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Hunting dog: top 10 breeds suitable for hunting

Since time immemorial, man has domesticated wolves that evolved in contact with man and gave the first dogs to help them hunt. The first hunting dogs date back to more than 9000 years ago, according to dog burials found in Japan. Today, many breeds of dogs exist, some of which were created by man to have characteristics that are particularly useful for hunting.

So we are going to review the top 10 dog breeds that are the most suitable for hunting in France. But before we start, it is important to understand the different types of hunting dogs, each of which has a very specific purpose.

The different types of hunting dogs

  • Pointing dogs: the purpose of these dogs is to find game (mainly birds) by scent and to catch them,
  • Terriers: as their name indicates, these hunting dogs will go and look for prey hidden in the burrows, such as rabbits.
  • Bloodhounds: these dogs are excellent trackers once the prey is wounded, since they can follow any game over several kilometers, via the smell of blood.
There are others, but they are either not used enough, or are forbidden for hunting. So we won't talk about them in this article. Now that we have talked about the basics, the top 10 can begin.

Weimar Hound

Originally from Germany, the Weimar Hound is used in hunting as a pointing dog. It is a medium-sized dog with a gray coat. It measures from 62 to 67cm at the withers for males, and 59 to 63cm for females, weighs on average from 30 to 40kg, and generally lives from 10 to 12 years.

The Weimar Hound was already used as a hunting dog by Louis IX. Nowadays, the Weimaraner is a sociable dog, which needs a lot of exercise. The master must also be firm enough to educate him. It is a dog that loves children, and is quite protective, without being aggressive.


This small dog of English origin is a rather popular breed nowadays as a simple pet dog, because of its frequent presence in movies. The beagle measures between 33 and 40cm at the withers, weighs between 8 and 22kg and has a life span of 10 to 15 years on average.

It is however originally a hunting dog, with a white coat spotted with beige or black, used as a bloodhound. It is a very playful dog that loves children and also makes a good watchdog. Moreover, the education of this rather docile dog is not very complicated, as long as it can practice a daily physical activity.

English Setter

The English Setter is a medium-sized British hunting dog with a white coat dotted with black, beige or brown depending on the individual. It measures 61 to 68cm at the withers, weighs an average of about 30 kilos, and generally lives from 10 to 12 years.

When hunting, it is used as a pointing dog. This dog requires a fairly firm education, but is very friendly with other dogs and children, although some may be fearful of strangers.

Brittany Spaniel

As its name suggests, the Brittany Spaniel is a dog that originated in Brittany. It has a white coat spotted with light brown. It is a very intelligent and obedient dog. It measures 45 to 51cm at the withers, weighs 14 to 18kg and lives about 14 to 15 years.

It is quite popular among hunters who use it as a pointing dog. It is very socially balanced and can adapt to any life, even with children or other animals. Moreover, he is very easy to train.

Bruno du Jura

The Bruno du Jura, originally from Switzerland, is medium-sized and has a white coat with light brown spots and long floppy ears. It measures 50 to 60cm at the withers, weighs between 20 and 25kg and lives on average between 12 and 13 years.

The Bruno du Jura, calm and docile, is used as a bloodhound. It is very attached to its master, but also very dynamic and will need to exercise daily.

English Cocker

This cocker spaniel, resulting from the crossing between Spanish cocker spaniels and English hunting dogs, is today much represented as a pet dog, in particular thanks to the comic strip "Boule et Bill". The English cocker spaniel has the dress generally clear fawn, even if there is some with a black or white spotted dress. It measures from 38 to 41cm to the withers, weighs from 12 to 16kg and has a life span which oscillates between 12 and 15 years.

It is however originally a bloodhound. Easy to train, this dog loves to play, and likes to be in contact with children, with whom he will be quite protective without being aggressive.


This is a family and not a single breed, as there are wirehaired dachshunds, short-haired dachshunds and long-haired dachshunds. This small dog originating from Germany with a brindle coat, generally measures 35cm at the withers for a weight of 9kg, and lives between 10 and 15 years.

The Dachshund was originally a dog for digging, but it turned out to be an excellent bloodhound, as well as a very good terrier. He prefers to live in the company of other dogs, because of his origins as a pack dog, but he can also live alone. This very docile little dog is also adapted to family life.

Cairn Terrier

The Cairn Terrier is a dog that originated in Scotland. This small dog with a fawn coat measures between 26 and 31 cm on average, weighs between 6 and 10 kg and has a lifespan of about 13 years.
The Cairn Terrier is excellent at finding rodents in their burrows. It is one of the first known terrier dogs. It is a very playful dog, which loves children, but it will be necessary to be firm during its education, because it tends to bite when it is a puppy. He will also need to be physically active every day.

Fox terrier

Of English origin, there are two varieties of fox terrier: those with curly hair, which are the most widespread, and those with smooth hair, a little rarer. They have a white coat, spotted with brown or black. These medium-sized dogs measure 35 to 40cm at the withers, weigh 7 to 9.5kg, and generally live about 15 years.

Fox terrier dogs are very good fox hunters. This breed is very intelligent, quite playful, but also very protective of children. It is also a very good guard dog.

Great Blue of Gascony

This dog, originally from Gascony, France, is part of the Gascony blue family which has four breeds: the petit bleu de Gascogne, the basset bleu de Gascogne, the griffon bleu de Gascogne and the grand bleu de Gascogne which is one of the most widespread. It is of medium size and has a white coat spotted with black. This dog measures 62 to 72cm at the withers, weighs 35 to 39kg on average and generally lives 12 years.

It is a very good bloodhound and is also used for hunting in the backyard.

The Grand Bleu de Gascogne is an intelligent breed and very attached to its master. It is also gentle with children, quite protective, and sociable with other dogs.