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If you subscribe to Outdoor Life Magazine, then you might have seen a small article I wrote a couple of months ago on the best dual-purpose dogs. I’d like to continue that discussion here on OL.com and get your opinions on the subject.

Just as Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders were all-star players in two sports, the dual-purpose dog excels in more than one hunting venue. It could be the waterfowl marshes and the upland fields, treeing bears and cats, tracking wounded big game in the morning and then cornering hogs in the afternoon or any combination of game, setting or habitat you can imagine.

For what it’s worth, I think these five breeds belong at the top of any list:

Labrador Retriever: Perhaps the epitome of dual-purpose dog, the Labrador can dominate the waterfowl scene and flush upland birds within range in the fields.

Pudelpointer: A versatile breed that can work the waterfowl scene, upland fields and even track game.

Springer Spaniel: Because my first dog was a springer, they tend to hold a special place in my heart. I don’t think I’m being biased, however, when I say that they’re very good upland dogs, as well as waterfowl retrievers.

Boykin Spaniel: Like the springer, the small boykin can zip through the upland fields or hold it’s own in the marshes and corn stubble of the waterfowl world.

German Wirehaired Pointer: Similar to the pudelpointer, wirehairs are a versatile dog, perhaps the best and most popular of those breeds, that can make more than passable waterfowl retrieves, point upland birds with style and grace all day long and then track wounded game for miles.

There are lots of other breeds out there that can excel at more than one hunting venue. What’s your opinion on the best dual-, or even tri-, purpose dog breeds around?

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