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Top Hunting Dog Breeds

At A Glance

Not every dog can be a hunter.

Finding success out in the game trails means having the perfect furry co-hunter that can hunt for or with you.

Last Updated on: Jun 20, 2022

There are different kinds of hunting dog breeds, each with its own special skill set designed for your specific need. Labs, for one, are specialized in hunting ducks, while Beagles go for bunnies.

We rounded up a list of top hunting dog breeds – and there are seven of them – to help you figure out your new hunting partner.

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American Foxhound

American foxhound
Specializing in large games, the American Foxhound is your sure bet when it comes to hunting down fox or deer. This energetic and sharply focused— not to mention adorable—canine hunter tracks with brilliant precision.

Apart from being loyal, the long-eared American foxhound has impeccable running skills. A Beagle lookalike (but taller and slimmer), they are bred for the sole purpose of hunting and tracking.

This friendly breed is also perfect as a family dog, not just a keen hunter. They are low-maintenance, easygoing, kind, and lovable to even small children.

The American Foxhound’s life expectancy is 10-12 years, They weigh an average of 45 to 75 lbs.

Also Read: Top Guard Dog Breeds

German Shorthaired Pointer

If you’re a bird hunter, you can get a lot of help from the aristocratic German Shorthaired Pointer. Known for their superb outdoor skills, the German Shorthaired Pointer is a great companion not only when you are hunting, but also when you’re hiking and swimming.

This gundog breed is no companion when you simply want to sit down and ponder your existence. Why? They are restless, excitable, and always on the go. German Shorthaired Pointer is known for its speed, endurance, and agility. They are also naturally happy workers, laboring for long days in the great outdoors.

The German Shorthaired Pointer has a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years. They weigh an average of 45-70 lbs.

Golden Retriever

golden retriever
The superstar looks of the Golden Retriever can deceive the onlooker. Do you think this beautiful and amiable breed is only suited for television or your couch? You’re wrong. Lest you forget, they’re not called “retrievers” for nothing.

The Golden Retriever’s friendly demeanor masks fierce and determined bird-hunting skills. Sharp, highly intelligent, with high stamina, they are powerful hunters. They are willing to be trained and are always game whenever you need them.

This ebullient Scottish gundog, muscular and with breathtaking lustrous golden hair, is one of the most serious working dogs on Earth. They can retrieve waterfowl nonstop for hours and exhibit an intense love for life.

The Golden Retriever’s Life Expectancy is 10-12 years. They weigh an average of 55-75lbs.

English Setter

English setter
Merry and mellow, the English Setter is also a highly efficient runner and a versatile bird dog. On top of its great and noble beauty, this talented breed with its speckled coat patterns is built to navigate challenging terrains.

With their athleticism, fierceness, and obedience, they are absolutely one of the top hunting dogs out there. They can easily fetch birds, geese, grouse, and ducks. When they catch a bird’s scent, this breed would crouch or lie down— a cue for the hunter to locate his quarry and shoot it down.

This is why they are called “setters.” Instead of pointing to the prey, they “set.” The trick to training them, however, is gentle, never harsh. Positive reinforcement is another strategy to get your English Setter to be obedient at all times.

The English Setter’s life expectancy is 11-15 years. Their average size is 24-32 lbs.


Bloodhound sitting
The detective dog. The astute Bloodhound makes them impeccable sleuths. Their famous scent-tracking skills make them highly effective helpers of law enforcement agencies in missing person cases.

This large dog is generally docile and good-natured. But put to work, this breed can find any creature that is lost— or hiding. And he doesn’t stop until he finds your quarry. They are built for large games and therefore an excellent canine friend on a game trail.

With their droopy ears and long, wrinkly face, one may get the impression that they are bored and clumsy. But they are actually experts in uneven and challenging terrains with their mighty legs.

The Bloodhound’s life expectancy is 10-12 years. Their average weight is 80-110lbs.

Also Read: Most Popular Large Dog Breeds

American Pit Bull Terrier

American pitbull terrier
Known as a nanny dog for being lovable and naturally caring for small children, the pit bull is also a dangerous breed. This is why they also serve as guard dogs.

Sweet and tenacious, this muscular breed with impressively strong jaws is one of the top hunters on the planet. They are popularly used for large games, particularly hog hunting.

Wild boars shiver with fear when the American Pit Bull Terrier is on their path. Athletic and incredibly social, the right (and loving) training can make them even better hunters.

An American Pit Bull Terrier’s life expectancy is 8-15 years. Their average weight is 30-60lbs.

English Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniel

A pheasant catcher, the gundog English Springer Spaniel’s edge is their compact size. This is why they can crawl or squeeze easily into spaces to catch your quarry.

This beautiful dog is not only one of the top hunting dog breeds out there, they are also great family dogs with their lovable nature.

The Spaniel’s life expectancy is 12-14 years. Their average weight is 20-25lbs.

top hunting dog breeds

Your decision to pick a hunting dog should rely on your specific needs. Consider their size, and whether they are sighthounds, scent hounds, or lurchers.

However, whatever hunting breed you choose, correct training is critical. Dogs vary in personality and temperament, but all of them need genuine love from you.

Their hunting skills are inherent. It’s up to the owner how to maximize it for a more rewarding hunting experience.



Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.