Hunting Dogs with Beards – 5 Breeds to Know


Hunting dog with Beard

Hunting dogs are among the smartest types of dogs. Hunters seek them out for their outstanding mental and physical skills. For some, a bearded hunting dog is a look that just can’t be beaten.

So What Hunting Dogs Have Beards?

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Pudelpointer, German Wirehaired Pointer, Cesky Fousek, and Spinone Italiano are some among the bearded hunting dogs. Each dog breed has its own characteristics. However, they all have in common remarkable physical and mental abilities.

Read on to find more about what hunting dogs have beards, how they behave, what’s their hunting style, and a lot more!

Hunting Dogs with Beards

There are a lot of hunting dogs out there with different personalities and traits. Next, we’ll take a closer look at some of the best hunting dog breeds with beards.

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

dog raising front paw

These dogs have an origin story that starts in Germany bred by a Dutchman and later popular in France. Now though rare they are found globally. They are hardworking and affectionate. Their hair and beard give them a playful and friendly expression along with their rounded gleaming eyes.

Breed Profile

Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are trainable versatile dogs. The male Griffon weighs 50-70 pounds while the female weighs 35-50 pounds.

The male’s height is 22-44 inches and the female’s 20-22 inches. They have strong medium-sized bodies covered with a grey coat with brown markings.

Temperament

Griffon dogs are friendly and tend to be more obedient than dominant. They can be aloof around strangers and other pets.

They tend to be active at a young age and grow to be intelligent and social especially if trained well. Griffons need to be indulged in physical and mental activities not to have destructive behavior. However, compared to other hunting dog breeds (English Pointers, or German Shorthaired Pointers) they are considered lower energy.

Style of Hunting

Griffons are a versatile breed. Meaning they can point birds as well as retrieve and track. They have harsh medium-length coats that provide them protection in hunting fields. Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are also physically strong and can run for miles.

Like the rest of this breed, they’re used for pointing and retrieving a game. Their willingness to please drives them to be more energetic while hunting with their owners.

Typically Wirehaired Pointing Griffons will be a closer working dog that does not range as far as the Pudelpointer or German Wirehaired Pointer on this list.

Game You Can Hunt With Your Dog

Griffons are excellent for hunting both uplands and waterfowl hunting. They can also be used for sent tracking wounded game where legal. Griffs do better hunting in colder climates. They are not highly heat tolerant.

Hunting Trails and Competitions

Griffons can compete in North American Versatile Hunting Dogs Association (NAVHDA) competitions, NASTRA competitions, National Bird Dog Circuit as well as AKC Hunt tests and Field tests.

Breed Associations

The American Wirehaired Pointing Griffon Association (AWPGA) is a club for the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon with a focus on all the aspects of the breed’s life.

Average Cost of a Puppy

A Wirehaired Pointing Griffon puppy can cost around $1400.

Pudelpointer

Pudelpointer dogs are agile and friendly animals. They have both the qualities of hunting and family-friendly dogs.

Breed Profile

Pudelpointers are well-muscled smart dogs that are eager to please. Their dark amber eyes and beard give them a lively and friendly look. These dogs are NOT a poodle cross or designer dog like a Labradoodle. They are a purpose-bred hunting dog usually only sold to hunting families.

Their coat is usually rough with a dense undercoat and brown color. A Pudelpointer’s height is 22-26 inches and its weight ranges between 45-70 pounds.

Temperament

Pudelpointers match between playfulness and hunting. They’re affectionate and curious as well as self-controlled and versatile. Their regular exercise could be indoors and outdoors activities.

Pudelpointers are typical hunting dogs; they enjoy outdoor exercises like hiking and jogging. They’re also huge fans of water activities.

Style of Hunting

Pudelpointers are a versatile breed. Meaning they can point birds as well as retrieve and track. They are hardy dogs with very little quit. They are cold tolerant and can be asked to retrieve ducks in cold water. They also tend to be bigger running longer ranging dogs when hunting upland. They also will do a bit better than Griffons in the heat but not as well as an English Pointer or German Shorthair.

Game You Can Hunt With Your Dog

Pudelpointers are excellent for hunting both uplands and waterfowl hunting. They can also be used for sent tracking wounded game where legal.

Hunting Trails and Competitions

Pudelpointers can compete in North American Versatile Hunting Dogs Association (NAVHDA) competitions, NASTRA competitions, and National Bird Dog Circuit. Pudelpointers cannot, however, participate in AKC Hunt tests and Field tests as the Pudelpointer is not a recognized AKC breed. This is something their proponents value as they believe it keeps the breeding of Pudelpointers focused on hunting not confirmation for the show ring.

Breed Associations

NAPPA is a breeder alliance focused on improving the quality of Pudelpointer breed. They have some of the top Pudelpointer breeders in their organization, something easily validated by the NAVHDA testing system.

Average Cost of a Puppy

A Pudelpointer puppy price can range from $800 to $2,000 depending on the breeders.

German Wirehaired Pointer and Deutsch Drahthaar

Diehard Drahthaar fans forgive me for grouping the two breeds. The purpose of this article is to give the basics of hunting dogs with beards, not the place to hash out a breed feud. The Drahthaar and German Wirehaired Pointer have the same origins. The breed bifurcated into these two groups based on breeding standards. Drahthaar’s adhere to a strict breeding standard where only dogs that pass the VDD testing system are bred. German Wirehaired Pointers do not have the same restriction. The Drahthaar’s breeding program is hunting focused and as a result if one were looking for a dynamite hunting dog Drahthaar’s would be the direction to lean. Not saying German Wirehaired Pointers cant hunt, just some have been bred for show not hunting so if you are going the GWP route be sure to research your breeders.

Breed Profile

German Wirehaired Pointer/Deutsch Drahthaar dogs are medium-sized sturdy animals with slender necks and long muzzles. Their wise-looking beards are shaggy with more hair on their forehead and whiskers and medium length eyebrows.

They have 1-2 inches harsh coats that become dense in winter and very thin in the summer. Their bodies’ colors are mostly liver and white with liver ears.

 A male German Wirehaired Pointers/Deutsch Drahthaars average height is 24-26 inches, and the female is 22-24 inches, while their weight average is 50-70 pounds.

Temperament

German Wirehaired Pointers/Deutsch Drahthaars are active and intelligent dogs. They like to be occupied as they’re sporting dogs. Not giving them daily outlets like going for a walk, jogging or running can get them bored. This can lead to some misbehavior, like chewing wrong stuff or digging in different wrong places.

Style of Hunting

German Wirehaired Pointers are a versatile breed. Meaning they can point birds as well as retrieve and track. Like Pudelpointers, they are hardy dogs with very little quit. They are cold tolerant and can be asked to retrieve ducks in cold water. They also tend to be bigger running longer ranging dogs when hunting upland. Of the other bearded breeds, GWPs are more likely to be used to hunt/track/retrieve fur.

Game You Can Hunt With Your Dog

German Wirehaired Pointers/Deutsch Drahthaars are excellent for hunting both uplands and waterfowl hunting. They can also be used for sent tracking wounded game where legal. With Drahthaars because of the influence of the German testing and breeding systems they are also used more than the other breeds listed here for hunting, tracking and retrieving furred animals such as foxes.

Hunting Trails and Competitions

German Wirehaired Pointers can compete in North American Versatile Hunting Dogs Association (NAVHDA) competitions, NASTRA competitions, National Bird Dog Circuit as well as AKC Hunt tests and Field tests.

Drahthaars can compete in the same contests as GWPs above but also have the VDD system to compete in as well. VDD is an international testing system that among other things influences the breeding program for Drahthaars.

Breed Associations

There are many breed associations that your German Wirehaired Pointer can be registered to like NAVHDA and The American Kennel Club (AKC) to ensure that your dog is acknowledged as a purebred dog and so preserve its heritage.

Drahthaars will not be found on the AKC website but can participate in the NAVHDA system as well as the VDD system.

Average Cost of a Puppy

An average cost of a German Wirehaired Pointer puppy is $700 and may reach $1,500 for a top-quality puppy.

Drahthaars will be in the upper end of that range.

Spinone Italiano

The originally Italian breed is famous for its soft tufted beard. The Spinone are as playful as they look though they’re also stubborn.

Breed Profile

Spinones have solid and muscular bodies. They have a wiry dense coat that comes in various colors like white with orange and white with brown and others.

They have a large nose and triangular ears. Their eyes are also very distinguishable adding a sweet playful expression to their faces.

Spinones are the largest of the bearded breeds profiled here. Males can tip the scales over 80 lbs. Own one of these in the hunting dog world and it wont be long before someone jokingly asks if when you purchase the dog it came with a saddle.

Temperance

The Spinone Italiano dogs are patient and friendly hunting dogs. They’re known for their endurance and strength as well as for their stubbornness. Spinone sometimes tend to have their own ways instead of following their owner’s orders.

However, They love being part of the family rather than being on their own. Though they’re hunting dogs, they don’t require much outdoor exercise as other breeds do. For them, indoor physical and mental stimulation exercises can be enough.

Hunting Style

Spinones are a versatile breed. Meaning they can point birds as well as retrieve and track. Compared to the other dogs listed here Spinones are known for being slower closer hunters.

Game You Can Hunt With Your Dog

Spinone are good for hunting both uplands and waterfowl hunting.

Hunting Trails and Competitions

Spinones can compete in North American Versatile Hunting Dogs Association (NAVHDA) competitions, NASTRA competitions, National Bird Dog Circuit as well as AKC Hunt tests and Field tests.

The Spinone Club of America (SCOA) also provides hunting, obedience, agility and other training for the Spinone Italiano. These exercises enhance your dog’s skills as well as its personality.

Breed Associations

The Spinone Club of America (SCOA).

Average Cost of a Puppy

The Spinone Italiano puppy can be pretty expensive with a price up to $2000 as they’re very rare.

Cesky Fousek

A breed originally native to the Czech Republic, the Cesky Fousek are hunting versatile dogs.

Breed Profile

Cesky Fousek are sturdy medium-sized multi-purpose dogs. They share the same wire hair and beard with the German Wirehaired Pointers giving them a smart and friendly look. They have strong jaws and kind almond-shaped eyes.

The Cesky Fousek male weighs 61-75 pounds and the female 48-61 pounds. Their height is 24-26 inches and 22-25 inches.

Temperament

Like most hunting dogs, the Cesky Fousek are energetic and intelligent as well as obedient. They’re affectionate and don’t have a problem when it comes to socializing with strangers and children. Cesky Fousek are not likely to be stubborn but more eager to please their owners.

Style of Hunting

Cesky Fousek are a versatile breed. Meaning they can point birds as well as retrieve and track. They have a coarse coat and thick undercoat, as well as stiff whiskers that come in handy when hunting. They have strong hunting instincts. They have the skill of retrieving game on land and in water.

Game You Can Hunt With Your Dog

Cesky Fousek can hunt upland and waterfowl and can be used for scent tracking wounded game.

Hunting Trails and Competitions

Cesky Fousek can compete in NAVHDA competitions. The Cesky Fousek North America (CFNA) is a club devoted to the breed. They provide exposure and training days to enhance the Fousek hunting potential.

Breed Associations

The CFNA is also responsible for the breed associating procedures of the Cesky Fousek in the US.

Average Cost of a Puppy

The average cost of a Cesky Fousek puppy can be around $1200, however, they’re rare to find.

Why do These Breeds Have Beards?

The beards have more to the hunting dogs than just the looks. Dogs’ facial hair is very sensitive. These beards play sensory roles and are part of the dog’s characters in many ways:

  • Help them detect any changes in their surroundings.
  • Aids them in hunting and enhances their skills.
  • Protect their muzzles and mouths.
  • Part of their self-expression features.

Hunting Advantages and Disadvantages to Breeds with Beards

Hunting dogs with beards function differently than dogs without beards. Their beards are part of their hunting tactics. However, they have perks and some downsides.

Advantages

  • Facial hair protects your dog’s eyes and face when outdoors.
  • Save their faces from being cut by thorny bushes, plants and trees.
  • Makes them sense any vibration in the air and so detect directions and dangers.

Disadvantages

  • Can get really dirty when retrieving wounded game for instance.
  • Burs, sticks and other debris gets caught in their beards and is a pain to get out.

Advantages and Disadvantages to Breeds with Beards as Pets

Your dog’s beard functions differently when it is a pet not a hunting dog for the time being.

Advantages

  • Shows dogs’ feelings and gives them lively expressions.
  • Helps give off pheromones when communicating with other dogs.

Disadvantages

  • Your dog’s beard drips drinks and food over the floors after each meal.
  • The beard requires cleaning and grooming more often.

Final Thoughts

Bearded hunting dogs are great hunting companions and pets. The beards give them perks that other dogs lack. They also give them a fluffy and lively look that warms their owners’ hearts.

Scott Phelan

I came from a non-hunting family, in my teens I got interested in hunting and taught myself to hunt. I got my first hunting dog after college and became obsessed with all things hunting dog and hunting dog training. I have spent the last 10 years training and hunting with dogs. My dogs and I have hunted quail, chukar, huns, pheasants, grouse, woodcock, ducks, and geese all over the USA and Canada. Hunting dogs are my passion.

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