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6 Best Hunting Dog Breeds

Bone Broth For Dogs

Choosing a good hunting dog is not easy. While you want to choose the best hunting dog for your needs, it’s also important that you select one with temperament suited to its role as a hunter. This means choosing from among the many different types of popular hunting dogs — all of which have their own strengths and weaknesses.

Some are better at retrieving than others, some are more aggressive while others are smarter or faster runners. Finding the right type of dog can be difficult, but here are 6 Best Hunting Dog Breeds.

1. Foxhounds

The foxhound (or red fox hound) is considered by many to be the fastest landrace in North America. It was developed over centuries of selective breeding for speed, endurance, agility and strength on rugged terrain. The American Kennel Club considers this the most intelligent of the three major categories into which sporting spaniels fall. They’re highly trainable, obedient and calm around strangers.

These traits make them ideal companions for hunters who need an animal tracking tool, yet still require enough intelligence to handle other tasks such as pointing out game and following commands. In addition, they have strong protective instincts, making them suitable for children and animals alike. Finally, because these dogs were bred specifically for running, they excel in long-distance runs, too. For these reasons, foxhounds are often used on scent detection training courses, where they must locate objects hidden under heavy cover.

Their main drawback? Their short coats mean regular brushing and combing are required. Also, if allowed to run free outside, they may become destructive chew toys for birds, rabbits and small rodents.

  • Breed standard: Red Fox HOUND Standard
  • Height/Weight Range: 25″-35″ tall / 35 lbs.-65 lbs. Weight
  • Average Lifespan: 12 years
  • Care requirements: Moderate grooming
  • Good With Kids?: Yes
  • Playfulness: Intelligent
  • Friendliness: Friendly
  • Sleeping: 8 hours sleep per day
  • Ease Of Training: Easy
  • This dog belongs to: American Staffordshire Terriers

2. Beagles

Also known as greyhounds, beagle puppies grow up quickly and take pleasure in chasing balls, frisbees and sticks. Unlike smaller toy spaniels and Pekinese, beagles don’t get very big either. As adults, however, they do tend to put on weight due to their high metabolism and active lifestyle. Because of their size, they aren’t great at finding items buried underground and prefer digging rather than sniffing. But when trained properly, they’ll work well as bird retrievers, waterfowl search partners or even gundog assistants.

Another advantage of beagles is that they won’t mind being left alone during the day. Many owners enjoy taking walks with their pets while the rest of the family goes off somewhere else. And unlike larger spaniels and terriers, beagles generally get along quite well with cats, so another household pet could easily live peacefully alongside them. However, like the foxhounds, beagles are prone to chewing shoes and clothing, especially those made of leather. If possible, try keeping them away from furniture.

  • Breed standard: Manchester Terrier Standard
  • Height/Weight Range: 22″-28″ tall / 6-15 lbs. Weight
  • Average Lifespan: 9 years
  • Care Requirements: Low maintenance
  • With Kids?: No
  • Playfulness: Alert
  • Friendliness: Affectionate
  • Sleeping: 7-8 hours sleep per day
  • Good With Cats?: Yes
  • This dog belongs to: Toy Spaniel Group

3. Bloodhounds

A bloodhound puppy grows up fast and loves playing chase games, catching things on strings and fetch. Although somewhat slower than other scenthounds, adult bloodhounds usually rank among the top five fastest canine athletes. Like their close relatives, foxhounds, they love working in packs and will readily communicate through howling. That said, although they typically bond strongly with their humans, they aren’t particularly friendly towards strangers.

They should probably be avoided if you have kids younger than seven unless you plan to use them primarily as guard dogs. Bloodhounds also have a tendency to drool profusely and urinate frequently. When excited, you might find yourself cleaning up after them constantly! Despite these drawbacks, they are excellent watchdogs and loyal companions.

  • Breed standard: Smooth Coated Wirehaired Dachshund Standard
  • Height/Weight range: 28″-33″ tall / 45-70 lbs. Weight
  • Life span: 14+ years
  • Care requirement: Regular bathing
  • With Kids?: No
  • Playfulness: Excitable
  • Friendliness: Loyal
  • Sleepiness: None
  • This dog belongs to: Wire Fox Hybrids Group

4. Corgis and Cardigan Welsh Corgis

These two groups of herding dogs originated in Wales. Both feature large heads, pointed ears and tufty fur coats. One group has black faces, white bodies, brown tipped tails and solid hindquarters, while the other features blue eyes, tan noses and dappled foreheads. The latter tends to produce brighter foals, which makes them slightly easier to tell apart. Both groups originated as sheepherders and can be extremely stubborn. A corgi owner once told me “they’d rather die trying to keep you from something than let go.”

Because corkies are very playful and energetic, they usually end up being much bigger than their parents, which leads to problems if someone accidentally steps on them. Fortunately, both corgis and cardigan walescorgis respond well to socialization and love interacting with people. They also learn quickly and are relatively easy to housebreak.

Both are very smart and eager to please. Since they originally lived outdoors, they thrive in open spaces and would likely be bored without plenty of exercise. So consider getting them involved in activities like hiking or swimming before bringing home a new member of the family.

If you decide to buy a male and female together, always ensure the sire is sturdy enough to support his offspring and prevent any unwanted pregnancies. You should also avoid mating pairs whose temperaments differ markedly.

  • Breed standards: Corgi Standard – UK & U.K./Cardigan Welsh Corgi Standard – USA
  • Height/Weight ranges: 24″-32″ tall / 20-50 lbs. Weight
  • Lifespan: 15+ Years
  • Care requirements: Low care
  • With Kids?: No
  • Playfulness: Spirited
  • Friendliness: Obedient
  • Sleepiness: Watchful
  • This dog belongs to: Herding Group

5. Springer Spaniels

Originally originating in Spain, the original purpose of the Spanish springer spaniel was to help hunt vermin on farms. Today, they serve mainly as companion dogs, participating in everything from walking trips to parades. Springers are affectionate, gentle and responsive. They love attention and don’t bark or whine excessively. Most importantly, they have been successfully trained to assist hunters since they’ve done little growing since ancient times.

Springer spaniels are among the smartest of the sporting spaniels and are capable of learning complicated tricks. If raised correctly, they’ll happily play with young children. Unfortunately, because of their lack of bulk, they sometimes struggle with jumping obstacles. On average, they live about ten years.

  • Breed standard: International Canine Standard
  • Height/weight ranges: 23″-27″ tall / 30-60lbs. Weight
  • Life Span: 10+ years
  • Care requirements: Very low
  • With Kids?: Yes
  • Playfulness: Gentle
  • Friendliness: Loving
  • Sleepiness: Even tempered
  • This dog belongs to: Non-sporting Group

6. Weimaraners

One of the oldest purebred dog lines in Europe, the weimar coat refers to thick double coats that form tight curls. Originally bred to protect against harsh winters, today’s weimaraners remain athletic and agile, preferring longer distances than shorter ones. They are commonly sighted competing in show trials, obedience competitions and field trials. Although they have traditionally been bred to compete with other Germanic dogs, modern crossbreeding allows weimaraners to interbreed with English setters, whippets and pointers.

Like german shepherds, they are exceptionally devoted to their families and make wonderful hunters. Due to their sensitive hearing, they are poor candidates for households with rowdy children. Otherwise, they adapt well to living indoors. Most importantly, they rarely shed hair, meaning no extra cleanup chores.

  • Breed standard: Continental Working Herder Standard
  • Height/Weight ranges: 27″-30″tall / 40-60 lbs. Weight
  • Life span: 16+ years
  • Care requirements: Medium
  • With Kids?: No
  • Playfulness: Active
  • Friendliness: Patient
  • Sleepiness: Protective
  • This dog belongs to: Working Group

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