In the broadest sense, hunting dogs are the hunter’s assistants. They are divided into retrievers, scavenger dogs, scent hounds, ground dogs, pointing dogs, and hunting dogs.
There are a total of 190 hunting dog breeds worldwide, but only 56 of these are officially recognized by the German Hunting Dog Association (JGHV).
You can find a table with all breeds and sizes at the very end of the article. To look at all breeds, I recommend this list of all gun dog breeds.
1. Westphalian Dachsbracke: 30 – 38 cm
The Westphalian Dachsbracke comes from Germany, more precisely from North Rhine-Westphalia, and has a dachshund-like figure.
The small hunting dogs were primarily used as tracking dogs and are considered friendly and intelligent four-legged friends.
Even in Germany, their country of origin, this breed is very rare. Nevertheless, these are beginner-friendly dogs with a certain need for space.
Fun Fact: These dogs are very persistent. However, not when running, but rather when it comes to playing with children.
2. Parson Russell Terrier: 31-38cm
The Parson Russell Terrier is one of the smallest hunting dog breeds and was bred in England and used accordingly.
They are closely related to the Jack Russell Terrier but are still a distinct breed. They are said to have a particularly energetic but also friendly nature.
The four-legged friends are very trusting of their family, but need a lot of exercise and activity, which is why they are usually not suitable for beginners.
Fun Fact: These dogs are made to be movie stars. Because they have an above-average number of different facial expressions compared to other dogs.
3. Fox Terriers: 33-38cm
The Fox Terrier also has its origins in England and was used for hunting there. Due to their pronounced hunting instinct, caution is advised when going for a walk.
However, the four-legged friends are easy to train and trusting to the family, which is why they are also suitable for beginners.
The small hounds come in 2 types of fur, with smooth and long shags. Hence the two terms “Smooth Fox Terrier” and “Wire Fox Terrier”.
Fun fact: the hunting instinct of these dogs is so strong that they sometimes even chase leaves in the wind.
4. Beagles: 33-41cm
The Beagle comes from England and is one of the 30 smallest hunting dogs in the world. He was also bred and used as a tracker dog.
He is also one of the most popular dog breeds and is even suitable for apartment life and for dog beginners.
The dogs are considered calm and gentle. They also develop a close bond with their families.
Fun Fact: The Beagle is a hunting dog through and through. He even uses his floppy ears to wave at smells while running.
5. German Jagdterrier: 33 – 40 cm
The German Jagdterrier was used for hunting above and below ground. His targets were mostly badgers, foxes, wild boars, and raccoons.
They also make great family dogs and are considered social and trusting, which is why there is even a separate club for owners in Germany.
Small hunting dogs are also suitable for beginners. Due to their territorial behavior, they are also suitable as guard dogs.
Fun Fact: While many breeds struggle naturally with being overweight, the German Jagdterrier is more likely to suffer from being underweight.
6. Alpine Dachsbracke: 34 – 42 cm
The Alpine Dachsbracke comes from Austria and was bred and kept as a tracking dog for hunting.
The rare, small hunting dog is well suited for hunting in the mountains and is good at tracking down wild animals with its keen nose.
The four-legged friends are also suitable as family dogs, but they are reluctant to be left alone. But beware. Other pets might hunt the badger.
Fun Fact: These dogs’ food bowls will always be empty in no time. Because they are considered very greedy and therefore tend to be overweight.
7. Dachshund: 35 – 47 cm
The Dachshund is a German breed that ranks twelfth among the most popular dogs in the world.
The dachshund, as it is also known, was originally used for hunting badgers and could easily climb into their burrows due to its compact shape.
It can live up to 16 years. A distinction is also made between 9 different species, which differ in size and coat length.
Fun Fact: Small hunting dogs are also called “Sausage dogs” in English-speaking countries because of their body shape.
8. English Cocker Spaniel: 36-43cm
Originally bred for hunting, the English Cocker Spaniel is now primarily kept as a family dog breed.
They are known to be trusting and cheerful, making them suitable for beginners as well as for apartment living. Only with loneliness do these dogs get along less.
In addition, these dogs have another special gift – they can actually sniff out human cancer cells with a hit rate of around 80%.
Fun fact: Small hunting dogs are particularly easy to train. They can even be trained to take things from the closet to their master.
9. Tyrolean Hound: 41 – 51 cm
The Tyrolean Hound comes from Austria and was then kept for hunting. Today he is primarily to be found as a family dog.
He is considered trusting, fond of children, and intelligent. Because of their territorial demeanor, they also make good guard dogs. They are usually too active to live indoors.
The small hunting dog is also suitable for seniors and beginners, as long as there is enough exercise and mental activity.
Fun fact: These dogs’ sense of smell is so strong that they can smell a woman’s period from afar.
10. German Hound: 41-53 cm
The German Hound is a sniffer dog used for tracking when hunting.
Representative of the small hunting dog breed is also suitable as a guard and family dog. Outside of Germany, however, they are rarely found.
The dogs are ideal for seniors & first-time owners. It should be noted that the animals demand a lot of attention and have a strong hunting instinct.
Fun Fact: While some greyhounds sometimes sleep up to 18 hours a day, these energetic dogs get less than 9 hours to spend half the day running around the yard.
11. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever: 42-54 cm
Native to Canada, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is the smallest of the 6 retriever species. They are suitable for families and beginners.
Originally, the small hunting dogs were bred to hunt ducks and other waterfowl, which is why they also make excellent swimmers.
These dogs are also suitable for living in an apartment. Only their energy needs and temperament need to be tamed.
Fun fact: These four-legged friends should be kept busy all the time, otherwise they tend to dig. Unfortunately, they make no exception in the home flower bed.
12. Welsh Springer Spaniel: 43-48cm
The Welsh Springer Spaniel originated in Wales and was bred as a working and hunting dog.
He is one of the 28 spaniel breeds and is known to be friendly and outgoing towards people and other pets.
However, small hunting dogs are particularly sensitive to criticism and are reluctant to be left alone for long periods of time.
Fun Fact: Wellies are a good idea when greeting these dogs. Because they often pee on the floor out of joy.
13. Slovensky Kopov: 43-51 cm
The Slovenský Kopov originated in Slovakia and was bred to hunt wild boar. In doing so, they use their particularly pronounced sense of direction.
In addition, the four-legged friend is considered to be particularly easy to care for and very trusting to the family. Nevertheless, they are very rarely found internationally.
This breed is particularly suitable for beginners as well as for families. But they demand a lot of attention and need a lot of exercise.
Fun Fact: This small gun dog breed’s sense of direction is so good that they’re even suitable for blondes.
14. Bavarian Mountain Hound: 44-52 cm
The Bavarian Mountain Hound is a small hunting dog from Bavaria and was used as a tracking dog for hunting.
The lively dogs need a lot of exercise and are not suitable for city life, but also for life in an apartment.
The loving dogs are also very trusting of the family and get along well with children. Therefore, the dogs often suffer from separation anxiety when left alone.
Fun Fact: This breed almost never barks when their master is around. But as soon as you leave them alone, they like to bridge their loneliness with constant barking.
15. Styrian wire-haired hound: 45 – 53 cm
The Styrian rough-haired hound comes from Austria and is kept in the mountains to track down wild boar.
This small hunting dog is hardly suitable for life as a house dog, as it is very energetic and needs a lot of exercise and space.
They are also usually too dominant for first-time owners. Due to their independent nature, however, they belong to those dog breeds that can also spend long periods of time alone.
Fun Fact: While this breed was bred to hunt wild boar, it tips the scales at just ⅕ the weight of an adult wild boar.
16. German Spaniel: 45-54 cm
The German Wachtelhund was formerly used as a versatile hunting dog, but today it is primarily found as a family dog.
This is because four-legged friends can develop an extremely close bond with their families. However, they are reluctant to be left alone.
This small hunting dog is also suitable for beginners and families with children, but they need a lot of exercise and have a strong hunting instinct.
Fun Fact: Since many in the English-speaking world cannot pronounce “Deutscher Wachtelhund”, it is usually called “German Spaniel”.
17. Epagneul Breton: 46-52 cm
The Epagneul Breton comes from the French province of “Brittany” and is among the 30 most popular dog breeds worldwide.
The small hunting dog breed was bred for bird hunting and is considered to be particularly persistent, energetic, and agile.
These four-legged friends also develop a close bond with their master and are reluctant to leave his side. He is considered the ideal dog for active people.
Fun Fact: For these four-legged friends, age is just a number. Because even a 15-year-old dog of this breed often still behaves like a puppy.
18. Braque du Bourbonnais: 47-58cm
The Braque du Bourbonnais is also a small hunting dog breed from France and was bred specifically for hunting.
Although the dogs are very trusting, they are rarely kept as family pets. These four-legged friends are not suitable for living in an apartment.
These dogs love children, are beginner-friendly, and are very outgoing, even with strangers. They are also intelligent and learn quickly.
Fun Fact: As fearless as these dogs may be when hunting, once left alone they will often crawl under the sofa in fear.
19. Hanoverian Bloodhound: 48-55 cm
The Hanoverian Bloodhound comes from Germany and was used by hunters as a sniffer dog. Representatives of this breed are less suitable as family dogs.
In addition, small hunting dogs are usually unsuitable for beginners. These dogs develop a particularly close bond with their master.
Due to their hunting instinct, they usually do not tolerate other pets and often only take commands from one person.
Fun Fact: For the first few months, these dogs often have black tiger stripes on their fur. However, these are usually increasingly lost when tires are used.
20. Brandlbracket: 48 – 56 cm
The Brandlbracke has its origins in Austria and was mostly used to track down wounded wild animals when hunting.
The small hunting dog breed is also suitable as a family dog and develops a close bond with its people. So they don’t like to be left alone.
These four-legged friends will not be happy in the city apartment, they need a lot of space and the opportunity to romp in the countryside without a leash.
Fun Fact: The dogs are also known as “Vieräugl” because they have 2 brown patches of fur above their eyes, which from a distance look like eyes when they are sleeping.
21. Small Munsterlander: 48 – 58 cm
Hailing from the German city of Munster, the Small Munsterlander is a versatile, small hunting dog on land and in the water.
They also make great family dogs and get along very well with children. The intelligent four-legged friends need a lot of attention and activity.
They also appreciate the company of other dogs and are friendly towards strange dogs and people.
Fun Fact: These dogs have as many as 6 officially recognized names. One of them is “spy”.
22. Golden Retrievers: 51-61cm
The Golden Retriever comes from Scotland and was originally bred and kept as a hunting dog for waterfowl.
Today, the loving four-legged friend is often found as a family, rescue, and guide dog and is the third most popular dog breed in the world.
Especially with their friendly nature, these dogs can convince many people. The small hunting dogs are also very fond of children.
Fun fact: these dogs may age very quickly on the outside, but at heart, they stay young for a long time and show typical puppy behavior even in old age.
23. Griffon d’arrêt à poil dur Korthals: 51 – 61 cm
The griffon d’arrêt à poil dur Korthals comes from parts of Holland, France and Germany. But the name is French.
He is one of the most popular hunting dog breeds and is considered friendly and submissive. However, it needs a lot of space and should therefore not be kept in small apartments.
The small hunting dog is also suitable as a family dog and gets along well with strangers and animals. In addition, he is known to be very fond of children.
Fun Fact: Attention beard lovers – these dogs naturally have a full, pointed beard!
24. Epagneul de Pont-Audemer: 51-58 cm
The Epagneul de Pont-Audemer originated in France and was bred and kept to hunt birds and small wild animals.
It is one of the spaniel breeds and is still rarely found today. During the Second World War, these small hunting dogs almost became extinct.
These dogs also develop an extremely close bond with the family. They need a lot of attention and exercise and don’t like to be left alone.
Fun fact: These dogs are enthusiastic rodents and like to nibble on furniture or even shoes at home.
25. West Siberian Laika: 51-61 cm
The West Siberian Laika comes from Russia and, as a small hunting dog, should look for prey and signal the situation by barking.
He belongs to the Spitz group and is trusting and protective, which makes him a good guard dog.
Due to their strong hunting instinct, the West Siberian Laika likes to hunt other, smaller pets. Early and intensive socialization is therefore necessary.
Fun fact: “Laika” was the name of the first dog sent into space by Russia. So the breed bears the name of a true celebrity.
26. East Siberian Laika: 51-66 cm
The East Siberian Laika also comes from Russia and was kept as a hunting dog, but also as a guard dog and sled dog.
The small hunting dogs belong to the Spitz family. They are said to have a particularly playful and active personality.
However, this four-legged friend is by no means suitable for beginners, as a very dominant and experienced owner is required.
Fun Fact: While “Laika” is Russian for “bark,” these dogs bark very little.
27. Harrier: 51-61cm
The Harrier originated in Great Britain and was used as a tracking dog when hunting hares and foxes.
The dogs are very curious and love to sniff out new things. They are also open and trusting towards strange dogs and people.
Although they make excellent family dogs and are also known to be fond of children, the small gun dog breed is one of the ten least popular breeds in the world.
Fun Fact: Due to his physical resemblance to the Beagle and muscular build, he is often described as “A Beagle on steroids.”
28. Russian-European Laika: 52-60 cm
The Russo-European Laika finds its origins in the European parts of Russia and was kept as a hunting dog.
The small hunting dog breed is also suitable as a guard and family dog, but their energetic nature should definitely be taken into account.
The friendly and loyal dogs are also good for beginners, but they don’t usually get along well with other pets.
Fun fact: Holes in the garden, gnawed furniture, and constant barking are the consequences if these dogs are not exercised appropriately and not given enough activity.
29. Braque d’Auvergne: 52-65 cm
Originally from France, the Braque d’Auvergne is kept primarily for hunting, but they also make great family dogs.
This is because they are generally considered to be friendly, easy to care for, and adaptable. However, they love attention and demand a lot of it.
The small hunting dogs are also fond of children, beginner-friendly, and are also suitable as dogs for seniors. They are also friendly towards other pets.
Fun Fact: “Oh that’s a cute Dalmatian” – this is the most common reaction to this breed as they are also spotted in black and white.
30. Beard: 52-66cm
The Barbet also comes from France and was originally kept as a house dog, but occasionally also as a hunting and rescue dog.
Small hunting dogs are ideal family dogs because they remain trusting and friendly towards people and animals.
They are also suitable for beginners and seniors as long as they get enough exercise and are rarely left alone.
Fun fact: A sleeping barbet can hardly be distinguished from an XXL teddy bear.
Size of all hunting dog breeds
|Hunting Dog Breed
|Parson Russell Terrier
|German hunting terrier
|English Cocker Spaniel
|Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers
|Welsh Springer Spaniels
|Bavarian Mountain Hound
|Styrian wire-haired hound
|Braque du Bourbonnais
|Hanoverian sweet hound
|Griffon d’arrêt à poil dur Korthals
|Epagneul de Pont-Audemer
|West Siberian Laika
|East Siberian Laika
|Braque Saint Germain
|Epagneul Bleu de Picardy
|German shorthaired pointer
|Chesapeake Bay Retrievers
|Irish Red and White Setters
|Irish Red Setters
|Braque de large
|German Wirehaired Pointer
|Black and Tan Coonhound
|German longhaired pointer
|Grand Anglo-Francais Blanc Et Orange
|Grand Anglo-Francais Tricolore
|Grand Anglo-Francais Blanc Et Noir