Are Golden Retrievers Good Hunting Dogs?

If you’re considering a golden retriever for hunting, you should know that there are two types. Golden retrievers are either field bred or bred for show. People looking for a golden retriever for hunting will require an intelligent shorter coated retriever. Are golden retrievers good hunting dogs? Goldens have a charming and eager to please temperament. Plus, they have a kind look that matches their personality. Goldens have plenty to offer their owners. However, their skyrocketing popularity may be the cause Golden retrievers have become sufferers of high demand. Thus, people who are considering the Golden must be very cautious when choosing a pup for the purpose of hunting.

Facts About Hunting Dogs – Are Golden Retrievers Good Hunting Dogs?

Are Golden Retrievers Good Hunting Dogs

Overall, the most typical hunting dogs are scent hounds, otherwise known as gun dogs. The type of quarry you are hunting will dictate the type of dog you should get.

Gun dogs

These dogs are also called bird dogs since birds are their primary prey. These dogs will hunt tiny animals such as rabbits. They are capable of locating prey and flushing it out for their owners to shoot. Typically, the dog retrieves the quarry for their owners.

Scent hounds

They will navigate prey trails utilizing their nose, making loud noises while hunting. The dog’s whining enables the hunter to follow the trail even if the dog is unseen. Several scent hounds focus on the pursuit of prey. Others have a treeing function. They chase the prey and corner them up a tree and wait at the base until their hunter owners arrive.

A dog should have several crucial skills to be considered a good hunting dog, such as prey drive, training, receptiveness, endurance, and athletic ability. Try to nurture a strong bond with your dog since it will make them better hunting dogs. Dogs are social animals, and they will get bored if they have to spend most of their time in the limited space of a kennel away from humans and other dogs. Make sure to have time to train and care for your dog most days of the year.

History of the Golden Retriever – Are Golden Retrievers Good Hunting Dogs?

One of the top reasons for the popularity of the Golden retriever is their rich history. According to the AKC, they existed as early as the 1800s. Europe can be credited for a good number of modern-day sporting breeds, which include the Goldens. The breed has been known in England and Scotland well over 200 years ago. During that period, medium-sized sporting breeds were an asset for obtaining food such as waterfowl and upland game birds. During the rest of the 1800s, Goldens have become even more popular and desirable. They were officially recognized by the AKC in the year 1925.

Go-to Breeds of Hunters

Goldens soon developed a reputation as the go-to breed for hunters and people looking to have a dog in an obedience training or field trial. Goldens started being featured in television shows as well as print magazines and advertisements. You only need to look at a golden to understand why. There are very few breeds as photogenic or as easy to work with as golden retrievers. Their amazing personality contributed to their popularity.

The breeding practices also lead to division in the breed. There is an ever-increasing portion of litters born every year that do not follow stringent standards. Golden retriever show dogs became much more common, and they were eventually bred to be field dogs as well as show dogs.

It has been two decades since the breed reached its peak; since then, there has been a decline in the Golden retriever’s health and hunting drive.

Excellent Pedigrees

However, this is not to imply that excellent pedigrees are completely lost. They still exist. However, it isn’t as easy to locate. Too many golden retrievers are bred in puppy mills and other places which do not follow stringent breeding standards.

How to Pick the Perfect Golden Retriever – Are Golden Retrievers Good Hunting Dogs?

Are Golden Retrievers Good Hunting Dogs

Hunters who are after a waterfowl and upland game will often choose the Lab for obvious reasons, but a Golden, with the right temperament, will fill the role just as well. A Golden retriever with a proper introduction to bodies of water will be able to hand their masters ducks all day long.


Are golden retrievers good hunting dogs? When experts are asked what to look for in a golden pedigree, they will have plenty to say. First, a golden that is field bred must be borne from generations of hunters. They typically have shorter coats. They may look a bit different from goldens that are bred for show. Goldens bred for hunting are characterized by their prey drive and passion for retrieving.

A majority of golden retrievers will make excellent house pets, but you want some stellar qualities if you want them as a hunter. A truly amazing hunting dog must be field bred or nothing.

It would help if you examined the health of the dog. Many problems come up due to poor breeding. Breeding is a process that must ensure a healthy litter. This means looking at the health clearances concerning hips and elbows, among many others. You may have to get the canine ophthalmologist’s opinion for eye health clearances and a dog cardiologist for heart health clearances. It is also beneficial to conduct an array of DNA assessments to ensure that proper breeding was followed.

Health clearances

health clearances are crucial. A lot of dog owners with a history of owning golden retrievers may have suffered the heartbreak of losing a golden due to health issues. Every breed can suffer serious medical issues, but golden retrievers are exceptionally susceptible to these diseases due to the unchecked breeding they have been subjected to.

Goldens are popular, and this is no secret. Since so many people own goldens, they end up breeding their pets without considering potential genetic problems. People assume that when they pick any golden puppy, it will have the drive to hunt, but that is not the case. Real breeders who know their stuff will breed for athleticism and not looks. Some breeders will breed golden retrievers as field bred. Not a lot of buyers will even know what the concept of a field-bred dog is.

Field bred golden retrievers

Are golden retrievers good hunting dogs? For a golden retriever to be considered field bred, they have to be bred for prey drive. Dogs must play the game, and they have the right temperament for it. Golden retrievers are used as companion dogs, while some are used for their agility and some even for therapy. Additionally, field-bred dogs will fare extremely well as upland and waterfowl hunters. Golden retrievers are natural people pleasers and will naturally adapt to training, which will make their owners happy. Are golden retrievers good hunting dogs?

The fact that golden retrievers are people pleasers is the reason they became so popular. A good sign that your Golden retriever is working to please you is if they check you often and stares you in the eye. Goldens are known to exhibit this trait, especially in fieldwork, where it is most crucial.


Are golden retrievers good hunting dogs? Training correctly can turn the Golden retriever into a capable hunter. It is crucial not to be heavy-handed. Goldens can be trained professionally, but they are also adaptable to amateur trainers provided that these people research proper obedience and hunting training techniques. Obedience cannot be stressed enough. Are golden retrievers good hunting dogs?

Well-bred goldens will be smart, and they do whatever they can not to disappoint. However, you have to handle them gently. They aren’t wired in the same way as Labradors. The latter is able to run the same drill over and over a hundred times in a row. These breeds are different, and they have to be trained differently.

Are golden retrievers good hunting dogs? You may be wondering why some owners choose to hunt with goldens. According to one owner, goldens are a gentlemen’s dogs, and they will give you more than 100% if you treat them fairly. When you instruct your Golden to hunt, they will give you their all. Once the hunt is over, they will return to being your lovable and cuddly house dog.

Upland hunting

Are golden retrievers good hunting dogs? Golden retrievers are excellent at upland hunting. They can likewise be utilized as waterfowl dogs. Any hunter looking for a Golden to search for ducks and geese will need to do some research, however. Goldens need to be introduced to bodies of water gently and properly. If you mess this up, it will not work. Goldens will do their best to deliver, but they will shut down if you lose your temper with them. Are golden retrievers good hunting dogs? Activities have to be fun for them, and you need to harness their intelligence and keep things interesting and positive. They respond well to teaching rather than pressure.

Are golden retrievers good hunting dogs? Choosing a golden retriever puppy is pretty easy since the breed is extremely popular. However, finding golden retrievers that are well-bred and checked all health clearances with a true hunting dog gene is another matter. Finding the ultimate pedigree will need an investment of time to locate and may cost more. However, once you’ve found the one, you have an amazing hunter and family dog.

Pheasant hunting

Are golden retrievers good hunting dogs? One of the top reasons some hunters enjoy goldens is they aren’t specialists. They will hunt anything and can manage any new hunting situation provided you prepare them. Some hunters will hunt doves, ducks, and everything else with their dog. Golden retrievers can do it all, and he will as long as you ask them with respect.

Top Tips to Consider When Purchasing Golden Retrievers – Are Golden Retrievers Good Hunting Dogs?


Are golden retrievers good hunting dogs? There are many top-notch goldens out there, but it will require a bit of research for you to find. For hunters searching to have a rock star golden on the field and a handsome pet all in one package, goldens are the ideal choice provided they come from a breeding program that bred for optimal health and strong hunting drive.

Picking the Perfect Golden Puppy

When searching the market for that perfect Golden puppy, prospective owners should take note of several things.

Spend Wisely

Prepare to shell out anywhere from $800 up to $3000 for a golden retriever puppy that is field bred. It is the typical rate, and the price is worth it for your peace of mind that you are assured of an authentic and high-quality healthy puppy. However, your job doesn’t end with research, making a purchase, and writing the check.

Trust Your Breeder

After the buying process, it is crucial, to be honest with your breeder and allow them to choose the right dog for you. Honest breeders will not allow the buyer to pick the puppy. Instead, the breeder will pick them for you. Some people will balk at this idea, but the breeder knows their puppies well. They have observed how they act and interact and have deep knowledge of their personality.

Some breeders will ask prospective buyers questions about their plans with the dog and their home life situation. They want to know if they are the right people for the dog. A lot of people will opt to pick their own puppy and will often choose the first dog that is friendly. However, this is a bad move since that puppy might exhibit domineering characteristics eventually. It is better to trust the breeder who can give you the best in the litter.

It is crucial to trust your breeder; in the end, you won’t regret it.

Final thoughts

Golden retrievers are hard-working dogs. They are trainable and learn tricks easily. Thus, it is no mystery that they might even beat established hunting dog breeds. People who develop field-bred golden retrievers rave about their versatility and willingness to please their owners. Goldens are extremely responsive to training, which is crucial when they are actually put to action on the field for hunting.

About Tom Thorpe

Tom Thorpe has overtime interacted with different species of dogs mostly through breeding and training; according to him, man’s best friend is yet to find solace in the company of man, as they are continuously mistreated. He, therefore, runs a rescue center that provides shelter to stray dogs, and has been advocating for the rights of animals; the Golden Retriever dogs are among his favorites, the reason he came up with the extensive excerpts to help educate the society on the right treatment and care of the respective breed. Tom spends most of his time running his dog shelter; he is a husband and proud father of two boys and loves to go fishing during his free time.

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