The best hunting dog breeds

Dogs have been the quintessential hunting companions for a long time and studies have managed to categorize them, in order to more easily understand the skills and abilities of each one, in addition to their characteristics. This could help you decide which hunting dog is best for the situation.


Hunting dogs are basically dogs that have been trained to assist humans during hunting sessions in open spaces. They can be divided into several categories based on the environment in which certain breeds perform best, as well as based on their qualities and contributions to the activity.

Consequently, big and small game dogs can be classified into their respective categories, helping both hunters and breeders to get to know their pets better, regardless of the purpose of their breeding and training.


Characteristics of the hunting dog

Hunting dogs and their representative species often have in common a variety of characteristics that make them stand out from the rest, as well as certain necessary qualities that allow them to unleash their instinct:

  •  Smell

Smell is an essential sense in hunting with dogs, since that of these animals exceeds hundreds of times the olfactory capacity of a human, making them very useful for tracking prey scents.

  •  Instinct

Another of their main characteristics is that they have a strong hunting instinct, which can lead them to ignore difficult weather conditions, fatigue or obstacles in the environment. They are dogs with a lot of energy and love for their search.

  • Force

As expected, the best hunting dogs are strong dogs, with high physical resistance and toughness to withstand work in difficult environments. They are generally breeds already adapted by natural evolutionary means.

  •  Bark

As for barking, hunting dogs generally use them under certain states or scenarios and, more than anything, to communicate with their owner. It can be applied when finding prey or asking for help if you need it.

  • Size

In general, hunting dogs are medium to large in size, but with a good body size that makes them agile and fast, so that they can fully fulfill their purposes.

  •  Courage

The character of the hunting dog is classified as brave, capable of facing adversity instead of fleeing and biting when the prey is vulnerable to ensure its capture.

  • Initiative

When we speak of “initiative” we refer to the creativity that a hunting dog may instinctively have to carry out its task, or even free itself from a complicated situation; which can occur more often than you think when practicing hunting with dogs.


types of hunting dogs

Hunting dogs can be categorized into different types, if the environment in which they perform best is evaluated, as well as their strongest points to be used in the hunt. Below, you will find the most important information about each of the types of hunting dogs.

  • Tracker

The tracker is characterized by having as its main function to provide its powerful sense of smell for hunting all kinds of prey. They are the category that includes the greatest variety of breeds in terms of size and colors, apart from being able to work both alone and in groups.

  • Debt collector

The retriever is that hunting dog that has been trained to be able to go for the prey and bring it to its owner without causing any damage. It is especially practical in difficult terrain or where distances can be moderately long.

  • Whippet

The greatest and most representative characteristic of a sighthound hunting dog is its speed, since they have a slender shape that gives their body aerodynamics, allowing them to reach high speeds of movement and making them very efficient in fast hunting.

  • Sample

Pointing dogs have been trained to indicate to the hunter the direction or location of the prey sought through stillness, that is, they adopt a specific position, previously learned, to indicate that their sense of smell has located the prey.

  • Of water

They include hunting dog breeds with a particular penchant for water and aquatic water environments, forgive the redundancy. They are used more than anything in the practice of hunting waterfowl such as ducks and are usually medium in size.

  • Terrier

When a hunter needs to work in environments where their prey hide in burrows, the help of an English hunting dog is always welcome. Terriers are a type of canine that can perform very efficiently in small spaces. In addition, they have a lot of energy and a very bold character to overcome the instincts and reactions of the prey in the hunt.

  •  Lifter

Lifting dogs are classified this way because their attitude and temperament help the prey to come out of hiding and position itself in view of the hunter, allowing it to be caught. They are used in spaces such as, for example, plains where the dog needs to make the birds fly or in forests, to make the fox come out of its burrow.


Recognized hunting dog breeds

So that you can get a better idea of ​​which breeds of dogs are the ones that perform best in the practice of hunting, now we invite you to review this list where we will review which ones stand out in what:

  1. Beagle

The Beagle breed is of European origin, appearing in specimens that range from medium to large in size, with slightly shorter legs than those of the Foxhound, to whom they closely resemble. However, their ears are more woolly and soft to the touch.

As a hunting dog in the hound category, the Beagle stands out for its excellent sense of smell and speed, being widely used in hunting hares and rabbits, to name a few. Their weight can range from 11 to 25 kilograms depending on their size and they have fur with large spots that range in color from white, black and brown.

  1. Foxhound

The Foxhound is a breed of hunting dog that stands out for its large size and long legs, which makes it easy for it to travel long distances, as well as reach fast speeds when running in open fields.

They are hounds and have a fascinating sense of smell, which is used mainly for hunting foxes in forests around the world. It stands out for having a strong hunting instinct that allows it to win a high percentage of chases and tracks, in addition to enjoying high levels of energy to keep up with the different stages of the hunt.

  1. Weimaraner

Of German origin, the Weimaraner is a hunting dog widely used in humid and marshy environments, as it has a short but dense coat that keeps it protected. They are generally various shades of gray and grow to a large size, weighing up to 40 kilograms.

Their hunting performance is quite good, since they are very docile animals and easy to train, thus allowing them to take advantage of their category of retriever to handle prey without being too aggressive. On the other hand, they also do very well as guard dogs and are usually quite affectionate.

  1. springer spaniel

The Springer Spaniel has been a dog used since the days of classic hunting and today it is one of the most prominent in sport hunting. It is of English origin and has a symmetrical and slender body build, but strong, usually with long fur.

It is within the category of retriever dog and since its inception it stood out in handling prey in the field, to make it go to the trap where it would be captured, which led to its use for raising birds in fields with semi-vegetated vegetation. high where it would put them in view of the hunter.

  1. bullterrier

Of English origin, the Bull Terrier is medium to large in size, with a weight that can range from 24 to 28 kilograms in adulthood. It is an animal with a muscular and robust build that also has a very strong jaw, but with the right education it can be very affectionate and protective.

Evaluating him in the area of ​​hunting, his ancestors were used to track rodents and small hares; instinct that he still maintains today, being a skilled field hunter. He can move quickly and has a very sharp mind to foresee the actions of his prey.

  1. pointers

For hunters who enjoy catching birds, the Pointer might be the breed for you. It is a dog with short hair, athletic build, medium size and a lot of energy, which allows it to move quickly through the hunting area. At the same time it has an excellent sense of smell and vision, thus reducing reaction times when the prey is detected.

It is categorized as a collection hunting dog and its origin is English. It has a life expectancy of approximately 15 years and its fur is generally white, but with a couple of spots that can vary between brown, orange, black and other shades.

  1. Drenthe retriever

The Retriever is a collection and pointer dog, of Dutch origin, that can be easily trained and is very faithful to its owner. It can gently treat wounded prey to retrieve it from the drop point, as well as adapt to various hunting environments. It usually stays in an area close to the hunter, but can move to medium distances for tracking if necessary.

Its size is medium and it has a thin but abundant coat. However, his head is usually short and thick hair. As for the colors, this varies according to the cross and the characteristics of each of the parents, but the colors black, brown and white prevail.

  1. labrador retriever

It may be one of the best-known dogs on the list, since today it is an excellent option as a domestic companion considering its docile character, being very good with small children.

It is of British origin, medium to large in size and with a dense golden coat that can sometimes be water resistant. His build is athletic and he has a good sense of smell, making him useful in hunting various animals. Also, its excellent relationship with man has allowed it to be one of the most used breeds for drug detection, guide, rescue of victims, among other risk tasks.

  1. French Pointer

This medium-sized dog of French origin usually has a muscular body and a light weight that allows it to move quickly when hunting. Also, his sense of smell helps him identify prey easily and he is quite faithful to his master, which leads us to mention that he is excellent with children.

  1. Argentine Dogo

To finish, we find the Dogo Argentino; an imposing breed in which the male can reach 45 kilograms in weight and the female 43 kilograms. They are prey hunting dogs, fast and very athletic. They have a natural hunting instinct and are quite obedient to learned commands.

On the other hand, it is important to emphasize that food for hunting dogs must be rich in protein and elements that provide energy to the dog, since, unlike domestic breeds; these burn many more calories in the day due to the intensity of their activities. In this sense, we want to point out the importance that the care of this type of animal will have and the same applies to small hunting dogs.

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