Hunting Dog Breeds

Mans best friend comes in many different shapes and sizes but which dog breeds do what? Below is a simple breakdown of all the different groups, what they do and a small summary.


Hounds are a common choice in all hunting sports linked to mammals. Their amazing sense of smell, sight or speed makes them a great hunting asset. They are divided into 3 categories:

Sight Hounds

Sight hounds are used, of course, for their sight but also their speed. They will spot, stalk, chase and kill their pray very quickly and efficiently. This is know as coursing. The main dog breed used for this is the Greyhound.

Common sight hounds include

• Afghan Hound

• Galgo Español

• Whippet

• Greyhound

• Scottish Deerhound

• Silken Windhound

A Whippet Sight Hound


Being a lurcher means the dog is of crossed breeds. Normally a sight hound mixed with a different breed, meaning lurchers can be selectively bred with certain temperament. They are normally mixed with pastoral dog or terrier.

A Lurcher Hound

Scent hounds

Used for trailing a scent to flush or kill, scent hounds hunt in packs. Although British law now forbids most sports from using packs of dogs it is normal for hounds to used in pairs.
Common scent hounds include:

• Basset Hound

• Beagle

• Foxhound

• Beagle-Harrier

• Bloodhound

• Coonhound

A Coonhound Scent Hound


Used for finding and returning shot game, the retriever is the soft mouth of the dog breeds groups. Only acting on command, retrievers are very intelligent and disciplined.

Common Retrievers include

• American Water Spaniel

• Curly-Coated

• Retriever

• Labrador Retriever

• Flat-Coated Retriever

• German Shepherd

• Golden Retriever

A Flatcoat retriever


Commonly used for hunting upland game birds, this dog is a well equipped hunter. A sharp nose, soft mouth and steady feet make this a favorite for a lot of people.

Common spaniel breeds include

• Blue Picardy Spaniel

• French Spaniel

• The Brittany

• Cocker Spaniel

A Brittany Spaniel


The setter is properly the most used of the dog breeds for hunting game such as quail, grouse or pheasant. Setters get their name from the “set” stance they freeze in once they find their prey.

Common Setter breeds include

• English Setter

• Gordon Setter

• Irish Red and White Setter

• Gordon Setter

• Black Welsh Setter

An English Setter


Used for finding and pointing out prey, the pointers allow shooters to get into range before a shot.

Common pointer Breeds include

• German Shorthaired Pointer

• English Pointer

A German ShortHaired Pointer

Small Game Dogs


A small dog used to hunt game, especially squirrels.


This breed is used to hunt mammals by hunting within the animals den or set. They will cause the animal to bolt, capture it or kill it depending on how they are trained. Terriers have a very large breed group.


Curs are used like terriers but for larger game due to their slightly larger size.

Common Breeds Include

• Blackmouth Cur

• Catahoula Cur

• Treeing Cur

• Mountain Cur

• Stephens Cur

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