The Best Dog For Duck Hunting In 2021: Expert Choice

Asking about the best dog for duck hunting? In this post we will single out the best dog for duck hunting according to an expert hunter from the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.

This number choice is to say that other dogs can’t hunt ducks, they can, but we needed the best suited dog for hunting duck.

After discussing the best we will also outline other breeds that are good for hunting ducks too.

Whether you’re in Montana, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, Georgia, or the Lower 48 and searching for the perfect gun, duck hunting is serious business.

Just ask the athletes who spend their days and nights chasing birds with their whole hearts, or the thousands of out-of-work Americans who dream of getting a chance to do the same.

What is the best dog for duck hunting?

Labrador retrievers are the best dog for hunting duck for their powerful instinct to follow their nose and track down ducks, they are extremely fast on land and incredibly fast in the water, and were selectively bred to hunt ducks and retrieving games. Labrador retrievers are brave and smart, they are not distracted, labs are the best in the retrieving game.

If you’re looking for a good dog for hunting ducks or goose, here are some factors to consider:

• Be able to run faster than you can.

• Be brave and smart.

• Be willing to take a good amount of calls in order to flush the ducks.

• Be a good retriever.

• Be a “hatchet dog.” This is a good way to describe a dog that can be turned loose into thick cover, retrieved and carried on a back.

• Be willing to work without being constantly distracted by treats, toys, or other dog necessities.

• Be good with children, other dogs, cats, and other canines.

• Will not shed some serious hair.

• Will look like a muddy pig after a day on the range.

• Will kill ducks with a fair amount of consistency.

In deciding what kind of hunting dog to consider, you have to start with the type of hunt that you plan to conduct.

Hunting waterfowl with dogs has many advantages. But there are a lot of disadvantages.

Before you go out and buy the latest most sophisticated dog toy, make sure that you’ve done your homework.

Make sure that the breed you choose is one that will be able to perform the kind of hunting that you are interested in.

Duck hunting with dogs is no joke. It takes a lot of skill, and it’s a serious business that demands experience, time, and commitment to the task.

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Labrador Retrievers
Labrador Retrievers

The best dog breeds to use in duck hunting is the Labrador retriever. These wonderful dogs have been bred to be excellent hunters since the early days of hunting, and they love to work with their people.

Labrador retrievers, like their hunting cousins the hunting bulldogs, make excellent hunting partners because they are incredibly loyal and easy-going and respond well to a firm, fair hand.

Labrador retrievers are extremely fast on land and incredibly fast in the water. So even though it’s fun to chase a flock of ducks, it’s more fun to go after ducks with a retriever.

What makes a Labrador retriever a good duck dog is his instinct to follow his nose and to work as a team. It’s that doggedness and tenacity in working as a team that makes Labrador retrievers so good at hunting waterfowl.

If you want to have a dog that will not mind being a team player in your hunt, and that will not feel cheated if you have to pull him from a working location in order to follow a wounded duck, you have to look for a dog that can do the job of a Labrador retriever.

Look for a dog that is fast on land, but also swift in the water.

If you are a novice hunter who has to work with your dog at first, or if you are a novice dog owner, it’s best to find a dog that is highly motivated by food, or a dog that is already working as a team member.

If you can get a dog that is fairly “mature,” he will have learned many of the lessons that a young Labrador retriever is learning from its humans.

If you have a retriever who is not yet that mature, then consider an older Labrador retriever.

Dogs that are bred to hunt for bass, grouse, pheasant or a combination of the above with other hunters usually work better for dog owners than breeders who don’t want to put the effort into socializing these dogs to hunt for waterfowl.

It’s better to find a dog that will eventually take to hunting waterfowl.

If you want to take your dog with you for duck hunting, then a dual-purpose dog is your best bet.

He will have a lot of waterfowl hunting experience but still will have some rat terrier and hunting instinct.

Before we continue have you seen the 10 Best Dogs That Get Along With Cats: Our Experts Top Pick?

He can do some hunting for groundhogs, wild turkey, and even bear.

A good dual purpose dog will work as a well-trained retriever, as a hunting dog, and he will do well in a cross-country kayak.

If you plan to kayak with him, you will have to learn to make sure that he will stay close to you, or he will take off like a rocket.

The major disadvantage to hunting with dogs is that if you miss a shot or a duck goes into the long grass, you might not be able to find it. That’s why it’s better to hunt alone sometimes.

But if you are looking for a dog that is a good working partnership with you, a dog that will take his assigned role seriously, a dog that will not make you pull the trigger and shoot a bird that is outside of his kill zone, then the Labrador retriever is an excellent choice.

Labrador retrievers are known for having a good nose, and a good attitude. As good as these things sound, they are actually surprising to most people, especially to a novice hunter who is trying to learn the ropes of hunting ducks with a dog.

And what about food? Well, keep it real. You won’t need to feed your dog that much in the first few years.

The second the dog is old enough to be good at hunting duck, you can stop giving it table scraps or anyhow food.

Even if you keep your dog on a regular food ration, it will probably lose weight. You don’t want a hungry dog.

Many dog owners want their dogs to have fatty tissue to keep their bellies full. That’s not a good thing for a Labrador retriever.

There are a lot of myths out there about feeding a dog table scraps. The main myth is that table scraps will help the dog develop a gut.

Table scraps will cause your dog to have diarrhea. It’s easy to confuse a dog with table scraps.

How do you know when your dog is mature enough to hunt for waterfowl? Well, you need to follow your guts.

Look for a good working dog. Look for a dog that is big enough to fit through the webbed wire.

You want a dog that weighs between 45 and 55 pounds, about a pound and a half to a pound more than a 3-month-old duck duckie.

Let’s now look at other breeds of dogs that you can also use for hunting duck.

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8 Other Best breeds of dogs for duck hunting

We have presented the best dog for duck hunting as Labrador Retriever, but if you want other breeds of dog that can also hunt duck then here are other 8 breeds of dogs that can be used in duck hunting;

8 Other Best Breeds Of Dogs For Duck Hunting1
8 Other Best Breeds Of Dogs For Duck Hunting1

Boykin Spaniel

The Boykin Spaniel is a medium-sized breed of dog that originated from the Water River Swamp of South Carolina in the United States.

Boykin Spaniel was discovered and further developed by hunters in the 1900s.

Boykin Spaniel was selectively bred for hunting wild turkeys and ducks in South Carolina. This breed is good at retrieving games.

German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointer is a versatile hunting breed, being an all-purpose gun breed of dog suitable for both land and water. They are good swimmers.

The German Shorthaired Pointer is s known to have streamlined yet powerful with strong legs that make him able to move rapidly and turn quickly.

They are a medium to large sized breed of dog developed in the 19th century in Germany for hunting purposes.

English Setter

The English Setter is a dog from a large family that breeds throughout England. Their close relatives are the Red Irish Setter, White Setter, and Gordon Setter.

They are medium-sized dogs that can grow up to two feet. The English setter has a white coat with a long silk fringe and different colored spots on his coat.

The British Setter is considered to be one of the best hunting dogs because they are strong willed animals that can be a little naughty at times.

You have a high level of endurance and are very athletic. They are mainly used by game hunters such as quail, capercaillie and pheasants.

Once trained, setters are methodical hunters looking for the breezy scent of prey and are one of the best waterfowl dogs.

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English Springer Spaniel

In the late 19th century, spaniels from the same trash were divided into “cockers” and “springs”. Springers are larger dogs that are used to milk and retrieve game.

The English Springer Spaniel comes from these sources and was developed as a companion. Springers participated in field trials and continue to do so to this day.

Energy movement, endurance, intelligence, and “rear-wheel drive” make the English Springer Spaniel one of the most prized bird dogs. This breed is also known to be friendly, playful, and obedient.

8 Other Best Breeds Of Dogs For Duck Hunting
8 Other Best Breeds Of Dogs For Duck Hunting

Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever’s intelligence, energy, and friendliness also make him a great dog for families, an excellent sporting event competitor, and an enthusiastic working dog.

Like the Labrador Retriever, the Golden Retriever has a history of sports and hunting.

Their ancestors were known as “Yellow Retrievers” and their flexibility and sporting abilities made them very popular with athletes in the late 19th century.

Gold’s affinity for water and its medium to large size provides the hunter with a dog that can be represented by mountain games and waterfowl.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

This breed belongs to other types of retrievers that claim to be one of the best for hunting ducks.

As many authoritative sources say, “Chessie” (another name for the Chesapeake Bay Retriever) is like a descendant of the Sherman Reservoir of Retriever.

And as many hunters say, the Chessie is one of the best duck hunting dogs.

The Chessie is seen as a very serious hunting dog and one of the most popular breeds.

It was developed as an ideal companion in the cold, raw waters of Maryland and Virginia, where it was bred to hunt waterfowl such as geese and ducks.

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Russo-European Laika

The breed is among the best dogs for hunting ducks with this breed of dog known as a native to the forest regions of Northern Europe and Russia.

They are a direct result of a breeding program started in 1944 by EI Shereshevsky at the All-Union Research Institute for the Hunting Industry in Kalinin.

The average Russian-European chamomile is a medium-sized dog that does not grow to more than 60 cm.

English Pointer

The English directory is a breed in the UK with the aim of becoming one of the best breeds of waterfowl dogs.

The average English pointer is a dog of medium size that can grow up to two feet.

It has a thick, short, and smooth coat, mostly white or variants with several features on the body that make each dog unique in its appearance.

Pointers are considered non-aggressive, very friendly dogs, and are considered one of the best pets as long as their owners can handle their high energy levels.

This breed is also very intelligent and affectionate, very loyal, and very pure. Pointers are one of the best duck dogs out there because they can easily be trained to save waterfowl – a task they can do effectively without harming their prey.

Further reading;

More on dogs for duck hunting.

Read more about the 10 Best Dogs For Kids: We Picked 1 Out Of The 10.

As a bird lover you should also consider checking more interesting information on keeping pigeons as pets and how to care for pigeons.

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