The Best Hunting Dogs for Pointing: Setters, Brittanys, and German Shorthairs

The Best Hunting Dogs for Pointing: Setters, Brittanys, and German Shorthairs

If you are an avid hunter looking for the best hunting dogs to assist you in your hunting adventures, look no further. In this article, we will explore three popular breeds known for their exceptional pointing abilities – Setters, Brittanys, and German Shorthairs. These breeds have been specifically bred and trained for pointing and are highly regarded for their intelligence, agility, and keen sense of smell. Whether you are a novice hunter or a seasoned professional, understanding the characteristics and capabilities of these hunting dogs will help you make an informed decision when choosing the perfect companion for your hunting trips. So, let’s dive into the world of Setters, Brittanys, and German Shorthairs and discover what makes them the best hunting dogs for pointing.


Irish Setters

Irish Setters are a popular choice among hunters for their exceptional pointing abilities. These elegant and athletic dogs are known for their stunning mahogany or chestnut-colored coats. With their keen sense of smell and natural instinct to track, Irish Setters excel in locating and indicating the presence of game birds. Their friendly and outgoing nature also makes them great companions in the field.

English Setters

English Setters are another fantastic choice for hunters seeking a pointing dog. With their distinctive speckled coats and graceful appearance, these dogs possess a natural instinct for pointing and have been used for centuries in hunting expeditions. English Setters are known for their endurance and ability to cover large areas of land while searching for game. Their calm and gentle temperament also makes them a favorite among families.

Gordon Setters

Gordon Setters are a breed that combines the skills of a pointer with those of a retriever. These dogs are highly skilled at pointing and have a strong drive to track and retrieve game. With their striking black and tan coats, Gordon Setters are not only remarkable hunters but also make loyal and affectionate companions. They are known for their intelligence and versatility, making them a popular choice for hunters looking for an all-around hunting dog.

In conclusion, Setters, including Irish Setters, English Setters, and Gordon Setters, are among the best hunting dogs for pointing. These breeds possess exceptional pointing abilities, endurance, and tracking skills, making them invaluable assets to hunters in the field.


History and Background

Brittanys, also known as Brittany Spaniels, are a versatile and popular breed of hunting dogs. Originating in France, they were developed in the 19th century as a cross between English Setters and small Spaniels. Their name is derived from the region of France where they were first bred, Brittany.


Brittanys are medium-sized dogs with a compact and muscular build. They have a dense coat that can come in various colors such as orange and white, liver and white, or tricolor. Known for their expressive eyes and alert expression, Brittanys have a friendly and intelligent disposition.

One of the key characteristics of Brittanys is their exceptional pointing ability. They are natural pointers and have a keen sense of smell, making them excellent for bird hunting. Their instinct to point and retrieve is deeply ingrained, and they are known to be highly trainable.

These dogs are energetic, agile, and have great stamina. They thrive on physical activity and require regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy. Brittanys are also known for their affectionate nature, making them great family pets as well.

Training and Care

Training a Brittany requires a consistent and positive approach. They are intelligent dogs and respond well to reward-based training methods. Early socialization is important to ensure they grow up to be well-rounded dogs.

Regular exercise is crucial for Brittanys to prevent behavioral issues arising from pent-up energy. They enjoy activities such as long walks, jogging, and playing fetch. Mental stimulation is equally important, so providing them with puzzle toys or engaging in obedience training sessions can help keep their minds sharp.

Grooming a Brittany is relatively low-maintenance. Their coat requires regular brushing to remove loose hair and prevent matting. They are not heavy shedders, but during shedding seasons, more frequent brushing may be necessary. Routine care such as nail trimming, teeth brushing, and ear cleaning should also be included in their grooming regimen.

In conclusion, Brittanys are exceptional hunting dogs with a rich history and impressive characteristics. Their natural pointing ability, intelligence, and affectionate nature make them a preferred choice for hunters and families alike. With proper training, care, and plenty of exercise, Brittanys can thrive in both the field and as beloved companions.

German Shorthairs

Breed History

German Shorthaired Pointers, often referred to as GSPs, have a rich history that dates back to the 19th century in Germany. This versatile breed was developed by crossing various German hunting dogs with Spanish pointers, resulting in a well-rounded and exceptional hunting companion. The breed was specifically designed to excel in pointing and retrieving game, making them an ideal choice for hunters.

Temperament and Characteristics

German Shorthairs are known for their friendly and outgoing temperament, making them excellent family pets in addition to being exceptional hunting dogs. They are highly intelligent, eager to please, and have a natural instinct for tracking scents. Their athletic build and strong stamina allow them to cover vast distances while hunting, and their webbed feet make them excellent swimmers.

Apart from their hunting abilities, German Shorthairs are also highly sociable and enjoy being part of a family. They are great with children and get along well with other pets when properly socialized. Their loyalty and affectionate nature make them a perfect choice for those seeking a loving and devoted companion.

Training and Hunting Abilities

German Shorthairs are highly trainable due to their intelligence and willingness to learn. They have a natural instinct for pointing, which can be further honed through consistent training and positive reinforcement. Their versatility extends beyond pointing, as they are also skilled in tracking, retrieving, and even waterfowl hunting.

When it comes to hunting, German Shorthairs excel in both upland game and waterfowl hunting. Their keen sense of smell allows them to track and locate game with precision, while their agility and speed enable them to cover rough terrains effortlessly. They are also known for their exceptional pointing ability, freezing in a stance to indicate the presence of game to the hunter.

In conclusion, German Shorthaired Pointers are a remarkable breed that embodies the perfect combination of hunting prowess and family companionship. With their historical background, friendly temperament, and exceptional hunting abilities, they continue to be a top choice for hunters and dog enthusiasts alike.

In conclusion, when it comes to the best hunting dogs for pointing, Setters, Brittanys, and German Shorthairs are among the top contenders. Each breed brings its unique set of skills and characteristics to the table, making them excellent choices for hunters looking for reliable and efficient pointing dogs. Setters are known for their elegance and style, Brittanys for their versatility and energy, and German Shorthairs for their intelligence and endurance. Whether it’s in the field or on the hunt, these breeds are sure to impress with their natural instincts and abilities. So, if you’re in search of a pointing dog that will excel in the hunting domain, look no further than Setters, Brittanys, and German Shorthairs.