Best Small Hunting Dog Breeds


Hunting dogs are super helpful at finding and pointing at prey, retrieving prey, covering large terrains with ease, and can even sniff tracks to get hunters on the right track.

So not only will you get companionship for your hunts even when you’re hunting alone, but you’ll also experience plenty of benefits that will make you consider investing in a hunting dog.

And if you’re thinking of getting yourself a hunting dog, you’re in the right place. Down below, you’ll find some of the best hunting dog breeds so you can make the right decision if you’re purchasing or adopting a dog that you’ll train for hunting on a game of your choice.

Best Small Hunting Dog Breeds

Small hunting dogs are very versatile and easy to transport, and they can still cover almost as much ground as bigger hunting dog breeds down below, you can find the top 5 small hunting dog breeds that will make a great fit for hunting any type of game.



Beagle is the most popular smaller dog breed that’s not afraid to go hunting. Beagles are ideal for hunting small game such as rabbits.

They love plenty of exercise and they love companionship so they’ll always be happy to go for a hunt with you no matter the time of the day.

Since they’re so small in stature, they were actually a breed made for hunting small game such as gopher. Even though they’re smaller in size, their biggest strength is their nose which they’re lead with and since they’re closer to the ground, they get to make the most of their sense.

Not only are beagles great hunting dogs, but they’re also ideal family dogs who fit in well in active families.



Munsterlander is usually a bigger dog breed but they have a small type that is very versatile and its characteristics make it ideal for hunting.

It’s a medium-range dog breed that has great pointing skills and instinct. What’s very unique about them is that they have a huge desire for water which makes them perfect for recovering bird games.

On top of that, a small Munsterlander can easily track a shot game and retrieve it right to the hunter’s hands if properly trained. It can recover game for all sorts of shots and it all comes down to training and practice.

Jack Russell Terrier


While Jack Russell Terriers have been known as family dogs for a long time now, they’ve actually been bred for hunting purposes.

Jack Russell Terriers have strong natural instincts which are why you can often find them bothering, hurting, and even killing small pets such as birds, rabbits, and others. These instincts combined with high energy levels and training make them ideal for hunting any type of game.

Other traits that make them great at hunting include their fairly aggressive nature, barking, digging, and incredible ability to follow scent.

While these traits are often misunderstood as bad habits, they’re actually ideal habits for a hunting dog that is ideal for a bird game but almost a mid-sized game.



Dachshunds are also another small dog breed that was specifically bred for hunting. Their scent is very well developed which helps them follow and chase scent, which makes them ideal for flushing out badgers and other game that hides in burrows.

There’s even a miniature version of a Dachshund which is ideal for preying on the smallest game there is such as the rabbits.

Even though Dachshunds are short-legged and long-bodied, they’re very good at finding and following scents since they’re very low to the ground.

With narrow bodies, they can easily crawl into holes and burrows which makes them ideal for hunting badgers, but also all sorts of smaller game.

However, you shouldn’t mistake their smaller size, Dachshunds are fierce and they’re often led by bravery which is exactly something you should be looking for in a hunting dog.



Basenji is one of the rare hunting dogs but they’re actually the most modern version since they weren’t always bred for hunting purposes.

They’re a very athletic breed type which is a bit more difficult to train than other dog breeds often used for hunting, but they’re ideal at helping hunters catch a game in their nets.

Basenji are skilled hunters that can easily adapt, are intelligent, and have all the courage you would want your hunting dog to have.

The only downside is that they might be harder to train, but once they’re trained, they can be your best hunting companion.

How to Pick One of the Best Small Hunting Dog Breeds for Your Hunt


Of course, there are breeds ideal for hunting, however, how do you know which one of these small hunting dog breeds will be the right fit for your needs?

If you’re purchasing a puppy, you should find a breeder that is able to maintain a high standard of health. Liters with strong mother lines are what you should look out for. Also, dogs should be field-bred variety instead than bench-bred variety.

This will ensure that your dogs will be easier to train since you’ll only need to control their environment and work on directing their behavior that fits the hunting situations.

And when it comes down to a specific breed, it should be solely based on the game you’re hunting as each breed has a preferred and specific game type they’re best at hunting.


Small hunting dog breeds are as good as bigger-sized hunting dogs and yet they have certain advantages when it comes down to small game and prey.

A great example is a Dachshund which has a long and narrow body that is definitely a benefit if you’re hunting after a certain game type.

You can’t go wrong by going for any of these small dog breeds as most of them were specifically bred for hunting and yet you only have to pay attention to the breeder and litter selection, as well as matching the dog of your choice to the game you’re hunting.

What is your favorite small dog breed type for hunting and why?

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