GENERAL BREED INFO

Hunting Dog Breeds: The Hunters Of Canine World

Hunting dogs
John Walton
Written by John Walton

Dogs have been long renowned as man’s best friend since the very beginning of cave to current days of hooping through the swing chair of the flats on Floors as high as 509! Dogs have been, trained and utilised for various assistance and expert work in the field of protection and care. Apart from their ability to be strong, ferocious and intimate with our species, dogs have also shown us humans how to hunt.

Par the exaggeration, hunting by a trained or obedient dog, which is dependent on the commands and techniques of the master’s hunt, is that which sets them apart as stronger breed of dogs. These breeds are capable of even hunting snow lions as well as bears, when trained to the optimum levels. Any sportive and enthusiastic dog can be trained to follow and aid you in any activity through sufficient training. Just be sure that your training methods are proper and healthy for your dog as well!

What are hunting dog breeds?

A canine that opts for hunting independent or with the support of humans or other animals is categorised as hunting breed of dogs. Hunting dog breeds are categorised as strong and exclusive, a skill that is, based on the dog’s skill set. There are many crossbreeds and purebreds, trained exclusively and strenuously to attain the expert hunting capabilities in dogs. Like, if you want to crossbreed a big Rottweiler to be the playful teddy bear on your couch, get a dog cross-breed expert and he’ll do your job in months!

Hunters dog breed

These dogs are, trained according to different tasks to hunt specifically. From the grace to the ferocious yawns, dogs are everything a man has his extreme reflections. Dogs can be, trained to be highly skilful to be experts on various hunting techniques as well as assisting in making the prey achieve a track helpful for the hunter to mark and shoot.  The main things used to determine the hunter instinct in a dog is its own size, the size of prey and its training skills.

Dogs can be, helped to spot a target, maintain it within periphery for the hunter to mark or even kill and bring it back to the master. Historically, the breed of sporting dogs marks as the best hunters in dog breeds.  Many dogs can be engaged in master multi-tasking with precise targeting and assistance.

The focus of training a dog to hunt is emphasised on the game plan, its reward and action level.  In fact, every dog can be trained to hunt as an expert with thorough trained. All that it is dependent on is the technique and reflexes exhibited by the dog in completing the task in the best ways.

Types of hunting dog breeds

As aforementioned, there are many purebreds and cross breeds that can be regularly trained to turn the best hunter in dog history. Some that already occupy the hall of fame are:

  1. Gun dogs: medium or small hunter dogs for games with the help of shotguns;
    • Spaniels: the best of hunting dogs, spaniels are used for heavy hunting since the beginning of man’s history through locating and keeping the target in focus;
    • Setters: another brilliant hunter of the dog breed, they are the upland dogs that locate the birds through this exclusive game technique to flush at the instant the hunter gives the command;
    • Retrievers: another intelligent clan of dogs that are used in the hunter’s game of retrieving or collecting the shoot at the command that can spend extensive hours in duck blind on locating the downed count of birds. The gentle and strong muzzles help them to retrieve any shoot at the very command of the hunter.
    • Pointers: the best dogs to aptly assist the hunter in a game of targeting and focusing the shoot on the prey, pointers help to point the focus and lock it till the hunter shoots; 
    • Water dogs: a clever subset of retrievers, these dogs is strong swimmers who possess excessive endurance and enthusiasm to hunt all kinds of the waterfowl.
  2. Hounds: primarily divided based on the sense and its range to locate the quarry, hounds are, used to hunt larger predators of the kind such as coyotes, jackrabbits and raccoon;
    • Sight-hounds: as the name relates, the hound is a well-adapted dog for its precision in visual and speed sensitivities. The hunting technique of this type of hounds is, known as ‘coursing’, which helps in sighting the prey from any far a distance. They utilize the methods of stalking, following, pursuing, chasing to kill the prey in the neatest way in the most independent of ways.
    • Scent Hounds: the hounds that hunt by scent through the kill game in assisting hunters. They employ the technique through the chasing of the quarry and such. These dogs bark in a booming way to follow the scent of the target.
    • Lurcher: a famous cross-breed usually bred with a working type of dog in order to provide work;
  3. Dachshund: trained to scent, pursue and flush the target through well-managed ways and methods to hunt for big and small preys, both. Used in advanced dog training through tracking the wounded and location of preys dachshunds hunt rabbits and hares as well.
  4. Terriers: used to hunt the mammals effectively, terriers utilize the hunt game through location of the den and setting the target in focus through bolting the focus, capture and then wound or kill the mammals. Hunters name the dog as terrier men.
  5. Curs:  usually the animals that follow a game plan to hunt akin to terriers, these dogs chase and hunt the cougars, raccoon and boars;
  6. Feists: hunters of the exclusive and clever game to hunt small animals, which is employed through hunting in packs for the chase and kill of bigger animals;
  7. Beagles: entirely trained for the specific activity of beagling or hunting in the style of beagles through chasing, killing and retrieving the prey or target through pack hunting; if you’re interested in adding this breed to your home, know what you’re getting into by reading this article on the Beagle.
  8. Brittany:  a bird hunting dogs through pointers and setters’ characteristics;

Apart from this, all dogs can be, properly trained to be amazing hunters. There are zillions of tactics that a dog can be taught, in traditional and modern ways to hunt and neatly kill the prey according to the masters’ commands.

What are the best hunting breeds?

As mentioned above, the hunter dogs are, trained to hunt specifically the animals of varied weight, strength and ferociousness.

Dog breeds infographic

One must know the best hunting breeds of the dog world. Following provides the details and hunting skills of the best hunters of the same, they are:

  1. Pointers:
    Commonly known as the English pointer, these dogs are a breed of the hunting type of gun dog. Most pointers are almost white with spots and are neutral-minded.  Bred to be hunters, these dogs are upland hunters through

    • Pointing: used to locate and point the prey;
    • Honour time: stopping of the dog instantly when observing the prey on target;
    • Retrieve: picking up wounded targets or shot down preys to retrieve;

    Height: males- 60 t0 70 cm, Females- 58 to 66 cm;
    Weight: males- 25-34 kg, Females- 20 to 30 kg;

  2. Dachshund
    Exclusive hunting dog that is trained to hunt underground with the help of its unique height and leg-height as well as a nose that absorbs odours perfectly and from far far away.  Dachshunds are a stubborn breed of dogs that chase with extreme ferocity and intelligence.
    Commonly known as the aggressive kind of dogs, dachshunds are, trained into hunting animals like badgers and wild boars.  They can be, trained into ferocious warrior dogs for guarding and protection. There are three types of dachshunds; they are wire-haired, shorthaired and long haired.  
    Height: 8 to 9 inches
    Weight: 5-16 kg; 
  3. Labrador Retrievers
    In its actuality, all dogs can, be trained to be retrievers. Some of the common retrievers are purebreds or any cross breeds that can, be trained in remembering the target, location of the wounded prey and retrieving the same. Appropriately built physically and mentally for strength and training, Labrador retrievers can be trained to absolute safety for humans,  but precise in locating the prey in any duck blind. Labrador retrievers are, known for the tracking, hunting, sledding, agility, searching, rescue, retrieving and carting during the dog training for hunting.
    Height: males- 56 to 61 cm, Females- 53 to 58 cm;
    Weight: males- 27- 34 kg, Females- 25 to 32 kg;
  4. Feists
    Commonly known as the tiny hunter of dog breeds, these dogs are the first hunters amongst dogs; even the identification is based on the range of hunt of each dog. Careful hunters, feists are clever to track the prey through a long focus and silence as well plotting.
    These dogs engage in the game plan of hunting in various ways such as tracking, plotting, aiming, locking focus and killing the prey along with retrieving. These dogs are usually trained to hunt in packs and ferociously with the master.
    Height: 45cm;
    Weight: 14kg;
  5. Lurcher
    Originating from the isles of Ireland, Lurcher is a historically trained hunting dog. The dog is highly trained to be expert hunters through pure-breeding as well as cross breeding through chasing as well as killing their target. This breed of dog is a general selection of guarding dogs that control the pests and wild fowl on the land through sufficient training.
    Lurcher chases and kills its prey through hunting animals like foxes, hares and rabbits as well as deer or wild boars.  With proper training, lurchers can, be trained to hunt actively for a span of 10-11 years.
    Height: 55 to 71 cm;
    Weight: 27 to 32 kg;
  6. Spaniels
    An exclusive kind of gun dog, spaniels are, known for their hunting abilities since ages; these dogs are capable of hunting various types of animal, of all type shapes and sizes. The broad muzzles and high audibility powers of spaniels make them intelligent and strong to battle anything to obey the commands. Spaniels are, used to assist in the kill, chase, memorise the fall of the prey and retrieve the same. An expert in the terrains of farmlands and open fields, spaniels can complete the job in the least of times.
    Some types of spaniels are American Cocker Spaniel, Blue Picardy Spaniel, Boykin Spaniel, American Water Spaniel, Clumber spaniel, English Cocker Spaniel, Russian Spaniel, Sussex spaniel, Weish-Springer spaniel, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Dutch Partridge Dog, French Spaniel, Field Spaniel and Pont- Audemer Spaniel. Their soft and broad muzzles help their owners to acquire the prey with soft and delicate care. You can learn more about one of the great spaniels in this article about the English Springer Spaniel.
    Height: males- 45-51 cm, Females- 37- 42 cm;
    Weight: males- 20-25 kg, Females- 11-14 kg;
  7. Hounds
    The best dog-breeds for hunting dependent on the power, strength, intelligence, adaptability, understanding and ferociousness, hounds have been known always as the hunter best friend of man.  Some of the common types of hounds are Sight-hounds and Scent hounds. As the names state, these hounds are experts in sight and odour reception, respectively. Sight-hounds utilise course-technique on the prey before attacking, by maintaining a distance through flawless stalking of the same. They kill their prey in the neatest of ways as well.
    On the other hand, scent-hounds are, usually employed in bloody kill games where the action and reaction are swift, while hunting. They hunt in packs to aim straight for kill, at the owner’s command. Some types of hounds are Afghan Hound, basset Hound, American Foxhound, Greyhound, Bluetick coonhound, Ibzian hound, English Foxhound, Irish wolfhound, Pharaoh hound, Redbone coonhound, Scottish Deerhound, Treeing walker coonhound and Rhodesian ridgeback.
    Hounds can, be trained into strict forms of obedience and expert hunting through strict discipline and growth of scent and sight. If you’d like to learn more about one of these amazing hounds, please take a look at our article on the Redbone Coonhound.
    Height: 14 inches;
    Weight: 65 kg;

Common training methods for hunting breed of dogs

Training any dog to hunting is an easy but rigorous task. One must adhere to strict training mechanisms for the same.

A brief of getting started on this is through:

  1. Conventional: some of the conventional methods to start-off the basic training for dogs involve obedience training. This obedience training relies of harsh and strict ways of teaching your dog to behave. Gradually, you can train your dog to hunt after training him to follow your commands. For training your dog to become hunter dogs, you must be strict and thoroughly disciplined about the techniques, to avoid all misunderstanding, confusions and accidents, on part of your dog.
  2. Collars: another important aspect of teaching or training a dog to hunt alongside you is through the introduction of collars and other leash-like controlling tools. This helps the owner to employ harsh punishments to train the dog to understand what to do and what not to.
  3. Positive reinforcements: this encompasses all methods of offering acknowledge and reward to your dog for doing things right. You must always encourage and motivate your dog to emphasise that it is that he has done right. Additionally, take care never to de-motivate or kill his enthusiasm by harsh punishments.
  4. Skill training: there are various skills of hunting that can be trained a dog to hunt, with thorough dedication. Some of them include sight, scent and speed training.  Sight training involves teaching your dog to track and follow the prey by sight and location of the prey by memorising the location of the prey.
    Scent training is, done through teaching your dog to follow specific scent as well as to locate items in difficult places, which can, be tracked only be scent. One should understand that whichever training it is, one must train the dog properly in each skill to be perfect assistance to hunt properly.
  5. Whispering: This is a submissive technique of effective communication with your dog through wolf training methods. Whispering employs attack and hunt training through pack attack and wolf hunting.
  6. Driving and stalking: driving the prey into focus or target circumference is an effective tool to teach your dog while training for hunting. This is, based on stalking the prey with absolute silence and technical training of influencing the movement of the prey in focus.

Apart from all this, we all know that earlier than the missiles, guns and harpoons, there was a time when dogs were the sole assistors of the pact of hunting.

Dog hunter training

Hunting dogs have evolved from man’s primitive training and teaching to evolve into police and military training through mesmerising skills and proper training. If you have decided to buy a hunting dog, it is time you research the ways to train it or visit a dog-trainer for guidelines, as every dog can, be trained to be the kill, chase or retrieve according to the master’s wishes.

Good Luck!

About the author
John Walton
John Walton

John Walton lives in Somerville, MA, with his two dogs, two sons, and very understanding mate. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a mentor trainer for the Animal Behavior College, an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator, and the Training Director for the New England Dog Training Club.

  • Amy Chase

    When choosing a hunting dog that fits your needs, I think the best thing to really consider is pedigree. You can’t customize your pup to have the characteristics you want, but you can examine and choose the best and probably the most fit for what you are looking for in a hunting dog. Though I can’t really say with experience but I believe that a Lab can be a sufficient hunting dog for those starting out. They live to please and have generally a couple good traits. Just my two cents.

    • John Walton

      Great insights, Amy. I believe that any dog can be trained as a hunting companion, but what separates other dog breeds from most is how their lineage and pedigree has been specifically developed which makes them considerably easier to train.

  • Red Smith

    I know for a fact that these hunting dog breeds are excellent hounds. How can you train these dogs to come back when they are hunting? It’s great how these dogs can resist wandering off when they’re on the loose!

    • John Walton

      It is part of how their breeds have been developed over time. It is part of their instinctive nature which makes them as effective hunting companions. This makes them relatively easy to train because you are just “activating” this ability in their system.

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