The shot blew off part of the huntsman’s right hand, which he had to have amputated after being flown to hospital in Bordeaux, the BBC reported.
But the victim, whose name was given as Rene, said he had only himself to blame for not applying the safety catch.
“It wasn’t the dog’s fault - and he’s adorable!” he told France Bleu radio.
The accident occurred while the huntsman was taking part in a deer hunt on Sunday with three Blue Gascony Basset hounds near St Michel de Double, near Mussidan, the report said.
Two of the dogs ran off after a deer while the third, the youngest and new to hunting, stayed by his master, according to French news magazine Le Point.
“[Then] he jumped on me to give me a cuddle, I think,” Rene said.
“As he jumped, he put a paw on the gun,” he said.
The 55-year-old huntsman was taken to hospital by air ambulance.