Hunting is the oldest way by which humans were able to take down animals and survive harsh weathers in which no food would grow. As soon as we were able to tame wolves, hunting dogs were born, and these have helped ancient humans tremendously. Even to this day, some people solely rely on hunting for food, and they do so with the help of dogs, and some breeds are just exceptional at hunting.
Top 10 Dog Breeds Used For Hunting
10. Irish Setter
These hounds were bred in Ireland to locate and retrieve game birds on flat grounds. Irish Setters are agile pooches that move swiftly, and once they locate a bird, they point by tucking in one of their front paws, signaling the hunter that they have found the bird. Although now they are gun dogs, in the past, these were used along with falcons and nets by the hunters. Apart from their hunting abilities, they are sweet-tempered pooches that love to be around their family.
Coonhounds are a type of scent dog, meaning that they rely on their sense of smell to locate the game. One unique thing about this breed is that they tree their quarry, i.e., they chase their target and then intimidate them to climb the tree, and they don’t back down until the hunter arrives. Their frame is streamlined, which allows them to cover a large amount of ground efficiently. These are loyal pooches who love to please their masters.
If you are unsure what specific type of animal you are going to hunt, then Weimaraners are your best option. These smart hounds are capable of hunting anything from small game birds to even predators. A German noble, Grand Duke Karl August, had a keen interest in dogs, and he desired to create an ideal hunting companion, and after crossbreeding many French breeds with the bloodhound, he created Weimaraner, which excelled at hunting. These pooches are friendly and obedient to humans.
7. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever
As the name suggests, this breed originated in The Chesapeake Bay by wealthy owners of duck clubs in the 19th century. The Chesapeake Bay is a shallow place that doesn’t store much heat, and during the spring season, it is a temporary resting ground for ducks and geese. Since it was bred to hunt birds, it is an excellent hound for bird hunting that also loves water, even in cold temperatures. Moreover, they are friendly and loyal.
6. Golden Retriever
This breed was created in the Scottish Highlands for retrieving ducks. This breed was designed to be able to withstand rainy, damp, and cold winters while being focused on the game birds in rugged terrain. Moreover, these are smart dogs that retrieve the shot bird without damaging the flesh of the duck. As for their temperament, these are some of the most affectionate and friendly dogs in the world, and they love to be around their family, especially children.
Bloodhounds are great hunting dogs that rely solely on their noses, as these possess a ridiculous amount of olfactory receptors that allow them to pick up even the faintest scent, and they can follow a trail for hours. Apart from hunting, they are often used in search and rescues operations along with tracking down fugitives because of their exceptional sense of smell. These are easy-going pooches, but once they sniff something, they will forget if they are on a walk, on or off-leash, this also makes training them a little difficult.
As the name suggests, these dogs point the hunter towards the direction of the game. Furthermore, these are versatile hunting dogs that are great for hunting game birds, small, and even large animals. Since the 1700s, these dogs have become ideal gun dogs because of how accurately they indicate the direction of the prey. These are even-tempered dogs, with a little mischievous side to them, an excellent choice for families, once they are trained properly.
Among one of the finest small hunting dogs, Beagles were bred to hunt rabbits and other small game. Similar to Bloodhounds, these trail their target based on their nose and do a remarkable job of that. Originally, these were bred by English hunters who couldn’t afford a horse and wanted a dog that they could follow on foot. Now, Beagles have become an excellent choice for first-time dog owners, but it is a hunter nonetheless, just give them a scent to follow, and they’ll show you exactly how great of a pack hunter they are.
2. American Foxhound
Their name gives away their purpose, and yes, these were originally used as fox hunters; however, soon they were also being used to hunt deers. Unlike other dogs on the list, American Foxhound chases its targets for long distances and takes them down, then waits for their owner. While these go great with families, they require proper training and plenty of exercises throughout the day.
1. Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retriever needs no introduction because these are the most popular dogs in the United States, known for their affectionate, loyal, and friendly nature. Despite this, these are excellent gun dogs that can withstand cold temperatures and will even retrieve the hunt from water, as these pooches can’t get enough of water. These dogs have been used for duck hunting for centuries, and to this day they are considered the best duck hunting dog.