Paradoxical Pups: Three Unlikely Hunting Dogs

by admin on 08-01-2013 in Sporting Dogs

Most people respond with Labrador Retriever or English Pointer when asked about the best dogs for hunting. Labs are especially easy to train as gun dogs with a stimulus-reward (treat) regimen, according to But there are several breeds of dogs that fall into the proverbial "don't judge a book by its cover" category. Some of the best hunting dogs out there are those you would least expect.


Many hunters will laugh in your face if you tell them poodles are one of the best hunting dogs of all time. But it's not as if your hunting companion will be the size of a large rabbit. Standard poodles can grow larger than Dobermans, and have much broader shoulders than their toy and miniature counterparts. says that Europeans originally categorized poodles as spaniels, and have used them as hunters since the Middle Ages. They were called "water dogs" as well because they were the canine of choice for waterfowling. Poodles were also one of the 32 breeds of dog that were trained as "war dogs" for the military during World War II. Despite the many awards given to poodles at Westminster and other dog shows, they are easily one of the most versatile dogs for hunting and other sports.File:Bo the poodle retrieving a duck.jpgPhoto of hunting poodle via Wikimedia Commons. All Rights Released.


Though Snoopy has a bird named Woodstock for a best friend, this is highly unlikely to happen in real life. Beagles are not only great retrievers of downed birds, but are also adept in chasing rabbits, squirrels and other prey in the direction of the hunter. The breed was very popular among American hunters up until the 19th century when the Foxhound rose to prominence, according to But Beagles remained top dog for a small contingent of hunters, specifically because of their uncanny sense of smell. They have very large nostrils just like other hound dogs, and their upper lips' flexibility helps carry smells to their olfactory receptors. The one knock on Beagles is that they bark and howl a lot, so can keep you and the family up at night between hunting trips.

Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkies are most commonly spotted in the arms of socialites like Paris Hilton and many other women. Little do they know is that their little companions were originally bred to catch rats in the textile mills of early 19th century Yorkshire, England. Back then they were known as Clydesdale Terriers or Paisleys. It was 1865 when Huddersfield Ben, a Paisley, started winning several dog shows and the hearts of everyone. They were renamed Yorkshire Terriers in 1874 and registered as such with the British Kennel Club. Yorkies, if allowed to roam a large back yard today, are known to bring their owners back gifts such as moles, squirrels and other small game.

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