Top 10 Hunting Dog Breeds

Best hunting dog breeds

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Dogs make great pets and excellent hunting companions. However, not all dogs can be expected to hunt with you. Your toy poodle will not be a great match up when you’re out in the woods tracking your prey.

However, with that being said, there are many top breeds that are perfect to take hunting with you. Here we will discuss my top 10 hunting dog breeds.

First, one thing to know is that hunting dogs display traits or characteristics that give these animals the label of being good hunting dogs. You want a dog to hunt with you that is prey driven. The pup should be responsive to training and be athletic with lots of power and endurance.


English Springer Spaniels

My sister had an English Springer Spaniel because that is the kind of hound her husband always had growing up. Her dog was not only gorgeous, but she was an amazing protector as well. My brother-in-law took Sadie pheasant hunting all the time. Sadie was amazing at navigating tiny spaces as she wasn’t large in nature. As a benefit,Sadie made a great family pet. My nieces and nephews love their English Springer Spaniel because she is so friendly, yet protective too.


Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are one of the most desirable hunting breeds out there. These gorgeous canines have a cold-weather coat so they can simply lounge about outside all day long. Yet these adorable rascals are abundant of spirit, so when the chase is on, they are ready for it. These dogs work best for duck hunting, although hunters have also used them for smaller game. These labs have been identified to eat the prey they caught, so keep an eye out for that when you are hunting with them. The pups are great for household pets too.



Originating in Germany, this hunting canine has been known to kill birds to bears. In early centuries, they were renowned for hunting deer and boars. They do have very long legs that make them super fast. However, they have a calming nature about them. These dogs are super intelligent and on high alert. Weimaraners are simply gorgeous, with coats of mouse gray, silver gray, or gray. They are an athletic dog, which is why I chose to add them to my top 10 hunting dog breed list.


Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever has been touted as one of the top 10 hunting dogs by many. It made my top 10 list because they are highly distinguished pups with lots of energy that are extremely simple to raise. They are extremely faithful to their masters. Golden retrievers are well recognized for being amazing pets for children.

This sporting pooch is highly loving, extremely friendly, and super playful. Golden Retrievers live 10-12 years. They prefer to chew on things, so it is helpful to have chew toys available for them.

Golden Retrievers are easily excited, but gentle. They prefer to be with others rather than alone. They do well with other dogs and cats too.


Chesapeake Bay Retriever

This dog loves the water and is remarkably happy even after spending all day hunting. These pups are highly energetic when hunting for ducks. They are known to be very affectionate and have a life expectancy of 10-12 years. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are Light Brown, Dark Brown, Tan, Deadgrass, Brown, and Sedge in color. Females generally weigh between 55 to 71 pounds while males weigh 65 to 80 pounds.

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers should have obedience training as they can be stubborn in nature. They are wary of strangers and do need quite a bit of exercise.



Beagles are highly energetic pooches that are great for smaller victims, such as rabbits. They run very fast and easily excited. This breed of dogs lives between 12-15 years. Males tend to weigh between 22-24 pounds while females are 20-22 pounds. Beagles are generally friendly to strangers and are very kid-friendly. They also do not mind other pets.

Beagles are truly loving and outgoing. These scenthounds are difficult to housetrain, and may possess from time to time a stubborn streak. The Beagle should never be teased with food as they tend to take eating very seriously.


English Setter

An English Setter can be a wonderful bird hunting dog. While they are hunting dogs, many English Setters are also show dogs. English Setters are prey driven, display a wanderlust potential, and have a high energy level. They require lots of exercise and have the potential for playfulness.

English Setters live between 10-12 years. While they are very affectionate and intelligent, they can also be mischievous. They are extremely sweet to both children and strangers.



This bird dog is an invaluable companion and comes in many variations that are close to this class, such as the German Shorthair Pointer. Quails and pheasants are hunted with vigor. Pointers are very affectionate and friendly and are easy to train. They have a high energy level, so therefore need to be exercised a great deal. They are kid and pet friendly as well. They are prone to allergies, as well as epilepsy. Pointers have a life expectancy of 12 to 17 years.


American FoxHound

As their name suggests, the American FoxHound was first bred for fox hunting. They are great for hunting large prey, such as deer. These kind and loyal dogs 10-12 years. American FoxHounds are very easy going, but they do require a lot of exercise. If the owner can not provide this for them, they may become destructive. I have also seen where this breed can become easily depressed. If you decide an American FoxHound is the right choice for you, consider adding a large fenced in area in your backyard for them if you do not already have one. They will also love to go for runs or jogs with you.

You should also know that American FoxHounds can be very stubborn and have a hard time changing the way they were trained. These prey-driven dogs are very independent and require the owner to be patient with them at all times.



I am not a huge fan of raccoons. I have known some people to have them as pets, but it is just not my thing. Where I live, it is right on the town/country line. So therefore, I get the best of both worlds. Which means raccoons. However, last year, I decided a coonhound may be of great interest to me.

Coons had been visiting our yard and killed three of our baby kitties. We brought home Lady Ella, and let me tell you, she is fierce and loyal when it comes to coons. I do not think that we will ever have to worry about coons invading our space again. This is why coonhounds make my list of the top 10 hunting dog breeds.

There is not really a right or wrong decision when it comes to hunting dogs. These are just the top 10 breeds that I have seen in the past few years. You have to make the call based on what you want. No matter what, you need to make sure you will put in the time and effort with the dog so they are not lonely and get the proper exercise amount.

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