunting game birds, and they have an incredible sense of smell and an athletic build. Vizslas are great with other dogs as well as children, and make loyal family companions.


This breed of dog is known for its exceptional pointing and retrieving ability. They are also fast, energetic, and highly intelligent. Brittanys were originally bred for hunting birds, but can also be used to hunt other game. They are great family pets and excellent companions.

Jack Russell Terrier

These small but fearless dogs were originally bred for fox hunting. They are known for their courage and athleticism, as well as their intelligence. Jack Russell Terriers are excellent at tracking small game, and they can be great family pets too.

Bracco Italiano

This gun dog is a relatively new breed, developed in Italy and gaining recognition in other parts of the world. They are used for game birds and can be used to hunt small game as well. They have an excellent sense of smell and are known for their loyalty and intelligence.

Mountain Cur

Mountain Curs were originally bred for hunting large game such as bear, wild boar, and cougars. They are known for their endurance and intelligence, and are great for tracking game. They are also loyal and obedient, making them great family pets as well.

Karelian Bear Dog

This breed of dog was developed in Finland and is known for its courage, strength, and intelligence. They were bred to hunt large game such as bear, wolves, and moose. They are also known for their loyalty and obedience, making them great companion pets.

Overall, there is a wide variety of dogs that were originally bred for hunting. Whether you’re looking for a loyal family pet or an experienced hunter, there is sure to be a breed of dog to fit your needs. No matter what breed you choose, dog breeds originally bred for hunting are usually highly trainable and intelligent. As such, as pets these dogs all make great companions and are sure to provide years of love and loyalty.

About the Author

I'm Rodney Heaton and I love hunting in the wild. In the past, I was in the military for over 5 years. After that I became a licensed hunter and a mountain guide.