While we hunt with dogs, we engage ourselves in a partnership that is already way old. This relationship is very intimate and mutually beneficial. Some evidence even suggests that the qualities dogs brought to the Stone Age helped our ancestors a lot. People use different dog breeds for various activities. Some were to sit at home with the owners or guard the house and also for hunting.
Dogs participating in the hunt must possess some qualities. They must be fearless, ferocious to the game, obey implicitly to their owner, be vigilant, have a sharp nose, sensitive ears, and have good eyesight. Sometimes these dogs require a large size and strength – it all depends on the type of hunting.
Sporting dog breeds must be quick and active. They never are engaged in socializing with other animals. These dogs are raised, tamed, and trained differently than a home pet. The primary skill of hunting dogs is an unquestioning performance of commands and instructions of the owner. The training is specifically to pursue a game without food and in different climatic conditions for a long time.
If you are choosing a puppy, then you should be very careful and make sure it must undergo special training that needs to be conducted by a professional. Dogs have a unique ability to read human body language and respond to subtle cues. If you are looking for a hunting friend,
Here are the top 10 hunting dog breeds
1. German Shorthaired Pointer
This hunting dog breed is agile, athletic, intelligent, obedient, and determined. These are appropriate for avid hunters who spend most of their time outdoors. A handsome breed and can point at game birds. It alerts hunters of the direction of a good shot by freezing in place. They also fetch birds and small animals for their masters. They have an extraordinary scenting ability which they use to track the prey before the owners. Therefore, they have a record of hunting under every imaginable condition. They need a ton of exercise and engagement to stay healthy and happy. Its thin coat restricts hunting in warmer seasons.
Average size: 70 Lbs.
Life Expectancy: 12-14 Year
Specialty: Bird Hunting
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Its nose, arguably the best at tracking a scent, is the kind of asset any hunter would like to have through the woods. They obtain unparalleled tracking ability. You have a Sherlock Holmes-level companion and one whose senses are routinely put to work finding missing people during search and rescue missions. But remember they will take up some space. Bloodhounds are very big but are easy-going when not at work.
The scent receptors in them are 40 times that of humans. These hounds are exceptional when it comes to tracking. Therefore, you cannot allow them off-leash in an unfenced yard.
Average Size: 80-110 Lbs
Life Expectancy: 10-12 Years
Specialty: Large Game
3. Labrador Retriever
It is no surprise that the most popular and adorable dog breed is also one of the best hunting dogs. It is known for its intelligence, eagerness to please, and excellent demeanor with kids. Labradors are a fit at home and in the field. They are very hard-working, therefore can be trained easily both on land and in the water. Labs have a double-thick coat which enables them to dive into the frigid water. They aim to please, especially in the case of ducks. Some consider them the ultimate hunting dog. They have a gentle mouth grip means they can carry the prey without crushing or damaging it.
Average Size: 55-80 Lbs.
Life Expectancy: 10-14 Years
Specialty: Bird Hunting
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The Vizslas is one of the oldest hunting breeds. The meaning of its name is the pointer. It is a gun dog used for pointing and retrieving both. They are multitalented canines, adapt to all kinds of environments. Their sleek coat enables them to retrieve a variety of waterfowl. Apart from that, they are also the fastest dogs on land, making them preferred companions for hunting quail, pheasant, and grouse. They love to spend lots of quality time with their family members who are actively willing to provide them with plenty of exercises, mental enrichment, and socialization. Long walks, play sessions, participating in dog sports like agility trials, tracking, flyball, scent work, and dock diving is a great way to keep your Vizsla active and engaged. That would also strengthen the bond you share.
Comparatively small than other breeds and an excellent small game hunter. These pups require lots of training since their nose often guides them more than their owners. These hunting dog breeds are natural hunters of rabbits, foxes, and birds. They are the most popular hound dogs. This breed can hunt very well alone as well as in packs together. They are playful, curious, determined, and tenacious with a seemingly endless supply of energy. The little scent hound uses its extraordinary sense of smell to track and chase smaller animals. These superior olfactory skills often result in him using it as a detection dog for sniffing out contraband.
Average Size: 20-25 Lbs
Life Expectancy: 12-15 Years
Specialty: Small to Medium Game
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This scent hound originates from a bloodhound and a foxhound which means you have an exceptional scent tracker for small animals with the body of a highly agile dog who can work in virtually any terrain. His thick double-coat makes him perfect for harsher climates.
The blue tick can follow its nose after any trial. These dogs are primarily for hunting raccoons but, they also make friends when not at work.
They show their unique singing skills to howl to let their hunting partner know when they have treed game. These sounds carry over long distances so hunters can locate their pup.
Average Size: 24-35 kgs
Life Expectancy: 11-12 Years
Specialty: Big game
An excellent choice for a hunting companion, they are particularly suitable for hunting turkey and duck. They can be easily trained and are excellent at both flushing and retrieving. They have great determination while hunting. Because they hail from the southern coast, they do their job well in heavy brush, wetlands, and hotter temperatures. Moreover, they are also very loving pets with a very regal-looking dark liver coat.
This small gun dog is a strong and highly energetic hunting dog breed with a natural-born talent for flushing or springing birds out of hiding. Just like the retriever breed, the spaniel has a thick double coat that protects it in any weather and a gentle grip that means it can return downed prey without any damage.
8. Irish Setter
The Irish are gun dogs known for their beautiful red coat and graceful agility like English setters. They are more challenging than their looks; this breed is rugged, hard-working, and determined to hunt the bird. It also makes friendly, affectionate, and gentle companions for all kinds of families. That does mean it requires a patient hand to train them, but they will serve you well out. Undoubtedly this breed has been popular amongst hunters and sportspeople for over 200 years.
Average Size: 55-75 Lbs.
Life Expectancy: 12-15 Years
Specialty: Bird Hunting
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9. Jack Russell Terrier
These animals are small, but they are energetic. Just waiting to be unleashed, their energy reserves seem practically endless. These dogs are a lot better at flushing and hunting squirmy little pests than just about any other dog on this list. If you keep on hunting rabbits, you should put Jack Russell near the top of your list. Just keep in mind the energy of the dog. They are intelligent and immensely loving dogs.
Average Size: 10-20 Lbs.
Life Expectancy: 13-16 Years
Specialty: Small Game
10. American Foxhound
American Foxhound tracks down foxes or deer with impeccable precision. These hunting pets demonstrate their strong running skills and loyalty. Bred from English foxhounds, this breed mainly hunts foxes. In time, the breed also was involved in deer hunting. Foxhounds make loving and loyal companions, but they need lots of exercise each day to satisfy their high energy and endurance.
Average Size: 21 to 28 inches
Life Expectancy: 11-13 Years
Specialty: large game
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