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Hunting Dog or House Dog?
The idea that a hunting dog cannot be a house dog is a common misconception and apparently those that have opposing opinions are rather dogmatic with their views. However, I think those on both sides of the argument would agree that there is no friend like a dog. Your dog can’t talk back and he doesn’t judge you no matter what you do, no arguing that, that surely makes for a great friendship.
I will point out that there is nothing wrong with keeping your hunting dog outside but, not including him in the family unit at all could possibly decrease his relationship with you and therefore keep him from being the best hunting partner you could ever have.
When a hunting dog is also a house dog he is considered valuable to the family and his desire to please you is increased. He wants to deliver the best possible outcome in every situation and because he trusts you he will go well beyond the call of duty to get the task, whether it is a hunting task or any other task, done.
When a hunting dog is house trained, whether you are using a kennel or not, he relies on you for his discipline, in things like going to the bathroom. If kept inside he learns restraint that can be a key factor on a hunt. When your hunting dog is confined to a pen and let out only to train or hunt you will waste valuable time and energy trying to dissipate the sheer joy he is feeling just for being out of the kennel. If your dog has been a part of the family all year and it is time to train or hunt he will not be distracted by the freedom he is getting and can get right down to business focusing on whatever training you have in mind.
There are a few adverse side effects that occur from keeping your dog strictly inside. One common side effect is the absence of a winter coat, a very important thing to have if you expect your dog to endure icy waters or cold windy mornings. Another would be the inability to freely exercise, which can also be the case if he is always in his kennel and never allowed to run.
Commonly known as man’s best friend, a dog adds quality and diversity to the family environment whether inside or out. Where I grew up we let our hunting dogs be a part of our family, not always inside but, always roaming around following my brothers and I through every field and creek. We made them a part of our gang, where we went, so did our dogs. They learned us and we learned them, we knew when our dog sensed danger and we listened to him and reacted. In essence, we built friendship. Our dogs were hunting partners during hunting season but, the rest of the time they were so much more than that, they were family.