10 Deer Hunting Dogs for Every Kind of Game

For centuries, dogs have been excellent companions and efficient hunting partners. Their incredible sense of smell, agility, endurance, and ability to navigate all kinds of terrain have allowed dogs to hunt animals that humans could not conquer on their own.

If you are looking for an excellent dog for your next hunting adventure, here are the 10 best deer hunting dog breeds to consider.

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10 Deer Hunting Dogs

1. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

Lab is widely regarded as the best duck hunter out there. But did you know that they also make excellent deer hunters? Energetic, enthusiastic and highly intelligent, the Labrador Retriever can withstand almost any type of weather condition. These puppies can go the extra mile when it comes to tracking down and picking up kills. If you plan on hunting near water or on cooler days, make sure you have a Lab by your side.

2. American Fox Dog

american foxhound_Olga Aniven_Shutterstock

America’s first president’s choice dog, the American Foxhound excels as a deer hunting dog. Thanks to its strength, stamina, and keen sense of smell, this breed is a great choice for daytime deer drives. Alone or in groups, the American Foxhound will chase the deer until the animal is exhausted. It is this love of running that categorizes American Foxhounds as “running” dogs instead of “tree” dogs.

At home, this breed likes to spend quality time with the family and gets along well with young children and other pets.

3. Treeing Walker Hound

Treeing Walker Coonhound_Mary Swift, Shutterstock

A great hunting partner for deer, bears, coyotes, and raccoons, the Treeing Walker Hound has a high prey drive and the ability to chase almost anything. Raised in the United States, this breed of hunter loves to run and chase. You’ll know exactly where the deer is thanks to this dog’s signature call. Treeing Walker Hounds are great for fast hunting and all day hunting competitions.

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4. Bluetick Dog

Bluetick Dog

This scented dog will be hot on any deer trail it encounters. Bluetick Coonhounds are known to even chase mountain lions and pumas! If you’ve ever been cornered by a big cat, you can rest easy knowing this dog has your back. Weighing between 45 and 80 pounds, this stellar sniffer can be quite vocal when not catching up on the game. This breed makes excellent household pets for active families.

5. German Shorthair Pointer

German Short Haired Pointer pointing

Deer hunting requires a lot of stamina and scent power. Luckily, the German Shorthair Pointer has both! This pointed breed can easily outwit even the most elusive deer and can efficiently hunt game in all types of terrain. The German Shorthair Pointer was officially recognized by the AKC in 1930 and makes a great family pet during downtime.

6. English Setters


A beautiful dog with a smooth coat and large head, the English Setter is an excellent gun dog and is praised for its running and pointing skills. This breed will gladly work hard alongside you until it’s time to go to work. Then, the dog will take off and expertly find almost any game.

7. hunting dog

beagle dog

Despite their small stature, these pint-sized puppies make excellent deer hunters. Its constant baying will help you find dogs and deer easily. The colorful Beagles are also easy to spot and have one of the best noses in the hunting world.

In addition, Beagles make great family pets for rural, suburban, and city dwellers.

8. Plott Hound

Plott Hound

Agile and athletic, the Plott Hound is an excellent deer hunting companion. This tough, intelligent and tough breed can find and maintain scents like a pro. Its wavy, tough skin allows you to easily follow your dog while he’s in pursuit. These dogs can easily navigate thick, wooded areas to help you find hiding deer. Recognized by the AKC in 2006, the Plott Hound has also been a great family friend back home.

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9. Mount Cur

Cur Brindle Mountain Dog

Mountain Cur was originally developed in Arkansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia to hunt raccoons and squirrels. Today, they make excellent deer hunters thanks to their endurance, speed and sense of smell.

10. Golden Retriever dog breed

golden retriever_Shutterstock_Olena Brodetska

One of the most popular dog breeds for families, the Golden Retriever is also a great hunting partner. These highly intelligent dogs can navigate the water as easily as finding their way through the forest. Smart, sturdy, and strong, the Golden loves to run and chase. It obeys orders and will quickly help you find and take down the deer.


Breeds to Avoid

While all dogs have a natural prey drive, some breeds are not very good hunters. They are better suited as lap dogs. Some dogs you shouldn’t go hunting with include the Maltese and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel_BIGANDT.COM, Shutterstock

How to Choose a Deer Hunting Dog

There are several unique qualities that every great deer hunting dog should possess. This includes:

  • Desire to hunt

  • Willingness to learn

  • Agility

  • Durability

  • Strength



A deer hunter cannot be without a great hunting dog. If you want your next hunt to be successful, consider adding one of these breeds to your family.

Featured Image Credit: Vitalii_Mamchuk, Shutterstock