Pets & Animals

5 Best Dog Breeds for Hunting


Man and dog have been hunting together since dogs were first domesticated, long before we lived in cities, and even before agriculture.

If you enjoy hunting, having a canine companion can make your trip even more of a success – provided you choose a breed of dog who is a good hunter. Good hunting dogs have a lot of energy, are athletic, are receptive to training, and have a strong prey drive. Although you can’t tie them in your beautiful yet delicate open or enclosed patios.

These are some of the best dog breeds for hunting.

Labrador Retriever

Labradors are gun dogs, meaning that they are typically used for flushing prey out for the hunter to shoot. Labradors are most commonly used for hunting birds, ducks in particular.

Labradors are great swimmers, which is why they are so good at hunting water foul, and they are also highly intelligent and easy to please.

They are easy to train and incredibly loyal, making them both an excellent hunting partner and good family dogs.

Treeing Walker Coonhound

The treeing walker coonhound is considered one of the best all-around hunting dogs because they are so quick and versatile and have a strong voice! If your coonhound spots something far away from you in the woods, you will hear about it.

They are exceptionally skilled at hunting raccoons. As their name suggests, if they get impatient waiting for a raccoon to come down from a tree, they will walk up there to retrieve it (provided the tree isn’t completely vertical).

Treeing walker coonhounds are intelligent and easy to train, although they will sometimes choose to ignore a command if they don’t feel like it! You can read all about treeing walker coonhound (strategies & examples) for tips on how to get over their sassy nature.

It’s also worth noting that the loud voice of the treeing walker coonhound means that they may not be the best choice for people who live in apartment buildings, as they may annoy your neighbors.


Beagles are scent hounds adept at following their noses to locate small prey in their hiding places like in or around your fence planters! Like the coonhound, they have a loud voice, so you’ll be able to find them once they’ve discovered their target.

They’re particularly good at hunting small game-like rabbits.

As well as being a good hunting partner, beagles make good family pets. They are known for being loving, easy to please, and good with children.

English Springer Spaniel

The English springer spaniel is exceptionally skilled at flushing out and hunting pheasants, and it has skills at retrieving that match the golden retriever or labrador.

They make excellent family pets because they have an incredibly loyal and loving nature, and they are smaller than a lot of other hunting dogs, making them perfect for navigating smaller spaces.

Irish Setter

The Irish setter is instantly recognizable by its gorgeous rust-colored coat. Setters make fantastic family pets, but they do need a lot of exercise to ensure they are happy, so they’re the right choice for people out and about a lot.

They’re perfect for hunting birds, and it’s a joy to watch them bound gracefully across a field.

Cesar Millan
Cesar Millan holds a Master’s in Animal Behavior from Cornell University, dedicating his 11-year career to understanding and improving the human-animal bond. Since joining our website in 2022, Cesar has provided insights into pet care, behavior modification, and animal communication. His background includes roles in animal research and as a professional dog trainer. Cesar’s previous roles included working as a veterinarian and animal behaviorist. Cesar is an avid wildlife photographer in his leisure time and participates in conservation education programs.

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