Dogs are not only man’s best friend; they are also ‘best’ hunting mates. Though dogs can be trained for a specific hunt, there are dog breeds that are just naturally perfect for the job. Here are dog breeds that are suited for your kind of game. If you can use a scope on a mosin nagant and shoot it, you can get a dog to go fetch it.
1. Weimaraner – for hunting large and small game
The all-around hunting dog, Weimaraners hunt for differently-sized game – from rabbits to bears. With a size range of 23-27 inch and weight of 55-80 pounds, they are highly energized and agile. A Weimaraner would love to go on a friendly hike and can be a terrific hunter as well. With its ability to track, point, and retrieve both in water and on land, Weimaraner can do just about everything when it comes to hunting.
2. Labrador Retriever – for hunting ducks
Tagged as an All-American dog, a Labrador Retriever can go hunting all day and be the family’s best friend at night. They have otter tails (which helps them maneuver in water), webbed feet, and well-toned body. The Lab’s agility matches with its intelligence. This combination makes them a hunter’s perfect partner. They are also fantastic family dogs. Well-behaved, they do well in the house. They will chase down and fetch in the deepest of high brush and grass.
3. American Foxhound – for hunting deer
American Foxhounds were originally developed for fox-hunting in Virginia and Maryland. Later, they were found to be the best choice for deer-hunting, too. Using these dogs means you won’t need to climb a hang on tree stand. They are energetic with unquestionable stamina, a keen nose, and a hunter’s doggedness. All these traits are essential in running a deer successfully. Foxhounds can also form a pack with other dogs to keep a deer from moving. The Foxhounds best trait is probably their running ability. They chase like it’s what they live for.
4. Beagle – for hunting rabbits
Small, tri-colored, and energetic – Beagles are a pleasant sight; those are not the reasons why they are best for rabbit-hunting, though. Beagles are fast, agile, and have great scenting ability. They also love to bark, which is great for keeping them in sight. Beagles are also sometimes used for detecting because of their great scenting ability. And their good disposition and friendliness make them a popular choice for a hunter that doubles as a family pet as well.
5. Pointer Dogs – for hunting quails
Pointers are fast, hard-working, trainable and, well, bird-obsessed dog breed. They can work in the harshest conditions – hot or cold, steamy or humid. Their thin coat makes them adjust very well to the heat, and their stamina helps them to endure the cold. Hence, they are perfect for places in the South, but they can also do great somewhere in the North.
6. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers (Chessies) – for hunting sea ducks
Chessies are the ultimate “man’s best friend.” Completely bred within United States, they were originally tasked to protect the gears, guns, and the boat of their owners. Chessies are known to be very hard-working and loyal to their owners. They share the same thick coat and web feet of the Labs, but the former have firmer build. Chessies are very determined retrievers, which is a valued trait for sea-duck hunting.
7. Dogo Argentino – for hunting hogs
Dogo Argentinos are called catch dogs. They have become necessary for catching hogs and controlling the destruction to agricultural plants brought about by hogs to farms. Initially, chase dogs are deployed to pursue hogs to bring them to a fight mode. Catch dogs, are then sent to fight these hogs – sinking their teeth on any part of the hog – and wait for the arrival of the hunters. Pit bulls are popularly used, but Dogo Argentinos are actually better. Dogo Argentinos are bigger, more athletic and more powerful than Pit bulls. They were actually designed for hunting, and not for fighting. They have good temperament, and are a friendly and loyal breed.
8. Appalachian – for hunting turkeys
Appalachian turkey dogs are big and can track flocks of birds by using their sense of smell or sense of sight. They are also called Turkey Dogs, and are actually a combination of three breeds: Plott hound, pointer, and setter. Their got their love for chase and action from the Plotts; speed, endurance, and the drive from the pointer; trendy look and obedience from the setter. The selective breeding was purposely done to create a breed that was perfect for turkey hunting.
9. English Setter – for hunting grouse
Setters are pointing dogs. They have a very good nose that makes them perfect for grouse-hunting. When going for such hunt, you have to know the location of the bird without ticking them off. Setters’ keen noses enable them to smell the birds and mark their location for their owner – who does the shooting. This can be beneficial if you scope with a holographic sight. In this case, the smaller setter will be a better hunting companion.
10. English Springler Spaniel – for hunting pheasants
Originating from England, these canines are also very good swimmers. They are often seen with hunters in fields to hunt for pheasants. Pheasants are mostly a problem, in cornfields especially, and you would want a flushing Springer Spaniel than a pointing dog. They are generally smaller than Labradors, and that smaller size allows them to be highly energized. Springers are instinctive, hardworking, and loyal to their masters.
It’s not easy picking a dog. Instead, decide what game you will be hunting for, and the dog will follow.