The best hunting and family dogs you can get today include the American Water Spaniel, Labrador Retrievers, Beagles, etc. This guide will dive into the different features that make these specific dog breeds excellent hunting and family dogs.
That said, before getting to the main section of the guide, note that if you want any dog to be adept at both hunting and being a family dog, you will need to ensure you train both aspects (regardless of the dog breed you’re dealing with.)
With that in mind, for a dog to work as a hunter, you’ll need to desensitize it to noise guns and take it through lots of exercises under challenging conditions. To make the same pooch an excellent family dog, you’ll also need to socialize and train it not to be overly protective or territorial.
The 8 Hunting Dogs And Family Dogs
Here is a closer look at the best hunting and family dogs you can get today.
Great for hunting upland birds and pheasant, Weimaraners are great dogs distinguished by their calm demeanour, elegant appearance, long legs, friendly nature, obedience, and agility. These features of the dog breed alone are sufficient evidence of why they’re considered one of the best hunting and family dogs available today.
Speaking from experience, no amount of inner sanctitude can stop a Weimaraner from springing into action whenever prey is in sight and chasing after it at full speed. Additional features that make the Weimaraners excellent hunting and family dogs are that they love attention, enjoy considering themselves part of a crew, and get along perfectly fine with older kids.
Just as their name suggests, bloodhounds are exceptional hunting dogs, thanks to their fearless tracking ability. This dog breed is especially helpful when hunting deer or rabbits and raccoons or foxes. I’ve even heard of countless cases where bloodhounds were used for hunting and tracking mountain lions.
What’s more? Bloodhounds are highly short-haired sociable dogs, making them perfect family dogs as well. Just note, though, that their loud howling and baying tend to make them one of the least ideal hunting and family dogs to get if you live in a densely populated area.
Flushers include the Britanny and English Springer spaniels. If you remember, Britanny dogs were previously referred to as Britanny spaniels, and their job in the hunting realm was to find and drive games from hiding places. This includes dense brushes, and you’ll find both of these dogs particularly essential while hunting pheasants.
What also makes these hunting dogs great family dogs? Well, their medium size and super friendly nature. The dogs are even known to get perfectly along with children and can live comfortably in homes with limited space.
To ensure your flusher maintains its abilities as a great hunting dog, you’ll need to ensure it gets sufficient exercise.
4. Setters and Pointers
Just as their names suggest, setters and pointers point hunters to where the game is by standing or sitting nearby. Note, though, that while a majority of these breeds’ members have “setter” or “pointer” in their names (think Irish Setter and German Shorthair Pointers), there exist other groups like Vislas that do not have the words in their names.
The use of setters and pointers to hunt quail and groups can be traced back to before firearms were invented.
5. Jack Russell Terrier
Pint-sized, playful, and friendly, the Jack Russel Terrier is extremely easy to work with and train. If you’ve ever owned the dog, you also know that it tends to have too much energy. You’ll wish you knew how to direct it to a specific purpose.
Thanks to their incredible intelligence levels, these dogs also learn faster than most of their counterparts, making them great hunting and family dogs. In the hunting realm, these dogs are known for both varmint hunting and tracking and have also been making a name for themselves in the fox hunting realm.
6. Bluetick Coonhound
Arguably one of the most energetic hunting dogs one can get today, bluetick coonhounds have been repeatedly voted the most fearless dog breeds available. Legend has it that these dogs are even willing to punch well above their weight class by taking on even lions and cougars.
Bluetick Coonhounds also double up as great family dogs thanks to their protective instincts and distinctive barking tendencies. However, if you’ve never owned one, its barking could take some getting used to both at home and in the bushes.
7. Golden Retriever
Without the Golden Retriever, this detailed guide on the best hunting and family dogs would be incomplete. Things that make these dogs great for hunting include their high intelligence and ability to “retrieve,” as their name suggests.
It’s also quite possible that there are way more Golden Retrievers living their best lives as family dogs than those being used for hunts, thanks to their docile nature and ability to be incredibly loyal. These dogs are a fantastic choice for homes with kids as well.
As crossbreeds, Goldendoodles combine the best features of standard Golden Retrievers and Standard Poodles to create a non-shedding, hypoallergenic dog that excels both in the fields as one of the best hunting dogs as well as in the home as a family dog.
Incredibly easy to train and affectionate, these dogs will make great companions in anyone’s space.
Best Hunting And Family Dogs – Final Thoughts
While trying to find the best hunting and family dogs for my home, I came across many claims from established dog trainers and hunters that training your dog to do both will probably ruin them. The truth is, they’re right, and the only way to rest assured that trying to integrate your hunting dog into your family won’t ruin it is to consider its breed in the first place.