Best Dog Breeds For Hunting

Dogs have played an important role in the lives of humans since ancient times. Whether they are for companionship or for working, dogs are extremely loyal pets and are highly intelligent. Dogs can make great hunting partners. Some breeds have been bred for the purpose of hunting, and are typically better at the sport than other types of dogs. Some breeds also possess the natural instincts that make for a successful hunting dog. The following are some best dog breeds for hunting, and the traits that make them such.


Best dog breeds for hunting:


beagles cute

Beagles are one of the top hunting dogs. The hound has an amazing sense of smell. They’re known to always follow their nose. Beagles are very independent, alert, and have determination and perseverance. They enjoy running and chasing, and are highly energetic. Beagles naturally directs the prey toward the hunter.

Labrador Retriever.


Labs are highly intelligent and have a good temperament. They have a cold weather coat and are good for hunting in all seasons. When fully trained a lab can retrieve game and return it to you without further harming it, and can be trained to retrieve live game as well. Originally bred for waterfowl hunting, Labrador Retrievers are best for hunting duck and small game.

American Foxhound.

American Foxhound dog breeds

This hound is bred to hunt foxes, hence the name. They are independent and will follow any scent without command. Just like all hounds, they follow their nose. The American Foxhound is high energy and agile. They’re good for tracking, and deer hunters use them because of their running skills.

Fox Terrier.

Smooth Fox Terrier

Also great for fox hunting, as the name suggests. Fox terriers are short with powerful frames. Their small bodies allow them to fit into small, tight places. Their legs are long, giving them speed. They’re known to chase wild animals into burrows and dens.



Best for bird hunting. Because of their short fir, they do best in warmer climates. As the name suggests, Pointers find nd point out the location of birds. They are highly athletic, strong, and alert.

Golden Retriever.

Breed golden retriever

Great for small prey, Golden Retrievers retrieve instinctively. Unlike hounds and other types of hunting dogs, they don’t flush out the game for you, they retrieve it for you. They are easily trained and highly intelligent. Known as a family dog, they are perfect if you are hunting with children.



Bloodhounds have an exceptional sense of smell. They are known for their tracking abilities. They were originally bred for hunting deer and boar. Bloodhounds also have a reputation for working with police and law enforcement.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever.


This dog was bred for duck hunting in the Chesapeake bay and are historically used to retrieve waterfowl. They are water-loving and great for long, full days of hunting. They are also noted for their courage and willingness to work.



With long, fast legs, these dogs are good for bird hunting such as pheasant and quail. They were originally used for big game hunting such as deer.


black and tan coonhound

As the name suggests, the coonhound is best for raccoon hunting. As all hounds, their sense of smell is exceptional and they rely more on scent than on sight. Because they always have their nose to the ground, they are best for hunting animals that hide near the ground. Coonhounds will bark and keep its pray until hunters arrive.

Irish Setter.

Irish Setter

Irish setters are known for fall turkey hunting. They’re best used for wide range and have an excellent sense of smell to locate the bird. Irish setters will hold a pointing position to alert hunters as to which direction the bird lies.



This hound is fearless in nature. It’s known for it’s sensing and tracking ability. The dachshund is best in fields and for hunting small prey such as badger and birds. Because of it’s size and short stature, it’s best for chasing burrow dwelling animals.

Spanish Water Dog.

Spanish Water dog

As the name suggests, this dog is best for hunting water fowl and game. The Spanish Water dog is highly intelligent, extremely easy to train, and agile. It has a strong herding ability and a good work ethic.


If you enjoy hunting, bringing your dog along on the journey can be a rewarding experience. Time spent with your dog will strengthen your bond. If you have a dog that is known for their unique hunting abilities, before you set out into the wilderness, make sure you and your dog are properly equipped. A hunting knife is essential as you will need it for any game your dog retrieves or catches for you. You’re going to want to make sure your dog has plenty of food and treats for the day, and clean water to drink. Bring a water bottle for yourself, and one to re-fill your dogs water bowl as needed.


Happy hunting!

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