Breeds that make good hunting dogs include those in the "sporting" group of the American Kennel Club, such as numerous breeds of Spaniels, Retrievers and Pointers. The Golden Retriever is a popular family dog that is a good hunting dog. Its intelligence and desire to please its master also makes it ideal for work as a guide or in search and rescue.
The Wire-haired German Pointer serves many purposes in hunting, including alerting its master to the location of prey. The dog has a medium build, is strong and has thick, wiry fur that repels water. The Cocker Spaniel, one of the most popular breeds in the United States, has a stocky body and a pleasant disposition. Cocker Spaniels are fast runners and have significant endurance, which is useful in hunting. Dachshunds and Terriers also are often used in hunting, especially for retrieving downed prey from small spaces or flushing animals out of burrows.
A hunting dog typically has good vision and an excellent sense of smell. Many are strong swimmers and runners. They typically have temperaments that make them want to please their owners, and they are persistent in cornering prey. Many hunting dogs make excellent pets, provided that they receive sufficient exercise. Many have served as companions and hunting assistants to humans for thousands of years.