Hunting is one of the most primitive and long lived human activities. Over the years, the symbiotic relationship of hunter and canine companion has been celebrated and honed to a perfect craft. Sporting breeds have natural abilities and instincts that make them feel right at home wading through rough terrain, flushing out fowl, or retrieving prey. When searching for the perfect hunting partner, be on the lookout for a dog with stamina, an impeccable sense of smell, intelligence, and courage. Consider getting one of these top hunting breeds to ensure your faithful friend is up to the task. Happy hunting!
This spunky breed will point and retrieve while keeping a smile on your face at the same time. Not only are they upbeat and a delight to be around, they are incredibly smart and eager to learn. So, go ahead and mold them to your fancy. It’s always a treat to watch a Brittany at work!
This breed gladly helps you bag some birds, and looks good while doing it. With flowing mahogany fur, the Irish Setter may seem like more of a show dog than a gritty hunter. But these athletes know how to track fowl with the best of them. They are easily trainable and are also pawsome companions.
It’s no secret that Goldens are known as being the ideal family pet. But don’t pigeonhole this pup just yet. Like their name suggests, they are actually amazing retrievers and would be a welcome addition to any hunting party. With a razor sharp sense of smell and a well-rounded athletic prowess, this breed will strike fear into all kinds of feathered friends.
This list would be incomplete without the ever faithful Spring Spaniel. When it comes to Springers, flushing and retrieving is the name of the game. Often used for duck and pheasant hunting, these pups can rival any retriever. Although they aren’t as large as other hunting breeds, Springers can definitely hold their own. Plus, they make exceptional family pets.
Another type of Coonhound that can tree animals is the Bluetick. This floppy eared, salt and pepper coated canine can also boast night hunting as one of its skills. Their noses operate on overdrive, and they are known for howling while on the hunt. Off the clock, Blueticks are sweet companion animals that love hanging out with the fam.
What do you get when you combine intelligence, courage, and speed? A Treeing Walker Coonhound, of course! This breed doesn’t trifle with birds or rabbits; it goes for the big leagues like raccoons, bobcats, or even bears. Once an animal is found hiding in a tree, these dogs put their paws on the trunk and point up. That’s woofin amazing!
These pups look like oversized beagles. With longer legs and fuller frames, they are able to chase down larger animals, like, well, foxes. This particular kind of foxhound has been around since colonial times and is native to America. Although they are bundles of energy, with daily exercise they make great family pets. If you don’t mind their unique howl, that is.
At home, the Beagle can be silly and playful. But set them loose in the woods, and they get right down to business. Once they pick up a scent, the world around them seems to disappear and they charge ahead until the job is done. Often used for hunting rabbits, this breed never ceases to amaze.
If you want to make a German Shorthaired Pointer happy, ask them to point. Watch for their signal and you’ll know exactly where to find a pheasant or grouse. Their short hair stays bur free, yet somehow manages to keep them warm during the fall hunts. And with plenty of exercise and love, they make pawsome house pets.
One of the most recognized bird dogs, labs make furrific hunting companions. With endless energy, labs don’t tire easily and can definitely go the distance. To see a lab on point, is to see a master at work. The best part about them is after a long day traipsing through the wilderness, the lab can easily revert back to being the ideal family pet.