Some hunting breeds may have a wiry and rough coat, and some of them may have a curly and soft one. There is one other feature that some of us look for in a hunting dog appearance.
That is their facial furnishings, like bushy eyebrows and fluffy beards.
That beard is the thing that makes the hunting dog an adorable one and gives it an intelligent look and eyebrows framing those big, clever eyes making the dog look almost human-looking.
There are numerous hunting dogs with beards, but we created a list of the most popular and the most curious bearded hunters.
- German wirehaired pointer
- Wirehaired pointing griffon
- Cesky Fousek
- Slovak rough-haired pointer
- Bulgarian hound
- German rough-haired pointer
- Grand Basset Griffon Vendeén
- Spinone Italiano
- Lagotto Romagnolo
- Dandie Dinmont terrier
- Parsons Russell terrier
Pudelpointer is a genuine breed from Germany, where it came to be by crossing German hunting pudel (poodle) and the English pointer.
Pudelpointer is one of those versatile breeds that can do it all. You can take it upland, waterfowl, and small game hunting, and it will also track big game.
Pudelpointer’s coat is wiry and rather short, but its thickness offers a lot of protection from cold weather and water.
The facial hair of the pudelpointer is a little bit longer, especially over the eyes and on the snout, creating impressive eyebrows, beard, and mustache.
Highly driven, working on instincts, and self-controlled, the pudelpointer is a desirable hunting dog. Owners in the US try to avoid AKC recognition in fear of splitting the breed between show and work class.
Pudelpointers are easy-going, but a combination of hunting instincts and lively disposition requires the owner to continue with training through the dog’s life.
German wirehaired pointer
Originally from Germany, the German wirehaired pointer is a trendy hunting breed. The dog is versatile, covering the upland and waterfowl hunting as good as tracking small and big game.
The coat of the German wirehaired pointer is rough to the touch and wiry, weather-resistant, with a distinctive undercoat.
Like many wirehaired breeds, the distinctive feature of the German wirehaired pointer is facial furnishing. The hair on the snout is rougher and usually longer than the coat, forming a rather long beard and bushy eyebrows.
The hair on the muzzle sometimes gets few shades brighter than the hair on the rest of the pointer’s head.
The German wirehaired pointer is a very smart and curious dog, containing a lot of energy that needs to be let out every day to prevent serious misbehavior at home.
They are great family dogs that have a strong prey drive. They can easily switch between playtime and hunting, but it takes them time to switch the other way around, so they need to be under constant surveillance while outdoors.
Wirehaired pointing griffon
Wirehaired pointing griffon, aka Korthals griffon, originated in Germany, although the true origin is still debated because of the nationality of the breeder (Eduard Korthals was Dutch.)
The wirehaired pointing griffon is another one of versatile hunting breeds. It is known as the supreme breed that can do it all. It is a hardworking and energetic hunter with an exceptional sense of smell and a great work ethic.
The coat of wirehaired pointing griffon consists of a highly bristly topcoat and a thick, waterproof undercoat. The whole package gives the dog an untidy and rough appearance.
The breed possesses a generous mustache and beard and bushy eyebrows. The facial hair is rather long and fluffy and needs to be groomed often to prevent knotting and matting.
The wirehaired pointing griffon is a loving breed. It enjoys spending time with its family. It has a soft temperament and is willing to please, making it easy to train.
Cesky Fousek is a versatile hunting breed that originated in the Czech Republic. They are also known in the US under the name of Bohemian wirehaired pointing griffon.
It is closely related to and resembles German wirehaired pointer and wirehaired pointing griffon.
In fact, both of those breeds contributed to the line of Cesky Fousek when it was nearing extinction in the 1920s.
Cesky Fousek is a medium-sized hunting breed with a coarse-haired double coat, but its most distinguishable feature is facial furnishing.
Fousek is a derivative from the Czech word fousy, which translates to “rough hair” or “whiskers,” and as its name suggests, Cesky Fousek has a big wiry mustache and beard along with soft bushy eyebrows.
The female dog of Cesky Fousek in Czech is called Ceska Fouska, although outside of the Czech Republic, not many people use the feminine pronunciation.
During the hunt, the Bohemian griffon adapts easily to any kind of terrain and the type of hunting. As said before, it is a versatile hunting dog and is often used as a pointer and retriever for upland waterfowl hunting. It can also be used as a tracing dog, wherever allowed by law.
It is a very energetic and upbeat dog and can live happily indoors as long as it gets enough exercise during the day.
Slovak rough-haired pointer
Slovak rough-haired pointer is a breed developed in Slovakia after World War II. The breed started by crossing bloodlines of German wirehaired pointers, Cesky Fouseks, Weimaraners, and a small mixture of Pudlepointers.
It was bred for hunting purposes. The breeder, Koloman Slimak, was aiming for a tracing dog with great stamina, who could also point and retrieve.
As a result, Slovak rough-haired pointer is a versatile hunter suitable for a big range of prey from birds and small game up to the large game, like deer.
Slovak pointer has a rough outer coat that appears broken. The hair is wiry and harsh.
Thanks to the influence of Cesky Fousek in the bloodline, Slovak rough-haired pointer has a thick beard and mustache. The thick beard and mustache of SRHP are one of the most distinguishing features of the breed.
The fluffy hair covers the face of the Slovak pointer from the base of its nose to the top of its head between the ears. Because of the Weimaraner mix, the coat color varies between grayish-brown and pewter-silver.
On top of being a fantastic hunter, the Slovak rough-haired pointer is an excellent family dog, obedient, and easy to train.
Bulgarian hound, also known by his Bulgarian moniker barak, which means “shaggy,” is close relative to Slovak rough-haired pointer.
Barak hound is a medium-sized scent hound resembling a beagle by body shape.
The coat of the Bulgarian hound is on the short side, between 2 – 3 inches long and coarse and wiry.
The face of the Barak hound is covered in rough bristle-like hair resembling a beard and mustache.
Depending on the dog, the facial hair may cover only the snout or the whole face and ears of the dog.
Bulgarian hounds are phenomenal tracking dogs used for finding a wounded or dead big game and taking the hunter to the live animal. However, the latter can be tricky, as the dogs can run the distance and then signal their position with a loud bark.
Once on the scent, the Bulgarian hound cannot be easily distracted from following the trail.
The Bulgarian hound is a great hunter but not so great a pet. While they can be easily kept in the house with a well-fenced garden, where they can get enough freedom and exercise, keeping them in the city is more of a challenge, with their loud barking and independent personality.
German rough-haired pointer
German rough-haired pointer is a less known cousin of German wirehaired pointer. Sometimes the former is mistaken for the latter, thanks to the lack of popularity outside of its native Germany.
The German rough-haired pointer is, in fact, the oldest rough-coated pointer. The origin of the breed dates back to 1888.
The most significant distinction from the German wirehaired pointer is the size and shape of the head. The head of the German rough-haired pointer is heavier and wider due to the mixing of old German shepherd dogs during the development stages of the breed.
The breed has a characteristical and moderately developed beard and pronounced eyebrows.
The beard and mustache are sometimes lighter in color than the rest of the body, appearing slightly bleached.
The German rough-haired pointer is a very loyal dog, a great hunter, and while very energetic, it makes a good family dog with an even temperament.
Grand Basset Griffon Vendeén
Grand basset griffon Vendeen or GBGV for short, is a breed that originated in France and is derived from the grand griffon Vendeen alongside briquet griffon Vendeen.
Paul Dezamy developed the breed for catching a hare, but today grand bassets hunt all game animals from rabbit to wild boar.
The coat of the grand basset griffon Vendeen is shaggy and wiry and usually comes in few color combinations like white and orange, white and tan, black and tan, or tri-colored.
GBGV has a long beard and mustache, usually rather soft to the touch but requiring some amount of grooming. The hair can get discolored if not taken care of. It also has fluffy eyebrows that protect the eyes from elements.
For a rather short-legged dog, they have a lot of stamina and can move fast and quietly. The GBGV likes to chase small animals, is rather stubborn and independent, and requires a firm training hand.
Spinone Italiano, also known as Italian griffon, originated in north-western Italy. It is one of the oldest hunting dog breeds in the world. The first Spinone-type referenced to as early as 200 A.D.
Spinone Italiano is a rather square-looking dog designed for endurance to tackle any terrain while hunting.
It is a breed famous for its versatility, from upland, waterfowl hunting to tracking and chasing small and big game, and many times in the past called the best hunting breed.
Although it has a rough and wiry coat, it does not have an undercoat like many wirehaired hunting breeds. The hair is dense and flat and harsh to the touch enough to warrant its modern Italian name. Spinone Italiano came from one of its former names Bracco Spinoso, which means “thorny hound.”
The Italian griffon has long, stiff hair framing its eyes and lips, forming shaggy eyebrows, mustache, and tufted beard. The facial hair should be kept under control because it can quickly be overgrown and stained, and knotted.
This breed can sometimes be stubborn, but they are known for their patience and docile behavior. Spinone needs steady guidance due to their frequent lack of confidence. It is not a very suitable breed for first-time hunting dog owners.
Another Italian bearded hunting breed on the list, Lagotto Romagnolo, is one of the inconspicuous hunting dogs. The look of a plush puppy makes you overlook their huge hunting potential and exceptional nose.
Lagotto was initially bred as a water retriever in the marshes of the eastern region of Romagna in Italy. After the wetlands of the region dried, the breed was mainly used for hunting truffles.
It is a medium-sized dog with a thick, curly, wool-like coat. The coat feels to the touch like human hair more than a dog’s fur. The combination of a fluffy undercoat and thick outer coat is waterproof.
The second recognizable trait of a lagotto is its beard. The facial hair is softer than the coat from the back, and the curls are looser, the beard almost straight around the nose.
Resemblance to your average teddy bear ends at the curly fluff covering a lagotto’s body. This furball is adventurous and craves physical and mental challenges all day long.
Lagotto loves swimming and is always on the move. It needs proper training by an experienced dog owner and a lot of exercises every day.
Dandie Dinmont terrier
Dandie Dinmont terrier is an English native named after a fictional character from Sir Walter Scott’s novel. The character is partly based on the creator of the breed.
Dandie was used for hunting badgers and otters in the border region between England and Scotland. Now it is not a very popular breed of hunting dog and is registered as a vulnerable native breed.
The coat of the Dandie Dinmont terrier is silky smooth, usually 2 inches long. The hair on top of the head forms topknot, and the facial hair forms a rather short beard, mustache, and eyebrows.
The breed is known to have a strong prey drive and dig large holes in the ground in a short period in search of rodents or other burrowing animals. They can be trained to co-exist with cats, but any other small and furry pet could prove a challenge.
Dandies’ are usually people-friendly but can sometimes challenge other dogs and animals, including foxes and badgers.
Parson Russell terrier
Parson Russell terrier is a close relative of the Jack Russell terrier. It was created in the UK by the Reverend Jack Russell alongside few other small terriers.
Parson was credited as the fox terrier of the 18th century. It was bred to chase and flush foxes from their dens.
The coat of the Parson Russell terrier can be smooth or broken but never curly or rough, and only broken coated dogs have facial hair. The hair above the eyes and around the snout should not be too long, and the beard should be trimmed according to breed standards.
The breed is small but feisty and very active, needing a lot of exercise to prevent destructive behavior. They are suitable for families with kids but won’t tolerate rough handling.
How to groom a dog’s beard
Because a dog’s beard is technically the first thing a dog puts in his water bowl or the mud, it does get dirty and tangled really fast.
It is generally not a pleasant experience for your hunting buddy to have dirt combed out of his beard, but it is necessary, and with extra caution and patience, you can both benefit from the deed by learning to trust each other.
To take care of your dog’s beard, you should prepare a sturdy comb, mat splitters, and a sharp pair of scissors if you are going for trimming (which you should consider once in a while).
Make sure you don’t pull the comb too hard through your dog’s facial hair. The area around the lips is quite tender to the touch, and your hunting pup will not appreciate too much pulling.
Hold your dog’s face with one hand as still as you can and comb with the other, starting from the tip of the hair and working your way towards the face.
The same principles apply to trimming. The less your dog moves, the fewer chances you have of accidentally hurting it.
The scissors should be sharp to prevent any unnecessary pulling. It would be best if you held the scissors parallel to your dog’s face with the tip pointing away.
Any mat splitters you may be using should have sharp blades to better glide through mats on your dog’s beard.