Whole Dog Journal's Blog December 2, 2013

Hunting Dogs

Posted at 12:00PM - Comments: (40)

I have to admit: I have met dogs I don’t enjoy, and one type that I have a lot of admiration and respect for, but would never want to share my home with, are hunting dogs.

Now, there are hunting dogs and dogs who do nothing but hunt, hunt, hunt. I have been informed that there are lots of breeds that have on/off switches, so to speak – breeds that will hunt when you want them to, and live peaceably with a family (even a family with cats and chickens, say) when you don’t. A friend informed me this morning that most hunting-line retrievers and spaniels are typically mellow in the house and “companion” circumstances. And that upland game breeds – Weimaraners, Vislas, German Wire-Haired and German Short-Haired Pointers – tend to be among the breeds that don’t have an “off” switch. But I’ve known some cat-safe Weims and very family friendly Pointers. I guess it depends a lot of the lines they were bred from: family/companion/show dogs, or field dogs.


But I like to walk my dogs off-leash, and I am lucky enough to have thousands of acres of open space where one can do this safely within just a few miles of my home. And when I’m walking with my dogs, I don’t want them to hunt. I want them to have fun walking with me, but in no danger of running away in order to chase some animal over the horizon. My dog Otto is NEARLY perfect in this regard. He does what I call “fantasy hunts” – he’s constantly smelling and scanning the trail, but he’s no hunter. He often misses the sight of game that I see easily. He often runs past the scent of whatever he is trying to follow; his nose is not much better than his eyes. And he’s not terribly fast! Even rabbits that leap up under his nose, practically, can easily get away from him. Best of all, he calls off 95 percent of the time. (And we work on this skill constantly!)

This week, I’ve been dog-sitting a very sweet young female German Wire-Haired Pointer for a friend. While she is a total sweetheart in the house, very affectionate and mellow, the second you take her out of the house she’s hunting. Hunting my cats and chickens, hunting the bird she just heard rustling in the ivy, hunting the squirrel she spotted on the electrical wire a block away. She’ll be walking along and suddenly FREEZE. “Tink, tink!” That’s the noise I imagine when I tap her suddenly metallic body, every muscle tense, ready to spring into action.

And that’s on-leash. This dog would require many, many moons of training, and all sorts of proofing, to become reliable off-leash in the country. Even after NINE miles of hiking with me and some of my friends and their dogs (two separate hikes, one about five miles and one about four) the other day, she remained fully engrossed in her own world when she spotted or smelled game. No amount of calling, hyper-playfully or super sternly, made her turn her head toward me. Even when my friend (and the whole pack of other dogs) took off in the opposite direction, yelling “Yahoo! Yippee! Come with me!!”, she stood stone-like, transfixed by the sight or smell of some critter. Or bird. I don’t know what made her play the statue game; must have been rabbits or birds she could smell that remained hunkered down in the grass. Anyway, I would find it exhausting to have to manage that instinct all the time, on the trail, and in my home and yard. Poor kitties. She’s leaving tomorrow!

Is there some kind of dog, or dog trait, that you couldn’t live with?

Comments (40)

I am a first time Spaniel owner. My pup is almost a year old has been a the wonderful companion that I have always wanted in a dog! I grew up with Bouvier Des Flanders. But our Spaniel is a welcome member of our family. I have been taking him off leash since he as 3 months old. His recall is amazing and we hike and field walk together at least 3 times and a week and no matter what scent he has caught he always comes when called. My husband has never grown up or had a dog before so he was very reluctant. Consistency, training, patience and love will get you anywhere with just about any critter. Oh and some treats don't hurt either. Chief is a treasure with other dogs and all ages of people. His temperament at home is protective (is not a guard dog by any means) when a stranger initially comes to the door but is excited when we open the door. Our training is daily and practice is what it's all about!
I was very reluctant the first time I took him out to the woods and tried him off leash, on his own he developed his own attitude toward the experience, I didn't feed him when we went to the field and I always let him smell the treats when I let him off the leash, he runs out, inspects, sniffs, comes back to check in with me every 1-2 minutes gets a treat and if I call him and the second he comes to me its love love love and treats treats treats!
I know not every dog is the same, but having a dog is not easy. Just like kids each is unique in their own way!

Posted by: SpanielChief | March 22, 2014 1:36 PM    Report this comment

The Animal channel's Dogs 101 finishes each breed feature with a reminder that all dogs are individuals and cannot be expected to be identical to all dogs of a given breed. I believe I have read that dogs are one of the most diversified species on the planet, and this is because humans have assumed the right to breed them to whatever characteristics we desire. I am very sad for the breeds that have been shaped in ways that make it hard for them to enjoy their lives. I don't mean 'shaped' in the strictly physical sense, but also mental and health areas. It breaks my heart to think of dogs like the Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds with so much to give and so little time to live. I don't want to seem critical of any breed because they are all dogs and that's about as special as can be.

Posted by: Barbara C | January 10, 2014 10:01 PM    Report this comment

I love dogs but have to admit I am not a big fan of boxers. The snoring, gummy lips, messy eating and piercing bark isn't for me. They also don't do well with extreme weather. It is probably one of the only breeds I feel so strongly about.

Posted by: Ross W | January 7, 2014 9:40 AM    Report this comment

This is funny, reading all the comments. I love all dogs, but not all dog traits. However if a drooling yappy squash faced dog came into my life, I would love it because she's sharing my life. Anyone who has ever cared for a seriously ill dog doesn't want the illness, but still loves the dog totally. The very best dog on earth is a mutt, because you don't know what your getting and you can concentrate on loving the dog for being just a dog.

Posted by: SundogsHawaii | January 3, 2014 8:52 PM    Report this comment

Oh, come on, hunting dog owners, WHOA yourselves! This was an excellent and honest self-appraisal of the pros and cons of some hunting breeds. I happen to agree with her too and I love and own a hunting breed. Does it matter if EVERYONE love love loves your breed? Why? Knowing that there are some traits you can't or don't care to live with or manage is just good stewardship. How ridiculous to be offended because she dared to speak her mind.
As for what traits I choose to not deal with (and the breeds or groups that tend to be selected for those traits) almost the entire terrier group is off-limits for me. I love interacting with them and training them, I love their bright intelligence and alertness, but I also love my small animals and poultry and just don't want to go the extra mile to assure their safety around dogs bred for their gameness. You see I said "almost the entire terrier group", right? So I'm not talking about your dog.

Posted by: Lynne B | December 28, 2013 8:21 AM    Report this comment

If you teach a dog properly and consistantly you would have no issues although there is no hope for the pointing breeds they are all about themselves.

Posted by: Unknown | December 27, 2013 10:08 AM    Report this comment

I have two Drahthaars (German registered GWPs) and two Schipperkes. All four are house dogs. The author of this article would probably be far more inclined to like my schips than my drahts based on the perceptions described in the article. But, in my case, the drahts are far more affectionate than the schips, and the drahts are several orders of magnitude better behaved (both in and out of the house) than the schips, despite the fact that the drahts are phenomenal hunting dogs. I believe the reason is that the drahts have received far more training than schips. They have been trained to respond to voice commands, whistle commands, and the tone on their e-collars (which is the only reason they wear one and then only when hunting). I have total confidence in my ability to handle them in any situation, whether it be to call them off a point, or whoa them to an instant freeze because a car is approaching. Not so with the schips. The drahts (as most of the hunting breeds) are high-maintenance dogs with decades (or more) inherited traits and prey drive. They are not for everyone, especially not the author who by their own admission, would find it "exhausting to manage that instinct." This author would obviously not be willing to put in the time and effort needed to properly train one of these dogs. I for one, am not offended by the article. Rather, I am pleased that this individual does not want one of the hunting breed. It would not be a good fit and would definitely not be fair to (and perhaps even dangerous for) the dog.

Posted by: David S | December 24, 2013 11:23 AM    Report this comment

Very brave article, bound to raise the ire of just about every other dog owner, regardless of breed. I understand what you are saying. I have a German Wire Haired Pointer. Hiedi and I love to hunt, and I appreciate her immense field abilities. She is also my friend and companion at home. But, I have spent lots of money and time training her in both obedience and hunting skills. I agree with you; a hunting dog is not for someone who does not have the inclination or ability to work the dog and train it. They are not meant to be "just pets". Deep down in their souls, an untrained/unused hunting is very frustrated, which makes life very challenging for the owner. That's why different people prefer different breeds- I personally can't stand yappy little ankle biters.....

Posted by: Donald S | December 22, 2013 9:23 AM    Report this comment

I just subscribed to this journal and am surprised and disappointed to come across this first article. Massive generalizations from a minuscule sampling size. You do not hunt, therefore you do not want a hunting dog because you also walked one-wow-how informative.
Hunting dog events are some of the largest events in the AKC and many non hunters participate and from a large sampling, I can tell you I have never seen happier or better trained dogs. Hunting dogs include the three big retrieving breeds (also some of the most popular and most beloved companion dogs in the world) and wonderful spaniels. With all due respect-this article is unforgivable in that I lost time I can never replace reading it.

Posted by: rtamaradesilva | December 11, 2013 7:38 AM    Report this comment

I really enjoyed this article and comments. As my father said" There is no accounting for taste, said the lady as she kissed the cow". You can choose a husband, wife, friends, but not kids. and pets like kids don't come with guarantees. I'd have a hard time with big droolers, super shedders and little yappers as well as overly protective dogs. Have had purebreds ( retreivers), rescued greyhound, pound mutts and other mutts..and loved each for different reasons....just like the kids, grandchildren in my life ( stepchildren, adopted, biological and temporary{ with us for medical treatment then home to biological parents}..all sizes, colors, temperaments, each annoying in his/her own way and all loveable....whether 2 legged or 4 legged they are MUCH better than a quiet empty house.

Posted by: Kojo | December 8, 2013 4:43 PM    Report this comment

Wow. First paragraph huge generalization. Too bad. But generalizations are a part of our human makeup! I've owned two GSPs. First never hunted, wonderful dog inside and outside the house and he was more worried about losing us than us losing him. We are ALWAYS outside when our dogs are and never had problem off leash (and we live in the country). Different hunting dogs have different ranges as well, how far they will go from you if trained correctly. We are not hunters by the way.
Second was a stray that we rescued,GSP also, and most likely hunting dog. Possibly got lost on hunt but we will never know. Very disconnected when we first got him. Did not know what doorbell was so that tells us outside dog. Never thought I'd get him disinterested in squirrels (or garbage buckets poor thing) but he has been off leash in yard with us and we let him explore, but if he loses sight of us you can see the panic and the pure joy when he "finds" us he comes running like he's been gone for years! He no longer counter surfs and I found him hanging out in the kitchen with two grilled pork chops the other day! (Husband elsewhere as he was confident pork chops were safe).Chops are on the counter, him greeting me as if they never existed. Point - they are very smart dogs that want to please and it doesn't get much better than that! He knows what we expect out of him and he is living the life! Squirrels, deer, turkey take a backseat to the ones who love and care for him. I think this behavior modification is possible with a lot of traits we find undesirable you just need to find the thing that motivates them the most, and if you can make that you, anything is possible! My first GSP was cat tested when my sister in law took him for a day. We told her to just leave him in his crate. She didn't, she has 8 cats, and when I asked how he did she said he payed "with every single cat toy" but not a single cat! That's why generalizations can be dangerous but I do love the discussions! Also recall does not work the same if it is not your own dog!!!
Also nose works classes are awesome bonding experiences for these breeds and owners. I highly recommend especially for rescues.

Posted by: Mary S | December 4, 2013 10:39 PM    Report this comment

I am totally dismayed that this article appears in a journal dedicated to all dogs!! HOw can you disparage a whole group of dogs that the joural is dedicated to supporting??

I personally own a hunting dog breed-she is a pet, not bred to be a hunter. She does however follow her nose, as do ALL dogs-if they did not they would not have survived all these many hundreds of years.

When I walk her, she is on leash, not just because she might stray, but because there are LEASH LAWS in most every town/public space, I would like to keep her and others safe!!

. I live in CT but it seems pretty universal in the northeast. What really riles me is when I am walking MY dog on leash (per the laws) and she is rushed by another dog with no owner in sight but I can hear off in the distance a weak cry of "he's friendly!" My dog (safely attached to my leash so that all others stay safe and not assaulted by my dog's over-exuberance) is rushed by a dog she doesn't know. So, here I am, left with a dog that is overexcited by being rushed by another dog AND a dog that I don't know and who will not obey his owner's weak call because she is too far away!! I have been hurt in the process when a dog continues to rush mine. Shame on the Whole Dog Journal for approving this article!!

Posted by: Daryl C | December 4, 2013 3:44 PM    Report this comment

I will be happy when dogs are recognized and appreciated for the companion animals they are and when hunting with dogs goes the way of the horse and buggy. Step up to a new century. Hunting dogs are abandoned all over the South when hunting season is over; they end up killed by the thousands in shelters and pounds or sent up North where they may or may not be able to live successfully in cities and suburbs with their high prey drive and with owners who expect couch potatoes. Hunting with dogs is exploitation, not a "grand tradition" for dogs.

Posted by: Beverly A | December 4, 2013 2:21 PM    Report this comment

It is ironic that this article appeared on December 2, 2013. This is the first day that dogs can be used to hunt wolves in the state of Wisconsin, (the only state where it is legal to do so). It is very disturbing to me that a dog can be (legally) bred/trained/used to kill another canine.

Posted by: LuckyMom | December 4, 2013 12:44 PM    Report this comment

Oops. "She doesn't run off into the woods following a SCENT" I dictated that comment to the lab and really, she just can't spell....

Posted by: COLLEEN T | December 4, 2013 12:11 AM    Report this comment

My field bred lab has no problem distinguishing the difference between play and work. Retrieving is her job. Walking with me is recreation. She doesn't run off into the woods following a sent, she either stays with me or, if released, runs ahead but continually checks back to make sure I'm coming along.

My GSP, when young, liked to take off, nose to the ground, running, running, running. She did not have a good recall so this was only allowed in completely safe areas. This was a rare occurrence but she had a large fenced yard to run in and chase squirrels to her heart's content. She was a rescue dog, taken from a puppy mill that was shut down. She had no "normal" home life or training of any kind before the age of two. She is very old now and can't run but she is still very sweet and affectionate. I have been in the field with trained GSPs and there was no problem controlling them.

At home with our shitzu and four cats both the lab and GSP are affectionate and very mild tempered. The lab and shitzu are bffs. All 4 cats sleep with, rub against, "talk" to all 3 dogs.

Posted by: COLLEEN T | December 3, 2013 11:53 PM    Report this comment

Oh, yes!!

I'm always surprised that non-dog people expect me to LURVE All dogs.

I discovered that terriers are simply NOT for me -- I know that they are quick to learn and can be incredible fun but theirs and life-styles do not really coexist very well.

The Beagle "Wo'Ever!" character leave me seething, too. I mind one periodically :-( And I KNOW what you mean about the Schnauzer scream :-( But actually it is my dogs who once subjected to a Schnauzer scearm decided that the eleventh commandment was thou shalt not suffer a Schnauzer to live" :-(

Then there are the absolutely beautful dogs -- but I'll just admire other people's Huskies :-) (And Afghans and Salukis and . . . )

Posted by: Jenny H | December 3, 2013 6:26 PM    Report this comment

I think the trait I would have the hardest time living with would be a dog who has an owner who does not provide them with the training and guidance that they need. I have worked with many different breeds, and find them all trainable and able to be socialized and conditioned if done wisely and by someone who takes the time to research and understand the potential traits of the breed they are choosing. It is the people who get breeds that are high drive or high energy levels and then aren't willing to train or invest time/effort into them that drive me crazy.

Posted by: Lisa V | December 3, 2013 5:55 PM    Report this comment

Like other commentators here, I find this article to be very poorly written and you would be hard pressed to find anyone that is knowledgeable about dogs to agree with this article.
This article is written from a very ego-centric point of view and seems to be written by someone who has little understanding of different dog breeds and dog behavior in general.
It even goes so far as to contradict advice given in other articles on this site.
It pains me greatly to see people making choices about pets based on appearances and novelty and ill-information.
There are far to many people choosing a pet for the wrong reasons and being ill-equipped for the responsibility, training and commitment required to raise a healthy animal in the appropriate environment.
Please do not add to this problem.
This article has made me seriously reconsider the trust I had for the information found here.
Mistakes will be made, and hopefully someone will realize this article is not up to standards and make adjustments for the future.

Posted by: tmatt | December 3, 2013 5:25 PM    Report this comment

It sounds like the owner of the pup you were sitting forgot to give you the proper commands for the pup. If it truly was a hunting pup it should have had a "turn off" signal. That would be something that is very important to know especially in the case if the pup had decided to take off running and you could not handle her. A simple whistle command of two short blasts is usually the universal signal. I have heard some people do not like to use a whistle at all but I am sure they must have some way of stopping their pup on the run. I have a Drahthaar, which is a step up from a GWP, and very high prey drive, always hunting. Whistle training, no matter how much scoffing I take from others, is the best thing I have done for her. Next time make sure they let you know what her commands are, it could be the difference between life and death.

Posted by: steinc | December 3, 2013 4:56 PM    Report this comment

I have owned non field dogs and this current field dog. He is a Small Munsterlander and is a true joy. His sense of adventure and activity outside and couch potato inside behavior is a perfect mix.
I feel this article was written just to get people talking. No knowledgeable dog trainer would speak this way.

Posted by: Mary A W | December 3, 2013 3:51 PM    Report this comment

I forgot to make clear in my comment regarding Henry, our Beagle, who is trained to not go off our property. We have a corner lot and no fence. Beagles are very smart and make excellent house pets.

Posted by: Lorraine L | December 3, 2013 2:17 PM    Report this comment

I have Standard Poodles - one is a well trained hunt dog - skilled at Upland. Well bred and trained Standard Poodles are so versatile and adapt to their surroundings and owners. Pure joy and fun to be around.


Posted by: Gerald A | December 3, 2013 1:33 PM    Report this comment

While I think terriers are one of the cutest breeds around, I wouldn't own own. The ones I've known were very unkind to other dogs and critters in general. I've owned a lab mix and a field lab and they were both the best companion dogs you could want, nice to humans and wildlife alike.

Posted by: Candace Kurt B | December 3, 2013 1:09 PM    Report this comment

I would never tolerate an aggressive dog. Whether it is a Chihuahua or Mastiff. Sadly,some dogs are just not redeemable.

Posted by: Rebecca L | December 3, 2013 12:45 PM    Report this comment

Wow that was one poorly written article. I don't know anything about Vislas but I do have 4 Vizslas and we live with 2 cats, and a parrot peacefully. As mentioned in other comments you can't base an entire group of dogs based on one dog.

Posted by: Unknown | December 3, 2013 12:00 PM    Report this comment

I adopted a Black Lab/GWP mix 8 yrs ago from our local shelter, at age 4mos. Although I have never taken him hunting, I am fascinated each time he instinctually points at "prey" on our walks. He is perfectly still although shaking with excitement each time he sees a rabbit or bird on our walks through the neighborhood. While he is perfectly still, my White GSD/Lab mix spots the prey and proceeds to scare it off. Both dogs wiggle with excitement and have loads of fun with their game. I enjoy watching them and laugh at their accomplishments of spotting, pointing, and flushing all while on their leashes. Who says their "Hunting" isn't fun? By the wiggling tails and bodies I think they are having a blast!

On the other hand my sister has a MORKIE who's high pitched schrill can shatter glass and burst ear drums. I could not live with that....

Posted by: KELLI B | December 3, 2013 11:41 AM    Report this comment

"Before him, all of my other dogs had excellent recall, no matter how high the distraction.In summary, though I adore him, I'll never again own a Field Lab."

I have always had field labs from excellent hunting lines as agility partners, so totally disagree with your premises. Training the recall is one of the first things I do.

I cant tolerate barking dogs, especially the little ankle bitters.

Posted by: Kody | December 3, 2013 11:41 AM    Report this comment

Most hunting dogs will come very reliably when called. It's an important
part of their training? and very important to get the job done. I wouldn't judge all hunting dogs by this one dog. Also, different sporting breeds have different jobs and do them the way it's best for the hunter. As far as a dog that I personally wouldn't want to live with (although I totally admire their versatility and brains and usually their temperament) is the Border Collie. That busyness is just a little more than I'd want to live with day by day. The trait I would not like to live with is over all aggression, either other dogs or people. Preferences of a dog to their friends and not liking another dog or breed so much works for me, but it can be over the top to have to constantly monitor your dog. JMHO

Posted by: Carol S | December 3, 2013 11:14 AM    Report this comment

....................i honestly don't think there is.

there are habits dogs have that drive me BATSHIT CRAZY but that's like getting a divorce because he refuses to wash the sink after he shaves or insists on cleaning his toenails at the dinner table.

Posted by: threenorns | December 3, 2013 11:09 AM    Report this comment

For heavens sake, please stop trying to make "GRAND JUDGEMENTS" on sporting breeds, based on babysitting one GWP. I've lived with multiple Weimaraners for THIRTY years. I've have an entire local Weim club of multi-Weim-owning friends, during the last 16 years, as well (aka LOTS of exposure to) LOTS of Weims. Been to more than a few hunting tests, for pointing breeds, as well.

Yes, when in BIRD fields, they do go on point. A well trained dog can be called off (esp. what is only only a "hot spot" where game WAS, at a former time) or you go FLUSH whatever, & move on (if this happens on a walk in a park or non "bird fields". A good hunting dog knows the difference between tweety birds, & birds that sit for a point, like quail/pheasant, probably by scent or instinct (but that's my guess) since they DO differentiate.

Weims are versatile & also may hunt fur as well a feather, but most are far more motivated on game birds. If mine can catch a furry intruder in the yard it gets caught & brought back. Mine bark at box turtles. Mine don't point ANYTHING but birds (normally) although my dogs have indicated snakes (thank-you very much) by freezing, but do not have the classic point style, used for birds. Never had a dog (like you describe) in 30 years of owning them, who won't break point for the handler, either by: touch, command, or by the owner stomping/flushing said area, of a supposed point.

I love owning Weims. Except for the first dog I owned (field lines) who was wired with virtually no off-swich, they have been easy to own house dogs (with both an Off & On switch). In addition, you can do so much with a verstaile sporting breed (besides hunting) Weims can "wipe the floor" in AKC tracking events, & often in agility. If trained correctly, they can also make good to medium good (195-type scores obedience) dogs, because I've done it REPEATEDLY, on different dogs, on multiple straight trial legs. If I was a better tainer, the scores might be higher.

Posted by: Betsy | December 3, 2013 10:58 AM    Report this comment

You are so right. After a lifetime of Lab mixes, most of whom must have been originally bred from "show" lines, I ended up with a rescued Field Lab. And, he is extremely prey-driven, even for his breed. It is so exhausting! He can't leave critters alone at home, on suburban walks, or in the hills. No off-leash for this boy, ever! If I want him under any kind of control, not only does he need to be on-leash, but I need him to focus only on me, 100% of the time. So tiring for us both! I'd much rather share my life with a dog that can enjoy the environment without having its brain explode in over-excitement.

Before him, all of my other dogs had excellent recall, no matter how high the distraction.

In summary, though I adore him, I'll never again own a Field Lab.

Posted by: LINDA F | December 3, 2013 10:58 AM    Report this comment

I have an English Springer Spaniel -- a fieldie (hunter as opposed to a benchie, show dog). Casey has slowed down a lot this year and we can now sometimes walk him off-leash. But when he was younger, boy did he hunt! The first month we had him (he was about 7 years old) I didn't know any better & wasn't paying attention. He saw a bird and took off after it. I was still attached to his leash & he actually pulled me over! I've since learned to pay attention! BTW he got the bird. Yapping is my pet peeve. Also table/counter surfing.

Posted by: Bernadette P | December 3, 2013 10:57 AM    Report this comment

My Weimaraner, Gretel, views every walk as an opportunity to hunt the feral cats who roam around my apartment complex. While it can get annoying being dragged around, I tolerate her behavior because it seems to satisfy some deep primal urge and Gretel is content for hours afterward. I'm thankful she doesn't eat poop or need to splash around in pools of fetid water at the dog park. But even if she did those things, I would still think she's the best dog in the whole world.

Posted by: hareynolds | December 3, 2013 10:37 AM    Report this comment

We have a beagle named Henry. He has never hunted. We do not have a corner lot where we live. It is not fenced. My husband (who was a hunter all his life) trained Henry not to leave the boundaries of our home. If a rabbit sat across the street, Henry would wait to see if the rabbit came onto our property and then he would chase it. People brought their children to our property to see Henry. He would give out with his beagle bay to greet them. The whole neighborhood knows him and loves him. He is now 14 and is a loveable, gentle dog. It is the way you treat them and train them that is the key. Too many people keep beagles outside, penned up. Feel sorry for those who do not recognize the full love and devotion of a beagle. There are not hunting dogs but loving dogs.

Posted by: Lorraine L | December 3, 2013 10:29 AM    Report this comment

I don't have a problem with basset-sized drool, but I would go positively insane if I had a yappy dog. Can't stand the noise, even if they are nice dogs otherwise. Somehow, that basset bay doesn't bother me. My female sounds like an opera singer when she gets going. But to be fair to my neighbors, who may not share my love for it, I don't let her go on for long.

Posted by: Pamela M | December 3, 2013 10:16 AM    Report this comment

You did not mention Beagles. We have two bitches that are poles apart when walking in the Idaho mountains where we live. The oldest, at 6 1/2 years, stays with us regardless of how long we are out. The younger one at 6 years puts her nose to the ground and just runs, while baying, yipping, and barking. Great exercise, but no matter how much "COME" or "TREATS" that we yell, all to no avail until she decides its time to return. Our biggest fear are wolves, as our mini-Beagles would just be a snack.

Posted by: ANTHONY R | December 3, 2013 10:01 AM    Report this comment

Early training may have been able to have an impact on this pointer's hardwire hunting behavior. I have a Sighthound who I can hike off leash with. I taught him his recall from day one, and didn't do anything with him to encourage his hardwire prey drive (like lure coursing.)

Posted by: Pat Engel, CPDT-KA | December 3, 2013 10:00 AM    Report this comment

I am slightly embarrassed to say that drool is on my list. A little drool in anticipation of a treat or meal isn't a big deal. But big, ropey, gooey, strands of drool would be hard (for me) to live with. Sorry drooly pups. You are still pawsome. : )

Posted by: Deborah G | December 3, 2013 9:51 AM    Report this comment

Great article. I totally agree with you. I loose my mind when a dog doesn't come when called. I have a Schnauzer that I absolutely adore until he starts "screaming". When he gets excited his barks becomes screams. I want to step on his throat! He is the sweetest little dog and if I sneak in the back door when I come home, he is quiet. Anyone at the front door, all bets are off.

Posted by: Jay | December 3, 2013 9:25 AM    Report this comment

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