Top 10 Best Scent Hunting Dogs – They smell great!

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A scent hunting dog is one that mostly uses its ability of scent to hunt rather than the eyes. These dogs hunt by tracking the smell of the prey until they get to their hiding place and then chase them as they bark. Generally, olfactory receptors are receptors located in the nose that help in the sense of smell. Dogs have over 300 million of these receptors but with different abilities. This is the main characteristics used to determine the best scent hunting dogs with excellent scent ability. Other characteristics include strength, speed, intelligence among others. The following is a review of 10 best scent hunting dogs.

American Foxhound.

This is one of the great hunting dog breeds that make use of their smelling capability to track the prey. They have a great sense of smell hence versatile for hunting as well as a howl that is easily recognizable by the hunter. American Foxhound is well known for hunting foxes and chasing deer among other hunts. It has strong stamina and love running, this also adds to its versatility in hunting. The breed has a large structure and a height of about 21-25 inches, the legs are straight boned and long. These factors enable the dog to be very active during hunting as well as energetic.

Pros:

  • Very active and energetic.
  • Versatile sense of smell.
  • Strong stamina.
  • Fast.

Cons

  • They lack off-leash trust.

Beagle.

This is a determined and single-minded dog during its hunt making them highly alert and persistent in tracking the prey. Beagle was initially used to hunt hare, unlike today where it is used to hunt deer, rabbit among other small prey. Beagle has a high and sensitive sense of smell making them the best for hunting as well as detection dogs. The ability and the intelligence to drive the prey towards the direction of the hunter makes them very versatile for hunting. It also has strong stamina, enabling it to cover the hunting distance comfortably.

Pros

  • Excellent tracking instincts.
  • A powerful sense of smell.
  • Intelligent and highly alert.
  • Strong stamina.

Cons

  • It is prone to various types of health problems like epilepsy, dwarfism, Musladin-Lueke Syndrome, Funny Puppy among others.

3. Dachshund.

Dachshund is also referred to as a sausage/wiener dog and is a hound type of dog with short legs and a long body. It is well known for the ability to smell and chase prey as well as flushing out burrow-living animals. The dachshund has a muscular body and stubby legs. It has large front paws with a paddle shape making it ideal for digging out the prey. The deep chest enhances a great lung capacity that provides great stamina during hunting. The dachshund hunting dog has a loose skin that is adapted to tunneling through tight holes when hunting without tearing. It is quite stubborn, active, and persistent in tracking and following commands, making it ideal for hunting. This breed also has a well-developed sense of smell, clever, and courageous making it suitable for the underground and above hunting activity.

Pros

  • Clever and courageous.
  • Ideal for both underground and above hunting.
  • Well developed sense of smell.
  • Deep chest for enhanced stamina.

Cons

  • High risk of injury due to obesity.
  • It is prone to intervertebral disk disease among other spinal problems.

Bloodhound.

Bloodhound is a scent hound breed with large body size. They have been used to hunt boar and deer since ancient times as well as tracking people. It has an extraordinary scent capability and strong tracking instincts making it ideal for hunting. The breed has a weight of 49-65 kg and a height of 58-72 cm with the male having higher heights and weight compared to the female. They are also single-minded and persistent when tracking a scent enabling them to track scents even for mile and miles. This is a strong dog and loves vigorous outdoor activities hence great for hunting.

Pros

  • Keen sense of smell.
  • Intelligent and highly active.
  • Strong and persistent tracking instincts.

Cons

  • It is slow to mature.

5. Harrier.

Harrier is a hound type of dog with a medium size. It is used for hunting hares and foxes by tracking their smell up to their hiding place. Harriers have a weight range of 45 lbs to 65 lbs and a height of 19-21 inches. It is a muscular breed with large and strong bones for great stamina making them ideal for all-day hunting. Harrier is an active dog that is well adapted to tireless hunting activity making it great for hunters. They are great hunters and chasers with strong instincts and energy.

Pros

  • Excellent sense of scent.
  • Strong bones for great stamina.
  • Strong hunting instincts.
  • Great for hunting hares and foxes.

Cons

  • Prone to hip dysplasia.

6. Basset Hound.

This is another breed from the hound family with short legs and a great sense of smell, Their ability to track ground scent makes them versatile for hunting. Basset Hound was initially used to hunt hares. The short stature of this dog makes them ideal for hunting small prey as well as the keen nose ability. The Basset Hound stands up to 14 inches and has a weight of 50-60 pounds. He has a good scent trail and always alert for any prey scent. He also loves walking and running in the jungle while sniffing all through which is a good characteristic for hunting dogs. Basset Hounds also has a dense coat that protects them from all weather conditions.

Pros

  • The dense coat makes him ideal for varied weather conditions.
  • Great sense of smell and ground scent.
  • Always alert.
  • Good scent trail.

Cons

  • No major flaws.

7. German Shepherd.

German Shepherd is one of the great dogs with a keen sense of smell and has been used since ancient times to hunt animals like deer among others as well as herding. He makes use of his powerful nose instincts to track and locate prey. He is a medium to large-sized dog breed with great strength and intelligence. This makes them suitable for the task. German Shepherd is obedient and easily trainable making a good companion to the hunter. The wither height ranges between 50-65 cm with the male having the higher height ranges.

Pros

  • Highly intelligent.
  • Strong stamina.
  • Keen sense of smell.
  • Easy to train.

Cons

  • No major flaws.

8. Otterhound.

This is a British breed belonging in the scent hound family with a height of 69 cm and 61 cm and a weight of 115 pounds and 80 pounds male and female respectively. It is a large dog with a rough coat initially used for hunting. It has long strides and a strong body enabling it to handle the prolonged hunting activity. A unique character about Otterhound is the ability to track a scent in the mud and water. It has an oily coat and partially webbed feet enabling them to hunt in the water. It is rated as the most intelligent dog in Europe.

Pros

  • Capable of hunting on both land and water.
  • Good tracking ability in mud and water.
  • Extremely sensitive noses.

Cons

  • It is prone to elbow and hip dysplasia

9. Labrador Retriever.

The Labrador retriever is the best when it comes to duck hunting. The dog is an exceptional swimmer with a strong drive to please and has great speed and energy. The dog is not only limited to ducks and can perform as an elite in any waterfowl setting. It is also a great retriever for dove hunters. It is famous due to its obedience and loyalty. They have a great sense of smell and can tolerate extremely cold waters. They also have the ability to work quietly beside hunters when watching birds fall from the sky and mark where they have fallen then retrieve.

Pros

  • Great sense of smell.
  • Fast and energetic.
  • Excellent prey retriever.
  • A genius at sniffing.

Cons

  • Prone to obesity and inherited disorders like hereditary myopathy and hip and elbow dysplasia.

10. Black and Tan Coonhound.

The dog weighs between 45-75 pounds and features colors and marks that resemble a Rottweiler and Doberman. This breed uses scent and is good at chasing raccoons and it also does wonders in hunting bears, dear, and other predators. It has outstanding characteristics such as power, alertness, agility, and has the ability to cover ground due to its powerful rhythmic strides. Each dog under this breed has its own unique voice that is recognizable by the owner from a commendable distance. A unique characteristic is the ability to detect and track cold trail.

Pros

  • Always alert.
  • Ability to detect and track cold trail.
  • A great family companion.

Cons

  • No major flaws.

And that concludes our list of the 10 best breeds we put in the category of scent hunting dogs. Have a look at our other top lists!

Best 10 hunting dogs for hunting hogs.

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