1. Would it be wrong to rename a 18 month old dog? I prefer hunting dogs to have a monosyllabic name.
I've never tried. I can't answer this question. Like you, I generally name my dogs a single syllable name.
2. How often should a hunting dog be bathed? More specifically is there truly a concern about removing too much skin oil and dirt and thus affecting the dog's ability to withstand cold and wet.
My labs get a bath about once a month. Basically when they smell too bad, I bathe them. I have never worried one day about bathing them too much, but then again I only do it once a month.
3. Do you advise having a dog trained professionally for hunting purposes and then practicing those techniques with the dog or do you think it better to train yourself and why?
I would ALWAYS advise you doing it on your own. It is so much more rewarding and you learn as much about your dogs personality as your dog learns about you. Just be consistent.
BUT, this is really answered best by you. What do you want from the dog? How much time do you have to train your dog?
Is this for that water spaniel? She looked like she had been started. How far along is she?
4. What is your feeling on hunting dogs being inside the house pets also?
To me, it is a complete fallacy to believe that you can't have great hunting dogs that aren't pets. All of my retrievers have been both good hunting dogs and great companions/friends.
The idea that a "hunting" has to be cooped up all day long outside is hog wash. Frankly I always feel sorry for those dogs that are strictly used as tools. I also feel sorry for their owners. They are missing out of so much love and an endearing friendship.
BUT, it also depends on the dog. They have to have the personality to be an inside dog.
This post was edited on 1/16 at 11:49 am