When I was being brought up I would spend summer's with my extended family in Alabama. They had a hunting dog, an Irish Setter, named Autumn that I absolutely adored.
Recently I was looking for a dog for my kids and I wanted to bring a hunting dog into the family. My wife didn't love the idea and I can understand why. Most people would assume a hunting dog would be aloof, unfriendly, and bad with children. My childhood experiences with Autumn have taught me differently.
I actually really recommend most hunting dogs for families. Hunting dogs have been trained and bred to be loyal and intelligent. Autumn was one of the smartest dogs I've ever encountered and she was also incredibly sweet. Autumn would even comfort my youngest cousin during thunderstorms that rolled through Alabama.
I actively try not to project my wishes onto my children. I really wanted to get an Irish Setter but my family has decided on a Beagle. I'm very happy with this compromise.
I think that the qualities that hunting dogs have been bred for can make them amazing family companions.
“... I wanted to bring a hunting dog into the family.”
In the course of one year I've adopted three rescue dogs from local shelters around Los Angeles. I used to be the type of person who wanted a "designer" dog only from a puppy mill to make sure that they were well behaved and cute.
We had this dog growing up, Buster, and he was my best friend. He came with me whenever we went to my Grandparents' or my Aunt's place. Lord help me if I ever forgot his dog toys, though! He was so playful.