The Hunter Dogs are the tertiary antagonists in Bambi. They travel in packs and are fierce, bloodthirsty and focused. Regardless of obstacles, it takes great odds to deter them from their prey. Many dogs will carry out their purpose to the death. Their greatest strengths lie in their numbers and in the foreboding they represent that when they appear, Man will follow.
Ten vicious hunting dogs were used by Man to track down Faline. They were relentless and violent, luckily Bambi was able to hold them back and give Faline enough time to escape. When they began chasing after Bambi he climbed up an unstable rocky ledge which caused a rock slide, putting an end to Man's dogs once and for all.
The dogs still played out a role after their defeat, as out of an eagerness to be certain of escape Bambi chose to be clever and leaped from one cliff to another, unaware that he'd be exposing himself to a clear shot from Man.
The hunter dogs play a much greater role in Bambi II, being the only true villains that Bambi must face.
Bambi first encounters hunting dogs after having been lured out onto the meadow with a deer call. He had dreamt about his mother and awakened to distant calls of "I'm here! Helloo? It's me. I'm here!". Out of mingled feelings of confusion and loneliness, he dared to hope it was his mother and investigates, even calling out for her and treading cautiously into the meadow. Once Man unleashes his dogs Bambi finds himself shocked and paralyzed with fear. His father, the Great Prince, calls out to Bambi in vain and is forced to run into the meadow to fight off the dogs and knock his son out of harm's way after spotting the glint of a rifle.
The dogs come again after Bambi fights with Ronno and gets pushed into his new guardian, Mena, which causes her to step back into a noose that traps one of her legs. It is a thick rope attached to cowbells in a tree, alerting Man and his dogs of their location. Ronno runs away in fear and Bambi is once again frozen in place, despite Mena's urgings that he run. Bambi snaps out of his daze and although his first instinct is to flee he becomes determined to protect Mena as she is helpless. He goads the dogs into following him and leads them on a chase through the forest, making clever use of his surroundings to take care of the dogs one by one.
The first is sent running with the help of Flower's special ability, the second is cleverly taken care of with Bambi launching a porcupine in the air to land on one's back. Two remaining dogs chase him into the meadow and seem to have him trapped in the tall grasses, yet by using his father's teachings Bambi senses their movement and times his escape so that they jump into one another. He leads them up to a rocky cliff, losing one dog to the treacherous terrain. The final dog pins him up on a ledge despite him trying to drop some rocks down onto him. As he pulls himself up onto the ledge to finish Bambi he abruptly turns about and kicks him away, killing him.
In Escape to Witch Mountain, animation of the Hunter Dogs is recycled for the opening credits.
- The dogs were animated by Rhetta Scott, making them the first characters to be done by a female animator at the Disney studio.