Your Guide To The Best Hunting Dog Breeds

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best hunting dog breeds

Are you considering hunting dog breeds? Often they are referred to as sporting dogs. They are definitely an all-rounder dog and a perfect companion. These hunting dog breeds vary in sizes from small, medium, and large breeds. 

All the breeds listed below are great working companions for you and your family.

Dogs have been helping humans for thousands of years, it’s nothing new. Man has not suddenly trained a new line, these dogs were born to assist humans from the beginning of time. Their ability to do these heavy duty work is part of their DNA. Even though it is part of a dog’s nature to sniff, track, hunt and kill some training needs to be taught.

Hunting Dog Breeds Blueprint

Hunting dog breeds are incredibly skilful, it’s impossible for them to return home empty handed. However, bringing a kill home can depend upon a few things such as their training, the weather, the terrain, their target, the size of the hunting dog and what you want him to do during the hunt.

Hunters are very active, intelligent, lively, highly trainable, and alert dogs. They require a tremendous amount of vigorous exercise so they need to be with very active people. If you admire these type dogs but don’t want one for hunting purposes, then make sure you give them some sort of field, water or yard activities daily. Their stamina can be greater than us humans.

There are two different types of hunting dogs. There are sight and scent; sight breeds are quiet, very fast and are mostly calm natured. Scent breeds, however, are completely the opposite, they love their voices; consequently, they’re quite vocal.

Pointer dogs are probably the best for bird hunting. Pointers are very calm, quietly composed and can get any job done in heavy shrubbery.

If you’re looking for a dog that is sensitive to noise, consider hounds. They love locating rabbits, squirrels and other small animals.

If you love to hunt game such as pheasants think about buying Flushers.

As with all dogs bills can be high, particularly with hunting dogs. To see what’s involved check out our very informative article on Interesting facts for dogs – The new owners guide, it includes everything you need to know.

Hunting dogs may have health issues, especially as they become older. In account of being particularly active they could be prone to hip dysplasia, arthritis, osteosarcoma, bone and cartilage diseases. Their lifespan varies because of the differing sizes.

Best Hunting Dog Breeds


Hunting dog breeds


Beagles are from England, these are one of the best hunting breeds to hunt rabbits and deer. They’re happy to chase their prey through thick briar’s and shrubbery. Beagles resemble Foxhounds, they’re temperaments are balanced and are intelligent, they require a lot of training.

Black and Tan Coonhound

hunting dog breeds

black and tan coonhound walking on a trail in the woods

Black and Tan Coonhound are from America, they are scent dogs. They are one of the best hunting dog breed to hunt deer, bear, cougar, and other game. They are considered a large breed and are not your typical house dog as they are independent, stubborn, athletic and very energetic.

Bluetick Coonhound

hunting dog breeds

Bluetick Coonhound are from America, these hunters are highly devoted to their owner; they make great companions for families and are good tree hunters. Bluticks are highly intelligent and stubborn, they are best to be owned by skillful leaders otherwise you’ll witness challenging behaviors.


hunting dog breeds

French Brittany Spaniel Hunting Dog with a Chukar partridge

Brittany are from France, these are one of the best hunting dog breeds to hunt birds; they are similar to the Setter and Spaniel. Brittany’s have an outstanding intense sense of smell, particularly for birds. Brittany’s are a versatile dog, they will gladly hunt due their athletic and activeness.

Mountain Curs

hunting dog breeds

Treeing / Mountain Curs are from America, these dogs were original used for hunting raccoons and opossums. They aren’t pretty dogs but they make up for it for their protectiveness. Treeing Curs are very brave dogs, good sensors, reserved, powerful, athletic and very quick.

Black Mouth Curs

hunting dog breed

An Adult Black Mouth Cur

Black Mouth Curs are from America, these dogs are muscular and very athletic. They are used for hunting boars, raccoon, cougars, squirrels and other large animals. They are protective, reserved and are very brave. Curs are considered the perfect dog as they’re hunters, good with children.


hunting dog breed

Dachshund are from Germany, these are scenting dogs; they chase and dig badgers, prairie, deers, hares, foxes, rabbits and more. Dachshunds can hunt underground and aboveground level, they are particularly good at digging. They are faithful, loving, playful, vocal and stubborn.

English Coonhound

hunting dog breed

English Coonhound are from America, these are one of the best hunting dog breeds for sense of smell; they are confident and sociable. They make good companions and want to please their owner. These dogs need training and socializing from a puppy or you find they develop undesirable behaviors.

Plott Hound

hunting dog breed

A profile shot of the head of a beautiful Plott Hound

Plott Hound are from America, these hunters are medium in size; they need strong leadership otherwise these dogs will control and lead you. They need a lot of exercise so need an active family. If you’re on a tight dog budget, then these dogs aren’t for you, they eat a lot and often suffer stomach problems.


hunting dog breeds

Pointers are from England, these beautiful dogs usually hunt for birds; they have long legs and run very fast. Pointers can hunt in heavy shrubbery and can hunt without scaring their prey. They are particularly calm, peaceful, loving, affectionate and are also very loyal to their family.


hunting dog breed

Feists are from America, these are one of the best hunting dog breeds; they hunt better in packs and they’re good at alerting their master by barking. They are energetic and when hunting and they can be curious. Feists require a lot of attention from their owner, they love to be loved by fuss and cuddles.

Hungarian Vizsla

hunting dogs breed

A running hungarian vizsla dog

Hungarian Vizsla are from Hungary, these are one of the best hunting dog breeds for retrieving pheasants. Vizsla’s are a working and sporting dog, they are very loyal to their owners and can be affectionate. However, they need huge amounts of exercise otherwise they’ll become over energetic.


best hunting dog breeds

Lurchers are British, these hunting breeds are cross bred usually with greyhound and deerhound, which make these dogs an usual combination of sight and working dogs. These dogs are sensitive, loving and affectionate, they need a gentle but firm leadership. They’re adaptable to any terrain.


best hunting dog breeds

Poodles are from Germany, these are cute water dogs and are one of the best hunting dog breeds to flush and retrieve game. An added bonus is that Poodle’s can also hunt on land to retrieve pheasant and duck. They are highly active, instinctual and clever, which means they need strong leaders.

Redbone Coonhound

best hunting dog breeds

Redbone Coonhound are from America. These are popular hunting dog breeds and are on the large size. They hunt cat size prey such as raccoons, etc. They are very energetic as are most hounds. These dogs are highly intelligent. They need strong leadership, and to be socialized from a puppy.


best hunting dogs

A flat coated retriever

Retrievers are from Scotland, as their name suggests they are retrievers. They are excellent at retrieving waterfowl in water and game on land, and they follow their masters commands very well when preying birds. Retrievers are very loyal, gentle, friendly and affectionate for families.


hunting dog

Setters are British and Irish; the Setter family are red, white, golden or black. They ‘re known as White or Red Setter, Gordon, Irish and English Setter. These are one of the best hunting dog breeds to hunt game, they are great at locating and will only prey at their master’s command.

Springer Spaniel

hunting dogs

An active springer spaniel running outside

Springer Spaniels are from England, these types of dogs are Field and Cocker. Springer’s are one of the best hunting dog breeds to locate prey, they are good at flushing and retrieving game such as pheasants. They’re very lively, affectionate dogs, to say the least, most never run out of energy.


hunting dog breed

Airedale Terrier running

Terriers are from Britain and there are a variety of them. These are one of the best hunting dog breeds to hunt mammals; they locate their prey’s den, track it, seize it and then they may kill it. Terrier dogs don’t give up until they’ve captured whatever they’re hunting. Terriers are vocal and stubborn.

Treeing Walker Coonhounds

best hunt dog breeds

Treeing Walker Coonhounds are from America. They are medium sized hunting dogs and are active. They hunt squirrels, roof rats, opossums, skunks, raccoons, Bobcats, Cougars, and bears.

They love to please their owner and also make wonderful companions if you like the great outdoors.


best hunting breed

Two whippet dogs

Whippets are from England, these hunting breeds are independent, lively and quiet, affectionate and loving. They work calmly but fast and can see their prey from a lengthy distance. There sizes vary, but generally they’re a medium size dog. Whippets are descendants from the Greyhound.


Foxhounds are from England and America. The American Foxhound is a cousin to the English Foxhound, both are scent hounds and are one of the best hunting dog breeds to hunt foxes. They are an even-tempered dog, extremely athletic and can be laid-back. Foxhounds need a lot of training.


hunting dog breed

A deerhound dog kissing a woman in walking

Deerhounds are from Scotland, they are sometimes known as Scottish Deerhound. They are a sight hound and are one of the best hunting dog breeds to hunt deer by coursing. Deerhounds are particularly friendly, loving, gentle, and one of the easiest hounds to train.


the best hunting dog breeds

Spanish Greyhound looking around

Greyhounds are from England, but it is believed they originated from Egypt. These are one of the best hunting dog breeds to hunt hare, rabbit, stag, deer, foxes, boars etc. Greyhounds are best known for racing in shows; however, over the years they have steadily become very lively pets.

If you’re unsure about owning hunting dogs go to ‘Discovering the best dog breed for you‘ to start another search.