The 10 Best Hunting Dog Breeds

Hunting can be traced back a long time ago, even before the agrarian revolution. Humankind and dog partnership started long before the domestication of the canine family because hunting was part and parcel of the early man.

The two most popular hunting dog types are gun and scent dogs. Let us take a look at the two types of hunting dogs at a glance.

Gun dogs/bird dogs

These dogs derive their name from their main prey, which is the bird though they also hunt other animals like the hare. Gun dogs usually locate and flush the prey enabling the hunter to shoot it.

Scent hounds

Scent hounds make a lot of noise as they pursue the prey using the scent. The hunter usually follows the sound of the hound until he gets where the prey is under guard as hostage. Some hounds guard preys that climb trees at the base of the tree until the hunter arrives.Dogs that cannot follow instructions require a dog shock collar with remote to manage them.

Hunting Dogs Breed Traits

There are general features that complement the right breed of hunting dog. Lack of the following features limits the dog from becoming a good hunter.

1.Easy to train

A perfect hunter breed should be able to follow commands effectively. Training will help keep the dog safe while hunting and create a bond between the dog and the owner. Dog breeds that are hard to train keeps on guessing instructions and live in confusion.

2.Sense of smell

Your hunting dog should have a perfect sense of smell to enable him to pursue the prey by sniffing. Reduced sense of smell means the dog can only hunt the visible prey.


Hunting dog breeds have stamina because they are always active either running after the prey or sniffing and flushing them out of their hideouts. You will need to buy toys for your hunting dog to keep him engaged and fit.


Another important trait for the hunter breed is the will to take on any challenge. The hunter breed is always ready to confront any wild animal no matter how huge it is.

Let us look at some of the best breeds of dogs that can make your hunting exercise enjoyable.

1.Labrador Retriever

Labrador breed matures to a height ranging between twenty-one and twenty-four inches and weighs twenty to thirty-five kilograms. Labrador retrievers can swim in cold water and cope with freezing temperatures making it suitable for duck hunting.

The life expectancy of Labrador is between ten and twelve years.

2.The Beagle/Rabbit hunting dogs

The beagle breed usually attains a height of between thirteen to fifteen inches and weighs approximately twenty to twenty-five pounds. It has long and floppy ears as well as along tail. Beagle has a strong sense of smell and mostly used to hunt rabbits due to their speed.

3.American Foxhound

The breed was a fox hunter, and that is where it derives its name and is a product of the English foxhound. It has a strong determination that makes it suitable for hunting deer, which is a swift animal.

The American foxhound usually matures to a height ranging between twenty-one and twenty-eight inches and weighs approximately sixty to seventy pounds. They typically have droopy ears, curved and long tails, and long slim legs that enable him to run fast.

4.Chesapeake bay retriever

This breed is an American heritage that is talented for hunting in very wet areas. Their waterproof coats and determination make them perfect for hunting humid region birds like geese and ducks. Their life expectancy is ten to twelve years.

5.Pointer/Quail hunting dogs

The pointer has sarong pursuit for feathers, and their slim coat enables them to withstand cold temperatures. Pointers are energetic, and the only business that bothers them is hunting.

6.English Springer Spaniel

The English springer spaniel attains a height of between nineteen to twenty inches when mature and weighs forty to fifty-four pounds. The breed has long hair fringe on its chest, ears, and legs with dropping ears.

The spaniel is fond of chasing and flushing prey out of their hidings. The smaller body size enables springer spaniel to penetrate small prey to hideouts while hunting. Like Labradors English Springer spaniel can retrieve.

7.Golden Retriever

The Golden retriever is another gun dog that is perfect for birds and small animals hunting. The Golden retriever is easy to train, loyal, and usually make good friends to kids. Golden retrievers are excellent pets due to their perfect learning skills.

The golden breed usually attains a height of twenty-one to twenty-four inches and weighs fifty-five to seventy-five pounds at maturity. The breed usually wears a friendly and intelligent face. Golden retriever originated from Scotland.

8.Bluetick coonhound

Bluetick coonhound has a lifespan of ten to twelve years with an approximate weight of between twenty-five to thirty-five kilograms. The Bluetick breed is very courageous and can tackle huge game way heavier than him like the king of the jungle.

Bluetick coonhound is fond of barking while hunting and at home as well. One perfect quality about bluetick coonhound is guarding tree climbers at the base of the tree after a long chase until the hunter arrives.

9.Irish Setter

The Irish setter owes its origin from the Republic of Ireland from as early as the seventeenth century. The Irish setters are a crossbreed of pointers and spanielsIrish setters are not the best hunting breeds but still have some good qualities.

Irish setter weighs about twenty-four to thirty-two kilograms and has a lifespan of twelve to fifteen years. The Irish setter breed is handsome and has perfect field qualities. The breed has long hairs on the legs and the years.


The Bloodhound has a lifespan of seven to ten years, and it is a large breed that weighs between thirty-five to fifty kilograms. As the name suggests, this breed has unique tracking capabilities.

The Bloodhound was initially a big game hunter due to its agility and determination to confront anything. The bloodhound breed is currently a good tracker for tracking animals as well as people.

Rodney Heaton

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.