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Different Types of Hunting Dogs

3 minutes
Depending on what they are used for, there are four different kinds of hunting dogs.
Different Types of Hunting Dogs
Last update: 03 October, 2018

From the beginning when dogs began to live among humans, they were used for hunting purposes. There are many breeds that have been used or are still being used to help humans hunt. Continue reading this article to take a look at different types of hunting dogs.

There are four types of hunting dogs. Each one is responsible for a different job. Let’s take a closer look.

Different types of hunting dogs


People refer to bloodhounds as tracking dogs or trackers. They have a strong olfactory capacity that them to follow the trails of prey. Once they find the prey, they chase it as they bark to let other hunters know that the chase is on.

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These dogs are able to hunt alone or in a group. However, they always hunt under the direction of their owners. The owners are in charge of commanding them to pursue prey, catch it, or bring it to them.

People use hounds as hunting dogs for both big and small game. In France, hunters use them them for hunter deer, in England for fox hunting, and in Spain for hare and wild boar.


While hounds are known for their sense of smell, whippets are recognized for their great visual accuracy. They are able to spot prey from long distances. Once they see the prey, they start chasing it until they catch it. The whippet’s modus operandi is silent and fast. This makes it very effective in hunting several animals, some as big as deer.

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Hunters have used this type of dog for many years. They are said to be responsible for many of the successes during hunting season. Among the most popular breeds for this job are the Afghan Hound or the Azawakh.

Hunting dogs

These types of dogs are used especially for hunting small animals. They are the most popular choice for amateur hunters.

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These dogs are divided into several varieties:

  • Retrievers. These dogs help hunters find and bring back birds that have been shot in the air. Retrievers are patient because sometimes they need to spend hours waiting for the order to retrieve a bird.
  • Settlers. They search for prey based on their smell. Settlers are usually used for larger birds, such as pheasants or grouse. Once they find the prey, they stand still so the hunter understands they located the prey.
  • Spaniels. These dogs are perfect for finding prey in grassy areas with lots of bushes. They can also track prey in the water.
  • Pointers. This dog differs greatly from the previously mentioned ones because when they locate prey they point with their nose towards it. Experts recognize and value pointers for their well-known “pointing instinct.”
  • Water dogs. Finally, there are water dogs. These dogs chase and catch prey in the water. These dogs hunt prey like waterfowl or animals that hide in the water while being chased.


Hunters widely use these hunting dogs in the United States to hunt large game. They need specialized training to develop a strong hunting instinct. However, these dogs can sometimes cause problems, like attacking strangers.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.