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Young boy pulling dummies out of gear back with black lab at side.Young boy pulling dummies out of gear back with black lab at side.

5 Reasons Your Child Needs a Hunting Dog

Posted by The SportDOG Staff

It should come as no surprise that we’d encourage everyone to have a dog. They’re kind of the basis of everything we do, and we love it. Most of us have had dogs since we were kids. Many of us would tell you that our dog was one of the best parts of childhood. That’s not just because our dogs were our best hunting partners in the field or best friends at home, though granted that’s a pretty big part of it. Dogs teach kids a lot about life and the world. How?

1. Responsibility – This is probably the number one reason anyone can site for getting a dog for your child…and it’s probably the number one reason they’re saying you should get them a dog. We’ve all heard it: “I’ll clean up after him,” “I’ll feed her,” and “He or she will be my sole responsibility”. Is that true? No. Dogs are a responsibility for the whole house and with school, sports, and extracurricular activities the chances are your child won’t be the “only” one doing everything. Sometimes you’re even going to have to remind them to do anything, but that’s part of the process. Your child will learn that it’s important for them to do “their job” or the dog they love so much is going to feel the effects.

2. Compassion – Dogs know people. They can sense when we’re happy, sad, sick, and healthy and they respond to those cues. That’s a great example for a child to learn those cues. The reward of their dog giving a face lick when they’re sad or bounding with joy when they come racing through the door with exciting news from school reinforces the rewards of compassion for children.

3. Forgiveness – This can be a concept that’s hard for adolescents to truly embrace. When hormones are high grudges can be long lasting. But you know who you can’t stay mad at? Your dog. Your mom, dad, sister, best friend…most pre and early teens can go days being livid at any one of those, but not that dog they’ve had since they were too young to even remember. Rover may make them angry in a moment and they may react, but that anger fades quickly when those puppy-dog eyes come out…and vice-versa. A teen is going to misplace some angst onto their dog (and everyone else) and their dog is going to let it Kids and Dogsgo as soon as an honest apology in the form of a belly rub or head pat is issued.

4. Fitness – That old saying “if your dog’s overweight then you’re not exercising enough”…well that’s pretty true. Dogs won’t let your child be a couch potato. There will be walks, training, hunting, games of fetch and more to keep your child active. Heck, even just keeping them fed and watered involves getting off the coach. In a time when 66% of American school kids are overweight, this is a pretty huge benefit for a child.

5. Hunting – You probably knew this one was coming. After all, hunting and dogs are kind of our thing, so it comes as no surprise this makes the list, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Hunting is a great activity for kids. It keeps your child outdoors, appreciating nature and wildlife instead of appreciating some less-savory activities. Hunting is fun, but it’s more fun with a dog. Not only is it just awesome to get to spend that time with your best four-legged friend, it’s awesome to get to watch the hard work and training you’ve put in with him or her pay off. It’s one of the most rewarding experiences your child can have to watch their hunting dog work.

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