German Shepherd Hog Hunting

Are German Shepherds good hunting dogs? I have always loved the German Shepherd breed. They are smart, loyal, and protective animals. Their intelligence also makes me wonder what else they are capable of. As someone who comes from a long line of hunters, I wondered if it would be possible to use a German Shepherd as a hunting dog. I decided to investigate.

So are German Shepherds good hunting dogs? The simple answer is no, but they can be. Trained correctly and from a young age, German Shepherds can be taught to hunt. Much like teaching anything else, it will take time, patience, and having a solid grasp on what makes a good hunting dog.

German Shepherds are by no means the typical hunting dogs. Breeds such as the Labrador Retriever, the Beagle, and even the Bloodhound are often used to track and retrieve prey. But, unlike Huskies and other dogs who have not been bred to hunt and can’t be trained, the German Shepherd has the unique ability to be taught.

What Makes a Good Hunting Dog?

A good hunting dog is one who is healthy, is receptive to training, has a sense of fearlessness, and possesses the right temperament. Hunting requires a certain level of attentiveness and athletic capability, so any dog that is chosen to hunt must be up to the task.

For a hunting dog to be receptive to training, they need to be calm, intelligent and, learn to take commands. The world of hunting is dangerous and a hunting dog needs to be ready to meet any challenge head-on. When a dog is well trained and has an attitude of fearlessness, confidence, and loyalty, they become more than just a tool to kill and retrieve prey.

Hunting dogs can become very close to their owners. The stronger a bond between a hunting dog and it’s owner, the better the dog will be able to perform. Even if a dog is tasked with being the best hunting dog it can be, it is still an animal that requires love and attention. Dogs are social creatures. Once hunting season is over, a hunting dog still requires care and socialization to remain healthy and happy.

It is also a good idea to know the background and history of your hunting dog. Because of the close companionship that can develop between owner and animal, you want your hunting dog to be around for as long as they can be. With excellent breeding and minimal health issues, a hunting dog can be a strong companion for many years.

The German Shepherd is a breed of dog whose roots can be traced back to 19th century Germany. They were originally bred with the intent to preserve traits useful in herding and guarding sheep. Characteristics such as intelligence, speed, strength, and a strong sense of smell were indispensable qualities.

Towards the end of the 19th century, attempts were made to standardize the German Shepherd breed by a man named Max von Stephanitz. He saw the potential of the German Shepherd’s intelligence and strength. He wanted to create his ideal version of a working dog.

As the German Shepherd became mainstream, careless breeding led to health problems and a move away from being the ideal working dog. But even with those changes, the German Shepherd remained an easy to train dog breed. This quality led them to be used as police dogs and seeing-eye dogs for the blind.

In today’s society, the German Shepherd is sought after for its loyalty, protective nature, and kindness. They make lovely domestic companions and are a fantastic family-oriented breed.

How to Train Your German Shepherd to Hunt

Training for any hunting dog is best done in the early years of a puppy’s life. The earlier on training begins, the higher chance your puppy has to realize its full potential as a predator. It will also gain the confidence necessary to carry through on tasks such as attacking, tracking, and retrieving prey.

Socialization with other people and animals is a crucial ingredient in training a hunting dog. It allows your puppy to get comfortable in novel situations and creates a well-adjusted animal. Socialization also creates a unique and unbreakable bond between owner and animal. When a strong relationship is in place, your dog is easier to train and command.

Running through open fields and allowing your dog to explore its surroundings is also essential. Vast open spaces can be scary and full of unknowns for a puppy just starting out on the hunting path. The sooner your puppy gets comfortable in big areas, the better he or she will be at navigating them with confidence and rigor.

A puppy also needs to be introduced to guns and gunfire. If done correctly, your puppy won’t be gunshy and will know that the sound of a firearm is a signal to go out and retrieve prey. Softer tempered dogs may need more training and exposure in this area, as loud noises can be scary and overwhelming.

Training a hunting dog requires time, patience, and a willingness to adjust the training regiment as needed. It is always a work in progress. Puppies are a handful when they aren’t being trained to hunt. Allowing yourself to get frustrated by expecting too much from your puppy right off the bat will only make training more difficult. It is best to enter into training with a good attitude and compassion for your animal.

What Category Does the German Shepherd Dog Fall Into?

After reading about the three main types of gun dogs in the section earlier here, you may be wondering which category the German Shepherd dog falls into.

As the American Kennel Club (AKC) explains, the German Shepherd dog breed is not a gundog breed at all.

Rather, the GSD is classified as a herding dog breed. This is accurate, as the first dogs that Captain Max von Stephanitz bred to produce the German Shepherd were herding dogs as well.

In fact, Captain von Stephanitz had the goal of producing the perfect working dog, but he chose herding dog breeds to base his new breed off of.

This is why many hunters say that the German Shepherd dog is not the ideal choice for a true hunting dog. Their instinct as a dog breed is to guard, herd, and protect, not to hunt, track, or point.

However, there is a hunting element in the herding dog skillset.

As part of the herding dog’s job description, these dogs are expected to drive away or, if necessary, kill predator animals that are threatening their livestock or their people.

But when this type of need arises, the German Shepherd will more likely be working on their own at some distance from their human keepers.

This is why some of the hunting forums we mentioned earlier mentioned that German Shepherds are so intelligent they sometimes don’t make great hunting dog partners.

They have a tendency to keep their own counsel about how best to do their job.


Can a German Shepherd be used for hunting?

You can use a German shepherd in actual hunting scenarios to locate deer trails, track a wounded deer, or train your dog to follow deer scent and use him in competitions and field trials. German shepherds are focused, motivated, and intelligent working dogs with strong prey drives and a keen sense of smell.

What kind of dogs do they use in American hoggers?

9 Best Hog Hunting dogs
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback.
  • Lacy.
  • Blackmouth Cur.
  • Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog.
  • Polish Hound.
  • Dogo Argentino.
  • American Pit Bull Terrier.
  • American Bulldog.

How do you hunt hogs with dogs?

The Dogs – the Walker hound, both purebred and mixed, are the typical dogs used by Jerry Campbell; they are a derivative of the American Foxhound; the lead dog (Rooster, who died in season 1, and Ranger) chaperone the pack (Creager, Doce, Griz, Jill, Lugnut, and Sparkplug), and the striker dog (Big’un, who is …