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Small Hunting Dogs Information


A lot of hunters prefer to hunt with canine companions as it makes the experience much more fun.

If you do not have room or the capacity to accommodate a large dog breed, then one of these small hunting dogs is a perfect fit for you.

These small but mighty dogs despite their size are incredible hunters and will make a wonderful partner for any hunter.

What are eight hunting dogs that are smaller in size?

There are eight hunting breeds that are considered small dog breeds. They include:

  • the Beagle
  • the French Brittany
  • the American Water Spaniel
  • the Brittany Spaniel
  • the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
  • the Small Munsterlander
  • the Cocker Spaniel
  • the Boykin Spaniel

Let’s get into some of the best small hunting dogs.



  • Average Height: 13-15 inches
  • Average Weight: 20-30pounds

Do not let their small size deceive you, the Beagle is historically a great and efficient English rabbit and hunter dog. The beagle is a scent hound with an amazing 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.



  • Average Height: 17.5 to 20.5 inches
  • Average Weight: 30 to 40 pounds

The stylish and versatile Brittany is a popular companion among bird hunters since the 17th century.

Brittanys are smaller than setters but leggier than spaniels, standing about 20 inches at the shoulder. The American Brittany’s skin and coat-armour protect them from sharps in the field, so they’re a great choice for rough terrain and thick brush.

They are very intelligent, eager to please and easy to train, making them a top choice for hunters and prime candidates in dog sports.

The Britanny is a small, close-working pointing dog that retrieves naturally and requires little training to become an effective hunting companion.

Most importantly, the American Brittany is a loyal and loving companion that will come home at the end of a hunt and fit right in with the whole family.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever


  • Average Height: 17 – 20 inches
  • Average Weight: 35 – 50 pounds

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

Originally known as the Little River duck dog or Tollers as they are usually known to have a unique and interesting 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 a great retriever and has a very good 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.

Sussex Spaniel


  • Average Height: 13 – 15 inches
  • Average Weight: 35- 50 pounds

As the name suggests, the Sussex spaniel originated in Sussex, England. It is an old and noble breed. Low and compact, the Sussex spaniel is longer than taller, more rectangular than square.

A slow-but-steady hunter, but they can surprise with bursts of energy when needed. The Sussex spaniel is well able to work rough terrain, covering upland with dense undergrowth, easily fitting everywhere due to its small size.

Unlike most spaniels, the Sussex spaniel inherited the ability to give tongue when on the trail of its quarry. The Sussex spaniel is one of the most even-tempered and affectionate dogs you will come across, so they can double as great family pets as well.

American Water Spaniel

small hunting dogs

  • Average Height: 15 – 18 inches
  • Average Weight: 25 – 45 pounds

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.

As a result of their water-resistant coat coupled with their 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 a retrieval instinct that can rival the best Retrievers out there and are consequently one of the most popular duck hunting breeds

Jack Russell Terrier


  • Average Height: 10 – 12 inches
  • Average Weight: 9- 15 pounds

This jaunty little fellow packs lots of off-the-chart energy and personality into its compact rectangular body.

The Russell Terrier is an alert, energetic, lively and inquisitive dog that was originally bred for fox hunts by the English sporting parsons. This breed possesses a very strong prey drive and has been known to hunt and retrieve game twice their size.

Hunters have used Jack Russells to do everything from flush grouse to retrieve ducks as large as mallards and pintails. Russells move with a free, effortless gait that announces the breed’s innate confidence.


1. What is the smallest breed of dog used for hunting?

The Cocker Spaniel is one of the smallest breeds of dogs that were once utilized as hunting companions. However, the Cocker Spaniel of today is more of a companion animal than a hunting companion.

2. What is the smallest upland bird dog?

The Small Munsterlander, a German dog with a tendency to work as a pointer, is the smallest upland bird dog.

3. What is the easiest breed of hunting dog to train?

Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers tend to be the easiest to train. Both breeds look to their handlers for directions, and they work well with their human hunting companions.

4. What is a good hunting dog?

A good hunting dog is one that listens to commands, hunts enthusiastically, and is energetic on the hunting field.


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

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