Top 10 Best Dogs for Bird Hunting

Bird dogs have been a part of man’s relationship with beast for centuries – after all, the little dog from NES’s Duck Hunt wasn’t put there by coincidence. Dogs are a great way to help you indulge your hobby of shooting pheasants, ducks and other fowl, and we’ve got a helpful rundown of the kinds of pups you might want at your side.

So Which are the best dogs for bird hunting?

1. Brittany

Brittanys are fantastically loyal and affectionate, and cute to boot with their white coat and adorable brown spots. They’re a bit smaller than a lot of other pointers, but Brittanys are the quintessential bird hunting dog.

Brittay dog for bird hunting

2. German Wirehaired Pointer

The true benefit of the wirehaired pointer is in their tracking – they are extremely good at driving out prey for the kill. What’s more, they’re fantastic at running through brush, being surprisingly agile in such rough terrain. An old school hunting dog from the 19th century, if you want a dog that’s a little more versatile than the normal breeds, the Whirehaired Pointer is for you.

Best all around hunting dog

3. Vizsla

Vizsla’s are great if you want bright, energetic dogs that you can keep as your best friend in addition to your hunting partner. These dogs are supremely trainable, and easy to get them to do what you want, which is obviously a great trait for a dog. Out in the field, however, the Vizslas are just as good at hunting as they are affectionate and gregarious.

Vizla hunting dog

4. Deutsch Drahthaar

Deutsch Drahts are expert trackers and hunters, making them perfect for a hunting companion. They can do all kinds of things like track blood, pick up game you’ve shot (even if they’ve fallen into a lake or river), and bring it back to you. What’s more, these big guys are tough and loyal, meaning they can keep you safe out there in the wild woods.

duck hunting dog breeds

5. Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are huge beasts, with tremendous amounts of muscle and leg power for quick running, and they can stand up to adverse weather if you’re hunting in non-ideal climates. They’re notable for their two-layer coat, a bushier underfer and harsher jopcoat above it to help stand up to the cold weather.

gun dog breeds

6. English Springer Spaniel

Is pointing the least important part of your bird hunting activities (your game game, if you will)? If so, you’ll do just fine with one of these dog. With English Springer Spaniels, it’s no-nonsense, no frills; just a dog charging wildly into a flock of birds to drive them into the air and into range of your gun. If you’re the fire and forget type, these dogs will serve you well.

English springer spaniel

7. Golden Retriever

If you want something a little less exotic, the Golden Retriever is still one of the best bird dogs around, even if it has more of a reputation as a lovable house dog. Its loyalty serves it well in both contexts, meaning it will stick by you no matter what and can easily take to training. A great all-purpose bird dog, it’s also the one you can most likely use for both your hobby and to keep you company at home.

Golden retriever for hunting

8. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are just as good as Golden Retrievers, but with one unique specialty: they love water. Labs are fantastic for retrieving game that have fallen into the water, and are some of the most common bird hunting dogs around. If you want a dog that’s reliable, effective and loyal, look no further.

Hunting with a lab

9. Pointer

Is pointing the most important part of your game game? Well, we’ve got the bird hunting dog for you. Pointers are some of the oldest dog breeds, having been around since the 1600s to point hunters toward game so Greyhounds could chase them down. These guys are fantastic companions, and adorable to boot, but they also serve an interesting purpose for bird hunting.

10. English Setter

English setters are so called for their tendency to ‘set,’ or lay down, after they spot game, so that they could stay out of the way of hunters using nets. To that end, they make for excellent bird hunting companions in that crucial stage when, for once, you want them to stay out of the way.

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Ridley Fitzgerald - March 15, 2017

It’s good to know what dogs are best for bird hunting. My dad and I want to get back into pheasant hunting, but neither of us know which dog to use. We have an old Cocker Spaniel, so maybe when she dies, we can get an English Springer Spaniel. It’ll be like she never left!


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