Dogs are fantastic pets. Not only are they smart and loyal, many breeds make great hunting dogs capable of spotting, pointing to, and retrieving game from rabbits to waterfowl. I have come across many good and great hunting dogs over the years, some more talented than others. That said here is a list of the eight best hunting dog breeds in my humble opinion.
8) Pointer (or related breeds)
While the Pointer lacks the thick coat to hunt in the cold northern states they are proficient bird hunters in the warmer south. Capable of working large fields and rarely missing a bird these dogs are fairly easy to train and very adaptable to different bird hunting approaches.
7) Golden Retriever
As both loyal house protectors and adaptive small game hunting dogs the Golden Retriever is a great field companion. Easy to train and rarely gun shy they share an approach to hunting similar to the Labrador Retriever.
These dogs have an incredible nose, which is why law enforcement used to employ them for tracking convicts. They are great hunters day or night for anything from raccoons to rabbits. Not as effective at bird hunting these dogs are special purpose hunters and trackers.
With a slender and uniquely long build the Weimaraner has some unique features. They come in handy when used as a proficient upland bird hunting dog breed. This breed has been doing it for a long time and are legendary for learning and adapting to new terrain.
Small and agile the Beagle has earned a reputation as a tenacious small game hunter. Able to get into areas where larger hunting breeds may struggle the Beagle is adept at flushing out game. They are also small but loyal family dogs.
3) Coonhound breeds
As their name implies these dogs mean business when it comes to addressing a raccoon hunt, or for eradicating them from areas where they are a problem. With powerful noses and a tenacity for treeing animals they are the benchmark for night time hunting. Many are also great rabbit hunting dogs as well.
2) Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Bred for cold waterfowl hunting on the Chesapeake bay, these retrievers are renowned swimmers as well. They can handle the toughest Northeast winds while obediently waiting to go out after birds. If you are into waterfowl hunting these are a great pick.
1) Labrador Retriever
Sure it likely helps or perhaps biases me that I own a Lab Retriever. She like her counterparts is a fantastic swimmer and retriever of ducks, geese, quail, you name it. They have an ability to handle cold weather and water while rarely giving up on a downed bird.
There it is everyone, some food for thought when considering your next hunting dog puppy purchase. Questions you should be asking are what kind of game you prefer to hunt and in what region you live. These should influence which dog breed you choose, but any on this list will likely be amazing hunters and companions.