There are a bunch of best hunting dog breeds out there. Picking a good one is not easy.

If you wanna own a hunting dog, you'll wonder what dog breed is best for you.

Well it depends on your demands, what you intent to hunt.

Pick  your hunting game below, I'll tell you the top one and why.

Best Hunting Dog Breeds

Quick Navigation

Best Hunting Dog Breeds According to Their Prey:

bear hunting dog breeds

Bear Hunting Dogs Breeds



Bear hunting is arguably one of the most dangerous hunting activities, and, as such, requires a dog that can handle it.

When you know you’re going into the area populated with bears, you want to have a ruthless, predatory breed like the Bloodhound by your side.

Even the name of this breed alone sounds a bit scary, doesn’t it?

The Bloodhound has a lot to offer as a hunting dog on all fronts. While it is big and bulky, it also has an acute sense of smell.

If trained properly, it will notify you when you’re approaching your wildlife prey kilometers apart - and, more importantly, it will rise to the hunting challenge.

Their fearsome nature means that they will not back up once the two of you are met with a huge bear, and that’s the paramount thing you should look for in a bear hunting dog breed.

Staying prepared and ahead of the bears is crucial here. The Bloodhound is a real enabler of the head-start!

Why is it the most suitable?

  • Physical predispositions to withstand the danger
  • Great sense of smell so that they can track down bears
  • Fearless and won’t let you down

Plott Hound

plott hound

Another excellent breed for hunting bears, and perhaps the more sophisticated one of the two, is the Plott Hound.

Why do I say “more sophisticated”?

Well, while the Bloodhound relies on its natural hunting instincts, the Plott Hound develops its hunting skills by training. It is an integral part of this breed’s development.

Training a Plott Hound to spot and track down bears should not be a problem, as they are very intelligent, prone to staying alert at all times, and agile.

It usually signals the danger with its short and sharp bark, which is extremely useful.

Be aware, though - you should provide your Plott Hound with mandatory mental and physical stimulation, as they are very perky.

The muscular build of this breed that was raised for hunting is another reason to opt for it.

They’re large and powerful dogs with strong jaws.

Ultimately, they require a lot of time outdoors and exercising.

And when you give it to them, they will give much more in return: endurance, agility, and the necessary amount of aggressiveness.

Why is it the most suitable?

  • Prey-driven and aggressive
  • Great athletic abilities
  • An intelligent hunter
coyote hunting dog breeds

Coyote Hunting Dogs Breeds

Treeing Walker Hound

Treeing Walker Hound

Winter is the main season for coyote hunting. That’s why the best coyote hunting dogs have a double coat that keeps them warm during hunting sessions.

In addition to having a low-maintenance, short double coat, the Treeing Walker Hound is incredibly swift, and one of the best breeds when it comes to running.

The success lies in the excellent ability of these dogs to pursue smells and instincts.

Do not opt for a Treeing Walker Hound if you aren’t eager to spend a lot of time on training.

They are capable of learning everything you want them to but are quite stubborn, as well.

When trained properly, this tricolored breed will successfully sense and chase down even the most skilled coyote. That’s why it is the perfect companion to have.

They are very vocal, which means you’ll be able to hear them from great distances.

Once the mission is accomplished, they will enjoy a cozy evening with you next to the fire, before they are ready for another hunt.

Why is it the most suitable?

  • High prey drive
  • Fast runners
  • Muscular

German Wirehaired Pointer

German Wirehaired Pointer

The next coyote hunting dog breed is none other than the German Wirehaired Pointer, also known as Deutsch Drahthaar.

This breed is very adaptable when it comes to hunting, and they can be useful for pretty much any animal prey.

Still, their most pronounced skills account for coyote hunting.

Thanks to their thick (usually liver and white) coats, they can tolerate really low temperatures, which coincides with coyotes’ habitat.

It’s no wonder that this dog has a good reputation among hunters.

The German Wirehaired Pointers are very tracking-skilled and can operate on any type of field.

They are truly successful at accomplishing whatever coyote hunting strategy you have for them - be it spotting coyotes, keeping it subtle, or chasing them.

Another great thing about this breed is that they are apt team players. They will frequently operate with a group of hunters.

If you go by the book, you’ll find that German Wirehaired Pointers can live up to 14 years, which is a great life expectancy.

They will be your loyal hunter partners for a long time.

Be note that they can go shed hunting for deer also.

Why is it the most suitable?

  • Still personality
  • Team players
  • Adaptable to any sort of field
deer hunting dog breeds

Deer Hunting Dogs Breeds

American Foxhound

American Foxhound

There is quite an interesting story behind this deer tracking dog breed, the American Foxhound.

Namely, they were bred as domestic American hunting dogs by George Washington, who was an avid hunter. And, at the time, he had as many as 36 American Foxhounds!

Judging by its name, you would think that the main purpose of this breed is catching foxes. You wouldn’t be entirely wrong.

Even though that was their original purpose, though, nowadays, they are mainly used for deer hunting.

American Foxhounds are very fast, resilient, and disciplined.

Because of their great level of stamina and persistent will, they make for excellent hunting dogs.

These hunting dogs are also really energetic, so they demand lots of activity.

With an American Foxhound, you always have a great training companion!

They have a hard texture coat that protects them from the shrubs that they can encounter during the hunt.

Another good thing about their coat is that it doesn’t request a lot of maintenance.

With their sharp nose, sensitive ears, and keen eyesight, they will spot the deer miles apart!

Why is it the most suitable?

  • Energetic
  • Disciplined during the hunt
  • Superb sensory system



Another German hunting breed, second on our list, is the Weimaraner, known as the “Silver Ghost” because of its distinctive coat.

This unusual-looking hunting breed is an expert when it comes to hunting and targeting larger prey, so deer hunting comes naturally to them.

Weimaraners are massive and dynamic dogs, which can be observed right away. But above all, they are amazing allies and a very bright breed!

Considering that they have such an energetic temperament, you will have to expose them to a lot of physical activity.

These dogs can get on well with other dogs.

Because of their hunting instincts, though, you should keep them away from other pets.

However, they like being around people and need a great deal of human interaction.

If you’re planning on getting this dog, you should have a large enclosed backyard to stop them from wandering.

Another thing you should know before getting involved with this breed is that they don’t like being alone for a long interval of time.

So, dedicate a lot of your time to a Weimaraner if you don’t want them to get high-strung!

Why is it the most suitable?

  • Experts in hunting big game
  • Dynamic
  • Instinctive prey drive
duck hunting dog breeds

Duck Hunting Dogs Breeds

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

Although the Labrador Retriever might not be your first association when you hear “hunting,” they are actually pretty skilled when it comes to duck hunting.

So, what makes Labs excellent hunting dogs?

Their liveliness and enthusiasm, mostly.

They might not be the most skilled out of all dog hunting breeds, but they are more than eager to take on any task that you throw at them.

So, the key to making your Lab your hunting partner is persistent training. Only then will they be able to hunt down ducks and flush them so that you can shoot them.

What is the primary benefit of having a Lab as your hunting dog?

Well, they will, above all, be your friends and create a special bond with you.

In the beginning, it might be incompetent, but as it learns and progresses, it will be more than happy to make you satisfied with hunting deeds!

And if you persist with training and affection, the two of you are definitely going to succeed

Twenty minutes a day is the right amount to make your Lab Retriever a skilled duck hunter!

Why is it the most suitable?

  • Eager to perform any task that its owner wants
  • Has a lot of learning potential
  • Water-repellent coat

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is an excellent water retriever (as you can probably tell by its name) with impeccable fetching skills - ideal for duck hunting.

They adore water and aren’t scared to take on any challenge that includes water contact and swimming.

Because of their wooly undercoat that contains natural oils that help them in cold water, they can spend a long period of time in the water to retrieve ducks.

In all honesty, if you compare them with the other duck hunting breed on our list, the Labrador, they win.

It is precisely because of their athletic build and persistent coat that they are more adaptable to water and water retrieving than Labrador Retrievers.

On the other hand, they are more prey-driven and aggressive, so if you want a loving and more obedient pet, Labs are still your first choice.

However, this breed is very protective of their owners and will make you feel safe all of the time!

The two of you will make a special commitment, for sure, though your Chesapeake Bay Retriever might get a little boisterous from time to time.

Why is it the most suitable?

  • Fast movement in the water
  • Athletic build
  • Protective
chukar hunting dog breeds

Chukar Hunting Dogs Breeds

English Setter

English Setter

Another dog breed with a remarkable history is the English Setter.

This is one of the oldest breeds that have been used for hunting. Its history goes back to the 14th century, which is pretty amazing, don’t you think?

Just by looking at it, you can notice how elegant and noble it is! That impression is partly due to its long, silky, and wavy hair.

The English Setter is one of the most popular hunting dogs for dealing with birds, mostly engaged in fields, and for retrieving small prey.

As it is a dog that is very eager to please its owner, you won’t have any difficulties while training them.

They also have a really nice temperament, and they are energetic, friendly, and outgoing.

One thing we want to note, though, is that the English Setter isn’t exactly the breed that has high stamina.

If the hunt lasts more than two or three days in a sequence, their legs get sore from running and walking on the rocks.

Why is it the most suitable?

  • Fast reactions
  • Easy to train
  • Well-behaved

Field Spaniel

Field Spaniel

The Field Spaniel is an easily recognizable breed due to its unique shiny coat and their long, fluffy ears.

However, don’t be deceived by their looks; this dog belongs to a breed that has been bred for hunting for a long time.

Their specialty is flushing and retrieving birds, but chukars are where they get to shine.

Compared to some other birds, chukars are not that difficult to get pointed but are hard to trace down.

That’s why both of our best chukar hunting breeds are good runners!

Another positive thing about the Field Spaniel is that they tend to be really careful when it comes to strangers.

Hence, this dog also makes a great guardian in the field.

They are more durable than the English Setter, so they are more likely to perform better in the long hunt on physically demanding terrain where chukars can be found.

In summary, the Field Spaniel has all the capacities to be a great hunter, retriever, and tracer while being a loving, caring family pet and a guardian.

Such a combo is hard to find nowadays!

Why is it the most suitable?

  • High stamina
  • Great tracer
  • Not demanding
racoon hunting dog breeds

Racoon Hunting Dogs Breeds

Mountain Cur

Mountain Cur

The Mountain Cur is a remarkable and distinctive breed that most likely originated in Europe and was brought to the US, precisely for hunting and protection from raccoons.

Something that makes it different from most of the other hunting breeds is its distinctive and clear bark that you will be able to hear from a long distance.

When they hunt, they do it gracefully, in a courageous manner that is pure art to watch.

These canines will never leave you alone! No matter what the situation is, they will always be by your side and stay loyal.

Besides being a great hunter, the Mountain Cur makes a great watchdog, too.

While training them, they will be seeking a lot of human involvement. And as for their activity needs, you will have to step up your game!

This dog is far from a couch potato; in fact, it craves physical and mental exercises.

So, it requires an experienced owner with a strong hand, who can offer firm guidance.

Why is it the most suitable?

  • Capable of running for a very long time
  • Distinctive bark
  • Loyal

Black and Tan Coonhound

black and tan coonhound

The Black and Tan Coonhound is pretty fast, and thus able to cover lots of ground with no trouble.

They will always be ahead of you, pointing out the tracks left by the raccoons.

Although they are mainly used for trailing and treeing raccoons, because of their courage and bravery, it’s actually common to see them with hunters who hunt the big game.

We’ve even seen people who hunted mountain lions with the Black and Tan Coonhound!

Still, coons are their specialty.

With their sharp eyes and reliable scent, these dogs will be able to detect a raccoon from a long distance. And they are good at night hunting, as well.

Because of their short but dense coat, they are able to tolerate both winter and summer hunting seasons.

Lastly, they are characterized by an active nature. You will have to train this dog on a daily basis, as they are used to dynamic exercise.

It will potentiate all of their skills. The only thing they require before they become avid coon hunters is patience!

Why is it the most suitable?

  • Can easily cover a lot of ground
  • Good at night hunting
  • High treeing instinct

Fox Hunting Dogs Breeds

Fox Terrier

Fox terrier

Dogs are usually bred for a certain type of game, and over time, they develop other preferences and skills and become mostly used for another animal.

But the Fox terrier stayed true to what it was originally bred for in 17th-century England: chasing and hunting foxes.

Fox Terrier is a natural hunter, famous for its courage and persistence. Like any terrier, they also have the unmistaken prey drive and hunting instinct.

The American Kennel Club distinguishes two breeds of this dog: smooth and wirehaired. Both of them are equally successful in hunting.

This breed is also an excellent alert dog. Hearing a minimum noise or noticing subtle scent can trigger them!

They will always let you know if an unfamiliar person is approaching you or your house.

So, the Fox Terrier is a dog that will do great both as your family pet and dog for the hunt.

Why is it the most suitable?

  • Alert
  • Obedient
  • Elevated prey drive

Brittany Dog

Brittany Dog

Energetic and friendly, the Brittany Dog is the best pick for the hunters that are active and have more spare time to dedicate to the training of this dog.

If they are given enough training and discipline, they are equivalently good at chasing foxes like the Fox Terrier (though they require more diligence).

If you want to get this dog, it would be better to do so while it's still a puppy.

In that way, you could make them obedient and social on time because if they are older, that could be a hard task!

You should start with the training right when you get it, as this breed needs a lot of activity - be it long walks, hikes, or jogging and running.

Being smaller and closer to the ground from other pointers, they will be quicker and more able to transition from different types of fields and run through bushes and trees.

You may not know this, but they are often referred to as “Brittany Spaniels.”

However, in 1982, the American Kennel Club officially left out the suffix from its name because they do not bear enough resemblances to spaniels.

Why is it the most suitable?

  • Energetic
  • Quick-witted
  • Very trainable
grouse hunting dog breeds

Grouse Hunting Dogs Breeds

Cocker Spaniel

cocker spaniel

An excellent dog breed for moving a bird from its cover and bringing it to you in clearance is the Cocker Spaniel.

Small game chases vary with the kind of prey, but they are all characterized by well-hidden spots and a lot of walking and investigating.

Grouse hunting is the prototype.

Cocker Spaniels are capable of jaw-dropping results when properly trained; they seem to be able to find all the hidden places of grouse.

What is even better, they are intelligent to the point that they will, after only one training, be ready to follow your commands.

But for the best hunting dog breeds, intelligence is nothing if it isn’t paired with physical abilities and strong attributes. And the Cocker Spaniel does not fail to impress there, too.

With its strong and muscular body, thick tail, and double coat, they are amazing at searching hard-to-reach places and getting the bird out of it.

Also, they mature much faster than most of the other dog breeds, so they can begin their grouse hunting journey as young as puppies.

Why is it the most suitable?

  • Their inborn instinct to hunt is easily triggered
  • Fast learners
  • Athletically predisposed

Gordon Setter

Gordon Setter

If you need the best dog for pointing grouse, the Gordon Setter is your front-runner.

They do it in an elegant manner, very unique to them, and, most importantly - they work on ruffed grouse.

They usually weigh between 50 to 55 pounds and are very athletic and fast, which results in them being durable and resistant.

We hunted with a Gordon Setter in mid-Main, and we were amazed by his style and efficiency.

Even though it is a quick learner, it is perhaps the most stubborn member of the Setter family. Prepare yourself for a lot of training!

One thing we noticed is that Gordon Setters are a bit pretentious, and we don’t mean that necessarily in the wrong way.

It’s just that they like to “mark” their birds, and desire to be well praised once they find it.

It may also try to dominate other dogs as a part of their prudish nature.

So, let your Gordon Setter know that it’s doing a good job, and they will eagerly continue to do so!

Why is it the most suitable?

  • Invests a lot of effort into pointing grouse
  • They always know where to find grouse
  • Intelligent
hog hunting dog breeds

Hog Hunting Dogs Breeds

Dogo Argentino

Dogo Argentino

There is no question that the Dogo Argentino is an excellent Mastiff-type breed for hog hunting.

This big and strong dog is a great choice when it comes to catching big prey.

Not only that - these dogs are a real team player!

They hunt in a pack, and once they lay their eyes on prey, they will not stop until they have surrounded and caught it with their sharp teeth.

Adapted to listening to commands, they will only let the prey when you come.

Considering that re Dogo Argentino has a thundering bark, even if you are far behind, you will hear it.

They are intelligent, persistent, and rapid.

Because of their potential, it won’t be too hard to train them. This breed is a fast learner.

Taking the Dogo Argentino out several times a day and maintaining their exercise levels high to keep them in shape is essential for hog hunting.

Why is it the most suitable?

  • They are remarkably intelligent
  • Fast
  • Muscular build and strong bones

American Pit Bull Terrier

American Pit Bull Terrier

American Pit Bull Terriers are amazing hog hunting breeds, and the dream for every hunter - if you’re prepared enough to handle their unyielding aggressive nature.

So, having a Pit Bull Terrier as a hunting partner requires heavy-handed training, but results in successful hunt abundant with prey.

It is in their nature that they become a bit destructive when they don’t receive enough attention, which means you ought to keep it only if you have enough time to dedicate to it.

Okay, you got it, the time - but what else should you know about the American Pit Bull Terrier and hog hunting?

Their aggressive tendency should be exclusively oriented toward catching hogs and big game animals.

This means you can use a bit of harshness in your voice during the training, as well.

But don’t overdo it, or it will have the opposite effect.

Another thing to keep in mind is that this canine is not particularly fond of other animals and is better off hunting solo.

If you’re looking for a dog with a pack mentality to hunt hogs, the Dogo Argentino would be a much better option.

Why is it the most suitable?

  • They are exceptionally agile
  • Relentless
  • Very high prey-drive
mountain lion hunting dog breeds

Mountain Lion Hunting Dogs Breeds

Bluetick Coonhound

Bluetick Coonhound

The Bluetick Coonhound stands out among the dog breeds that are able to withstand one of the most dangerous types of the hunt - lion and mountain lion hunting.

Their big, droopy ears and big eyes make them look like the most innocent creature!

However, looks can be deceiving. Their prey drive is simply off the charts.

This dog produces a specific ear-splitting bark that can be too much for some, but hunters know that it is music for their ears.

Hearing that loud noise can mean only one thing - the prey is near!

Be sure to meet their needs, though. Otherwise, your neighbors won’t be much happy once they start with their “music.”

And frankly, their needs are a bit demanding.

Bluetick Coonhounds are dynamic dogs that need a lot of action so that they can release all of their accumulated energy.

But they are very friendly toward their owners!

We are adamant that there’s no single person that would not be amazed by the Coonhound’s ability to pick trails and follow them, as well as threaten the most dangerous animals.

Everybody will envy you if you own a well-trained Bluetick Coonhound!

Why is it the most suitable?

  • Best for night hunting
  • Enormous prey drive
  • They aren’t stubborn

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback, raised to hunt big prey, is another breed that will rise to the challenge of hunting the king of all animals with its robust and muscular build.

It is also known as the African lion dog (do you see a connection there?), and for its bravery and ferocity that stand hand-to-hand to those of the lion’s.

At first, they were used to keep the lions at bay, but they eventually became the real hunters.

They deserve the reputation of aggressive and prey-driven hunters, as they will hunt and kill small game animals even before their owner arrives, which is not often the case with dogs.

These dogs need a lot of physical activity, so you will have to dedicate your time to that.

About 40 minutes of exercising per day should be enough.

Although you will have to spend some of your time on their everyday exercise, looking on the bright side - you can invest that time in improving your own shape, too!

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is mostly used to follow and chase the lions.

Once it has treed a lion and notified you about it via its loud bark, your skills, and the rifle come into play!

Why is it the most suitable?

  • Incredibly fearless
  • Impressive musculature
  • Great endurance
pheasant hunting dog breeds

Pheasant Hunting Dogs Breeds

Clumber Spaniel

Clumber Spaniel

The Clumber Spaniel is another member of the Spaniel family that deserves a place among your hunting dogs.

This particular breed originates from 1700’s England, and, as such, has a very long history of development.

They are bred specifically for bird flushing and retrieving.

Because of their speed and a fine sense of smell, they are great for partridge and pheasant chases.

Some members of the Spaniel family are prone to certain health complications with their ears.

Luckily, these aren’t inherent of the whole breed, and your Clumber Spaniel most likely will not experience them.

Unlike some other breeds, the Clumber Spaniel can pride itself on very high stamina, which means they will withstand long and tiring hunts.

Whereas they require a bit more time to cover great distances, as they are slower than some other breeds, they are still the best when it comes to field running.

Thus, hunters prefer the Clumber Spaniel for pheasant rather than duck hunting.

They respond very well to training, so you shouldn’t have any problems in teaching them to direct their acute sense of smell toward these forest birds.

Why is it the most suitable?

  • Sensitive sense of smell
  • Easily trainable
  • Skilled for fetching

English Pointer

english pointer

The English Pointer is the canon when it comes to pointing dog breeds, as can be inferred from its name.

As it is almost exclusively bred to produce hunting dogs, it has sharp fetching and chasing skills that have been developed over the course of years.

Hence, it’s the most popular for small game such as rabbits, and different kinds of birds, including pheasant.

They excel in the discipline when they are hunting with you, but beware if you’re keeping them in your apartment as their energy levels seem to go through the roof.

Be prepared to provide them with a lot of space for exercising, playing, and take them to long walks to keep their impressive muscular body intact.

You’ll get a fierce pointer well prepared for the challenge, both mentally and physically, after it gets enough exercise.

If they don’t receive it, however, they can get quite rambunctious.

So, prepare for a lot of physical activity, and grow together with your English Pointer!

Why is it the most suitable?

  • It has keen pointing skills, probably the best out of all breeds
  • They are more cautious than other dogs
  • Assertive
quail hunting dog breeds

Quail Hunting Dogs Breeds

Boykin Spaniel

Boykin Spaniel

Moving on to quail hunting, we’re back at another Spaniel family member. By now, you have noticed that they are very popular as hunting dog breeds, and for a good reason.

This particular breed, the Boykin Spaniel, originated in South Carolina at the beginning of the 20th century, which makes it one of the younger Spaniel breeds.

It is quite rare as a pet, but frequent as a pheasant, grouse, or quail hunting breed. They do not, however, specialize in waterfowl.

Their most prominent characteristic is that they are playful and lively, capable of running great distances for a short period of time.

They are a very sweet and loving partner to have by your side during the hunt (and as a pet, as well).

Don’t let their endearing nature fool you, though. When they are in the fields, they take their responsibilities very seriously!

Training the Boykin Spaniel should be a pleasurable activity, though it can take a bit of time before it masters all that you want it to learn.

Why is it the most suitable?

  • Have the physical disposition for quail hunting
  • Obedient
  • Has restless energy

American Water Spaniel

American Water Spaniel

Taking a look at the name of this breed, you might think that they are best for ducks and other waterfowl hunting. And you wouldn’t be entirely wrong - they are good in that field, as well.

But they are even better for upland hunting, including mid-sized and larger birds!

The American Water Spaniel and the above-mentioned Boykin Spaniel are close relatives, the unrivaled duo when it comes to quail hunting.

And they have a similar temperament, as well. They are good at retrieving, and they are eager to work hard until they find their prey.

Though they can be very lively, training them is not physically demanding as some other hunting dog breeds.

A long walk a day should be enough!

This does not mean, though, that it is less capable of hunting by any means. The American Water Spaniel can endure multi-day hunts easily.

Because of their compact size, they can move very quickly, but more importantly, they stay unnoticed while doing so.

Why is it the most suitable?

  • Eager to listen to their owner
  • Apt flushing and retrieving
  • Hard-working
rabbit hunting dog breeds

Rabbit Hunting Dogs Breeds



The Beagle is probably one of the most iconic American hunting breeds.

It’s no wonder that a breed with such a favorable reputation is also the best for rabbit hunting. That’s one of the toughest tasks for hunters.

Why do we say so?

Well, first and foremost, locating rabbit holes, hiding places, and possible covers is a very daunting task.

And the Beagle has a very acute sense of smell that enables it to do this.

The fact that they are commonly used as police dogs further testifies to how developed the nose for tracking the Beagle has.

Secondly, they can both flush and retrieve rabbits very efficiently.

Hunting rabbits with beagles is so popular that it even has its own name - beagling!

It is usually done in packs of beagles.

Even though the Beagle is generally very bright and thus easy to train, the packs require an experienced hunter who can lead them appropriately.

Why is it the most suitable?

  • The most sensitive breed to rabbit scent
  • A great team player
  • Intelligent

German Shorthair Pointer

German Shorthair Pointer

Heads up: it’s hard to beat Beagles when it comes to rabbit hunting.

But German Shorthair Pointers get pretty close to it with their outstanding skills.

While the Beagle is a well-rounded breed that helps you catch rabbits regardless of your tactics, the German Shorthair Pointer, as the name suggests, is the best for pointing the prey.

Also, remember the German Wirehaired Pointer?

This is its closest relative, and pretty much everything that we said about them is the same with the Shorthaired Pointer.

They are intelligent, persistent, and will easily outwit the rabbits.

The main difference between the two is their coat.

The fact that the German Shorthair Pointer has a short and dense coat makes him much more suitable for rabbit hunting, whereas the Wirehaired is better for the big game.

It will be able to chase rabbits through the steepest hills, as well as access the hard-to-reach places.

Why is it the most suitable?

  • Excellent stamina for all kinds of terrain 
  • Perfect sense of smell
  • Fast
Squirrel Hunting Dogs Breeds

Squirrel Hunting Dogs Breeds

Spinone Italiano

Spinone Italiano

Italy has its representative in the best hunting dog breeds, too. The Spinone Italiano dates as a hunting breed as far back as around the 1200s.

This breed is amongst the most versatile ones. It is formally a gun dog that performs equally well in pointing and retrieving both in the water and in the field.

However, in practice, the Spinone Italiano showed to be the best for chasing squirrels.

In order to find squirrels, you will have to explore creeks and streams, and scout areas near the mast crops they eat.

The Spinone Italiano seems to have an excellent instinct to investigate such locations.

One thing to keep in mind is that they aren’t exactly the best nighttime hunters.

But then again, squirrels are the most active during the day, especially in the morning.

So, take out your Spinone Italiano for a forenoon hunt, and rest assured that it will easily spot a squirrel, either by sight or by the scent.

When they do, they will usually signal this to you with short “chop” barks.

Why is it the most suitable?

  • Cautious in order not to disturb squirrels
  • Instinct-driven
  • You can hear its loud bark from a great distance

American Blue Gascon Hound

American Blue Gascon Hound

Having a hound dog with you on the hunt for small game significantly increases your chances of success.

And if your main prey is the squirrel, the American Blue Gascon Hound is your best bet.

Once it locates the squirrel, it will signal the findings to you by its unique bark that only hunters who are familiar with the American Blue Gascon Hound can recognize.

It’s not like the usual bark, but rather like a loud and penetrating sound, resembling a howl.

Due to its sharp skills, it won’t allow the squirrel to get away until you come.

Compared to the Spinone Italiano, it is equally effective in pointing and trailing squirrels.

But it picks up their scent even better and has excellent eyesight that also allows it to hunt during the night.

Keep in mind, though, that it is also more aggressive.

It’s in its veins to hunt, and therefore, you shouldn’t leave it with other animals that aren’t canines

Why is it the most suitable?

  • Very attentive
  • Excellent eyesight
  • Efficient
turkey hunting dog breeds

Turkey Hunting Dogs Breeds

Irish Setter

Irish Setter

Irish Setters were bred as a gun dog in their native country of Ireland, and they have stayed true to it since then.

This breed is arguably one of the most attractive hunting dog breeds.

With its beautiful coat, which goes from mahogany to lighter red, it will be a fantastic sight in the hunt and will boost your confidence.

Upon seeing this dog, the first thing that will come to your mind is how elegant and glamorous they look, even though they tend to drool sometimes because their lips can be pendulous.

Regarding their personality, the Irish Setter is known for its playful and somewhat mischievous attitude.

They are friendly, energetic, and intelligent, with a pinch of naughtiness at times.

But that’s precisely what you need for turkey hunting - a dog that is eager to catch as many birds as it can because it is so boisterous and bold.

One thing to heed is that these dogs demand a lot of training and exercising.

They are used to running all day long over various types of terrain, especially over rough ones.

Why is it the most suitable?

  • Can run for a long period of time without a break
  • Always ready to take on a challenge
  • Enjoy hunting turkey

Appalachian Turkey Dog

Appalachian Turkey Dog

Not all dog breeds are able to handle the turkey, even if they are skilled bird retrievers.

Turkey belongs to that type of game that isn’t easy to locate nor catch.

However, the Appalachian Turkey Dog was bred as a specific breed, combining three types of dogs:

  • Pointers
  • Setters
  • Plott-hound

Judging by their name, you could have already guessed it. They were originally bred for fall turkey hunting!

It is clear by now that this is most definitely the breed that you want by your side when you go turkey hunting.

These dogs are bred to track a turkey, bust up their flock, and once that the flock breaks, they will start barking to let you know.

After that, they will go back to you, where they will wait for the next command.

It uses its extraordinary detection of scent, visual clues, and instinct to locate the flock.

And more importantly, it has the desire to flush them. It’s just waiting for your sign!

In addition to being an excellent turkey hunter, this dog is also good with people and adores being surrounded by a big family.

Why is it the most suitable?

  • They seem to have a sixth sense to spot turkeys
  • Obedient
  • Will form a special bond with the owner
wolf hunting dog breeds

Wolf Hunting Dogs Breeds

English Mastiff

English Mastiff

Did you know that this massive dog breed can weigh as much as 200 pounds? Exactly the type you imagine to stand toe to toe with wolves.

They are known for their strength and ability to spot a wolf from a great distance.

Training an English Mastiff should not be too hard, as they generally respond well to commands.

They are obedient, with a strong hunting instinct.

However, they tend to be a bit of a show-off, and want to be leaders themselves.

So, you need to show it what to do and how, and to make it clear that you’re the “boss,” so that it can be more moderate when it comes to guardianship.

When you succeed in ascertaining your leadership, your English Mastiff will do anything for you. And we really mean anything.

Overall, if you’re looking for a confident, brave, alert, and friendly dog to take along for wolf hunting, the English Mastiff is the right choice for you!

Be aware, though: even though it is good with people and older children, it isn’t recommended getting it if you have toddlers, precisely because of its massiveness.

Why is it the most suitable?

  • Strong and massive dog
  • An excellent protector
  • Confident

Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound

Big-game animals require strong and large dogs. And such is the Irish Wolfhound, the breed that has been deemed the tallest and among largest out there.

These dogs are also fierce guard dogs that will protect you from anything that can occur to the two of you on the hunt - even the pack of slavering wolves.

Not only that - they are powerful enough to fight those bloodthirsty animals, and they are not afraid to risk their lives in doing so.

The wolf scent can scare many hunting dogs, even the veteran ones, but the Irish Wolfhound won’t even flinch.

Their unique build (notably long bones, etc.) requires them to have enough exercise in order to stay lean, but not too much to overstress their joints.

No doubt that it will take you some time to realize what is the ideal amount of time you should spend training your Irish Wolfhound.

However, after your first hunt together, you will see that the effort has definitely paid off!

Their speed and power are the key to success. And the impressive appearance helps, too!

Why is it the most suitable?

  • Ferocious
  • Muscular and strong
  • The tallest breed

Now Your Turn:


So, now that you know more about best hunting dog breeds, you are ready to choose the one that you need by your side.

Now your turn: Do you need a Beagle to catch fast prey, or you prefer an American Foxhound to sniff hiding places for you?

Let me know by leaving comment below!

About the Author

Hi, I'm Robert Gate, a hunter from Texas and Founder of ArcheryTopic.

I first learned archery from my dad when I was 12 years old. He gave me a Mathew bow as a gift and instantly fell in love with the pursuit.