11 Bird Hunting Dog Breeds (Experts Weigh In)

Do you know what breeds of dogs are used for hunting birds?

You may be surprised to learn that there are many different types of hunting dogs, each bred for a specific purpose.

In this blog post, we ask experts to weigh in on the best bird hunting dog breeds. From the versatile German Shorthaired Pointer to the hard-working Labrador Retriever, these breeds are sure to make your next hunting trip a success!

11. Pointer

Image from Canna Pet

This is one of the largest dog breeds used as a bird dog but it is by far one of the most effective at the job. As the name suggests, these dogs serve as pointers helping hunters to locate prey that is hiding without startling the fowl.

In addition to this natural talent, these dogs can easily be trained for a variety of other hunting purposes including safe retrieval of small birds.

10. Braque Francais

Image from Instagram:@amanda.l.richard

The Braque Francais is truly built for the outdoors with its sharp senses, strong body, and powerful legs that give it incredible speed without sprinting. These dogs are also known to be great at retrieving both large and small prey. Finally, they display pointing skills and can easily be trained to flush out prey.

With all these talents in one breed, you have a very versatile breed that is perfect for hunting birds.

9. Brittany

Image from Instagram:@louiethebrittany

These medium-sized dogs are built for hunting with their strong yet lightweight and agile frames. They are particularly awesome for hunting birds as they instinctively display pointing skills which are perfect for stealth attacks.

Their athleticism also makes them useful as gun dogs as they are able to run around, chase birds, and keep up with hunting parties without burning out too quickly.

These sweet pups can be quite shy especially around strangers and need early socialization.

8. Golden Retriever

Image from Dog.com

As their name suggests, these are retriever dog breeds and are easily one of the most popular in this category. Their delicate handling of prey comes in particularly handy with small animals like birds.

In addition to being awesome as hunting dogs, Golden Retrievers make perfect family pets. They are incredibly friendly and loyal. They are also very smart and therefore easy to train and live with in general.

7. Small Münsterländer

Image from Instagram:@stellamandas

Contrary to popular belief, the Small Munsterlander is not a miniature version of the Large Munsterlander. In fact, they are not even related.

This breed is a rare one all over the world and is almost exclusively bred for the sake of use in hunting as opposed to just being kept as a companion pet.

As a result, those who do choose to keep them as pets have to work extra hard to get them to settle into a more indoorsy lifestyle.

6. Boykin Spaniel

Image from ChomChom Roller

This hunting breed is valued as a bird dog mainly for its flushing abilities and its gentle retrieval. They were actually bred specifically to help with hunting prey like wild turkey and ducks.

These dogs are rarely kept as house pets. However, when they do they are very friendly and adaptable. They tend to get along really well with children but need a little socialization to accommodate strangers. They also need a lot of exercises.

5. Curly-Coated Retriever

Image from Pet Plate

The curly fur on these retrievers is more than just for aesthetic value. It is one of the features that makes it so comfortable in the water and therefore perfect for chasing and retrieving waterfowl for bird hunting.

Unlike many other retriever breeds, the Curly-coated retriever is not very trusting of unfamiliar individuals. As a home pet, early socialization is absolutely crucial to avoid any incidents when the dog feels uneasy.

4. Irish Red And White Setter

Image from Instagram:@finn_irws

It is quite sad to imagine that there was a time when this breed was close to extinction. However, they were saved by selective breeding and are still around, though very rare.

These breeds are both setting and pointing dogs and are very useful especially when hunting wildfowl that tend to hide in the shrubbery.

They may not be the smartest of the bunch or the easiest to train but they are always eager to learn.

3. Pudelpointer

Image from 1-800-PetMeds

This is a mixed breed developed by combining two of the most popular hunting breeds in Europe. These were the English Pointer and the German Hunting Poodle. This is where it gets its name from as the latter is also known as the Pudel.

The Pudelpointer is an intelligent, dedicated, and versatile dog breed with skills like scent and sight tracking as well as pointing. All these factors make it a fantastic bird dog.

2. German Shorthaired Pointer

Aesthetically, the German Shorthaired Pointer is actually very easily mistaken for the Irish Setter with their speckled coats and similar build. However, it is the dark head and shorter coat that sets it apart.

As a hunting dog, the German Shorthaired Pointer is quite versatile. They have an impressive scent and sight tracking skills. They are also quite fast and resilient making them perfect where the prey needs to be worn down. Finally, their high intelligence makes it easy to train them to point or set when hunting birds.

1. English Setter

This is one of the 4 setter breeds in the United Kingdom and as the name suggests, it was and still is mainly found in England.

These canine companions have a unique skill set which includes silently stalking the prey and standing completely frozen when they find something. This alerts the hunter without scaring off the prey.

In addition to their hunting skills, English Setters are also known for their speckled coats and strong-willed nature.



What Is A Bird Dog?

Bird dogs were breeds used as hunting dogs and more specifically, in hunting and retrieval of birds. They mainly included pointer breeds but other hunting dogs may come in handy including retrievers needed to collect the shot birds and bring them back to their human companions.

What Does Dog Bird Mean In Korean?

In Korean, dog bird has a bit more of a sinister meaning as it is often used as a swear word. Technically speaking, it is not the actual phrase “dog bird” that is considered an insult. Instead, it is the combination of the two words’ individual Korean symbols that actually translate to the profanity.

What Makes A Good Bird Dog?

A good pointing dog either has pointing instincts, flushing capabilities or is capable of delicate retrieval. These were all skills that were incredibly useful when it came to hunting flighty prey. Some breeds are capable of multiple of these skills and stand out the most as the best bird dogs.

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Pete Decker