Thanks to their good endurance and an amazing sense of smell, many dog breeds were once mankind’s best hunting friends. While they’re more often snuggled on couches and hunting sticks in the park these days, these canines have retained their hunting instinct, which is why they are known as hunting dogs. Their amazing skills and signature limitless energy make them the best canine companions you could ever ask for. Here are some of the most popular hunting dog breeds, and the traits that make them favorites with dog owners.
Characteristics of the best-hunting dogs
Although the characteristics of a hunting dog are different for each breed, there are some general traits that most of them have in common.
Hunting dogs were bred to have good endurance. It is highly unlikely that you need to encourage a hunting puppy to exercise or spot them after a 5-minute game in the middle of their nap. Hounds spent their days hunting down or tracking down prey. So don’t expect them to sleep happily all day. Make sure you run regularly and have enough dog toys and games up your sleeve to keep them entertained, otherwise they can lead to destructive behavior.
Easy to train
Good hunting dogs are great at communicating with their owners, so one of their best skills is training ability. Learning to obey important commands like “no”, “stay” or “come” may have put them out of the way on hunting trips earlier. But today that same skill is crucial in building trust and a solid bond between you and your pup.
Great sense of smell
A sensitive nose is a great asset to a hunting dog. The impressive sniffing skills mean you’ll have trouble hiding the goodies behind a scented dog’s back. You need to make sure you choose unreachable heights for their supplies of goodies!
It used to be essential for a good hunting dog to keep calm when faced with all types of games. Because of this, you will often see them constantly exploring the world and ready to conquer it when you go for a walk together. After all, some of the bravest pugs are proud members of the hunting breeds.
Dog breeds hunt
These are five of the most popular breeds of hunting dogs.
1. Labrador Retriever
Their energy, intelligence, and unmatched swimming skills are recommended over and over again Labrador Retriever as one of the best hunting dog breeds. Naturally, active dogs will be more than happy to impress you with their park catching and tracking skills, the same skills once used for pigeon hunting and duck catching. But perhaps even more impressive than their athletic skills is the so-called “soft bite” which was useful in carrying the game without damaging it. With a little training, they’ll learn to control their jaw strength so they can hold delicate objects in their mouths without breaking them. Check out videos of them holding eggs in their mouths without breaking the clams if you don’t believe us!
The short-legged beagle may not look like a hunting hero, but get to know them a little better and you will see why this brave hunting dog was once known as the perfect companion for catching rabbits, foxes, and even smaller deer. After all, they are a scented dog with an excellent sense of smell.
If you’d like to have a hunting dog with a determined mind that doesn’t say no to a good playful hunt, a beagle is definitely the dog you have been looking for. Their distinctive loud bark makes them good for safety and their exuberant manner will always guide you where they are so you don’t lose sight of them during their usual sniffing mission.
Pointer dogs have a special place among dog breeds. Although their famous posture, indicative of unsuspecting prey, is the origin of their nickname, pointer dogs have much more to show their lucky owners than their hunting skills. These are dogs who really love family life. They get along with everyone and show relatives and strangers alike their friendly and loving side. They will be equally happy to play fetch or attend family gatherings, which makes Pointers great companions and deserves all the praise that comes their way.
With tracking skills that are more of a superpower than just one of the usual five senses, Bloodhounds are one of the most popular hunting dog breeds. With a name like that, it’s no wonder police officers are recruiting trustworthy Bloodhounds for the valuable chase work their legendary nose is capable of. When they take a break from their sniffing duties, they make excellent pets and a loving family member.
5. Irish setter
Irish setters have a somewhat unusual appearance for a hunting dog, with luxurious chestnut fur and a thin, delicate snout. But you can tell they are active dogs as soon as a ball is caught! When you add her loving and kind nature, the Irish setter comes pretty close to the perfect hunting dog breed.
Formerly known as agile hard workers with the knack of rescuing birds, the Irish Setters may have left their hunting days behind, but they’re always ready to put the same effort into fun activities with their favorite human. So be ready for lots of playful times at home.