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Opinion: The "Hunting" Hound dog

August 12th, 2004, 05:03 PM
Now that I've got to know you all, and realize that there are some very canine knowledgable people out there, I need to ask you guys about a situation that I am unsure of.

My mother remarried a man who hunts. He is part of a responsible group of hunters in eastern ontario, and apparently one of his responsibilities includes deer population control.

I myself have never recognized a "need" for hunting, so I can't say I've ever really understood it. I try to respect it, but I have always had difficulty with it.

Recently they bought their first home together, and last winter I got to see it for the first time. It's a very lovely home in a rural area. I was surprised to learn after being there for a few hours that they had a dog. A "hunting hound" they called it.

When I asked where it was, I was told it had a house in the backyard. Try to understand, it was COLD outside, at least 35 below. I was told the house was very airtight filled with straw and had this deerskin flap-thing on it that was airtight.

I decided to go out and visit the hound. When I approached... rather far from the house at the back end of the cleared lot, the hound came out. I brought with me some food from dinner, bits of meat people didn't finish. It ate the food graciously, but wasn't hostile in any way even though I approached with extreme caution.

I spent some time with the dog, talking to it etc.

When I went back inside, feeling uneasy, I asked my mum why the dog was out there. Apparently for hunting dogs, they keep it in the wild under wild conditions so that it doesn't "lose it's hunting sense". She said it was quite normal for the dog, and that her husband took very good care of the dog and made sure it was fed well and that it's house was always in top condition with straw changed, etc. She said I couldn't understand because I was "used to pet dogs".

I personally was appalled. Does this seem right to you guys?

Lucky Rescue
August 12th, 2004, 05:46 PM
I hope you don't take offense, as I have some rather strong feelings about what you have related.

Hunting - since these days hunting doesn't make any difference concerning whether a person eats or not, hunting is done only because some people truly get pleasure from gunning down defenseless animals. They do it for the pure enjoyment of killing. What other reason?

Apparently for hunting dogs, they keep it in the wild under wild conditions so that it doesn't "lose it's hunting sense".

That is pure, unadulterated and ignorant crap. A dog is an even more willing to work and be an eager partner if it's treated as part of the family and in a humane way. I've known many people with hunting dogs, and none of them put the dog in solitary confinement.

What you are describing is INhumane and stupid.

In the southern states, where hounds are kept in packs and used for hunting - they have company and aren't freezing. They are not left in lonely isolation in bitter temperatures.

Since this is your family, I truly hope you can try and educate this individual and help make this poor dog's sad life a little more bearable. This person needs to learn something and stop going by "old wive's tales". Really no excuse for that in the year 2004. This is shameful and judging by the weather, is probably even illegal. You might want to bring that up.:(

August 12th, 2004, 06:01 PM
On the contrary, Lucky. I'm glad I don't feel alone in thinking it's wrong. I don't think my mother knows the difference. This guy has her believing it needs to be this way or it will lose it's instinct.

This is where it becomes tricky. He has grown up with people who believe this way, in small rural Ontario where hunting has been a big part of his life. He honestly believes that "no" dog belongs in the house. I'm not even allowed to take mine there in fact... which is sadly why we don't visit very often.

What I need to find is some literature that supports that hunting dogs can live in household conditions and still be "good" at hunting dogs... for I know that this is one thing he will never give up, unfortunately.

August 12th, 2004, 06:17 PM
A visit like that would have upset me so very much, I"m glad it was you and not me. I prob would have dognapped the dog LOL!

August 12th, 2004, 06:23 PM
People CAN change! My hubby used to hunt. He hasn't hunted since he returned from Vietnam. He's become an animal lover and just can't bring himself to kill anything. He's realized that even the birds have personalities and feelings. One afternoon, Puss-Puss brought 4 live mice into the house, one by one. She doesn't harm or kill them. He took them from her (with a towel) and took them 2 blocks away before turning them loose. :p

August 12th, 2004, 06:32 PM
I feel a dogs instincts are what they are and do not go away whether you keep him in the house or not,that is crazy to think that,some people do believe animals are just animals and believe they belong outside,that is sad..Good luck trying to teach him different..Some people also get them for there own selfish reasons to ,which could be the case

August 12th, 2004, 06:34 PM
Babs,I know how you feel trying to change an old hand with old ideas,it's like talking to a brickwall and you are considered a bleeding-heart animal activist,which I happily agree too.
In my case that includes even animals hunted for the sheer thrill of killing,because that's all it is... :mad:
We have friends who hunt,but the subject does not come up when I am around.
I know of a"brave"hunter(not a friend) who had a beautiful dog,the minute he was too slow as a hunting dog,he was shot,he too lived a miserable life outside,nobodys pet :(
In my opinion,no dog should be left alone outside,under no circumstances and especially not in the winter.How can anyone sit in a nice cozy house,while a dog is outside in the cold all alone,it's beyond me.
I know Babs,you feel the same way and you'll have an uphill battle trying to convince your stepfather,that dog is to him nothing more than the gun he kills with.There are lots of people out there who feel the same,unfortunately.

August 12th, 2004, 06:42 PM
Glasslass,it is true,people do change,but I believe Babs mom is the one who could change the father,unfortunately she sees nothing wrong with it.My husband grew up in Southern France,he used to shoot feral cats for fun and never liked cats until he met me.I showed him how wonderful they can be and he even likes my four crows,coons and all the other animals and birds.
Also he is definetly a sucker for Rocky,Chico and Vinnie,he has loong conversations with the cats :D I guess it beats talking to me :D
He gets a good laugh though,when I catch flies in a glass and set them free :D

August 12th, 2004, 10:12 PM
I prob would have dognapped the dog LOL!

I am with you, could never leave a dog outside. How about we go hunt for this dog and bring him in out of the cold. ;)

Cactus Flower
August 12th, 2004, 11:48 PM
Babs, I suspect you are terribly juxtaposed. Since this is a family member, I assume you are treading lightly so as not to cause any friction between you and your stepfather, or possibly even your mother and your stepfather, etc. It's so much easier to tell a stranger "Hey! That's not right!".

Do you know anyone else who uses dogs for hunting but keeps them indoors as part of the family? If you do, I would suggest getting that person to talk to your stepfather. Maybe a "chance" meeting the next time you all go out to dinner.......oh hey look there's so-and-so, you've got to meet him....then while they are talking, the subject could- by "chance" come up, and your stepfather might not be so defensive, as he will feel he is truly talking to a "peer", a fellow hunter.

Just a thought.

Many people get set in their ways, and dig in their heels when something they were raised to believe comes into question.

August 13th, 2004, 12:07 AM
I think that is terrible to keep at dog outside like that. saying he will lose his hunting instinct is just to make you leave him alone about it because that is not true at all. my step father hunts. he loves animals very much (there is a need for hunting deer. if we didn't keep the population under control they would basically starve from using all their resources. don't get me wrong i hate it because it's our fault they'll run out of resources but that's a whole nother story.) he had a black lab that he used for hunting. this dog was his best hunting partner he ever had but it lived inside and was a pet as well. this never made him a bad hunting dog. i agree that you should try to find someone that hunts but keeps his dogs inside to talk to him. it may help.

August 13th, 2004, 01:08 AM
I believe Babs mom is the one who could change the father,unfortunately she sees nothing wrong with it.My husband grew up in Southern France,he used to shoot feral cats for fun and never liked cats until he met me.I showed him how wonderful they can be and he even likes my four crows,coons and all the other animals and birds.

I think you're so right! My hubby has a friend that used to hate cats. He even had one of those "Baby in Car" type signs that said "Cat under Car". He thought it was a big joke. Then, he married a cat lover. He's deeply involved with a cat rescue group now and feeds the feral cats that live around the college. He traps, has them spayed and neutered, then releases them back. This is Calif., no severe winters. He keeps the feeders filled and water dispenser clean and filled. He's always at the pet fairs in the information booth handing out literature about spay & neuter. His wife was the key, but it was also getting to know cats personally and coming to appreciate them.

August 24th, 2004, 08:55 PM
I am married to a man who hunts (since childhood in Northern Ontario). We have a 7 year old hound cross named Dip (named by our daughter - age 3 at the time). Dip's mom is a foxhound dad was supposed to be a beagle (Dip is bigger than her mom and MUCH bigger than a beagle).
She lives in our home with our two children, guinea pig, newt and fish. She is a family pet. She is also a hound. She enjoys hunting more than my husband does. It is in her nature. She spends most of her days outside in her kennel or loose in the yard while we are at work except in extreme cold and/or heat. She loves to be outside. Evenings and weekends are family time. Weekends usually involve a trip to a reforestation area for a good off leash. Can a hound survive outside all the time in the conditions you described? yes. Is it a life? No. Does is make a better hunting dog? Dip's sister was raised that way. She is a 7 year old 55-60 lb hound as beautiful as her sister BUT... She is not going hunting anymore. With virtually no social skills, she fights with all the other dogs. The secluded lifestyle has created problems for her. She is now back at the home of her mom (who she fights with) and several other dogs but in a separate kennel. Her brother Bart was the same. Unfortunately he wasn't kept with people we knew and was "retired" in the field. Is Dip going hunting this fall? The good old boys (my husband is the youngest at 41) wouldn't hear of her sitting one out. She even got bedroom priviledges complete with blankets when her sister bit her last year (one of the old rednecks even got up and covered her in the night). She is a great hunting dog. She even ran some deer past us on one of our family forest outings - the kids were thrilled. She knew it wasn't hunting time (she gave up the chase as soon as they went by us) but had fun anyway.
Your stepdad is wrong. It is family, and interventions are probably not possible. Do what you can when you visit. The conditions are not deemed abusive by SPCA standards (proper food and shelter is being provided- the law doesn't demand TLC). If your dog isn't allowed inside but would interact with the hound (they will usually play with anyone willing) that would go a long way to helping it. I don't expect that you will be able to change your step dad's mind (I am picturing a dog kicker) but Cactus Flower has a great suggestion. He needs to hear it from someone whose opinion on the subject he will trust. Find a hunter with a sensible attitude towards dogs. Family dogs make better hunters. Like all dogs, they want to please their people (even if they don't deserve it). And when they get older, they can train his new younger hunting dog. And when they are too old, they can continue to be marvelous companions.
I actually am not looking forward to the day Dip is too old to hunt and my husband goes without her. I think she will be very sad. Maybe she will go on the trip but just keep the camp cozy while the younger dogs run. Good luck but I think you are going to be that dog's only quality contact. Make sure he knows that if the dog doesn't hunt well that their are lots of people willing to rescue and adopt unwanted hunting dogs. Try to save it from his "retirement plan".
(Anyone who can find a home for Dip's sister, Sasha, with someone who could help her can contact me at

August 24th, 2004, 09:11 PM
I enjoyed reading your post thank you :D

If you know of a dog needing a home place it please on the adoption topic with as much info and a pic if possible :D

Kona Dawg
August 24th, 2004, 09:52 PM
I've been hunting since I was 11 years old. I've hunted partridge mostly, but I do go deer hunting as well as moose hunting in Northern Ontario.

I have a very hard time understanding statements of the only reason we (hunter's) go out to practice our sport is to kill defenceless animals. If this was the case, we would all work at slaughter houses to put beef, pork, etc. onto other's tables. We hunt, and fish because we enjoy it as a sport. I do not agree with game reserve's, as I am a firm believer in the sport aspect of it. We as hunter's also are the greatest contributor's to conservation effort's be it through our licensing fee's, volunteer work, or through our consumer expenses towards our sport as many companies directly contribute given percentages right back to the environment.

We also hunt because we enjoy the meat (which I should add is much healthier in content).

On the dog side of it, My family has alway's had sporting dog's. Our first was trained on ducks (Black lab/setter) she passes away due to old age of 16 yrs, the next is an american cocker who was used for partridge(she's retired now)currently 15 yrs, The current dog is a Brittany (3 yrs) who is being used for deer, as well as for duck's. I am also training my own dog(2 yrs) (golden retriver x) for Duck's.

All of these dog's are family pet's, and have lived their live's indoors with us.

I am aware of certain cases where dog's are kept outside their whole working lives. Sled dog's, farm dog's, and some scent dog's for various police/security forces are kept in kennel's.

I guess all I'm trying to say is that I respect your choice not to hunt, but pls. don't try to pigion hole us into crazy blood thirsty creature's because I can assure you that the responsible ones are not.

August 24th, 2004, 10:01 PM
This could turn into a long drawl of heated debates but...

To add to my known disbelief in hunting for the 'sport' to kill there are other reasons I disbelieve in it.

You indicate you are supporting conservation but what kind of support are hunters giving to our wildlife?

Elk and deer hunters for years have been placing high protein feed in the woods near densely populated and well herded areas where they hunt. Why?
Well to fatten them up, give them bulk so they get a bigger catch.

Now, what may this be doing negatively you may ask?

Well have you not heard of Elk and Deer now contracting mad cow disease? Guess where they're getting it from?? THE FEED! The feed contaminated with by product of animal brain, intestine, spinal matter. These are grazing animals not carnivores that are eating man made contaminated feed.

So, now your precious hunters are destroying the lives of these wonderous creatures not just by bullet but by disease.

Think about that the next time you go hunting, perhaps the elk/deer you kill has been you really want that meat now?

How dare we as people through our greed negatively affect such wonderous creatures. It's shameful and intolerable.

Kona Dawg
August 24th, 2004, 10:32 PM
Luba, I definately agree that unfortunately there are irresponsible people in this world, some of them being hunter's. The very reason that you stated is also another reason that I do not agree with game reserves.

I have absolutly no problem with other's disagreement toward's hunting/fishing. It is a choice that they make to either do it, or to not to. It is a way I have been brought up, it is in fact a part of Canadian culture. The only thing that I did disagree with is saying that we are only out there for the kill. I do believe that there is absolutely nothing wrong with responsible hunting, but as with most thing's in life we all get a bad rep from the irresponsible ones out there.

here is a link ( to the OFAH website, it helps to show the way's that hunters/anglers help to contribute.

August 25th, 2004, 09:32 AM
Luba I agree with you wholeheartedly. I honestly see no reason to hunt poor defenseless animals. The only reason I believe one would have to hunt is to put food on there table. We have butchers and grocery stores to buy meat at. How often I am driving home from up north in the fall and winter and see these dead animals tied to the hood or roof of a car just makes me sick. Sorry but this is the way I feel. Well have you not heard of Elk and Deer now contracting mad cow disease? Guess where they're getting it from?? THE FEED! The feed contaminated with by product of animal brain, intestine, spinal matter. These are grazing animals not carnivores that are eating man made contaminated feed. So when someone eats this and gets sick they may reconsider there hunting reasons. Maybe it will stop one person and that is a start.

August 25th, 2004, 09:46 AM
I agree whole-heartedly,there is nothing in hunting that could be considered anything but a blood-sport...the deer,moose,bear,wolf or whatever you hunt for"sport"lose their lives and that is where it ends being a sport for me.
Yes,you can argue about slaughter-houses being horrific and I agree,but it's unfortunately a necessary evil,hunting and killing is for some,pure pleasure not necassary :mad:

August 25th, 2004, 10:20 AM
Kona Dawg......I understand, as I too have grown up with hunting, eaten the meat, and don't see anything wrong with it except the irresponsible hunters out there as you stated. You will definitely get blasted here, however, I will let you know that I agree with you here. We too have a hunting dog, muched loved and babied. She doesn't do much hunting yet, but could in the future, she is a bird dog, but not trained yet.

I think you have been very respectful and tactful in your responses. Good job. It is easy to feel attacked and you are doing a good job of defending a point you believe in without becoming mean.

August 25th, 2004, 10:55 AM
I am not going to judge someone for the way they care for their animals. Those dogs are well taken care of. They do get a lot of love from their master. They have a warm enclosure. They are fed and watered. They may not treat the animal like we do as house pets, because they are not seen as house pets. This is like with sled dogs too.

Granted if the dog was ill looking and not taken care of then that is a different story.

August 25th, 2004, 12:34 PM
Kona I do thank you for your articulate responses.

You understand my point, I understand yours.

I am very disheartened by the way we've now as humans contaminated our lovely herd populations that once were so natural, because of a need for greed.

It's down right shameful!

The situation with mad cow disease in humas is going to skyrocket because of our contamined cow and now wild herd.

What most people aren't aware of is that they have not found a way to kill this disease, even in disposal of the dead.

Cremation doesn't work, the disease lives on in ashes of the remains.

They've buried and dumped thousands of them in the UK, in landfill sites and in bodies of water.

So now, we've contaminated soil and water, run off from soil to grazing areas for other cows to feed from who were supposed to be organic but are now contaminated as well.

This just being the tip of the iceberg with mad cow! It will soon be epidemic in the human population.

August 30th, 2004, 04:53 PM
Hunting, right or wrong is a debate that will never end. I will not even share my opinions. What we are forgetting here is that we have someone with a dog care issue. I stick with my original advice and would like all others posting here to give advice that will be helpful to this person. This thread didn't start with the topic "Do you agree with hunting?" it requested advice on a delicate family/dog care issue.
My two cents

August 30th, 2004, 05:58 PM
To call hunting a sport makes me ill,when the deer etc etc have guns to defend themselves then it will be equal....