Keeping dogs for hunting purposes.

Tara - posted on 09/21/2011 ( 28 moms have responded )

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On the heels of the keeping the dogs chained thread...

Where I live many many people use hound dogs for hunting deer. They call it "dogging". They usually have more than one dog, usually a hound, but sometimes a jack russell or a beagle. They dogs are sent ahead with the "dogger'. they scare the deer or moose into the open where they can be shot by other hunters who are waiting for the dogs to scare them their way...

I abhor this style of "hunting". My own step father, while I love him to bits keeps two dogs for this purpose. And like everyone else who does it he insists they are not pets and cannot be treated like pets or they won't do their job. As well most people think you can't train a hound dog to live in the house.

These dogs are tied up all year long, they have a long lead on a clothes line, nice insulated homes, fresh food and water twice a day and medical attention when needed.

But ultimately they are "working" dogs not people dogs. And they get out to work only 2 weeks of every year... hunting season is fast approaching and I think of the thousands of such dogs about to be set free into the forest to scare the poor deer into a trap. :(

Thoughts on this practice?

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Tara - posted on 09/22/2011

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@Johnny all the people I do know who hunt eat the animal. My mom, step dad, dad, brother all hunt. I get tasty venison to eat all year.
My brother is the most ethical I think. He hunts with a compound bow and he butchers the meat himself, always returning what can't be eaten to the kill spot for the scavengers, he even takes the hides in to be tanned and I use the resulting "leather" to make things like slippers, a halloween costume one year, a pair if mitts for my brother etc.
Ethical hunting I have no problem with. Sport hunting I abhor.

Becky - posted on 09/23/2011

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Can't say I have a huge amount of experience here, but The people I do know that keep hunting dogs, well they are their best friends! Hell some hunters treat their dogs better than their wives! lol!

Then again, around these parts deer hunting with dogs is illegal. Heck, if the DNR catches a dog chasing down a deer they are with in their rights to shoot the dog on the spot! If you live in the country, you'd better have your dog trained well because if someone reports your dog chasing a deer, the DNR can recommend your dog be put down.

Most of the hunting dogs I've known are bird dogs. But all are beloved members of their families and treated with respect for helping to put food on the table. They know the difference between work, play & family time. I think dogs are more intellegent than most people give them credit for!

Kacie - posted on 09/22/2011

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i have never heard of using dogs for deer hunting! the only time a dog (majority of the time, its a lab) goes hunting is for dove/duck/goose/any fowl bird so they can retrieve it.

and we're big on hunting. but hunting dogs are also treated as family pets. very obedient, very smart, playful dogs. but they knew to be serious when hunting

Johnny - posted on 09/21/2011

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Many people in my extended family, including both of my grandfathers have kept hunting dogs. Two of my uncles still do. They are duck hunters and as a family, we eat what is hunted. Outside of hunting season, the dogs are kept in the home, like pets. Certainly not chained or kenneled. We've all grown up with them around, and there are "rules" about the dogs, but they are still pets. They get walked daily, are fed inside, etc. although they are not allowed free range in the house. Both my uncles restrict the dogs to the kitchen, family room and basement of their houses. In hunting season, they stay at a farm out in the valley with friends of our family. When they are there, they sleep in a heated barn and get more room to run. They are exercised more regularly and "practice". I've been out there, it's a pretty nice life for a dog.

When they are hunting, they are with their owner until the duck has been shot, and they are trained to find and retrieve the animal. I think the idea of using hounds to frighten and chase live animals is unneccessarily cruel. That reminds me of fox hunting in the UK, which I find quite abhorrent. I do not think hunting should be purely for sport and entertainment. If you are not going to consume the animal for nutrients, you should not kill it.

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♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/25/2011

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In New York State where I'm from it's illegal to use dogs to hunt deer so I'd immagine it would be illegal to use them to hunt larger animals. I've never heard of such a practice and I went to a college where most of my classmates were out for the first day of deer season and my dad hunts.



My dad had a beagle for a number of years and he used her to hunt rabbits (her bray honestly sounded like she was saying rabbit) However she was also a family pet and after she tore her achilles tendons we only kept her as a pet. She did have a run and a house (which she slept under during the summer) but we kept her primarily inside since this was NY and we get hot summers and very cold winters.



Fudd (That was the beagle's name) did an excellent job as a hunting dog. My dad took her out every weekend for rabbit hunting along with my grandfather's beagle (Lucky) who was also a house dog and a lump most of the week. They did their jobs very well and were also pets.



I do understand the concept of having working dogs though, but I couldn't be one of those people. Luckily most people I knew of who keep dogs soley as hunting dogs/ work dogs do keep their dog with a few other of the same breed so the dogs aren't lonesome for attention- they just get it from other dogs instead of their owners. I do dissagree however that dogs who are also kept as a family pet won't do their 'job' that they were bred for.



As for the poor deer, if you've ever had your car totaled by a deer I'm not sure you'd feel so bad for the animal.

Medic - posted on 09/22/2011

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All of my family's hunting dogs are treated like family. They are spoiled rotten and know when its time to work. We go duck hunting, deer, pig, and we use a combination of bow and guns.

Merry - posted on 09/22/2011

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Tara do dogs ever get shot like that? I'm picturing a dog chasing a deer out in the bushes and a shot going astray and hitting the dog!
I hate hunting but I accept that others enjoy it and if they do it the right way i can't argue. But I hate killing for fun. That's just ridiculous

Ez - posted on 09/21/2011

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Emma, the people I have known with pigging dogs (which admittedly is not that many since I live in the city) have not treated them well. They are kept in cages because they don't want them socialised. They want them to be aggressive so they can take down the pig.

I actually find all hunting revolting, but recognise that culling is necessary for people on properties. But pigging, in particularly, is just foul. They let a dog(or dogs) go, then once it has the pig down someone goes in and slits their throat.

Stifler's - posted on 09/21/2011

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Lots of people have pigging dogs here. They are highly trained to be loyal, loving and well behaved around anyone except a pig. My friend Millzy cries when he talks about one of his working dogs that died. They aren't mistreated and I think they love what they do considering they have been bred for it and know no other life. Wild pigs are a threat to the native animals so I have no problem with it.

Lady Heather - posted on 09/21/2011

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The hunting dogs I know here are not treated like that. I'm sure there are some that are mistreated, but nobody I know does that. They are household pets when not "at work" and don't just run away and get lost. They are more like companions for the trip than anything else.

September - posted on 09/21/2011

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Yeah I never ate what my dad hunted but he did and so did the rest of my family. I could not bring myself to eat anything he ever killed. Not sure why I just couldn't.

Krista - posted on 09/21/2011

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For the most part, I don't see the need to treat working dogs differently from pets. I know a lot of duck hunters. It's not something I would ever enjoy doing, but I have no issue with hunting as long as it's done ethically and responsibly. (Don't take more than you're legally allowed, make sure the animal doesn't suffer, and eat what you kill.) Most duck hunters have retrievers, and the ones I know are seriously pampered and adored and are very much a part of the family.

September - posted on 09/21/2011

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My dad's a hunter and I grew up with hunting dogs however they were our pets as well. They were allowed into the house, we played with them and they were very well taken care of. We had two, they were blueticks. My dad still hunts to this day but no longer has hunting dogs since Shadow and Lady died, it was heartbreaking, we loved them so much! Anyhow I know not all people treat their hunting dogs the way we did and I do find most situation to be pretty sad.

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My stepdad kept dogs and bred them for hunting.They were house pets though. So i don't get why people can say you can't treat them like pets because we did and they were great hunters.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/21/2011

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Well, we can discuss this via PM instead of an open thread for everyone to see.

America3437 - posted on 09/21/2011

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of course and please know that I confuse everyone not just you it's not personal I just have a distorted reality on life in general. I have always seen the world differently and am truley sorry for any offensive thing I may have said to you. i am a very opinonated person and for some that is hard to accept. am working on it though.

America3437 - posted on 09/21/2011

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well then we should be friends.....accept me, doesn't mean you have to agree with every thing I say.

America3437 - posted on 09/21/2011

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wow Marina I kinda agree with you just think hunting should be for surival not sport.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/21/2011

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Ok, so where I used to live, hunting was HUGE! We saw a LOT of hunting dogs, and there were a lot of professional dog training hunting clinics around. I can only say I knew a handful of people that treated their hunting dogs the way you described Tara. I hate it. It makes me sick to my stomach. Most of the people with hunting dogs treated them like they were family. They were wonderully trained and very obedient. They were indeed working dogs, and that is what the breeds were essentially bred for. So it is instinctual in their nature. Owning a hunting dog without giving it SOME type of work is not good for them either. I don't like hunting, don't support it.....but when it is done with respect to nature, I can understand it.

Tara - posted on 09/21/2011

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Yeah but these dogs only work for two weeks of the year!! Although I must admit they all seem to "know" when it's approaching the working season!!

Tracey - posted on 09/21/2011

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I know nothing about dogs, but if guide dogs for the blind can be trained to know they are working when the harness is on but can play when it is off surely other dogs can be trained to know they are working some of the time?

Tara - posted on 09/21/2011

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LOL@ Cathy do you know how many hunting dogs are lost each season??? Tons... they often wander onto farmers land or end up finding each other and chasing deer all over the place. In most cases, the dogs are running together with the "dogger" guy right behind them. Usually one of the dogs listens to the "come" command and the others follow. But there are a lot of "lost" dogs.
I knew a guy who lost his beagle/hound cross the first season the dog hunted. He never found him, but the next season the dog showed up at the hunt camp looking weathered and old and scrappy but still there!!!

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