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Dog Sports Can Provide Learning Experiences

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154 – May, 2024

By Chris Robinson

Often, I’m asked why I enjoy hunting birds with my dogs. Others who get a great deal of pleasure hunting live critters or vermin or watching and working their dogs herd cattle, sheep or even ducks no doubt get similar questions.

If the folks asking why I hunt with my dogs don’t pose that question with the snarky tone or attitude–or both–of the anti-hunting crowd, I try to give them an honest answer. (If it’s an anti-hunter, I tell them, “Why, to infuriate anti-hunters and PETA people, of course. Why else would anyone hunt?”) I know a number of people who hunt with hounds or some of the non-sporting breeds and owners of herding dogs as well as people who do a lot of other activities with their dogs that try to respond honestly when people sincerely want to know why they are doing whatever it is that they are doing with their dogs.

Like most everyone else who is involved in some sport or activity with their dogs, the main reason I do things like hunt birds is because that’s what my dogs’ breeds, for hundreds of years, have been selectively bred to do. Of course, the added bonus is the results of the hunts make for some pretty tasty table fare. However, these days, it’s possible to buy a LOT of different game birds in many meat markets so it’s not actually necessary to go out and hunt them to have these birds on the table. But, if I took that expedient route, I’d be missing the mystique of the hunt with all the wonder about how the dogs do or know something.

There is something really special about seeing dogs do what the breed was meant to do, particularly when they do it well. It’s not easy to describe that feeling–even for someone who puts words on paper for a living. But, aside from the pleasure it provides for both the dog and owner, there are other benefits. For one thing, you’ll learn a lot of stuff from people you wouldn’t otherwise associate with or even meet.

Click here to read the complete article
154 – May, 2024

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  • June 2024