What Types of Hunting Dogs Are There?

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  • Sighthounds
  • Scenthounds
  • Lurchers
  • Retrievers
  • Setters
  • Spaniels
  • Pointers
  • Waterdogs
  • Feists
  • Terriers
  • Curs

We are in this post trying to explain the different types of hunting dogs, so it’s easier for you to pick what suits you best!

Imagine the pleasant smell of the fields and the scenic views of the wild. These irresistible yet fertile imaginations could effortlessly push you to hunt, and you will not regret it. With the hunting season relatively nigh, you might want to have fun in the wild. It will be fascinating to have suitable companions during such trips. That is where hunting dogs come in.

With hunting dogs by your side, you will be confident of a memorable experience while hunting. The ease of their training, obedience, and loyalty make them the best partners while in the fields. Interestingly, you have a wide array of breeds to choose from.

Ideally, each type of hunting dog has distinct traits and hunting approaches. Sadly, not much information about their distinction is out there. It is in this light that we explore some of the common types of hunting dogs and their most predominant traits. They include the following. 

But first, we should take a look at the basics. 

What Type of Hunting Can You Do With Dogs?

Mostly, the type of hunting will be dependent on the breed of your dog. However, you will generally rely on these dogs for both wetland and upland game hunting.

During this hunting, you will utilize the hunting dog in locating and flushing game, retrieving game birds, capturing small prey, including rabbits and hares. A trained hunting dog will come in handy in detecting as well as flushing out prey before shooting.

In light of pursuing different game, ensure that you choose the right dog to hunt your preferred prey. Some dogs excel in upland hunting better than others. You will also find that some of these dogs have a higher endurance level than others.

Ideally, you will be sure of three main categories of hunting dogs. Usually, you will get hound dogs, gun dogs, and terriers.

Further, hound dogs are divided into sighthounds and scenthounds. On the other hand, we have different categories of gun dogs. They include retrievers, water dogs, spaniels, setters, and pointers. These gun dogs vary in size, endurance, shape, and agility. Terriers are the most independent hunters, and you are most likely going to fall in love with them.

The big question, therefore, becomes which dog suits you? Here is an analysis of the different options that you have. 


You could also call them gazehounds. These hunting dogs usually rely on sight as well as speed when going after their prey. Additionally, they pride themselves on enhanced agility. You will hardly ignore their sensitive nose and sharp eyes. Interestingly, they come with a calm, indoor demeanor too.

In most cases, they tend to be between 1.2 and 2 meters in length. They are not only long-legged and sleek but also relatively muscular. Some of the common sighthounds that you will get include the Italian Greyhounds, Salukis, greyhounds, and whippets. You could also choose afghan hounds, the Ibizan hounds, or the Basenji.

You will find sighthounds more reliable when hunting in the open fields or plains. Usually, they come in handy in hunting foxes, wolves, and hares. Ideally, these dogs will be suited for hunting in rugged terrains, thickets, and forests.

In most cases, they excel in long runs as well as retrieval abilities. These dogs will also come in handy in hunting birds of prey. While at it, you will witness that most sighthounds tend to be relatively calm and obedient after catching prey. They will wait for the hunter to arrive before they finally tear any game. 


Scenthounds come with a relatively impressive scenting ability and a characteristic baying voice. They tend to rely on their booming voices alongside the scent while hunting their prey. Well, they pride themselves on having the most sensitive noses among dogs.

One of the distinctive features that these dogs come with is their enhanced tenacity. Besides, they are not only full of endurance but also highlight a sense of determination. They will always ensure that they track down prey before they can finally rest.

Often, these scenthounds will hunt either injured prey or those on trees. Once they capture the game, they alert the hunter through their baying voices.

Where do scenthounds thrive? In most cases, you will witness that these dogs excel in thickets and dense places. You will also rely on them if your hunting ground is near water bodies or in challenging terrains.

Some of the most common scenthounds that you could consider will include the German Shorthaired Pointer, Dachshund, Beagle, Black and Tan Coonhound, English Springer Spaniel, and Bloodhound. The Bluetick Coonhound and Harrier will also come in handy for you.