Our picks for the best modern breeds of sporting dogs that track, find and retrieve anything we care to hunt.
Top Retrieving Dog: Labrador Retriever
Most dogs, be they squirrel feists, rabbit beagles or pit bulls with large appetites, can be trained to retrieve game. But it’s those whose bloodlines have been finely honed over centuries that excel. For finding and bringing back waterfowl and the larger game birds, the Labrador retriever has no equal. It’s weatherproof, waterproof and tenacious—the epitome of a hunter.
This working-class breed is just as efficient in pheasant country as it is in flooded timber. Labs seem to understand there’s no such thing as a free ride, and one will hunt as if it’s afraid it’s going to get kicked off the team. Fat chance—it’s an all-American.