Top hunting dogs

To hunt for sport takes guts and endurance. Hunting dogs are the best tool you can use in the wilderness. Here are the best breeds for keeping up with you and your game.

Boykin Spaniel

The master bird flusher, these dogs are great for hunting dove, pheasant, and ducks. They have a prime nose for tracking wounded game. If you’re looking for an energetic dog, with the endurance for a variety of weather and terrain, the Boykin Spaniel can’t be beat. Socialized they make great family pets, with an easy, trainable disposition. They are also one of the prettiest hunting dogs.

Beagle

One of the smaller hounds, Beagles have a long history of hunting. They, unlike bigger hounds, could chase hare through the underbrush. Hailing out of England, Elizabeth I had a pocket beagle. Used mostly for hunting, she would also have them entertain her guests. Like most hounds they have a keen sense of smell. They primarily hunted small species. Since they are a ground-scenting dog, they are best if hunting land animals.

Plott Hound

A more sizeable hound, these pooches are known for their strength and agility. Originally bred to hunt wild boar and bear, so you know they have stamina, and make fierce hunters. Like all hounds they have a strong nose and a high-pitched bark to match. These qualities are only some of the reasons they make great hunting dogs. They also are known for being energetic and eager to please. So training this dog will be easy. Be sure to start at a young age with socialization, otherwise it may lead to aggressive tendencies when older.

English Setter

Highly affectionate and active, these guys make the best family and hunting dogs. They are extremely agile, which makes them perfect for training. Their name comes from their hunting history, known to “setting” low to allow hunters to net their prey. Bred specifically for speed and scent they do well in hunting upland. They’ve been used most with hunting birds, but are trained to hunt other animals. Loving and sometimes mischievous, this dog will make days in the woods all the more fun.

Bloodhound

Last, but in no way least, the Bloodhound. If their name doesn’t give it away already, they were born to hunt. Originally from Belgium, these dogs hunted foxes, deer, and wild boar. On top of their ability to hunt game, they are even good at tracing humans. This is because the bloodhound’s olfactory sense picks up on 500 million receptors. Not bad, huh? They even find and track scents that are days old. There are conflicting histories about how Bloodhounds got their name. Due to either their ability to track a wounded animal or their stance as the “pure-blooded” hound. Both are plausible, seeing as the hound is both a blood tracker, and they’re some of the earliest breeds of hound ever found. Regardless of their name origins, they still stand as one of the best hunting dogs.

For a hunting dog, seek out stamina, intelligence, and strong scent tracking ability.

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