Are German Shepherd Good Hunting Dogs?

Are German Shepherd Good Hunting Dogs?

German shepherds are known for doing many duties like watchdogs, search and rescue, detecting drugs among others. It might cross your mind that you can use your German Shepherd for hunting too, but if your GSD was not trained to hunt from an early age, he will definitely disappoint you.

Just like you trained your dog to detect drugs or be a watchdog, the same way you should train him how to hunt. Initially, GSDs were not bred to hunt, but due to their trainability, it is easy for them to acquire hunting skills.

It is also surprising that despite training them, not all German Shepherds can be hunting dogs. Some German Shepherd puppies can show hunting traits from an early age while others might not understand anything to do with hunting, so we can say basically it all depends with the dog’s personality.


Why Not All German Shepherds Make Great Hunting Dog

A German shepherd dog is associated with two breed lines i.e. show dog and work dog. These breeds vary in physical appearance (for show dogs) and character traits (for work dogs).

Show breed line German Shepherds

These dogs are mainly bred for companion or show. This means they have some unique characters like height, weight, color and posture. This show or pet breed can be either initially American or German-bred.

Not all puppies will have the preferred ‘show quality’ from a litter; others will have the ‘pet quality’. We cannot conclude that the show or pet breed cannot be a good hunter but you should understand why they were initially bred. normal

Working breed line German Shepherds

This is the original German shepherd breed that Captain Max von Stephanitz developed as working dogs. They are known for their character and personalities but not similarities in physical appearance.

They are known for their energy, swiftness, loyalty, wisdom, and alertness. It’s advisable if your main reason for owning a dog is for work such as hunting or any other kind of work, a working breed German shepherd is the best.

What Makes a Good Hunting Dog?

A dog is said to be good for hunting if he has qualities such as willingness to obey commands, good health, boldness, swiftness and he must always be alert. Hunting dogs are known to be social to their owners.

If you create a good bond between you and your dog, be assured to get better results in the field. Be it a hunting dog or a companion dog, all dogs need attention and socialization from their owner.

Do German Shepherds Have Qualities of Good Hunting  Dogs?

Here are the physical appearances, personalities and character traits that makes a German shepherd good for hunting:


German shepherds are known to have a ‘soft mouth’. This is because they can safely bring you the prey without taking a bite. This is mostly beneficial if small animals like rabbits and birds are your prey but it might not be of great importance if you are targeting big prey. 


In most cases, hunting dogs use their nose to track the whereabouts of their prey. For a German shepherd, it is different as many hunters note that they rarely use their nose to detect their prey. Preferably, German shepherds use their eyes and ears more often to spot their prey.


German shepherds are renowned for their willingness to obey commands. He can follow at least 75% of the commands. Before you go hunting with your GSD, first take him through a training session to see if you can get along.

Breed line

As we discussed earlier, breed line plays a major role in determining if a dog is a hunting. Working breed is most likely to be a better hunting dog compared to a show breed.


You must at all times purchase your pup from a trustworthy breeder and also one who deals specifically with the working breed. The breeder should also have a clear history of the parents. It is advantageous if the parents had hunting traits as the puppy might inherit them.

Train your puppy basic commands before you introduce any hunting tactic. You should avoid over-exercising your puppy in his early stages. This is because German shepherds mature slowly and might cause skeletal damage.

Keep in mind that German shepherds were not bred for hunting work, so you better anticipate his performance based on that fact.

You should introduce your puppy to big open fields to help him navigate the terrains and be at ease whenever you go hunting.


Carol is a paw parent, and her love for dogs started when she was just 5. She adores her two German Shepherds and a Bengal cat, who she says, "life would be incomplete without"

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