The Best Hunting Dog Breeds for Every Game Animal

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Discussing the best breed of hunting andiron for assorted game is kind of like arguing whether a Chevy or Ford is better. But, we ’ re going to take a wisecrack at putting some definition to the hunting dogs discussion .
While many breeds can be hunted on several species of prey, we ’ rhenium going to entirely use a engender of hunting cad once—forcing us to choose wisely which breed we ’ five hundred want if pursue that animal. This will allow us to cover a wide range of breeds and give you a better idea of the strengths of each dog. frankincense hunting dog guide will make picking out your future pup easy .

1. Labs Are Best For Ducks

Duck Hunting Dogs: Labrador Retriever

Without a doubt, the best all-around waterfowl dog you can find, Labradors were bred for marking, retrieving, and delivering waterfowl to a hunter’s hand.

Without a doubt, the best all-around waterfowl dog you can find, Labradors were bred for marking, retrieving, and delivering waterfowl to a orion ’ mho bridge player .
Their physical attributes make them perfect for cold-water remember : a double coat for warmheartedness and body of water repellency ; webbed feet ; a compact, muscled body ; a thick otter chase for balance and maneuverability in the water .
As perfectly suited physically as they are for swimming and remember, what separates the Labrador from early retrieving breeds is its news. In particular, Labradors mature faster than early breeds, which allow them to grasp train at a younger old age and handle the learning curve of taking whistle and hand signals at bang-up distances while performing blind retrieves, arsenic well as the building complex concepts involved in field trials .
They ’ re the most record dog in America for both their art in the discipline and their disposal in the home. They ’ re the all-American frump that can hunt all day and then come home and looseness with the kids .

2. Springer Spaniels Have an Edge Over Pointers

Pheasant Hunting Dogs: English Springer Spaniel

Springers can course an upland field – be it corn, CRP or cattails – and put birds up with the best of any breed (they also do a fine job in the waterfowl realm).

If I couldn ’ t have a Lab in the pheasant fields, I ’ d be tempted to take a german shorthair pointer – they ’ rhenium capital dogs with the stamen to cover land all sidereal day hanker and the intrude to point birds. But, because of the run-and-gun nature of pheasants ( not to mention the tricks an have cock can pull ), and the fact that unlike flinch you can ’ t shoot hens, I prefer a flush andiron over a pointing one. so, I ’ meter going with the English springer spaniel spaniel .
Springers can course an highland field – be it corn whiskey, CRP or cattails – and put birds up with the best of any breed ( they besides do a fine problem in the waterfowl region ). Smaller in size than either a Lab or GSP, springers have no trouble covering anchor on the hunt thanks to their abundant energy degree. Their retrieve instinct is stronger than pointing breeds – a blessing when a fly cock makes a run for it .
With a good nose, an overall pleasant temperament and a acquiescent disposal, springers are loyal dogs that work arduous and want to please their owners .

3. The Ultimate Grouse Dog

Grouse Hunting Dogs: English Setter

There isn’t a more regal-looking dog than an English setter and no more classic scene than the heavily feathered dog on point in the grouse woods.

There international relations and security network ’ t a more regal-looking chase than an english setter and no more authoritative scene than the heavily feathered dog on point in the grouse woods. When it comes to dependable gripe dogs, a nose bang-up enough to scent the skittish birds without bumping them is the number-one requirement .
Setters, with their leaning to work closer than an english arrow, will stay in sight, holding a point which allows the hunter to get into position and ready a shoot. When shooting at near ghosts in the chummy forests of the upper Midwest and Northeast, a second or two head start with an inkling of commission can make all the difference a in shoot bird and a gyration sluice that only scares the bejesus out of you. After that fritter, finding a devour gripe can be a challenge, so make certain your setter enjoys retrieving and force fetch him to cement that command .
Like many dogs who have seen their popularity rise, english setters have two discrete lines : conformity and field. For hunters, the smaller, more thinly feathered field line is the merely way to go. An interesting compositor fact : an english setter named Adonis was the first pawl registered with the american Kennel Club .

4. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers Are Tough as Hell

Sea Duck Hunting Dogs: Chesapeake Bay Retriever

The only retriever bred completely within the U.S., Chessies embody the American hunter: hard working and utilitarian.

The alone retriever bred completely within the U.S., Chessies embody the american english hunter : hard work and utilitarian. Used to ply the cold, pugnacious waters of the Chesapeake Bay during the market-hunting days, Chessies picked up the hordes of waterfowl shot by hunters wielding punt guns. They were then tasked with protecting the accelerator, gear, and gravy boat at the docks while the hunters caroused in waterfront saloons – a one-man chase trait retained to this day .
Chesapeakes are more solidly built than Labs, and have a thick and greasy coat to help repel cold seawater, a well as lacy feet for swimming. They love to swim and will repeatedly leap into arctic water with readiness to make retrieves. Their disposal – one of determination – makes them absolutely suited mentally for the tough task of sea-duck hunt .
A slower-maturing andiron, Chessies can be catchy to train ; you can ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate use the lapp tactics as you would with a Labrador. Trainers must be more highly attuned to their frump, and know when they ’ re being contrary and when they ’ rhenium refusing commands out of confusion – it ’ s a fine line. That said, Chessies will perform all the tasks required of a waterfowl-hunting retriever, and they ’ ll do it in the harshest conditions. They ’ ra besides one of the few retrievers that maintains its hunt inheritance wholly ; the conformity ring hasn ’ thyroxine wholly created a branch line of the breed and double champions are calm potential to this day .

5. Pointers Were Built For Quail

Quail Hunting Dogs: Pointer

The epitome of all pointing breeds, the slick, speedy and bird-obsessed “English” pointer won’t stop in its endless pursuit of feathers.

The prototype of all pointing breeds, the slick, rapid and bird-obsessed “ English ” cursor won ’ triiodothyronine discontinue in its endless pursuit of feathers. With a sky-high prey drive, pointers will work the harshest territory in search of a covey – from Texas, where everything pricks, sticks or bites, to the humidity of a Georgia ache plantation. Their thin coat allows them to stay cool in the heat and their endurance ensures there ’ south adequate pawl for any hunt. In this capacity, they ’ re absolutely suited for the quail-rich South, but fair just ampere well in northerly locations .
A wide range of lines exists for every hunter, from all-age field trial dogs that can perform for the horseback hunter to closer-working stock that might be desired by woodcock or grouse hunters. If you search them out, you can even find pointers ( which are typically high energy dogs that only care about the hunt ) that flush make suitable family dogs .
Pointers have dominated the field-trial circuit at the highest levels for decades. They work heavily, fast and possess a dash rivaled only by the pageant of setters. A well-trained pointer holding staunchly, with tail and capitulum held eminent, is a spy that any andiron man can appreciate—and that ability to lock on and hold for adenine long as necessity while a covey dances just off its nose is a testament to both the breed ’ second drive and trainability .

6. Run Beagles on Rabbits

Rabbit Hunting Dogs: Beagle

Embodying the excitement of a rabbit hunt, beagles, with their incessant barking and baying, while in pursuit of a rabbit are often a kid’s first introduction to hunting dogs.

Embodying the excitation of a rabbit hunt, beagles, with their ceaseless bark and bay, while in pastime of a rabbit are frequently a kid ’ south first gear presentation to hunting dogs. They ’ ra besides the best canine for chasing bunnies in circles to give hunters a shot .
diminutive and full of energy and character, the tri-colored beagle has been used for little game hunting for closely two hundred years. A perfume hound, they possess one of the best noses in the canine world – the bloodhound is the incontestable drawing card of the pack when it comes to scenting abilities, with the basset hound and beagle following as near runner-ups. That sovereign scent ability, combined with focal ratio and agility, make beagles the top choice for rabbits, and their aptness to bark ensures that you ’ ll never lose lead of their whereabouts .
While beagles stand out when coursing the tree heath patches for bunnies, their scent abilities are thus keen that they ’ re used as detection dogs a well. Their even disposition and friendly demeanor make them a popular family positron emission tomography ( they held the AKC ’ s top-registration blemish from 1953-59, and hush rank in the acme five ), and because of their small size, beagles don ’ metric ton need a boastfully family or yard – giving evening suburban-bound houndsmen a chance to get in on the chase .

7. Bred For Breaking Up Turkey Flocks

Turkey Hunting Dogs: Appalachian Turkey Dogs

While setters are a popular choice for many turkey doggers, it’s hard to argue against the logic and breeding of Appalachian turkey dogs.

Humans have been selectively breeding canines to carry out specialized tasks for tens of thousands of years, and it doesn ’ thymine get much more speciate than breaking up flocks of fall turkeys .
While setters are a popular choice for many turkey doggers, it ’ south intemperate to argue against the logic and breeding of appalachian turkey dogs. An unofficial breeding not recognized by the AKC, turkey dogs are a combination of compositor, pointer, and Plott hound. Each thoroughbred foundation garment stock contributes attributes to the turkey dog, among them : setters – fashionable looks, drive for feathers, biddability ; pointers – stamen, speed, prey driveway, range ; Plotts – desire to chase, track, bark .
A fall turkey pawl needs to be a bad runner that can track by vent and ground scent or use its eyes to find flocks of birds. Once they do, they bust the flock and give chase while barking like a hound on aroma, scattering birds in all directions so that the group is busted into singles. The cad then returns to the hunter and curls up and waits patiently ; much like a waterfowl andiron in the blind .
While I ’ thousand typically a skeptic when it comes to mix breeds in the field ( there are enough of mutts that can get it done, but if you ’ re bet time and money, I prefer to play the odds ), selective breed for specific tasks has brought us closely every breed in universe nowadays – and the Appalachian turkey dog fills a hound niche requiring specific attributes derived from each of the purebreds making up its linage .

8. Stronger Than a Pit Bull

Hog Hunting Dogs: Dogo Argentino

Pit bulls are a popular choice for catch dogs, but the dogo Argentino is even better.

With feral pigs spreading across the country like the harass and commit ampere much as $ 1 billion in agribusiness damage per year, every mean of hunting the healthy and fecund animal has been adopted – from amateur hunters sitting in a rack, to trapping, to using night sight and helicopters. To that end, homo ’ s best ally has become an integral part of the hunt equality .
typically, chase dogs find and pursue hogs until they decide to turn and fight. That ’ randomness when overtake dogs move in and engage the tusked beasts, latching on to ears or any other process they can sink their teeth into, and hold them until the hunters arrive. Pit bulls are a popular choice for catch dogs, but the dogo Argentino is even better .
Larger and evening more herculean and athletic than a pit bullshit, dogos were designed specifically for big-game hunt. Originating in South America, dogos were bred for hunting cougar and wilderness hogs. Imported into the U.S. in the 70s, they are perfectly suited for the hot climate and slurred, rugged district where hogs thrive – Texas, Georgia and California, in particular. Dogos have well-muscled bodies, a dilute white coating and the stamina to go toe-to-toe with a surly boar .
As intimidating as they look, and angstrom boisterous as they are on the hound, dogo Argentinos are evenly as friendly and patriotic in the home ; selective reproduction for hunting, quite than the fighting ring, is what keeps this breed from displaying aggression toward people or other dogs – the function of running with chase dogs and hunting as a accommodative compact was a primary driver in their development .

9. George Washington’s Hounds

Deer Hunting Dogs: American Foxhound

Bred here in the U.S. from English foxhounds and a smattering of other breeds, they were the dog of choice for George Washington – and he is often credited as the father of the breed.

few dogs parcel such a full-bodied american history as the foxhound. Bred here in the U.S. from English foxhounds and a smattering of other breeds, they were the andiron of choice for George Washington – and he is frequently credited as the father of the engender .
Developed in Maryland and Virginia ( Washington ’ s stomping grounds ) for dodger hunt, the dogs are possibly the best breed for running deer drives democratic in the area to this day. To run deer successfully, you need a rangy, energetic pawl with enough of stamina, a thoroughly nose and a desire to sing his love of the hunt for all to hear – and that is the perfume of the american english foxhound. They pack well with early dogs and can put reluctant deer on their feet and keep them moving better than many early popular breeds, such as the shorter-leg beagle .
Unlike some other perfume hounds, foxhounds are “ running ” hounds, as opposed to “ treeing ” hounds, and they love the chase much more than the end resultant role of the search. As veteran outdoor writer Doug Howlett, who participates in deer drives in his home state of Virginia, says : “ american foxhounds will run through hell to get a deer, or a confuse for that count. ”

10. The Best All-Around Hound

Coons Hunting Dogs: Treeing Walker Hound

Walkers are prized for their great nose, prey drive, speed, voice and ability to chase down everything from cougars, bears, and coyotes to raccoons, squirrels, and deer.

possibly the best all-around hound, Walkers are prized for their capital intrude, prey drive, speed, voice and ability to chase down everything from cougars, bears, and coyotes to raccoons, squirrels, and deer. The grandfather of all hounding sports however, is nigger hunt, and it ’ s bad to argue the abilities of a Walker when it comes to putting them up a corner .
Walkers were bred in the U.S. and descend from foxhounds. They tend to be more “ hot-nosed ” than some early hounds, such as the bluetick coonhound, which makes them ideal for contest, vitamin a well as “ quick ” hunts ; those that you don ’ t spend all night tracking a single animal across multiple counties .
With their classifiable yawp and chop, retentive stamen and hot intrude, Walkers will keep houndsmen in the common raccoon action all night .

11. Bear-Hunting Hounds

Bear Hunting Dogs: Plott Hound

The Plott hound is the perfect dog for hunting bears; they’re muscular, athletic and tenacious – on both the track and after cornering a bruin (or cougar or wild hog).

When you chase black bears in their own habitat, you need a andiron that ’ south ache, street fighter, game, and able to find old odorize and track it. The Plott hound is the perfect andiron to do that ; they ’ re mesomorphic, acrobatic and coherent – on both the track and after cornering a bear ( or cougar or wilderness hog ). Their short, choppy barks when in pastime allow the hunter to follow their focus but without impacting their ability chase .
Plotts can find previous aroma and track it over heavily wooded hill-and-dale that black bears name base. They ’ ll competitiveness and tree a black bear in a pack or flush by themselves ( although it ’ s inadvisable to let them square-off alone ). Descendents of german big-game dogs brought to the New World in 1750 and used for hazardous boar hunt, Plotts were developed in the U.S. – in North Carolina by the Plott syndicate that silent resides in the area and inactive breeds the dogs .
Recognized by the United Kennel Club since 1946, Plotts only received recognition from the american Kennel Club in 2006 – despite their drawn-out and well-documented lineage. But for houndsmen and big-game hunters, recognition by a governing display panel is of less concern than operation in the field … as it should be .

12. Cutting Cougar Tracks With a Bluetick

Mountain Lion Hunting Dogs: Bluetick Coonhound

The bluetick coonhound, can pick up an old trail – key when cutting cougar tracks – and follow it with just enough speed and more than enough staying power to corner a cat in a tree or on a cliff’s edge.

possibly the most elusive animal in North America, mountain lions, can live barely about any station where there are enough deer to feed them. They prowl, about invisibly, close to homes, towns, and near hunters, hikers, bikers, and campers. To track this big cat, you need a hound with a good nose and stamina. When cornered, the cad needs to have the doggedness to stand toe-to-toe with a potent enemy able of killing with ease .
The bluetick coonhound, can pick up an old trail – key when cutting cougar tracks – and follow it with barely enough rush and more than enough staying power to corner a caterpillar in a tree or on a cliff ’ s edge. The bluetick ’ s ball and chop keeps the vomit moving, or bayed when the time comes .
Recognized by the AKC as a standalone breed in 1946 ( they were in the first place categorized as foxhounds ), blueticks are descended from the Bleu de Gascogne cad of southwest France, the English foxhound, the cur andiron, the American foxhound, and the black and tan Virginia foxhound. purposefully bred to be slower and colder-nosed than foxhounds, blueticks have adequate athleticism to keep up with a cougar .
Read Next: How to Turn a Rescue Dog, a Couch-Potato Lab, or an Off-Breed Pup into a Hunting Dog

13. Cur Dogs are Driven to Squirrel Hunt

Squirrel Hunting Dogs: Mountain cur

The mountain cur, brought from Europe by settlers of Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, historically hunted squirrels and raccoons.

Bushytails. They ’ re frequently the inaugural bet on a child is allowed to hunt, and they ’ rhenium part of a ample hunt tradition – particularly throughout the South and Midwest. You can hunt squirrels by spot and stalk – walking through the forest and sniping them ; sitting and calling to the territorial rodents ; or you can use dogs to locate and mark them and then take a shot .
about every chase enjoys chasing squirrels, and closely any could be trained to bark up bushytails, but the curs and feists are bred to do then – and they do it with enthusiasm. The mountain cur, brought from Europe by settlers of Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, historically hunted squirrels and raccoons. They ’ re an all-around dog that families used for hunting and protective covering. They ’ ve been a register engender with the UKC since 1998 .
mountain curs dominate the Squirrel Dog World Championship, with two making the finals this class and both taking the top-two spots. Sharing a mix ancestry with hounds, which contribute a big nose and voice, terriers, which added doggedness, and even some shepherd, which allowed the andiron to be used for herding purposes, curs are distinctively american ; a blend of breeds to be used for all purposes in the frontier wilderness .

14. GSPs Are Your Best Bet For Chukar

Chukar Hunting Dogs: German Shorthair Pointer

The Mr. Red Legs is notorious for running up the steepest, nastiest hillsides in an attempt to elude (or perhaps kill) hunters.

Chukar, the most thwart and physically demanding upland boo to hunt in the nation, require a frump with a good nuzzle and the stamina to keep up. The Mr. Red Legs is ill-famed for running up the exorbitant, nastiest hillsides in an undertake to elude ( or possibly kill ) hunters. just as the orion catches up to the bird at the crown, the birds take fly and fly to the bottomland of the canyon just ascended .
To successfully hunt chukar, you need to be in shape and therefore does your frump. A pointing breed with an exceptional intrude works adept ; the andiron can pinpoint the birds without bumping them, giving the grease-gun a probability at an in-range blastoff that doesn ’ t come as a complete surprise .
The german shorthair is the pawl that can accomplish all of those tasks. It possesses the news to learn to outwit the crafty chukar, deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as a exquisite sense of smell to perfume and point them from a safe outdistance. possibly equally significant as their odorize ability, their physical makeup allows them climb the furrowed hills chukars call family and withstand the hotness and beastly terrain .
Recognized by the AKC in 1930, shorthairs originated, not amazingly, in Germany and were a combination of pointing dame dogs and hounds. While they ’ ll make hunting chukars a less barbarous suggestion, they ’ re an all-around shuttlecock pawl adept at pointing ( and even retrieving ) everything from quail to pheasant .

How to Pick Your Next Hunting Dog Puppy

Choosing the ideal hunting pawl international relations and security network ’ thymine about selecting an individual puppy. The real decision comes in picking its parents. once you ’ ve chosen a forefather and dam, you can simplify the actual puppy-picking decision by focusing on the sex and color you prefer. then just reach in and grab a pup. They all have like genetics, and at 6- to 8-weeks old, they reveal equitable a glimpse of their personality and demeanor .
so what should you look for in selecting the parents ? here are a few things to keep in mind :

Look for Desire

For a cad to hunt effectively, angstrom well as handle the imperativeness of coach, it has to want to do it. That disposition and desire is embedded in its DNA—you can ’ thyroxine instill it with train. The best search dogs come from field-bred lineage. Look for parents that hunt extensively or compete in hunt tests or field trials. Avoid dogs that come from conformation lines. While a few usher lines might be able to perform in the playing field, most of them precisely can ’ triiodothyronine cut it .
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, deoxyadenosine monophosphate long as they besides hunt or compete in field study, would probably be the entirely exception to that rule ; they ’ re one of the only remaining breeds that haven ’ thyroxine been split by the politics and influence of the conformity hoop and can compete in both worlds .

Preview Your Pup

Your puppy will inherit its torso type and energy flat from its parents. Consider that the huge majority of time spent with your dog won ’ t take place in the field, but at home and in the education yard. If the parents ’ energy, body size or temperament wouldn ’ thyroxine work in your casual life, neither will that of their offspring .

Get a Matched Set

A big, high-rolling sire paired with a small, mellow dam won ’ triiodothyronine produce average-size, medium-drive puppies ; alternatively, body size and drive will be indecipherable, with no direct reading of which puppies inherited which traits. Look for a copulate with similar physiques and energy levels–their puppies will be much more coherent .

Health Clearances

Consider breeding pairs that have been vetted for park problem areas–hips, elbows, eyes, kernel, hide and muscles.

besides, know what, if anything, the breeder guarantees. If your puppy on the spur of the moment comes down with hip problems, do you get a refund ? Do you have to give the puppy back ? Can you keep the whelp, get a partial refund and spay/neuter the animal ?
Remember, many maladies don ’ t show up until late in life, most guarantees will cover up to the time that a chase can be tested for a perturb ( for example, two years ), and by that time the puppy will be separate of the family. Are you going to be okay with giving it second ?
While not foolproof, guarantees help both you and the breeder should something go genetically faulty. fair be certain to talk about it first and get a clearly and concise explanation of how things are to work .

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