How to Choose the Best Dog Breed for Hunting


Having plans to get some help when you’re out in the hunting fields is great – but how do you know which dog breed would make an ideal hunting dog?

We understand that the choice can be a bit hard, considering the number of dog breeds used in hunting. However, in this post, we have listed the best dog breed for hunting so you can rest assured you’ll acquire a great hunting partner.

But we’ve also made a guide that will help you how to choose the best breed for a hunting dog. You want to know what to look out for, right?

If yes, continue on to find out everything you need to know before making a big decision!

The Most Common Hunting Dog Breeds


You might have come across many hunting dogs when you were out in the field – and it’s fairly easy to notice the pattern of dog breeds that are being used for hunting dogs.

In fact, there are dogs that are known as “hunting dogs” rather than their breed name. Therefore, here is the list of the most common hunting dog breeds:

  • Labrador Retriever
  • Golden Retriever
  • Beagle
  • English Springer Spaniel
  • American Foxhound
  • Pointer
  • Bluetick Coonhound
  • Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  • Irish Setter
  • English Setter

If you’ve been hunting for quite some time now, chances are you’ve already seen most of these dogs in action. On the other hand, it’s likely you’ve never even heard of some of the breeds from the list.

But that’s okay because, in this post, you won’t only find out what would be the best dog breed for hunting in your case, but also how to choose one.

Of course, you can simply pick one dog breed from the list and settle with it. However, that’s not what we recommend.

There is a big difference between these breeds – and as a hunting dog, there are two types to be aware of. Therefore, continue reading on to find out exactly what you need to look out for before making a decision.

How to Choose the Best Dog Breed for Hunting?


Now when you know what are some of the possibilities – here is something you might not know.

Two main hunting dog types are:

  • Scent hounds
  • Gun dogs

Scent Hounds

Scent hounds are a type of dog that follows the prey with the help of their nose. This helps hunters follow the prey’s trail. They’re quite noisy dogs since they make a lot of noise when they run after the prey.

However, depending on the dog breed, they might either focus on pursuing and attacking the prey or chasing up the prey (mostly up a tree) and then wait for the hunter to arrive.

Gun Dogs


Gun dogs, on the other hand, hunt smaller animals such as rabbits or birds. That’s why gun dogs are also known as bird dogs. They’re very intelligent at locating the prey and flushing it out so the hunter can take a shot. After a successful shot, gun dogs retrieve the prey to the hunter.

But how do you know which hunting dog type to choose?

It all comes down to what you are looking to hunt. If you’re a hunter who goes after big prey, scent hound dogs can be very helpful. However, if you’re after smaller animals, gun dogs are ideal for this type of hunting.

The choice is very simple.

If you’re hunting both bigger and smaller animals, you will have to make a decision on what help would be more efficient to have on your hunting trips.

Once you know the hunting dog type you require – here are the next things you’ll need to choose:

  • Choose the breed
  • Find a breeder
  • Choose a litter
  • Pick a puppy

Choosing a Breed


Every breed has its personality and temper tolerance. Therefore, you should look into what type of skills you require from a dog, consider your personal hunting style, and even what sort of terrain you hunt around.

We’ve listed about 10 breeds in the list above and even though any one of these dog breeds makes a great hunting dog – you want to dive deep into the personality of each breed to find out which dog breed has what it takes to help you out in the field.

Finding a Breeder

If possible, finding a breeder who specializes in breeding a specific breed type (ideally for hunters) is a great way to find a breeder.

We highly recommend checking their track of records to understand how qualified and experienced is the breeder.

It might take time finding the right breeder for a specific dog breed of your choice – but it’s a crucial step you shouldn’t ignore.

Choosing a Litter


While most hunters don’t realize this, even when you have a specific dog breed in mind and you have found just the right dog breeder – you still need to choose a litter.

Relying on the breed and bloodline is a good way. You want to make sure they make sense and that they, once again, fit your hunting style and hunting needs.

Choosing a Puppy


No matter how tough you are, if you’re a dog person – chances are you will be vulnerable when surrounded with cute puppies, floppy ears, and wagging tails.

Therefore, it’s important to have a plan in place since you won’t be able to take all of the puppies home, yet you want to make the best decision possible.

However, at this point, if you’ve done proper research, you won’t be able to make a mistake at this point. But still, you should look into the individual characteristics, health, and temperament when making a final decision.


Hunting for a hunting dog can be an overwhelming process. We all just want to skip the research process and go straight to training our puppy.

However, proper research definitely pays off. You are finding your “partner in crime” so you better make sure it’s a good one, right?

Other than a required training after acquiring your desired puppy, there’s one thing to know. There’s nothing stronger than a bond between a hunter and the hunting dog. Therefore, make a wise decision!

What do you find to be the best dog breed for hunting that meets all your needs?

Feel free to leave a comment down below, I’d love to hear your opinion! And if this post was helpful, feel free to share it on social media to help out other hunters.