This made us think about how one might start a conversation with members of the community, in the hopes of raising the quality of care for hunting dogs.
Here are some ideas for what can be talked about when having that conversation with a sportsman who may be open to change.
Building a Relationship with your Hunting Dog
Creating a bond with your dog strengthens their mental toughness, and helps them to gain trust with you. Instilling fear weakens your bond, and therefore weakens obedience as well.
Learn More / Resource: Gun Association
Walking your Hunting Dog
Walking together strengthens your bond – meaning better communication when hunting.
Learn More / Resource: The Hunting Dog
Exploring with your Hunting Dog
Getting out and exploring with your dog – even if it is not hunting season, can improve bonding as well. It also keeps your dogs in shape year-round. Chaining and small runs don’t allow the dog to flex their hunting skills in the way they need to to train.
Learn More / Resources: The Hunting Dog + Gun Dog Magazine
Spay and Neuter
Simply put, spaying and neutering can prevent unwanted litters. Most areas have free or low-cost spay/neuter. There are misconceptions surrounding neutering hunting dogs – neutering does not effect the performance of the dog – training and a strong bond do.
Learn More / Resource: Valhalla Hunt Club
Again, there are many sportsmen who treat their hunting dogs with immense love and care. We trust that these hunters will continue advocating for the fair treatment of these dogs.
Ideas for making change:
1. Build a relationship with local hunters who take pride in how they care for their dogs – and want to see other sportsmen improve their bond to their dogs. Host a gathering for local hunters to get together and share best hunting practices.
2. Find a dog trainer who has knowledge on training dogs for hunting – team up to hold a free training class for local hunters.
3. Remain open-minded, be open to having conversations – and listen!
See the below photos and video to see some of these same beagles enjoying their new lives in loving homes.