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Top 20 World’s Best Hunting Dog Breeds


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Human hunt along with dogs since ages, we engage ourselves in a partnership that is already way old. This relationship is very intimate and mutually beneficial. Some evidence even suggests that the qualities dogs brought to the Stone Age helped our ancestors a lot. People use different dog breeds for various activities. Some were to sit at home with the owners or guard the house and also for hunting. Hunting dog breeds specially known for hunting and known as sport dog breeds.

Dogs participating in the hunt must possess some qualities. They must be fearless, ferocious to the game, obey implicitly their owner, be vigilant, and have a sharp nose, sensitive ears, and good eyesight. Sometimes these dogs require a large size and strength – it all depends on the type of hunting.

Sporting dog breeds must be quick and active. They never are engaged in socializing with other animals. These dogs are raised, tamed, and trained differently than home pets. The primary skill of hunting dogs is an unquestioning performance of commands and instructions from the owner. The training is specifically to pursue a game without food and in different climatic conditions for a long time.

If you are choosing a puppy, then you should be very careful and make sure it must undergo special training that needs to be conducted by a professional. Dogs have a unique ability to read human body language and respond to subtle cues. If you are looking for a hunting friend,

World’s Best 20 Hunting Dog Breeds

1. German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointer
Image source: CANVA

This hunting dog breed is agile, athletic, intelligent, obedient, and determined. These are appropriate for avid hunters who spend most of their time outdoors. A handsome breed and can point at game birds. It alerts hunters of the direction of a good shot by freezing in place. They also fetch birds and small animals for their masters. They have an extraordinary scenting ability which they use to track the prey before the owners. Therefore, they have a record of hunting under every imaginable condition. They need a ton of exercise and engagement to stay healthy and happy. Its thin coat restricts hunting in warmer seasons.

Average Height – 21-25 Inches

Average Weight – 20-31 Kg

Specialty – Bird Hunting

Life Expectancy – 12- 14 Years

2. Bloodhound

Image source: CANVA

Its nose, arguably the best at tracking a scent, is the kind of asset any hunter would like to have through the woods. They obtain unparalleled tracking ability. You have a Sherlock Holmes-level companion and one whose senses are routinely put to work finding missing people during search and rescue missions. But remember they will take up some space. Bloodhounds are very big but are easygoing when not at work.

The scent receptors in them are 40 times that of humans. These hounds are exceptional when it comes to tracking. Therefore, you cannot allow them off-leash in an unfenced yard.

Average Height – 23-28 Inches

Average Weight – 39-53 Kg

Specialty – Large Games

Life Expectancy – 10-12 Years

3. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever
Image source: CANVA

It is no surprise that the most popular and adorable dog breed is also one of the best hunting dog breeds. It is known for its intelligence, eagerness to please, and excellent demeanor with kids. Labradors are a fit at home and in the field. They are very hard-working, therefore can be trained easily both on land and in the water. Labs have a double-thick coat which enables them to dive into the frigid water. They aim to please, especially in the case of ducks. Some consider them the ultimate hunting dog. They have a gentle mouth grip means they can carry the prey without crushing or damaging it.

Average Height – 21.5-22.5 Inches

Average Weight – 24-36 Kg

Specialty – Bird Hunting

Life Expectancy -10-14 Years

4. Vizslas

Image source: CANVA

The Vizslas is one of the oldest hunting breeds. The meaning of its name is the pointer. It is a gun dog used for pointing and retrieving both. They are multitalented canines and adapt to all kinds of environments. Their sleek coat enables them to retrieve a variety of waterfowl. Apart from that, they are also the fastest dogs on land, making them preferred companions for hunting quail, pheasant, and grouse. They love to spend lots of quality time with their family members who are actively willing to provide them with plenty of exercises, mental enrichment, and socialization. Long walks play sessions, and participating in dog sports like agility trials, tracking, flyball, scent work, and dock diving is a great ways to keep your Vizsla active and engaged. That would also strengthen the bond you share.

Average Height – 21-25 Inches

Average Weight -18-30 Kg

Specialty – Bird Hunting

Life Expectancy – 12-14 Years

5. Beagle

Image source: CANVA

Comparatively small than other breeds and an excellent small game hunter. These pups require lots of training since their nose often guides them more than their owners. These hunting dog breeds are natural hunters of rabbits, foxes, and birds. They are the most popular hound dogs. This breed can hunt very well alone as well as in packs together. They are playful, curious, determined, and tenacious with a seemingly endless supply of energy. The little scent hound uses its extraordinary sense of smell to track and chase smaller animals. These superior olfactory skills often result in him using it as a detection dog for sniffing out contraband.

Average Height – 13-16 Inches

Average Weight – 9.1-10.4 Kg

Specialty – Small to Medium Games

Life Expectancy – 12-15 Years

6. Coonhound

Image source: CANVA

This scent hound originates from a bloodhound and a foxhound which means you have an exceptional scent tracker for small animals with the body of a highly agile dog who can work in virtually any terrain. His thick double coat makes him perfect for harsher climates. The blue tick can follow its nose after any trial. These dogs are primarily for hunting raccoons but, they also make friends when not at work. They show their unique singing skills to howl to let their hunting partner know when they have treed game. These sounds carry over long distances so hunters can locate their pup.

Average Height – 21-27 Inches

Average Weight – 18-31 Kg

Specialty – Large Games

Life Expectancy – 11-12 Years

7. Spaniel

Image source: CANVA

An excellent choice for a hunting companion, they are particularly suitable for hunting turkey and duck. They can be easily trained and are excellent at both flushing and retrieving. They have great determination while hunting. Because they hail from the southern coast, they do their job well in heavy brush, wetlands, and hotter temperatures. Moreover, they are also very loving pets with a very regal-looking dark liver coat.

This small gun dog is a strong and highly energetic hunting dog breed with a natural-born talent for flushing or springing birds out of hiding. Just like the retriever breed, the spaniel has a thick double coat that protects it in any weather and a gentle grip that means it can return downed prey without any damage.

Average Height – 15-17 Inches

Average Weight – 11-15 Kg

Specialty – Bird, Rabbit and Waterfowl Hunting

Life Expectancy – 10-14 Years

8. Irish Setter

Irish Setter
Image source: CANVA

The Irish are gun dogs known for their beautiful red coat and graceful agility like English setters. They are more challenging than their looks; this breed is rugged, hard-working, and determined to hunt the bird. It also makes friendly, affectionate, and gentle companions for all kinds of families. That does mean it requires a patient hand to train them, but they will serve you well out. Undoubtedly this breed has been popular amongst hunters and sportspeople for over 200 years.

Average Height – 24-28 Inches

Average Weight – 25-29 Kg

Specialty – Bird Hunting

Life Expectancy – 12-15 Years

9. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier
Image source: CANVA

These animals are small, but they are energetic. Just waiting to be unleashed, their energy reserves seem practically endless. These dogs are a lot better at flushing and hunting squirmy little pests than just about any other dog on this list. If you keep on hunting rabbits, you should put Jack Russell near the top of your list. Just keep in mind the energy of the dog. They are intelligent and immensely loving dogs.

Average Height – 8-15 Inches

Average Weight – 6-8 Kg

Specialty – Small Games

Life Expectancy – 13-16 Years

10. American Foxhound

American Foxhound the Hunting Dog Breed
Image source: CANVA

American Foxhound tracks down foxes or deer with impeccable precision. These hunting pets demonstrate their strong running skills and loyalty. Bred from English foxhounds, this breed mainly hunts foxes. In time, the breed also was involved in deer hunting. Foxhounds make loving and loyal companions, but they need lots of exercise each day to satisfy their high energy and endurance.

Average Height – 21-25 Inches

Average Weight – 25-32 Kg

Specialty – Large Games

Life Expectancy – 10-12 Years

11. Weimaraner

Hunting Dog Breed Weimaraner
Image source: CANVA

The Weimaraner dog breed is a promising hunting companion since the 19th century. Royalty utilized early Weimaraners to hunt big wildlife like boar, bears, and deer. Weimaraners were used to hunt smaller species like birds, rabbits, and foxes when large game hunting lost appeal. This breed is a versatile gun dog. The name derives from Karl August, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, whose court enjoyed hunting and was based in the city of Weimar (now in the state of Thuringia in contemporary Germany). The Weimaraner has qualities including intellect, courage, a keen sense of scent, speed, stamina, and those amazing eyes! The name “grey ghost” of the dog world refers to the breed’s ghostly coat and eye color as well as its stealthy hunting manners.

Definitely, this breed has a well-deserving place on our list of top hunting dogs.

Average Height – 21-25 Inches

Average Weight – 25-32 Kg

Specialty – Large Games

Life Expectancy – 10-12 Years

12. Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Image source: CANVA

A tough and loyal breed, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers excel in waterfowl hunting and retrieving. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is considered one of the best hunting breeds due to its exceptional ability to retrieve waterfowl in challenging hunting conditions. Their webbed feet, waterproof coat, and strong swimming skills make them perfectly suited for retrieving ducks and geese from icy waters.

Additionally, they possess a natural instinct for tracking and retrieving, which combined with their high energy and intelligence, make them an ideal choice for hunting enthusiasts. Their loyalty and obedience to their owners make them excellent companions in the field, making them a favored choice among hunters for generations.

Average Height – 20-24 Inches

Average Weight – 25-36 Kg

Specialty – Large Games

Life Expectancy – 10-12 Years

13. Dachshund

Hunting Dog Dachshund
Image source: CANVA

Dachshunds are exceptional hunters for several reasons. Their exceptional sense of smell, intelligence, and agility make them adept at tracking and chasing games. Dachshunds are also energetic and tireless, allowing them to keep up with their quarry for hours on end. In addition, their compact size and friendly demeanor make them an excellent choice for hunting small game and working closely with their human handlers. Whether you’re hunting rabbits or other small game, a Dachshund is an excellent choice for any hunter looking for a loyal and capable hunting companion.

Average Height – 4-5 Inches

Average Weight – 7-15 Kg

Specialty – Large Games

Life Expectancy – 12-16 Years

14. Brittany

Hunting Dog Brittany
Image source: CANVA

Exceptional hunting skills and versatile nature – Brittany. This breed is highly energetic, and agile, and has a keen sense of smell, making it excellent for bird hunting. Additionally, their intelligence, trainability, and friendly disposition make them great companions both in the field and at home.

Brittany dogs are also known for their endurance and ability to work tirelessly, which is crucial when hunting. Overall, we’d say that Brittany’s combination of natural hunting instincts, intelligence, and loyalty make them a top choice for many hunters.

Average Height – 17-20 Inches

Average Weight – 13-18 Kg

Specialty – Large Games

Life Expectancy – 12-14 Years

15. Boykin Spaniel

Hunting Dog Boykin Spaniel
Image source: CANVA

The Boykin Spaniel is one of the best hunting breeds due to its versatility, adaptability, and tenacity in the field. Originating from South Carolina, this breed was developed specifically for hunting wild turkeys and waterfowl in the swamps and marshes of the region. Boykin Spaniels are renowned for their excellent nose, exceptional flushing and retrieving skills, and ability to work tirelessly in difficult terrain. They are also known for their loyalty, intelligence, and eagerness to please their owners, making them an ideal hunting companion for any avid hunter.

Average Height – 14-16 Inches

Average Weight – 11-18 Kg

Specialty – Large Games

Life Expectancy – 12-14 Years

16. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever Playing in River
Image source: CANVA

Golden Retrievers possess an exceptional combination of intelligence, trainability, and versatility. They are adept at retrieving waterfowl from lakes and rivers, flushing upland game birds, and tracking wounded game on land.

They are also calm and friendly. Because of this, they are considered an excellent companion both in the field and at home. Their natural instinct to retrieve, coupled with their eagerness to please, makes them a preferred choice for hunters looking for a reliable, trustworthy partner.

Though in today’s era, Golden Retriever is one of the most famous breeds in the world. And are the most popular dog breed for families, kids, and even adults. But it’s equally surprising to know that this breed is not just cute but also one of the top hunting dogs.

Average Height – 23-24 Inches

Average Weight – 25 -34 Kg

Specialty – Large Games

Life Expectancy – 10-12 Years

17. Azawakh

Hunting Dog Azawakh
Image source: CANVA

Azawakh is a unique combination of speed, agility, and endurance. Originating from West Africa, this lean and muscular breed was traditionally used by nomadic tribes to hunt fast-moving game such as gazelles and hares. Azawakhs are known for their impressive running abilities and can sustain high speeds for extended periods, allowing them to chase down prey over long distances.

Additionally, their keen senses, intelligence, and loyalty make them exceptional hunters, as they are able to track and corner prey with great efficiency. For us, Azawakh has exceptional hunting skills and adaptability to different terrains making it a highly prized breed among hunters and dog enthusiasts.

Average Height –  24 to 29 Inches

Average Weight – 20 to 25 Kg

Specialty – Large Games

Life Expectancy – 10 to 12 Years

18. Barbet

Hunting Dog Barbet
Image source: CANVA

The Barbet popularly known as the French Water Dog is considered one of the best hunting breeds due to its exceptional qualities. With its exceptional sense of smell and strong retrieving instincts, it excels in waterfowl hunting, making it a favorite among hunters. Its thick, curly coat provides protection against harsh weather conditions, and its muscular build allows it to endure long hours in the field. Additionally, Barbet’s friendly and obedient nature makes it a reliable companion and a great family dog.

Average Height –  19 to 24 Inches

Average Weight – 18 to 27 Kg

Specialty – Large Games

Life Expectancy – 12 to 14 Years

19. Basset Hound

Hunting Dog Basset Hound
Image source: CANVA

While the Basset Hound may not be the first breed that comes to mind when thinking of hunting dogs, they are actually highly regarded in the hunting community for their exceptional tracking skills. Their keen sense of smell, combined with their low-slung body and sturdy build, make them excellent at tracking game through dense underbrush and difficult terrain.

Additionally, their calm and patient demeanor makes them well-suited for hunting scenarios that require extended periods of waiting and tracking. All of these qualities make the Basset Hound a top choice for hunters looking for a reliable and effective tracking dog.

Average Height –  12 to 15 Inches

Average Weight – 20 to 29 Kg

Specialty – Large Games

Life Expectancy – 10 to 12 Years

20. Karelian Bear Dog

Hunting Dog Karelian Bear
Image source: CANVA

The Karelian Bear Dog is considered one of the best hunting breeds because of its impressive hunting instincts, fearless nature, and exceptional tracking abilities. This breed was originally developed in the Karelia region of Finland and Russia, where it was used to hunt large game such as elk and bear. The Karelian Bear Dog is highly trainable and possesses excellent endurance, agility, and strength, making it well-suited for a range of hunting tasks. Additionally, its sharp senses, keen intelligence, and fierce loyalty to its handler make it an ideal companion for hunters who require a reliable and effective hunting partner.

Average Height –  21 – 24 Inches

Average Weight – 20 – 23 Kg

Specialty – Large Games

Life Expectancy – 11 – 13 Years

Top 5 Hunting Dog Breeds in India

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. What are the best hunting dog breeds?

There are many great hunting dog breeds, but some of the most popular and effective ones include Labrador Retrievers, German Shorthaired Pointers, Beagles, English Springer Spaniels, and Bloodhounds.

Q. Can any dog be trained to hunt?

Answer: While any dog can be trained to some extent, not all breeds are well-suited for hunting. Hunting dogs typically possess certain innate characteristics that make them better suited for hunting tasks, such as a strong prey drive, exceptional tracking abilities, and a keen sense of smell.

Q. What types of game can hunt dogs be used for?

Answer: Hunting dogs can be used to hunt a wide variety of games, depending on the breed and the specific hunting task. Some common game animals that hunting dogs are used for include birds, rabbits, deer, elk, and even bears.

Q. How can I train my hunting dog?

Answer: Training a hunting dog requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. Basic obedience training is essential, as well as specialized hunting training such as retrieving and tracking. Working with a professional dog trainer can also be beneficial.

Q. Are hunting dogs breeds good family pets?

Answer: While many hunting dog breeds can make great family pets, it’s important to remember that they were originally bred for hunting tasks and may possess certain traits such as a strong prey drive or high energy level. It’s important to research the breed and consider whether their temperament and needs are a good fit for your family and lifestyle.

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