Duck hunting has been a great pastime and hobby for many hunters. Hunting ducks serves so many great purposes from being recreational and relaxing to putting food on the table. Most duck hunters prefer to have a duck hunting dog at there side, helping them hunt. So it is quite important to know what types of breeds of dogs are available to you and which make the best duck hunting dog. There many different breeds of hunting dogs including waterfowl hunters, inland bird hunters and large and small game hunters. Be sure to find a good wildfowl hunter dog before you go out duck hunting.
This list of 11 duck hunting dog breeds are the best at what they do. They will sit steady until it’s time to retrieve the prize and are quick to face land or water to bring it to you. Of course there are other dog breeds and even some uncommon duck hunting dog breeds to choose from, but if you are looking for the best dogs to train for duck hunting you have come to right place!
Here are 11 Best Duck Hunting Dog Breeds
1. Labrador Retriever
Many people love labs as house pets. However, it is no wonder why they are loved for ducking hunting, as well. Most retriever dogs make excellent bird and waterfowl hunting dogs. They are considered one of the best duck hunting dogs around. They absolutely love water which makes them so great at duck hunting. It’s also all in the name retriever. As far as duck hunting goes their retrieving skills, loyalty and obedient disposition make them one of the best breeds for this type of hunting. Labs are easy to training and are quite loveable dogs. Also, lab puppies are high energy, however a well trained lab will be your best hunting partner. Once you have a well trained lab you can also enter him in competitions.
2. English Cocker Spaniel
This breed is a natural bred hunter. Originally they were bred in England to hunt small game including rabbits and woodcocks, and some still do. It is their powerful swimming skills and love of the hunt that make english cocker spaniels amazing duck hunters. They also have excellent bird finding skills and are fast pace on the land. If you want a dog that keeps his eye on the bird, an english cocker spaniel is your duck hunting dog. Field and water training will make your spaniel a force to be reckon with when hunting.
When you think of hunting dogs, in general, typically the first dog that comes to mind is the beagle. This type of dog has been an iconic trademark for hunting dogs everywhere. You see him in the movies, television shows and cartoons all the time. The beagle is mostly a scent trailing dog that sniffs out its prey and they are often used in rabbit hunting. However, with their short hind legs, speed and agility they make really great duck hunters as well. They also are good at retrieving.
Brittany Springers are mainly upland bird retrievers however, they fare pretty well in the water as well. They are loyal and faith dogs that will help you get the job done right. The fact that they are great swimmers, quick learners and are quite obedient makes them outstanding duck hunting dogs. Here is an article specifically written on why you should consider a Brittany for duck hunting.
5. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
A chesapeake bay retriever makes an excellent duck hunting dog that has the endurance and brains to hunt with you all day long. A ‘chessie’ dog was originally bred to be a work dog and then years later people realized their talent and skills for duck hunting. These dogs started bringing in ducks by the hundreds, giving them one of the best reputations has duck hunters.This breed of dog is full of energy, very smart and loves the water. With good discipline and structure these duck hunting dogs are remarkable on the hunt. They are excellent retrievers and swimmers as well. It is suggested that you train a chesapeake by yourself and not send him to a professional. These are quite loyal dogs and if train them right they will never waiver from you.
This elegant, fun-loving and graceful hunting dog has patience, profound retrieving capabilities and unmarked speed which make them an ideal choice for duck hunting. Weimaraners are also quite good at blind retrieving.Weimaraners also have been known to hunt other birds and even deer. Best of all, a weimaraner doesn’t mind getting wet, so taking this dog ducking hunting is such a pleasure They fair better in warmer water temperatures however, especially if you get a shorthair. Weimaraner’s have thin coats that make it hard to withstand freezing waters for too long. Overall, This is a loyal and energetic dog breed is one that you are sure to love.
7. Italian Spinone
Italian Spinones are very reliable and loyal dogs. They are very good at inland hunting, retrieving and flushing. These dogs also make nice duck hunting dogs because they love to swim and retrieve. They may not be the biggest or the fastest duck hunting dogs but Italian Spinones truly are very skilled hunters. Keep in mind they are not the power lab or golden retriever dogs however, these guys sure do pack a punch!
8. Golden Retriever
Just like any retriever dog, the golden retriever is a wonderful duck hunting dog. They are more than capable of blind retrieving, force retrieving, field-trialing and or competing in hunting competitions. Golden retriever dogs are exceptionally fast, smart and truly built to hunt waterfowl, especially ducks and geese.The golden retriever has a soft mouth that is gentle on game and is also an amazing swimmer. These dogs are second to none in hunting, other than their distant cousins the labrador retrievers.
Here is a great video on golden retrievers as duck hunters:
9. German Shorthaired Pointer
Many hunters prefer to use this breed of dogs for hunting inland animals and birds. However, german shorthaired pointers are also excellent hunting dogs for waterfowl and ducks. German shorthaired pointers hold steady throughout gunfire and retrieve game quite well.They can easily be trained to do several other different hunting tasks too. The only downside is that with their short hair and thin coats these pointer dogs tend to get quite cold after several hours in the chilly waters. It’s not recommend to take them on extremely long duck hunts.
Poodles are great gundogs and sporting breeds. They are very awesome water retrievers and are quite competent game hunters. These dogs are really quite smart and are just as loyal as most labs are. Poodles are also very alert, energetic and aim to please their owners.Europeans have been using them as duck hunting dogs for years. Be sure to look for a poodle with a good hunting lineage and not just a show poodle before even you start teaching it to hunt. You need to have a standard size poodle to hunt with. Most miniature poodles make poor hunters. Good duck hunters come from good backgrounds. Pedigree has a lot to do with who will be good hunters in any dog breed.
If you want to see a poodle in action, here is a video of a poodle retrieving during a duck.
11. Deutsch Drahthaar
Deutsch drahthar dogs are amazing duck hunters. They are often confused with a German wirehair because they look so similar but they are clearly two different breeds of dogs. This high energy dog breed is very good for hunting other game and birds as well. They are skilled trailing dogs on land and water. Deutsch drahthar’s thick waterproof coat protects and keeps the dog warm in frigid water temperatures. Also, a deutsch drahthar is a great and loyal companion. You couldn’t ask for a better hunting buddy.
Whether you are looking for a loyal and loveable hunting companion or champion duck hunter, these duck hunting dog breeds all have their own unique skills, dispositions, hunting desires and natural instincts. Each one of these duck hunters can be trained and disciplined to become good working hunting dogs. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article. I hope that it brought you to a higher standard of understanding of the different types duck hunting dog breeds available to you. Remember duck hunting should be rewarding for both you and your dog. So continue to learn and grow as a duck hunter.
If you want to learn more about bird hunting please visit this website. It will show you more dog breeds and give you awesome tips on hunting birds. Thanks again! Feel free to leave comments below or share this article with your hunting friends. Happy trails to you!