Are German Shepherds Good For Hunting?

Are German Shepherds Good For Hunting?

The AKC describes the German shepherd as a smart, confident, and courageous animal. And perhaps you are wondering with such attributes, are German shepherds good for hunting?

Even With their remarkable attributes, most people don’t consider German shepherds as hunting dogs. Initially, the founder of the German shepherd breed wanted to have a dog breed with strong guarding and herding abilities rather than possess hunting capabilities.

So if you are looking for the answer of whether German shepherds are good hunting dogs, then you have wandered to the right article, as we have articulated everything clearly. 

Are German Shepherds Good For Hunting? 

The German shepherd is not a skilled hunting dog. Even with its remarkable personality, other dog breeds still out-perform this dog breed when it comes to prey hunting.

Some of the best-hunting dogs that become a companion to human hunters include American foxhound, beagle, bloodhound, and American Pitbull. If you look at these dog’s history, you will see that they were all developed as hunting dogs to retrieve or flush out prey, unlike the GSD.

Nevertheless, it’s easy to train a German shepherd to become an excellent hunting dog, who will notify you when there is prey or even help retrieve this prey after it’s gunned down.

What Skills Do Hunting Dogs Have?


These dogs can stay for long in the field or chase prey for long without getting fatigued 

Receptive to training

No dog is born knowing how to hunt. You have to train it. A hunting dog needs to be receptive to every piece of training it gets.


A great hunting dog is watchful and observant of its surroundings and rarely loses track whenever it follows a scent.


A hunting dog doesn’t need to display any fear when facing aggressive prey. This dog also has to have the courage of going to the extreme to retrieve or flush out that prey.

Train Your German shepherd To Be A Hunting Dog (Can You Teach A German Shepherd To Hunt)

Even though German shepherds are not known as hunting dogs, their intelligence makes them easy to train.

So, where do you start?

Start When the Dog Is a Puppy

It’s far much easier to train your puppy to be a stealth hunter. Let your puppy know the basic of flushing or retrieving preys without injuring them. 

Also, let the pup learn the skill of approaching prey without displaying fear.

Socialize the Shepherd Dog

Socialization will let your pup know which prey is worth approaching and which he should not waste time on. This whole socialization process even strengthens the bond between you and your dog more vital during your hunting sessions. Besides that, this socialization gives you an all-around adjusted German shepherd dog breed.

Introduce Your Dog To Guns And Gunfire

Sometimes guns and gunfire can be overwhelming to your dog. Your dog may bolt anytime there is gunfire if he is not used to such loud noises. Thus, let your dog learn that after the sound of gunfire, a positive reaction is needed from him. Either your dog has to retrieve or chase down the gunned-down prey.

If your dog runs away with the tail tucked in between the hind’s legs after a gun fire, then it shows more training effort is needed from you.

Can a German shepherd Be a Gun Dog?

As earlier stated, your GSD can indeed be a good hunting dog. However, training is required. Worth noting, with the various categories of hunting dogs, you can choose where you want your dog to excel.

Here are the various categories.

  • Retrievers: Like the Labrador retriever, these dogs retrieve gunned prey either from the water or thickets, assisting their human hunting companions.
  • Pointers- Dogs who are more pointers guide their human hunting companions and help identify any hiding prey. These dogs are attentive and have a strong sense of smell.
  • Hunters – these dogs are fearless, and they drive out any hiding praise for them to become easier targets to shoot.

You see, these are the various categories of gun dogs-thus it’s you now to decide on where you want your shepherd dog to excel depending on its abilities.

What Gender Dog Is Better For Hunting?

The gender of the dog doesn’t determine how superior it will be when it comes to hunting. It all comes down to the dog’s ability and the training the dog has received. 

Are German Shepherds Good Bird Hunting Dogs?

German shepherds can be excellent bird hunting dogs. However, don’t give them the task of chasing down birds. Rather, your German shepherd is best suited to be a retriever dog who will retrieve birds after you have shot them. 

Final Thoughts

German shepherds are primarily herding or guarding dogs. Giving them the task of hunting can be overwhelming. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot train your German shepherd on how to hunt. 

Start early when the dog is still a puppy, and remember to use positive reinforcement.

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