Top Ten Hunting Dog Breeds You Need To Know

Hunting with dogs is an excellent experience. Dogs love hunting as much as humans do. Plus, they can make the task easier for the hunter.

Here are the top ten hunting dog breeds which can help you for your next hunt trip.

1. Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Named after the Chesapeake Bay and prized for being strong swimmers, this breed of retrievers can be traced back to the 19th century. An American ship rescued a shipwrecked English Brig and found one black and one red Newfoundland puppies. The puppies proved to have excellent water retrieving skills, and thus gained popularity among the people.

Perfect for long days of hunting, these intelligent dogs are perfect companions for hunters expecting a lot of water contact. These animals have a solid build, and they are not afraid of brutal terrains dirt or water. Thus, this is the best dog for sea-duck hunting.

2. Beagle

Beagles can be traced back to 1475, and the name may have originated from “begueuele” –the French word for “open throat.” Henry VII raised glove beagles, Queen Elizabeth I had 8-inch pocket beagles, and the modern breed gained popularity in America during the 1830s.

top ten hunting dog breeds

Dubbed as an iconic hunting dog in the United States, Beagles are professionals when it comes to rabbit hunts. These dogs have a strong nose which is also why they make excellent detection dogs. When on a hunt, beagles love barking which helps hunters know where they are on the trail. Plus, if you need some happiness in your love, you need this dog since they are always in a cheerful mood.

3. Bluetick Coonhound

The Bluetick Coonhound is a breed derived from the English Coonhound. It was only during the 1940’s that it was recognized as a separate breed. The dog is covered in blue spots which look like ticks, hence, the name of the dog breed.

top ten hunting dog breeds

These dogs can stand up to big enemies including mountain lions. Given the level of athleticism these dogs have, hunters love them for their stamina, power, and sense of smell. While these dogs are rare in urban areas and they are more common in rural communities.

4. English Pointer

Originating from England back in the 1600’s, this dog breed got its name from pointing where the prey is during a hunt. This breed is quite popular, and their genetic makeup is a combination of other popular hunting breeds, namely: setting spaniels, bloodhounds, greyhounds, and foxhounds.

top ten hunting dog breeds

While these dogs make great partners when hunting in big countrysides, inexperienced trainers might find pointers too difficult to handle. These canines are quite energetic when hunting for prey, but they are not too resilient in cold climates due to their thin coats.

5. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers can be traced back to Newfoundland where the large Newfies were bred with the small water dogs. This gave birth to medium-sized retrievers which were ultimately imported supposedly by the second Earl of Malmesbury.

top ten hunting dog breeds

Labs don’t have issues with getting wet. While they are best for hunting ducks, they can be helpful when you hunt small game. Dubbed as the “ultimate” hunting dog, these dogs are energetic canines with a thick coat perfect for cold weather.

Besides hunting, Labs are also suitable for hiking trips. ​Due to its desire to explore and friendly temperament, they are excellent partners for long trails.

6. American Foxhound

George Washington was credited as the father of the American Foxhound which was bred from the English Foxhound. These dogs were developed in Virginia and Maryland, and they are excellent for fox hunting.

top ten hunting dog breeds

These canines love the chase more than capturing the prey, which is why they are often referred to as the “running” hounds. These dogs have a lot of stamina and a good nose. American foxhounds are known for doing everything they can to catch their prey.

7. Wire Fox Terrier

The Wire Fox Terrier can be traced back to England to 17th century England. This breed is great with children, and they can grow up to 20 lbs. Although many hunters are not using these breeds for the chase, this breed remains to be one of the best canines for going after foxes.

top ten hunting dog breeds

Fox hunting with this dog breed is convenient since these canines have small bodies and they have a smooth, wirehaired coat. These dogs also have long legs which allow them to keep up with the foxes. Aside from that, the wire fox terriers are great with kids, so they also act as the perfect home dogs.

8. Bloodhound

The Bloodhound is believed to be the descendants of the hounds at the Abbey of Saint-Hubert in Belgium. In fact, the name of this breed in French is Chien de Saint-Hubert. These dogs were used in hunting for wild boar and deer. However, during the Middle Ages, they were used to track people.

top ten hunting dog breeds

Bloodhounds are ruthless when it comes to hunting thanks to their strong tracking smell and sensitive noses. Today, we often use bloodhounds to track people, and the bloodhounds always take the lead in a dog pack.

9. Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel got its name from the fact that dogs of this breed used to hunt Woodcocks. This breed can be traced back to the late 19th to early 20th century in the United Kingdom. Ultimately, this dog breed was brought to the United States where their hunting abilities expanded.

top ten hunting dog breeds

Cocker Spaniels mostly accompany hunters who are hunting small birds. These dogs have a beautiful coat which needs constant attention which is why many owners opt to cut it short to make grooming easier.

10. English Setter

Considered to be a better hunter than the Irish Setter, the English Setter can be traced back to the 14th century. This breed was developed from the spaniel, and they were specifically designed to find and set birds. Due to the original intent of the breeders, it used to be called the Setting Spaniel.

top ten hunting dog breeds

English Setter can either be wirehaired or longhaired. This dog breed makes the perfect gun dogs, and they are popular for bird hunting. Aside from games, they are also used for retrieving small game.

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