The best dog breeds for small game


Half a year after the start of the next season, there are many hunters who consider having a new partner in their hunting days and who, in the first stages, usually tighten the heat and must be fully prepared to solve a hard day under Sun.

In any case, being accompanied by a good hunting dog is a guarantee of enjoying our outings and living an excellent hunting season. Therefore, it is very important to stop to think which race we will choose, because that dog will be our faithful companion during the days of the coming years

We are fortunate to have a great variety of breeds of hunting dogs, each with its peculiarities, some are preferred by the Spanish hunter, and depending on the mode of hunting that is practiced, we will opt for one or the other. It will be the best collaborator to round the hanger or fill the backpack.

In addition to having hunting qualities, a hunter's instinct, we cannot forget that the dog is not a machine and each one has its function, although in general, the breeds preferred by the Spaniards are usually very versatile.

In recent years, luckily, the physical structure of our hunting dogs has improved in a very remarkable way. This is due to the care that has been improving, food, deworming, veterinary care ...

The hunting dog is gifted for wild hunting, it is implicit in its gifted genetics, its mobility, winds and education must go to the main purpose: hunting. There are many breeds of hunting dogs that we can find today in Spain, but I want to highlight my favorites.

Andalusian Podenco

From the heart of the Malaga axarquia, the cradle of the Andalusian "poenco". Race that is a hunter by nature, the hound does not learn to hunt, is born hunting. He carries passion and hobby in his blood, and that proves it in the field, beating rabbits, getting into brambles, tireless. It adapts to all types of weather and uses the three senses in hunting: smell, sight and hearing.

More information about the Andalusian podenco following this link: Andalusian podenco


Is there anything nicer than watching a greyhound run behind a leporida? That anatomy with which they are designed, makes their careers a spectacle. And they want to take it away from us, with the rogues they are when it comes to cutting the bankruptcies of the hares. In this modality, the strongest does not win, but the one who knows the most mischievous things and tricks.

All the features of the amazing greyhound here

German shorthaired pointer

It is an ideal breed for all types of hunting and terrain, because it works equally well in plain, in closed or low hills. He doesn't have the bad habit of getting too far away, but he doesn't stay under our boots either. It is normal to see him work about thirty or forty meters ahead of the hunter. With good training, it marks perfectly, both hair and pen.

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German shorthaired pointer © Craig Koshyk


It is both lively and docile. Energetic dog, dominant, strong character. He respects his master and adapts to the dog that first showed the piece. Group hunt the rabbit and integrate into the big game without difficulties. Due to its characteristics, it is valid for small game and big game, highlighting in both modalities its strong personality.

Breton Epagneul

Active dog, awake and with very marked hunting instincts, develops freely regardless of the type of terrain. Very intelligent, which in turn makes him a pretty nervous dog.

Get to know this magnificent hunting dog in depth by following this link: Epagneul Breton

Springer spaniel

They are physically very similar to the previous ones, but a little larger in size. It is a race that has me in love, because to the nobility that it has to be added its great passion for hunting and its tenacity. It is quieter than the Breton Epagneul, which makes it a very easy breed to train and a perfect companion dog

English setter

Elegant where there are ... The English setter, also known as Laverack setter, is the oldest and most genuine setter, possessing a fine nose, great resistance and an impeccable sample. It is characterized by having very fine winds, and who has not been absorbed watching him make a sample? They are essential for the hunt for the scholarship.

Expand your knowledge about this elegant hunting dog by visiting its file: English Setter


By nature friendly, neither fearful nor aggressive, with a balanced temperament. Hunting dog passionate, persevering, agile and fine smell. And a little bit ...

Everything you need to know about the dachshund here: dachshund

Very short, these are the breeds of dogs that, personally, I would consider when deciding on one or the other.

What I do know for sure is that I would enjoy teaching him, training him from day one, always in positive, and every time we go out to the field, just by looking at each other, let us know what we both want to say.

Because a hunting dog is much more, it is our partner, our friend, our dog. And without him, we wouldn't hear all the whispers of the field

German shorthaired pointer

Equally valid for hunting of hair and feather, the German braco is able to collect pieces of up to 8 kilograms alone. It is an all-terrain dog, which usually beats the ground without getting too far from the hunter, so it does not tend to interfere with the shot.

In spite of its little hardened appearance and its short legs, the dachshund is a tenacious hunter. Its low height on the cross facilitates access to the burrows of hares, badgers and foxes, which causes the prey to be exposed to the shotgun of the hunter.

The Spanish hunting dog for rugged terrain. It is usually used for hunting in a pack, particularly rabbits. He has a great predatory instinct and an excellent sense of sight and hearing.

Regardless of the type of small game we practice, dogs are an essential element in this. Some dog breeds are very valuable and intelligent, but they are still irrational animals and can cause accidents. It is advisable to take out insurance that covers possible eventualities and damages to third parties. In this way, we can enjoy hunting safely and responsibly.

The best races to ride

Dogs are undoubtedly the real protagonists of the most traditional modality in our country, the montería. Its mission, nothing simple, is to locate and harass the hunt to lead it to the postures and beat it on its way to mark the path to the mountain. Within a rehala we can find a great variety of races: podencos, paterninos, oritos, mastiffs, taps, hounds, Alans. The expert rehalero Perico Castejón reveals to us the qualities that a good rehala dog must possess and which are the most suitable breeds to ride.

I have already written on this subject on occasion, but I believe that the incorporation of new races into the world of rehala is worth doing again. A rehala is a group of dogs that, led by a guide or dog, have the mission of finding the hunt, harassing her to lead her to the postures, beating her on her way to make the harassment more effective and mark the way to the mountain. And also, if necessary, it is his task to arrest her to propitiate his death by knife by a dogman or a horseman.

The orography of the land where we hunt and the dominant hunting species mainly influence the choice of the type of dog. Then, about this, you have to consider the preferences of each rehala owner.

Thus, in poorer terrain, such as the sticky spots of Andalusia, the podenco is mostly used, and for harder terrain the mastiff crusader is used. The same happens when we refer to the hunting species that prevails in those parts. Many prefer the podencos if what is abundant is the cervuno, and others, the crusader of mastiff in the case of wild boars.


Podencos, mastiffs and Alans, as support dogs, have been the basis of the remakes since the beginning of the monteria. Then, and depending on the preferences of each one, the rehaleros have been making crosses of different types, seeking to reinforce some characteristic, such as happiness, determination, speed or courage.

In the same way that already happened in the small game, in which many hunters opted for foreign races such as the drahthaar, the braco, the pointer or the setter, without this being understood as a rejection of the Spanish races, such as the retriever of Burgos or the Navarran pachón, the owners of rehala have also been incorporating different bloods of dogs from other countries in their rehalas. Thus, the blood of mastiff and / or podenco has been mixed with that of the griffon nivernés and that of the fawn of Brittany, being bliss, tenacity and hair (pelicerdeños) the main qualities that these two races contribute.

Something similar has happened with the dogs of prey. The disappearance of the Alans for years, until their recent recovery, and the difficulty of finding mastiffs with the courage of before, due to the absence of wolves during a time, motivated the search for other foreign breeds, such as the Argentine bulldog or the boxer.


Hunting hobby: It is what we could call "desire to hunt", desire to find hunting, in short, that dogs look, go, come, go up, down ... A dog without a hobby is a lazy dog, without initiative, without a hunting instinct. It will give the race of rigor in the release and will go on to camp attached to the heels of the dog.

Smell: No one escapes that it is an indispensable quality in the “quests” of the rehala. It can be a dog with a lot of hobby, tireless, who does not stop all day, but if he has no smell, he will only raise those cattle that he encounters in his way.

Tenacity: Neither too much nor too little, enough to chase the cattle and take them to the postures. An excess of tenacity, as it is in the case of hounds and taps, would lead us to the dog being hours after the piece and, in all likelihood, very far from the stain that is hunted. On the contrary, the total lack of tenacity leads us to the type of dog that gives a beef and, after running it a hundred meters, it returns to the doghouse leaving it inside the spot and without pulling.

The orography of the land where we hunt and the dominant hunting species mainly influence the choice of the type of dog.

Bliss: It is what is called that dogs bark in the hunt in pursuit. The barking of dogs in harassment is essential. A rehala without bliss is not a good rehala. Bliss causes the call of other dogs that, when they come, make the pursuit of the beef more effective, making it more difficult to tease them and lose themselves in the stain without going through a post. Bliss marks the way of beef to the mountain. Bliss is also spectacle. How exciting it is to hear that bark that comes, that is thrown at us, that indicates the way of the animal and puts the heart that we can almost hear its beats.

Courage: It is especially necessary for sluts. The dog must be brave and, when it hits the piggy, he must rush it and not pass by. A brave rehala, with determination, with courage ... forces more piggy towards the posts than those with dogs that do not enter a piggy. And it is that the latter, for that lack of courage, does not even manage to throw the pigs of the encames. He does not always give the pigs the bulk of the remake, intimidating by the number of dogs on the hunt, many times it is only a dog or two, and that is why they need to be brave and rush and bite the wild boars to force them to leave the bed and take them to the postures.

The pigs impose respect on the dogs and it is an evident fact the difference that exists between the pig-like rehalas and those that leave the piggy by the cervuno. It is simply a matter of bravery.

I have the theory that the rehala must consist mostly of "looking for" to take the hunt to the postures and that support dogs (grip), in proportion of 10-15%, should be exemplary with a large percentage of purity and that they are attached to the dog to support when a piggy, for whatever reason, faces the dogs without wanting to move forward.


Great hunting seeker, with good winds, light, fast and with much bliss, is the breed par excellence for the function of finding and raising hunting.

Although there are specimens with a lot of courage, a rehala composed only of podencos would have a hard time forcing a big piggy who, aculated, would not want to leave the square, the same happens if the pig was stuck and had to be killed by a knife. That is why, so that the hooves do not lose confidence and end up leaving the pig by the cervuno, these rehalas are complemented with some colony of prey dogs that helps the whole in case of a large piggy's docking. For this reason there are many Andalusian rehalas that support their hooves with one or two collars of Alans.

The reholas of podencos are typical of Andalusia, land of many cattle and heat, where dogs are needed unloaded and with many feet that squeeze the cattle well.

Paternal or paternal
Race in the period of constitution native to southern Andalusia. It is a small dog with great winds and determination in the harassment of the hunt. Because of their effectiveness, there are more and more rehalas composed of these dogs whose coat ranges from the urracos (like the one in the photo) to the whites, bardines or snakes.

In poorer terrain, such as the sticky spots of Andalusia, the podenco is mostly used, and for harder terrain the mastiff crusader is used

I include it in the “you are looking for” section, because it really is. We talk about light, unloaded mastiffs, typical of Extremadura and the two Castillas. They are hunting dogs and of great bravery that, in many occasions, beat to the hunt in the harassment. It is considered a very complete dog for the montería, although for its size it can have problems in the farms with excessive cervuno. Excellent for pig spots. It tends to lighten it by crossing it with podenco mainly.

For its size and courage, the mastiff is also an excellent dog in the grips, in the functions of support to the rest of the remake and also to the montero or podenquero to play the launch of the auction.

Mastiff and podenco crossing
In my opinion, it is the most complete dog for monteria. With the winds and lightness of the podenco, it has the strength and courage of the mastiff. Dogs of good smell, seekers, with bliss if they cross well, have the strength and courage necessary to get out of the stain to all the dirty ones who do not want to do it. On the other hand, they are dogs that endure well for several days followed by hunting and hard days of cold and water, which does not happen with all the hounds.

Crossbreed mastiff and small game dog
I mean the mastiff crossing with dogs like the braco, the pachón, the drahthaar ... They are usually fortuitous crossings that give magnificent results. They have a lot of smell, they throw their nose to the ground or they hunt for high, according to the crossed race, and they are tireless and brave. You have to be careful, as some copies do not beat.

It is also a breed under reconstruction. It has the type of a small podenco, its color is fire brown or black and enjoys a great fondness for hunting and fine smell.

Pure Griffon and Hound
Dogs of very fine trace smell, great and constant beat, as well as tireless persecution persecution. Used in northern Spain for the type of terrain and hunting system, pure individuals are not worth the monteria. It is a martyrdom for all when some rehalero carries a copy in his rehala. They are animals that deceive the montero and drive the dogs of other remakes crazy by beating traces of animals that moved long before. In montería to that we call dogs "false", because riding the dog must beat to certain, that is to say, that it carries on or to 200 meters of maximum distance. Their determination leads them to continue hunting outside the area to beat, taking hours and even days to return.

They are not biting dogs because of their condition of marking the beaten animal beating, so in general, both pigs in bed and wounded wild boars beat them without entering them.

Greyhound crosses
They are usually called perrigalgos or regalgos. They are strong dogs if they come from mastiff, and very light and fast if they are crossed with podenco. Brave, with great courage, they bite a lot. Dogs with a lot of speed that reach the hunt, rushing it very close.

You have to be careful, because the crossing in general comes out mute and hunts only by sight, as does the greyhound with the hare.

In the bush, they support the other dogs in the race, reaching the pigs, those who squeeze greedily by bringing them to the postures.

Crossbreed hound or faucet with mastiff or podenco
Mainly, the mastiff crossing with the nivernés or griffon cock of Brittany is being carried out, both pelicerdeñas breeds that provide great beauty to the resulting specimen. This crossing is made with the aim of taking dogs with much joy and determination. It is necessary to know how to dose the blood of these breeds very well, because if it is not handled properly and the percentage of griffon blood is excessively high, cowardly dogs can be found for wild boars due to the condition of the pure breed of barking always standing still, without to throw themselves, although in front they have a primal.

Likewise, “false” copies can be found with the same defects that pure races have for the monteria. As with the hounds and in the avoidance of rehala losing confidence in front of wild boars, abandoning them by the cervix, it is convenient to support a recess constituted on the basis of these dogs with a colony of prey dogs.


Great dog of prey, with powerful and firm bite. Different behaviors can be observed in them. There are some that hunt and do it very far from the dog, so when an encounter with a pig occurs, the podenquero is not to help him. There are others who are attached to the dog waiting for the call of the "looking for." In my opinion, the former are of little use for the true function of the dog: to help others. Why do you want a support dog if when there is fuss is too far from the dog? Some go out quarrelsome in kennel and truck.

Argentine Dogo
Very brave and good teethers, there are very quarrelsome copies with others. Some rehaleros cross them with podenco or other breeds and dogs that do not hunt can come out, sight and hearing.

Chats in general
I want to include here all those dogs of prey crossed with alano or boxer that exist mainly in areas of cattle and that are also used for wild boar.
Thus, the Marquis of Valdueza speaks in his book of "extreme flatness" and Carlos Contera refers to the "bull dog of Salamanca". All of them are dogs of great rusticity and resemblance to the Alano, very practical both for handling livestock and for the monteria.

The ancient Germans used this breed for the hunting of the bear and the wild boar, the majority being white in their origins (History of the boxer race).
It is an excellent prey dog, with the advantage over the others of its nobility. In general, they do not give any problem in the kennel, interacting well with other congeners.