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Best Hunting Dog Breeds To Pet and Train

Madiha Jamal is a dog lover and loves to write articles on pets.


Dogs have been used for hunting birds and wild animals for decades and primarily housetrained by humans. We pet them for our merit or train them to assist us in hunting.

Hunting dogs have long been assisting their owners in retrieving, trailing, chasing, and fetching targets.

Hunting dogs are like rifles; they handle all the hunting chores of their owner. They look handsome while hunting antlers in spring, guarding the castle, or helping the military. Such a gem these hunting dogs are.

Today, hunting has become a necessity rather than a sport, and hunting dogs are one of the best tools any professional hunter can own. Although there are hundreds of dog breeds trained for hunting, not all breeds can serve as gun dogs. You have to find a breed that can be your perfect hunting partner.

Why Hunters Seek Hunting dog breeds?

Gun dog breeds help a hunter to identify a hunting partner as per different hunting tricks. For example, some hunting dogs are good at chasing fast prey like foxes or rabbits, some are proficient at sniffing out hiding places of animals, and then there are hog dogs for barking and attacking pigs.

Hunters always look for the best hunting dog breeds and choose one by evaluating their capabilities for particular types of hunts. Many hunters stay loyal to a specific breed, like if they pet a Labrador or an English springer spaniel, they always look for that breed in the long run.

Most common hunting dogs in the US

You can't deny the fact that if dogs are trained properly, they can be more resilient and skilled hunters than humans because they have a great sense of smell, acute hearing, and strength.

There is no one single best hunting gundog. There are multiple breeds, and when it comes to choosing your kind of hunting dog, you have to be picky.

Go through this list and find if your four-legged, furry, and loyal hunting buddy makes the list or not.

Labrador Retriever


One of the most famous gun dog breeds is the Labrador retriever. This breed has different coats including, yellow, chocolate, and black.

The Labrador retriever is the most lovable and intelligent dog.

He has a strong and muscular body, thick tail, and double coat profile.

What's special about The Labrador Retriever?

The Labrador retriever is good at listening to commands and an active learner in obedience training.

He is loyal, quick to learn tricks, and have an eagerness to please the owner.

The Lab retriever matures faster than other dog breeds.

He is the most patient dog and loves to socialize.

The Labrador is one of the ideal gundogs for hunting around water.

He possesses a soft mouth grip and retrieves the prey without ripping it off.

The Labrador is a tireless retriever, determined afield, heavy shedder, and diligent flusher.

He is also the most energetic, enthusiastic, and lovable dog you have ever pet.

Weight: 55-75 pounds.

Height: medium-sized, usually around 21-inches to 24-inches tall

Life Expectancy: 10-14 years

Nutrition: Any type of dog food with high protein and low fillers. Typical labs need 1590 kcal, senior labs require 1140 kcal, and sporting/hunting labs need 1900 kcal.

Games he plays: He loves to play in the water, enjoy swimming, watersports, hunting, hiking, long walks, jogging, or just throwing the ball on the patio.

Animals he hunts: He typically trained for birds, and any type of waterfowl, especially duck. He retrieves ropes, hauls nets, and catches fish.



The pointer is a medium-sized dog breed and has been there since around 1650.

This breed is loyal, even-tempered, and hardworking.

An athletic pointer carries the expressions of grace and devotion. He owns a beautiful coat with several colors, sometimes solid and in patterns.

What's special about Pointer?

The Pointer is a hard-driving hunting dog and has an agile attitude.

He has unmatched stamina, courage, and a desire to get-up-and-go.

Efficient in finding prey as his hunting instincts develop even when he is two months old.

He can be the best runner companion and hunt all day as he has a high-energy and endurance.

The Pointer is the calmer and contented companion one can have inside his home.

Weight: 45-65 pounds (female), 55-75 pounds (male)

Height: 23-26 inches (female), 25-28 inches (male)

Life Expectancy: 12-17 years

Nutrition: Need high-quality dog food; home-prepared food is also appropriate for pointers if you follow the veterinarian's instructions. Treats are also a favorite and essential aid in training.

Games he plays: Pointer likes to march. He enjoys tracking, field events, pointing game birds, running, and vigorous play sessions.

Animals he hunts: He is the best hunting dog for locating quarry, loves to hunt in harsh terrain or water. He hunts waterfowl and point game birds.

American English Coonhound


This breed is usually deep-chested and sweet-faced athletes. Sportsmen around the world like this breed because of its speed and endurance. His head is usually broad, with delicate, low hung ears, a domed skull, and dark-brown eyes. This hunting dog has an adorable face with sparkling eyes and kindness and warmth in his heart.

What's special in Coonhound?

American English Coonhound is racy, muscular, and sleek.

This hunting dog breed is intelligent, has incredible stamina, and stays determined all day.

He locates the prey with its scent because he is a notable tracker.

The Coonhound is diligent and tireless on the trail.

He is sweet, sociable, a fantastic family dog, and a world-class hunting dog.

This hunting dog breed is a great swimmer and can live in different climates.

He tracks his prey by forcing the animal into a tree or baying.

Weight: 45-65 pounds

Height: 24-26 inches (male), 23-25 inches (female)

Life Expectancy: 11-13 years

Nutrition: commercially manufactured, home-prepared, or high-quality dog food and treat is ideal for him.

Games or activities he likes: running, hiking, following an interesting scent, or chasing a ball in the backyard.

Animals he hunts: An American English Coonhound tracks land mammals and large animals including bears, and mountain lions.



Bloodhound has a solid appearance and superb investigative skills. He is also known as Sleuth Hound because of his strong nose. He has straight, muscular front legs, and a tail is carried high with a small curve. The coat of Bloodhound is short, hard in texture, and wrinkled. The American Kennel Club recognized bloodhound breeds in 1885 with its 14 different breeds.

What's special in Bloodhound?

Bloodhound hunting dog breed is ruthless, patient, mild-mannered, and kind with children.

He has sharp noses and unsurpassed chasing capabilities.

Many Law enforcement agencies use Bloodhound breeds to find missing persons.

He is easy-going, quiet, and can be a great companion both on and off the field.

The Bloodhound is a muscular, single-minded gundog who doesn't give up until he follows the trail to the end.

He is a drooler, tends to snuffle, and howls.

Weight: 80-100 pounds (36-45 kg) female, 90-110 pounds (41-50 kg) male

Height: 23-25 inches (58-63 cm) female, 25-27 inches (63-69 cm) male

Life Expectancy: 10- 12 years

Nutrition: The Bloodhound need high-quality dog food and high energy treats, especially when his bones are developing.

Games/activities he likes: Bloodhound loves running, long walks, chasing an interesting scent, and enjoys hiking with you.

He hunts: animals, runaway slaves, criminals, and lost children

English Springer Spaniel


He is a medium-sized, quick dog that is famous for his ability to retrieve bird prey. He has an attentive nature, which makes it easy for you to train him. He has wiry hair, wavy ears, and feathers underbelly and along the legs. Springer is gifted with symmetry, enthusiasm, style, and grace. Every inch of this sporting dog is pure beauty.

What's special in English Springer Spaniel?

One of the best qualities of this breed is his strong desire to learn and playful behavior.

He has an athletic build and tends to perform better at hunting in different weather conditions.

This breed can be your best buddy in the field while training or in the backyard while playing.

Springer Spaniel is a bird dog; he likes to track birds.

He is intelligent and has good stamina and energy.

The Springer is a giant dog and is ideal for competitive field trials.

He is very obedient, friendly, polite, and good with kids.

Weight: 50 pounds male, 40 pounds female

Height: 20 inches (male), 19 inches (female)

Life Expectancy: 12-14 years

Games/activities he likes: He loves to join family activities, long walks, chasing and fetching games, and swimming.

Animals he hunts: This rugged spaniel detects game birds in tall grass and spring or flushes the birds from their cover.

American Foxhound


The American foxhound is born to be a hunting partner. He has a heritage of loyalty and is capable of all sorts of tracking, hunting, and other sporting activities. He is an athletic and a hardworking gundog. He is easy to care for and needs a little bit of grooming. With just a little training, this breed can hone its hunting skills.

What's special in the American foxhound?

This breed is easy-going, family-friendly, kind, and loving buddy

He can be very scrappy if you deter his kindness.

An American Foxhound is a good-natured, soft, gentle, and low-maintenance hunting dog.

He has a persuasive brown or hazel color coat.

He is a sleek, long-legged hero well-known for his work ethic and endurance.

Weight: 65-70 pounds (male), 60-65 pounds (female)

Height: 22-25 inches (male), 21-24 inches (female)

Life Expectancy: 10- 13 years

Games or activities he likes: He loves to track the smelly treats, enjoys regular walks, and playing games of fetch in a yard. Running, swimming, and going on a five-mile hike is like a treat for this hunting pal.

Animals he hunts: Foxhound enjoys hunting foxes



Beagle is a playful, curious, and adorable hunting dog. He shares the same traits as the foxhound, i.e., loyalty, tenacity, and obedient behavior. Beagle is an intelligent breed and is easy to train.

This hunting dog is bred for the purpose of hunting games.

What's special in Beagle?

Beagle is a loyal companion, lovable, happy-go-lucky, and fun-loving breed.

His pleading expression is simply adorable and cute.

He loves being in a group and hunts in packs as he is an active and energetic hunting dog.

The Beagle is an "iconic" hunting dog having a strong desire to chase and hunt.

For hunting games, Beagle is a dog to own.

The Beagle does not respond to strict procedures. But, if you encourage him with patience and support, he will show a good improvement in the training session.

Weight: under 20 pounds (13 inches & under) female, 20-30 pounds (13-15 inches) male

Height: 13 inches & under, (female), 13-15 inches (male)

Life Expectancy: 10-15 years

Games he plays: Beagle enjoys puppy training classes, chasing a compelling scent, hunting in tall fields, long walk, and running.

Animals he hunts: foxes, birds, rabbits, and even small deer.

Golden Retriever


The golden retriever is an average-sized gun dog. This breed is one of the most popular hunting dogs from the retriever family. Gold retriever is one of the best hunting dogs for certain assignments, after a Labrador retriever. The majority of hunters respect this dog breed as he is perfect for certain types of hunts.

What’s special in Golden Retriever?

Aside from best hunter, he is an adorable, loyal, and trainable dog.

His loyalty and go lucky attitude is something every hunter aspires to have in his gundog.

The Gold retriever is one of the best dogs with a charming personality. He is an intelligent, kind, trustworthy, and friendly dog.

He has the ability to retrieve the target without a scratch due to his soft grip.

He can be a good friend of your children and a devoted buddy.

The Golden retriever carries a playful and merrier approach to life and maintains these puppyish manners into adulthood.

Height: female golden retrievers are 51 to 56 cm, and male dogs are 56 to 61 cm tall.

Weight: 25 to 32 kg for female dogs and 30-34 for male dogs.

Life expectancy: 10 to 12 years.

Nutrition: He eats high-quality dog food, treats full of nutrition that should be healthy for his growing body.

Games he likes: The golden retriever usually loves to play interactive games with humans. The games you can play with your furry best friend are fetching 2.0, hide and seek, DIY agility, etc.

Animals he hunts: The Gold retriever is perfect for retrieving shot waterfowl like upland game birds and ducks during hunting and shooting parties.

American Pit Bull Terrier


American pit bull terrier dog is one of the best hunting dogs in the USA. This breed has black, white, fawn, tan, blue, grey, and brown colors. He is daring and audacious, and that's why people love to train him as a gundog. He is graceful, with a springy gait that publicizes the innate confidence of this breed.

What's special in Pit Bull Terrier?

Pit bull terrier is obedient, affectionate, loyal, and strong-willed.

He is a short-haired intelligent dog and loves to cuddle.

The pit bull terrier has muscular frames and strong jaws.

With appropriate training, he can be a great hunting partner.

Many people don't know that pit bull terriers can serve as nanny dogs for toddlers.

The pit bull terrier is confident, sweet-natured, and smart.

He is a mischievous pup and an entertaining companion.

Weight: 14 to 27 kg for female dogs and 16 to 30 for male dogs

Height: 43to 50 cm for female and male dogs are 45 to 53 cm tall.

Life expectancy: 8 to 15 years

Nutrition: Nutritious food from leading dog food brands, clean water, and treats are some good diets for this hunting dog.

Games he likes: The Pit Bull Terrier is an energetic breed. Leave your Pit Bull terrier in a yard the whole day and watch him running around. The Pitbull loves to play flirt pole, tug of war, fetch 2.0, jolly ball, Frisbee toss, digging, and spring pole.

Animals he hunts: He is best known for big hunting games like baying wild cattle and hogs.

Boykin Spaniel


Every spaniel breed is ideal for hunting and Boykin spaniel is one of them. This dog breed is an expert in flushing, retrieving, and bird hunting. He is a rare breed but a best-hunting dog; serious and pro hunters love him because of his sporty nature. Boykin Spaniel breed is available in liver, brown, and chocolate colors.

What's special in Boykin Spaniel?

Boykin spaniel is a very energetic dog and loves to do hard work.

This hunting dog is rangier, avid, delightful at home, and enthusiastic at the lake.

The Boykin spaniel is fervent, friendly, intelligent, and easy to train.

He is loving and easy-going, which makes him an excellent pet.

This furry four-legged buddy is a cute pup and grows into an adorable and sturdy gundog.

Boykin can be an outstanding athletic partner for biking, hiking, running, or field events.

Weight: 14 to 18 kg for male dogs and 11 to 16 kg for female dogs

Height: female dogs are 36 to 42 cm tall, and male dogs are 39 to 46 cm tall.

Life expectancy: 14 to 16 years

Games/ activities he likes: You can play tricky and fetching games with a Boykin spaniel. He loves playing with toys that are specially designed for him.

Animals he hunts: Boykin is a dog who is excellent for waterfowl and upland hunting. He can find and flush birds (grouses and quails) in upland hunting. He likes to fish, geese, and ducks in waterfowl hunting.


madihaJamal (author) on January 07, 2021:

Thank You for appreciating the efforts.

E Randall from United States on January 06, 2021:

Very good article, I love Labs, I own 2 of them. Great dogs. Thank you for posting this.

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