12 Efficient Deer Tracking Dog Breeds


Last Updated on October 20, 2022 by Evan

It is no secret that dogs are the most efficient trackers on the planet. They are very useful for hunts and save the hunters a lot of time and effort.

Here is our rundown of the best deer tracking dogs breeds:


Bloodhounds are highly efficient trackers and are widely used by hunters to track deer. These scent hounds were originally bred for hunting large game-like deer and boars and are extremely persistent once they catch a scent.

They are also famous for effortlessly pursuing cold trails that other dogs aren’t able to track. This is why bloodhounds are also used by the police to track missing persons and fugitives.

The bloodhound is also the first animal whose evidence is considered legally legitimate in court. They also have a keen sense of hearing which helps them while tracking prey.

Even though they are quite relentless on a hunt, they make very loving and obedient companions to humans. They have a gentle nature and make good pets for families.


Beagles are one of the most popular dog breeds as pets. They are also very intelligent and very useful on a hunt. Bred as hunting dogs, they have great tracking instincts and love working.

Beagles have a lot of energy and need adequate training to keep them occupied the right way. They love being stimulated and thus tend to make themselves very useful while hunting.

They have a very loud bark which comes in handy while chasing deer in thick forests. Beagles have short legs , but it does not deter them from chasing fast-moving prey like deer.

Their astute sense of smell has led to them being employed as detection dogs for agricultural imports all over the world.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are fast, intelligent and highly trainable. Combined with their impressive tracking abilities, these skills make them very adept at tracking animals like deer and foxes.

With a high level of focus and a keen sense of smell, they make very efficient hunting dogs. Distractions do not bother them and they usually finish the job at hand even with difficult circumstances.

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They are known all over the world for their vast capabilities. German Shepherds make up a significant population of K-9 units.

With a long history as working dogs, German Shepherds have proven themselves capable of all kinds of work including police work, bomb detection and disability assistance.

Scottish Deerhound

These scent hounds were specially bred for hunting deer. They have an impressive stature and are often mistaken for greyhounds.

Scottish deerhounds are very fast and are capable of chasing prey through rough terrain. This is because they are sighthounds, not scenthounds. They were used to hunt deer by coursing, a hunting method based on speed.

They have obedient personalities and are usually very eager to hunt. Their enthusiasm needs to be put to good use through training and outdoor activities. Deerhounds could turn destructive if they get bored.


Their looks can be deceiving but dachshunds actually make great hunting dogs. Though they were bred to track down and apprehend smaller prey like rabbits and badgers, they can flush deer out of forests or sniff out dead or injured deer.

Dachshunds have a long history as hunting dogs and the urge to track is quite innate in them. Despite their short stature, they have very good endurance. Their only flaw is perhaps their tendency to get distracted.

This problem can be tackled with a lot of dedicated training. Food is a huge motivator for dachshunds, so you might want to keep a lot of treats on hand while training this highly capable dog breed.

What they lack in size, they more than make up for with their impressive sense of smell. In fact, the part of the brain that is responsible for analyzing scents is 40 times bigger in dachshunds than humans.

Plott Hound

Plott hounds are native to North Carolina. They are also the official state dog and serve as K9 deputies in the sheriff’s department. Plott hounds are well built, strong and quite suited to hunt big game like deer.

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They love a challenge and do not fear intense activities. Curious and athletic by nature, Plott hounds are widely used as hunting dogs all over the country.

With impressive speed and plenty of stamina, Plott hounds are relentless on the hunt and do not give up until the job is done.

Great Dane

Originating in Germany, Great Danes are one of the largest hunting dog breeds in the world. Deer hunters often use them for their speed and strength.

Their nature is completely opposite to their appearance—they are quite gentle and love company. Though they aren’t really known for their sense of smell, Great Danes are working dogs and have proven themselves useful to deer hunters.

Basset Hound

Basset Hounds are scent hounds bred for hunting small game. They have a very keen sense of smell and have an impressive running speed despite their short legs. They also have great stamina, which helps them on long hunts.

Basset Hounds are very fond of tracking and love hunting, making them enthusiastic partners to hunters. They have a playful temperament and make great pets for families with children.

They have a very independent nature which, while helpful in hunting, could be a problem while training. Owners need to spend a lot of time and energy to make sure their Basset Hounds are trained properly.

Black and Tan Coonhound

The Black and Tan Coonhound is native to America and was bred as a hunting dog. It has great tracking abilities and hunts entirely by scent. It is famous for its success with tracking down cold scents and is frequently used for search and rescue missions.

They are quite large and very efficient in hunting big game like deer. Despite their persistence and tenacity during a hunt, Black and Tan Coonhounds are quite calm and friendly indoors.

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They are quite independent, making them efficient hunters. They need a lot of training as they can get a little stubborn, as is typical of hunting dogs.

English Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniels make great hunting companions. Though they were originally bred to flush prey out of hiding, they are effective at tracking bigger game-like deer or foxes.

Known as gun dogs, English Springer Spaniels would chase birds into flight, who would then be shot down by hunters. They also retrieved prey, making them very useful to hunters.

They are very enthusiastic and always eager to please, making them easy to train and work with. With amazing stamina, tracking and retrieving abilities, the Springer Spaniel is an amazing tracking dog.

Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Malinois resembles the German Shepherd in both stature and ability—it has a keen nose and is often used as a service dog by the police and the military.

They are very intelligent and extremely loyal to humans. Known for forming deep connections with humans, these dogs are highly trainable and love being engaged.

Their endurance level, strength, smartness and tracking capabilities make them efficient hunters. They have a lot of energy and do not give up the pursuit until they hunt down their prey.

German Shorthaired Pointer

German Shorthaired Pointers are favored due to their expertise in tracking both on land and water. Traditionally a breed hunting, they are quite cooperative and have a strong hunting drive.

They have a high energy level and excel at many activities, making them quite popular at dog sports. Apart from being used as hunting dogs and family pets, German Shorthaired Pointers are also used in search and rescue missions.

They have a playful nature and love being around humans and other animals. It might take a bit longer to train them since they don’t usually reach mental adulthood until they turn at least two years old.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>