What is the best hunting-dog group and why?

Run, rabbit, run!
Run, rabbit, run!
Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Getty Images

Anyone who has ­a Fido or a Buddy roaming his or her backyard knows that dogs are natural hunters. Hence Butch's tugging as he lunges for a squirrel on your regular morning walk. Or perhaps your little ball of fur prefers to exercise his instincts by chasing the vacuum cleaner or ripping the stuffing out of his squeaky toys. Whatever the case, there's no denying a dog's inherent tendency to bound after moving objects.

But just because a dog shows interest in bringing down the floor mop doesn't necessarily mean it's cut out for the real thing. Many gun-toting individuals vouch that their personal hunting dog is the best of the bunch, but an unbiased opinion on what breed makes the best hunting dog is nearly impossible to come by.

­The reason for this is simple. Historically, dog breeds were created to help humans perform very specific tasks. Some pull sleds, some guard the farm and some round up cattle. In the case of game hunting, pointers point, hounds hound and retrievers retrieve. So if you're a duck hunter, you get a golden. If it's raccoons you're after, you bring along your hound.

Since declaring a specific breed as the best hunting dog is so difficult, singling out a specific group of dogs as the best hunters is much more doable. Read on to learn more about the group of dogs that we think makes the best hunters.