Top 10 Duck Hunting Dogs

There are many dogs that are ideal for hunting, but then there are a few dog breeds that are specifically bred and are suitable for duck hunting.

These unique duck hunting dog breeds love water and have water-resistant coats.

These dog breeds have the perfect mix of energy, intelligence, trainability, and obedience, enabling them to build a mutually beneficial bond of respect, companionship, and love between them and their owners. 

If you have considered having a new dog as a hunting companion, we have below a list of ideally suited duck hunting dogs to help you make a good choice.

Table of Contents

1. Labrador Retriever

The Labrador retriever, also called Lab, is the best duck hunting dog in the world. They are one of the world’s favorite family pets because of their friendly nature and calm demeanor, making them perfect for both hunting and as family pets.

The Labradors are very intelligent, reliably responds to command, and are easy to train. A few weeks into training, you will understand why the Labrador is a duck hunter’s favorite.

The Labrador has been the most popular dog in the United States for a record-breaking 23 years in a row.

This breed has a double fur coat that keeps them warm while also acting as a water-repellent layer, their thick rudder-like tail gives them balance, and their muscular frame and webbed feet help them easily maneuver through the water. 

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The Labradors are focused, fast, and agile, and they love water. They also have retrieval skills which make every hunting trip with them less laborious and a pleasurable experience.

2. German Shorthaired Pointer

The German shorthaired pointer is a dog breed used initially for Inland hunting to catch birds and other small prey; that is why it is America’s go-to-bird dog.

When it comes to hunting ducks, they also perform excellently. They can hunt and retrieve on the land and in water. 

The German shorthaired pointer has a thin and short coat that can’t stand long hours in frigid water; that is why it’s good to give them time to rest between retrieves to prevent hypothermia.

This breed is capable of every activity you throw at them due to their speed, power, endurance, agility, stamina, and vast reserves of strength. 

3. Golden Retriever

The golden retriever is a companion hunting dog. The name ‘Retriever’ refers to this breed’s ability to retrieve games quickly.

This dog enjoys hunting challenges and loves participating in hunting competitions; they can perform both lands and force retrieving and field trialing.

They also provide agility and speed to duck hunters. This breed has an astute sense of smell, which is an essential factor in retrieving and hunting.

They have a natural attraction to water and are easy to train. The golden retriever has a moderately long and dense coat and is heavy shedders.

4. Chesapeake Bay Retriever

This dog breed is known to be among one of the best Retrievers. This dog is a prominent, charismatic, and strong breed powerfully bred and built for the hunt.

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They ideally possess the classic traits of retrievers; they are affectionate, obedient, polite, dependable, loyal, friendly, and very protective of their owners.

They have an Icy Chesapeake Bay origins, which makes them highly resistant to cold. This dog breed also has a thick, water-resistant coat and a curved tail that serves as a rudder.

5. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

The nova scotia duck tolling retriever was originally known as the Little Riverduck dog and commonly referred to as ‘Tollers.’

This dog breed is among the smallest dogs of the retriever breed. This dog was bred to hunt, and they have retrieval skills, an amazing scent, are easy to train and alert dogs.

The tollers have a water-repellent double coat that makes it hard o be in a cold-water environment. This dog is affectionate, intelligent, and eager to please.

6. English Springer Spaniel

The English springer spaniel got their name from their adept flushing and ‘springing’ out the game.

These dog breeds are smaller than other dogs traditionally used for hunting; they possess all the desired traits of a good hunting dog.

This breed has a high-energy and accurate instinct. The English springer spaniel has thick water-resistant coats and a small and gentle mouth ideal for retrieving the game without damaging it.

This dog breed has the stamina, endurance, high energy, enthusiasm needed to spend an entire day with their owner’s duck hunting.

7. Poodle

The poodle is a dog breed originally bred for hunting but is famous for its pampered looks than its hunting skills. The poodles are efficient water retrievers and are remarkably skilled duck hunting dogs. 

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Although the poodles don’t grow as significant as other retrievers, they are the most intelligent and easily trained dog breeds and an ideal hunting companion.

This dog has perfect traits for any duck hunting dog: alert, affectionate, enthusiastic, attentive, and friendly.

8. American Foxhound

The American foxhound dog breed is sleek with long legs that make them run long distances and keep them agile. They are known for their speed and an excellent sense of smell, an ideal trait in a duck hunting dog.

9. Irish Water Spaniel

The Irish water spaniel is one of the oldest and largest dog breeds of the spaniel group. This dog is an energetic and very active dog with a history of hunting dogs.

The Irish water spaniel is not an aggressive dog; they are easy to train with a natural and intellectual inquisitive nature. This breed is a strong swimmer, a quick and intelligent learner, and a masterful hunter.

10. The Beagle

The beagle is a small size dog that is well known as a hunting dog. Although a small dog, the beagle has powerful hind legs and remarkable agility, making them excellent hunters of ducks and enabling them to travel quickly.

The beagle has a  great-scent tracking ability that allows them to pick up on the duck scent and hunt them down anywhere on the land.

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