The Best Quail and Pheasant Hunting Dogs

When it comes to bird hunting, having a canine companion can truly improve the experience. There are many sport breeds developed specifically to find and flush birds as well as retrieve downed birds for you, and Copper Ridge Outdoors wants to help match you with the right one.

At Copper Ridge Outdoors, our mission is to create high-quality, trustworthy outdoor hunting equipment and our passion is getting our customers outside and helping them make the most of their time. You can turn to our store for shooting gear like steel plate targets and target stands, and you can explore our blog for advice on other ways to improve your hunting experience. In today’s article, we’re focusing on the best dog breeds for quail and pheasant hunting! Read on to learn more, and make the most of your time outside with Copper Ridge Outdoors hunting gear.

There are generally two kinds of bird hunting: upland and wetland. In a previous blog, we focused on duck hunting and the best dog breeds for when your focus is on waterfowl. Today our focus is on upland birds like quail and pheasant, but keep in mind that there is a lot of crossover, and many of the dogs we list here and in our previous blog post work well for both kinds of bird hunting!

English Pointer

Sometimes just referred to as pointers, English Pointers are often regarded as the best upland bird hunting dogs. They have sharp noses and sharp minds and they work tirelessly, with the endurance to work with you in the field all day if you like. They have great range and work well independently or with other dogs. English Pointers can also be great family dogs as long as you give them a chance to burn off all that energy once in a while. One thing to keep in mind when considering a pointer is climate — English Pointers are generally best suited to upland hunting in warmer climates where you want to cover larger areas of land. Their thin coat will keep them cool and they have the endurance to range far.


Weimaraners make for great all-purpose hunting dogs! These sleek gray dogs were originally bred for the pursuit of large game, but the focus has now turned more toward upland game. Weimaraners have a strong and instinctive prey drive, and they are known for their stamina. They have a lot of energy, which can be a challenge if you are looking for an indoor family dog, and they also can be protective and territorial, which can work in your favor or against you.


Formerly known as the Brittany Spaniel, the Brittany is a well-rounded pointer and flushing dog. This breed is typically smart, good-natured, and easy to train, and with their relatively small size and positive behavior with kids, they can make for great family dogs. They like to work closely, and along with a durable coat, they have the advantage of great speed and agility.


Vizslas are a lesser known hunting dog, but they have strong natural abilities that make them strong competitors among sporting breeds. This native Hungarian working dog was brought to the U.S. relatively recently – around 1950 – and is known for being beautiful, capable, intelligent, and eager to please. Vizslas are lightly built but robust, with strong natural abilities to point and retrieve and a very loyal temperament. They do not have an undercoat, so you should be cautious when working with vizslas in very low temperatures.

Boykin Spaniel

The Boykin Spaniel is one of the most prized flushing dogs. It has a fierce tenacity and work drive and it is adept at several types of hunting, well suited to either upland or wetland areas. They are great swimmers and can make great pets as well.

English Springer Spaniel

If you are looking for a medium-sized spaniel breed with more speed, look for a Springer Spaniel! This gentle, good-natured breed has skill at coursing an upland field, with the energy and eager-to-please temperament to cover good ground. They have a strong retrieving instinct, a good nose, and work well for both upland and wetland hunting. English Springer Spaniels were developed originally as a flushing breed, and more recently has been bred into two distinct lines — a “field” line developed for hunting and a “show” line, so choose carefully when looking for your next partner.

Standard Poodle

A poodle? Yes, it may seem like an unusual choice, but we stand by it! Poodles today are not classified as a sport breed, but they were originally bred to be water retrievers and retain many great hunting qualities. They are intelligent, active, and easy to train, with a dense, hypoallergenic coat and a sociable attitude. A poodle can be the best of both worlds if you’re looking for a canine companion in the field and a dog your family will love!

Start Planning Your Next Hunting Trip Today

Keep an eye on this blog for more information all about outdoor hunting, from great dog breeds to work with to the equipment you need for success. At Copper Ridge Outdoors, we love man’s best friend, but our specialty is safe, durable, high-quality hunting and shooting gear. From hunting platforms to practice outdoor shooting targets, you can find it here in our online inventory. Start exploring and place your order today!