Breed-Specific Keys to Finding the Perfect Hunting Dog

While becoming a great huntsmen takes knowledge, time and passion, you can elevate your game by adding a companion to the equation.

Hunting dogs have long since served as man's wingman during a hunt. Their elevated senses in addition to your skill, allow to you to take your hunting excursions to a whole new level. Where do you start your search for your new best friend and hunting pal? You obviously don't want to be pheasant hunting with your Chihuahua or spending duck season with a Pomeranian. Doing your research will save you the grief of finding yourself responsible for a dog that isn't going to perform the way you had hoped.

If you have the budget, there are breeders that sell trained hunting dogs. The downside of buying a trained animal is that you can't be 100 percent sure of how often they were taken in the field or their exposure to the sound of a gun shot. We recommend selecting a dog breed that is known to meet your needs and training them yourself. There are numerous training supply options and classes available to help nurture you and your dog's hunting relationship to create a long lasting hunting partnership.

Selecting the right breed is key for success. Here's a list to help you find your ideal canine hunting companion.


The ideal bird dog will have you bagging duck and geese left and right. Known for its iconic pointing stance, this dog can find a pheasant within a mile of its nose and direct you right to it. As the name implies, pointing comes natural to these animals, and they typically don't require extensive training. If you're an avid quail hunter, Pointers may just be the one for you.


Known in its recent history to seek out raccoon and other pests, Coonhounds are one of the most versatile dogs in the hunting realm. They are quick on land and water and their coats are pretty resistant in most weather conditions. They are known for being easy to train and are extremely loyal to their owners.


Bloodhounds are not as ferocious as the name may seem. They are known for their impeccable noses and their remarkable tracking capability. As a house dog, they tend to drool a lot but are great to have at your side in the field.


The name is a dead give away for what this dog is know for. There are certain features about each dog that you will find draws you more towards a Chesapeake, Golden or Labrador.

All retrievers are great for small game hunters and will save you hours of wandering through tall grass looking for your duck or rabbit. They're quick learners and easy to train, on top of that, Goldens and Labradors make great family pets.

English Setter

Setters can be the most graceful and successful hunting dogs available. They can be either remarkably easy to train or have no interest in it what so ever. If you are willing to go through a trial and error with a Setter, you will be thankful you did when you find the one that runs faster than a rabbit, points and hunts birds like a pro.