The Training of Hunting Dogs
In the long history of the relationship between dogs and humans, the idea of the dog as pampered house pet is a rather new idea. Dogs were partners in some of the most important jobs that our ancestors had to accomplish. Assisting on the all important hunt for food was one of those jobs. Until the very recent past in the time line of humans and dogs, failure on the hunt meant more than simple disappointment at a recreational activity that was not as satisfying as it could have been. It meant starvation.
Hunting is for recreation now, and the dog has become more of a companion and pet than an essential element to our survival. Yet deep inside many humans and inside their dogs is still this primal urge to hunt. There are many theories on the proper training of a hunting dog, and debate rages about such diverse issues as the best breeds and if the hunting dog can also double as the family pet. Many people claim that the training should start as early as possible while others swear that it is better the let the animal get the “puppy” out of himself before he can even begin his training as a hunter.