Types of Hunting Dogs

There are many exceptional breeds that make wonderful hunting dogs, but not all are categorized solely as hunting dogs.  Case in point: hounds hunt undersized prey such as jackrabbits, and raccoons, animals that like to live in thickets.  However, not every hound hunts wholly by scent, as some make use of their well-developed vision too (sight hounds).

Gun dogs are another common category of hunting dog.  Remember, not all hunting dogs are gun dogs.  Gun dogs are primarily used by hunters who hunt with shotguns, mainly those hunting for various types of fowl.  They encompass retrievers, pointers, setters, and spaniels usually.   Terriers and feists are also types of gun dogs and have been known to squeeze into rabbit holes and other hideouts to chase out game.  Curs are larger hunting dogs and are able to hunt bigger game, such as cougars.
There are numerous diverse breeds of gun dogs.  They are outstanding dogs when you are in the hunt for those to retrieve or even chase game.  Each breed has unique abilities and personalities.  A brief breakdown of these abilities and personalities:


Not only are retrievers fantastic family pets, but they are also a first-rate option as hunting dogs.  They are first-rate swimmers and are fond of the water.  If you are aiming to hunt duck or other birds by the water, you should select a retriever, as he will have no difficulty seizing birds, whether on land or in the water.  Retrievers also learn the command “fetch” simpler than nearly all other dogs, as their innate instinct is to retrieve things.


Although spaniels do not mind water or swimming, their main talent can be found in locating hidden game.  They are not unlike retrievers in that they are more than willing to retrieve prey.  Cocker spaniels are very popular as they make excellent pets, but they are also talented hunters.  English springer spaniels and cocker spaniels are two of the most well-known spaniel breeds categorized as hunting dogs, but field spaniels are growing in popularity each year.   Spaniels will retrieve prey on land or in the water.


Pointers, such as the German shorthaired pointer, find the prey for the hunter and point at it, hence their name.  This breed will cover a much larger region than spaniels, but rely on the hunter to draw out the prey.


Setters, like pointers, will find and point at prey, but will also sniff out the prey themselves on command.  Setters, like the popular English setter, are brilliant at locating upland birds.  As hunting dogs, they are more widely used in England and Ireland than in the United States.

Water Dogs

When we hear the term “poodle,” we often picture a lap dog with a curly hair-do.  Nonetheless, the poodle is a kind of retriever that swims well and is, theoretically, a hunting dog.  The larger breeds of poodles are better-quality dogs to use for hunting when near the water.   Distinctive from other hunting dogs, poodles have actual hair instead of fur and have to be clipped once in a while.  An interesting note: they are wonderful hunting dogs for those with dog allergies.

The sort of hunting you plan on doing will influence the type of hunting dog that is suitable for you.  Try to plan for this in advance, so that when you hunt for your prey you have the proper expectations for the dog. Knowing what your dog is capable of in the field will help you train him to be the best hunting dog he can be.

When purchasing Bird Dogs you must also consider what kind of Hunting Dog Supplies you might need. A few supplies to consider are dog training collars, bird launchers, and electronic dog fences.


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