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16 Bear Hunting Large Dog Breeds

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Are you looking for a large dog that can hunt bears?

Well, hunting a huge bear is not a small feat. It would be best if you had such a furry friend that could rise to the occasion.

Hunting is an adventurous and thrilling task for people all around the world. And when it comes to bear hunting, especially for Americans, it is a lot more than just a leisurely activity. To a lot of people, it is like culture and not just an occasional job.

Bear hunting is, no doubt, popular. But it is one of the most dangerous activities too. As you may already know, bears are predatory animals. So, when you travel into their area, it can be a lot more fatal than you can imagine. This is the reason why many expert hunters always make it a point to take their dogs with them while they are out for hunting. 

These dogs have an excellent sense of smell. They can sniff off any bear, even when they are far away. And can lead you to them. They can do the job of your bodyguard and can protect you if they need to in case of any potential bear attack.

They need to be tenacious, tough, intelligent, intimidating, and brave. In addition, they need to have a muscular and athletic body to track and chase such a huge beast as the bear. Now you can understand that hunting bears are not a task for weak, lazy, and small breeds such as the Chihuahua and French Bulldog. So, if you have a small dog, it is better to leave them at home.

Large Dog Breeds For Hunting Bear 

RankingNameHeightWeightLife spanBreed sizeTemperamentOrigin
1 The Golden Retriever28.5 to 31.5 inches65 to 75 pounds10 – 12 yearsmediumintelligent, reliable, trustworthy, friendly, kind, confidentUnited Kingdom
2 The American Foxhound22 to 25 inches45 to 65 pounds10 – 12 yearsmediumsweet-tempered, kind, loyal, loving, independent, intelligentUnited States
3The Bloodhound27 to 32 inches90 to 130 pounds10 – 12 yearslargeeven tempered, stubborn, affectionate, gentleBelgium
4The German Wirehead Pointer22 to 26 inches60 to 70 pounds12 – 14 yearsmediumwillful, intelligent, loyal, affectionate, friendly, activeGermany
5The Irish Setters25 to 27 inches60 to 70 pounds12 – 15 yearsmediumenergetic, affectionate, companionable, playful, independent, livelyIreland
6American Pitbulls18 to 21 inches55 to 70 pounds8 – 15 yearsmediumfriendly, affectionate, gentle, courageous, obedient, strong willedUnited States
7Treeing Walker Coonhound22 to 27 inches45 to 80 pounds12 – 13 yearsmediumaffectionate, intelligent, loving, trainable, cleverUnited States
8The German Shepherd24 to 26 inches70 to 88 pounds9 – 13 yearslargeintelligent, obedient, courageous, stubborn, curious, confidentGermany
9The Caucasian Mountain Dogs23–30 inches110 to 220 pounds10 – 12 yearsextra largepowerful, alert, dominant, calm, quickRussia
10The English Pointer23 to 28 inches45 to 75 pounds12 – 17 yearsmediumkind, affectionate, activeEngland
11Karelian Bear Dog19–23 inches37–62 pounds11 – 13 yearsmediumcautious, territorial, loyal, tenacious, independent, braveFinland
12Dogo Argentino23.5 to 27 inches80 to 100 pounds10 - 15 yearslargetolerant, affectionate, loyal, cheerful, protectiveArgentina
13Rottweiler24 to 27 inches77 to 106 pounds8 – 10 yearslargesteady, fearless, calm, devoted, confident, alertGermany
14Plott Hound20 to 27 inches40 to 75 pounds12 – 14 yearsmediumfriendly, playful, protectiveGermany
15Siberian Laika21 to 24 inches40 to 55 pounds12-14 yearsmediumbalanced, lively, protective, aggressive, territorialRussia
16Akita26 to 28 inches80 to 110 pounds10 – 12 yearslargereceptive, courageous, composed, intelligent, courageousUnited States

Being bear hunting dogs isn’t an easy job. So, if you have been looking for what are the best bear hunting large dog breeds, here we have the list for you. 

#1. The Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever

If I were to judge bear hunting dogs by their looks, I would certainly keep the Golden Retriever on the top of my list! But, of course, they are capable bear hunters too. And this is why I have kept them as my number one on this list too!

You can be easily blinded by its beautiful golden fur. But when it comes to hunting bears, this handsome dog can mean serious business. They hide their ferocious and ruthless character under their affectionate, innocent-looking, and attention-seeking personalities.

What I like the most about these dogs is that they can adapt to any weather condition – be it a wet marshland or the dusty savanna. And did I tell you that this dog breed can smell bears even when they are kilometers away? This means they will be an excellent hunting partner for you.

#2. The American Foxhound

Did you know that this special bear hunting dog was bred mainly for the purpose of hunting?

They can hunt down not only bears but also foxes and any other animals that require to be hunted. Therefore, I can safely say that the American Foxhounds can be counted as one of the ultimate hunting dogs you may encounter.

Their pack leader can tell you if there is a bear even when you are far away and can lead you to the bear.

They are physically very fit and can run for hours at a single stretch. You will see them stop only when they cannot smell the animal they were hunting anymore.

#3. The Bloodhound

The Bloodhound

The Bloodhound falls under the bulkier and bigger dog category. Most hunters love this dog breed – all thanks to their impeccable sense of smell and hunting abilities.

Most often, they hunt in a pack of four dogs, and it is the leader of the pack that leads them to the bear.

#4. The German Wirehead Pointer

Meet one of the most humble dogs that you can use for hunting bears – the German Wirehead Pointer. They have a superb sense of smell and can track their prey from miles away.

As they have a thin coat of fur, they are perfect for warm climate areas. But they have a negative side to them. You cannot take them in areas with cold climates.

They can literally run for hours and still don’t get tired. This makes this dog breed ideal for hunting large prey, for example, bears.

#5. The Irish Setters

The Irish Setters

These dogs have a majestic look. In addition, they have a soft, brown color coat on their body, which adds to their beauty. But, don’t fall for their looks!

Do you live in an area with a cold climate?

Then this dog breed can be the one you are looking for. They have sharp, strong paws, using which they can easily pounce on bears.

Did you know that the Irish Settlers are a mixed breed of the fearsome African hunting dogs of Irish origin?

When it comes to hunting bears, this special breed of dog can be very serious and do its job well.

#6. American Pitbulls

American Pitbulls are so common that I am sure you have already heard a lot about them, isn’t it?

But did you know they are one of the most ruthless dogs too?

If this dog breed is in packs, they can chase and hunt down any creature that is larger than them. Train them well, and then take them with you to hunt and watch how they run after their prey.

Most hunters like to take American Pitbulls with them while going hunting because this dog breed has amazing and natural hunting instincts.

Don’t underestimate them because of their size. They are one of the best dogs when it comes to hunting bears.

#7. Treeing Walker Coonhound

Treeing Walker Coonhound

There are very few breeds of dogs as good as Treeing Walker Coonhound when it comes to hunting.

They are well-known for their exceptional smelling abilities. And you can make them run for hours without getting weary.

As this dog breed falls under the category of ferocious dogs, you need to use hunting dog collars on them.

Treeing Walker Coonhounds tend to hunt in packs. And so, when they are with their pack, they can hunt down the bears that are close by.

#8. The German Shepherd

What more can I say about the German Shepherds?

After all, they are one of the most common dog breeds that you might have come across. This dog is extremely ferocious, and they have natural hunting instincts.

Even when they are miles away from their prey, they can sense them. And they have the power to chase bears easily.

All you need is to train them well if you want them to be successful hunting dogs. And when you do that, this dog breed will pounce on bears and kill them.

#9. The Caucasian Mountain Dogs

Did you know that the Caucasian Mountain Dogs are regarded as one of Russia’s best bear hunting dogs?

In the mid-90s, the Russian used these dogs for hunting, thanks to their great hunting capabilities and large body.

The average weight of a Caucasian is about 220 pounds. And this weight can easily match the weight of a mature bear.

This dog breed is intelligent and ferocious. This combination of their character makes them ideal hunting dogs.

But there is a downside to this dog breed. They are quite hard to train. This means you need to train as well as monitor their behavior really well each week.

#10. The English Pointer

The English Pointer

Another pointer breed has made it to my list of the best bear hunting dogs.

They are not only fearsome but also extremely agile when it comes to hunting down large bears.

They can track down bears even when they are kilometers away – all thanks to their superb smelling sense.

In the 20th century, the English Pointers were commonly used for hunting down wolves and foxes. And even today, this dog breed is the favorite of many hunters.

#11. Karelian Bear Dog

If there is a competition among the bear hunting dogs, the Karelian Bear Dog is ready to take the crown any day!

For centuries, people have used this dog breed to scare away bears from livestock and humans. They were mainly bred to chase grizzlies, but they can hunt down bears too.

Of course, this dog breed is not the largest out there. But yes, they make up for it with their speed, aggression, and intelligence.

The Karelian Bear Dog hunts bears by making use of various tactics such as barking and chasing.

#12. Dogo Argentino

The Dogo Argentino is a well-known bear hunting dog with a huge, powerful body.

All you need is to have one look at them, and you will understand what I am talking about!

Bred in South America, the main intention of creating this dog is to make them hunt wild dogs and pumas. But they are equally good at hunting bears.

You don’t have to worry if you want to hunt bears in a hot climate. This dog breed can bear a harsh hot climate really well. They can walk as well as run through any rugged and hot terrain with ease. This, coupled with their fierce look, make them perfect as a bear hunting companion.

#13. Rottweiler

Seeing this dog, the first thing that comes to mind is their aggression. Rottweiler dogs have an out-of-the-world kind of aggression. It goes really well with their bear hunting avatar.

Did I tell you how powerful the bite of a Rottweiler is?

I am sure even a bear cannot survive it – no matter how powerful and big the bear is.

One of the best dogs that fight bears is Rottweiler. They don’t run away from the middle of the fight. 

They stay, fight and never leave until they succeed. They don’t get scared seeing the size of the bear.

Imagine hunting bears when you have a pack of Rottweilers by your side. Nothing can stop you from getting what you want.

#14.  Plott Hound

 Plott Hound

Plott Hounds are a popular dog breed thanks to their muscular and athletic body.

Whether they are chasing down a bear or running on the track, these attributes play out an excellent role.

Their choppy, short barks while chasing bears let the hunters know about the game’ without making any disruption to the chase.

Just as other breeds of hound dogs, the Plott Hounds can find scents and follow them for kilometers. And once they find the bear, they are always ready to chase and charge it either in a pack or as individuals.

#15. Siberian Laika

Well, native to West Siberia, this dog breed also knows something about chasing and hunting bears. They were born as well as raised in cold Siberia, where the numbers of bears were like the number of birds.

The Siberian Laika is somewhat similar to that of the Husky. These include a great nose, a strong prey drive, and good hunting instincts. 

They are protective, aggressive, and territorial.

If they see a bear, the first thing that they do is bark distinctively. And if you train them, they can even charge at it or attack.

#16. Akita

Let me confess. I quite like the name of this dog breed. Isn’t it beautiful?

This charming Japanese dog looks innocent. And they are lively most of their time.

But did you know that this pretty-looking dog is an excellent bear hunting dog too?

Yes! All thanks to their responsive, protective, alert, and courageous nature.

They can smell the scent of a bear even when they are miles away. Their tenacious and fierce characteristics make them a superb catch dog too.

They never back down from attacking a large bear with their paws and jaws. This is why people in many areas in Japan use this dog breed for warding off bears from their farms and fields.


Dogs are an inseparable part of our society, and they are well-known to be our perfect companions whatever we do. And this includes hunting too. Some do exceptionally well as bear hunting dogs. If you want to bring out the best in them, what you can do is train them.

So, which bear hunting dog do you like the most?

Let me know in the comments!

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