Home Hunting Dogs Best Hunting Dogs

Best Hunting Dogs


If you’re intrigued by hunting, considering it as a hobby or a fun pastime, you should consider a canine partner as it can make the experience more fruitful and fun.

Dogs have been bred as an integral part of hunting since the very domestication of canines about 14000-29000 years ago and even before the age of agriculture.

Dogs now share an inherent sensitivity to humans and still maintain a strong prey drive common to their wild cousins (wolves, foxes etc.), making them excellent and effective hunting partners.

Nevertheless, some dogs are far more suited to hunting than others, depending on several characteristics. Generally, the most common hunting dogs are the hounds, gun dogs, terriers, pointers and retrievers, among others.

Here are the best hunting dogs around;

The Labrador Retriever


• Average Height: 22.5-24.5 inches (Male)
21.5-23.5 inches (Female)
• Average Weight: 65-80pounds (Male)
55-75pounds (Female)
• Average Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

The Lab is perhaps the most popular hunting dog. Labradors are known to be excellent retrievers in every setting, from their early days working alongside fishers to later hunting roles retrieving birds and other games.

Labradors possess a rudder-like tail for extra balance in the water, webbed feet for easy manoeuvrability, and a double fur water-resistant coat that makes them well-suited to hunting ducks and waterfowl as they are great swimmers.

They have soft mouths, which ensures little or no damage to the game when retrieving. They are brilliant dogs and eager to please, making them easy to train and control.

Golden Retriever


• Average Height: 23-24 inches (Male)
21.5-22.5 inches (Female)
• Average Weight: 65-75pounds (Male)
55-65pounds (Female)
• Average Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

The Golden Retriever is known for its intelligence, respectful demeanour, and friendly disposition.

They are highly rated in the hunting community for their astute sense of smell, which is vital in hunting.

The Golden Retriever will solve all retrieving tasks beautifully. The Golden Retriever is often used in hunts where multiple birds are shot and hunters who want a solid hunting buddy for migratory bird hunting.

The Bloodhound

Best Hunting Dogs

• Average Height: 25-27 inches (Male)
23-25 inches (Female)
• Average Weight: 90-110pounds (Male)
80-100pounds (Female)
• Average Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

The Bloodhound might have the most potent nose in the world. This iconic hunting dog makes a great canine companion when you’re into wandering through the woods on hunting expeditions.

Bloodhounds are an ancient and royal breed of dog, representing the oldest race of hounds that would hunt using their gifted senses of smell. Bloodhounds have wrinkled faces, drooping eyes, and long ears that are thought to help draw odours up from the ground.

Bloodhounds are amazing hunting dogs because of their ability to scent and track prey. Still, they are not known for being particularly aggressive, and killing prey is usually up to the hunter.

The Greyhound


• Average Height: 28-30 inches (Male)
27-28 inches (Female)
• Average Weight: 65-70pounds (Male)
50-65pounds (Female)
• Average Life Expectancy: 10-13 years

The greyhound is physically built for speed and is the world’s fastest dog. From the narrow, aerodynamic skull to the shock-absorbing pads of the feet, Greyhounds are perfectly constructed for the high-speed pursuit of the game like hares, rabbits, and even coyotes.

Greyhounds are part of a category of dogs called sight hounds. As the name implies, sight hounds hunt by sight rather than by scent, constantly looking out for moving targets to chase.

The English Bull Terrier


• Average Height: 21-22 inches
• Average Weight: 50-70pounds
• Average Life Expectancy: 12-13 years

As used for hunting, the bull terrier is a strong, useful little dog with great endurance and courage and an excellent nose.

These unique ‘eggheads’ are exuberant, muscular companions who thrive on affection and exercise. Bull Terriers are robust, big-boned terriers who move with a jaunty stride suggesting agility and power, useful traits in hunting.

The Beagle


• Average Height: 13-15 inches
• Average Weight: 20-30pounds
• Average Life Expectancy: 10-15 years

The Beagle is historically a great and efficient English rabbit and hunter dog. The Beagle is a scent hound with a fantastic sense of smell, primarily used to hunt small game.

They were bred to hunt in packs, so they enjoy the company and are generally easygoing. There are two beagle varieties: those standing under 13 inches at the shoulder and those between 13 and 15 inches.

Both varieties are sturdy, solid, and ‘big for their inches,’ as dog folks say. They are intelligent and eager to please.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

• Average Height: 18-21 inches (Male)
17-20 inches (Female)
• Average Weight: 35-50pounds
• Average Life Expectancy: 12-14 years

As the name implies, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is an effective companion in hunting ducks.

They were initially known as the Little River duck dog or Tollers as they are usually known to have a unique and exciting way of assisting hunters as they are used to ‘toll’ or lure ducks within range of hunters.

For reasons not best understood, ducks are attracted to the sight of red foxes and will come closer to get a better look. The Toller takes advantage of this and uses its looks to lure the ducks.

It’s also an excellent retriever and has a perfect sense of smell. They are intelligent, affectionate, and instinctively eager to please and also feature a water-repellent double coat, making them hardy in cold-water environments.

American Water Spaniel


• Average Height: 15-18 inches
• Average Weight: 30-45 pounds (male)
25-40 pounds (female)
• Average Life Expectancy: 10-15 years

The American Water spaniel is a favourite for duck hunters because it is small enough to ride in a boat, but is strong enough to bring back a duck or even a goose.

With their water-resistant coat and natural affinity to water, they are excellent companions to hunt in water.

The good news is they are just as adept on land as they are on the water and have retrieval instincts that can rival the best Retrievers out there and are consequently one of the most popular duck hunting breeds.

Whichever dog you choose as your hunting companion, please do your research and preferably select a dog from a long line of hunters as they are easier to train.


This article discussed everything you needed to know about the best hunting dogs.

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