Is there a specific name for a person who uses dogs for hunting or other practical means such as tracking? Something like falconer for people using birds of prey?
There seems to be a term that some people who hunt with dogs use among themselves; Houndsman. The term isn't quite a simple as being a person who hunts with dogs, so much as a person who hunts with dogs in a way that purist hunters-with-dogs approve of.
This quote is from a forum for Big Game Houndsmen
I know this may be a bitter pill to many: a lion hunter does not make you a houndsman, and bear hunter or a cat hunter or a coon hunter does not make you a houndsmen. You are a hunter a possibly a hound enthusiast. You will know when you are a houndsmen. No longer is it a hobby, no longers is it a sport, it is a way of life. And it is not for everybody.
This quote clearly suggests that the author isn't familiar with any other generic words for 'hunter-with-dog' as he classes anyone who hunts-with-dogs but isn't a houndsman as a mere hunter or hound enthusiast.
I can't find this term defined in any dictionaries I can access, and there is the added confusion that there might be a more nudge-nudge-wink-wink type definition of a houndsman being one who enjoys the chase of cougars but doesn't want to be tied down.
If you are talking about hunting, then a person in charge is a Master of Hounds.
This is a term usually used in the field of hunting to hounds which usually means fox hunting or drag hunting. A pack of dogs follows the scent of the animal or a deliberately laid scent (a "drag"). The dogs are followed by the hunters, often on horseback. The Master trains and looks after the pack.
If you are talking about using a trained dog for other tasks, the term is simply a Dog Handler.
This is used for sniffer dogs, police dogs, guide dogs and other forms of working.
There is some debate in the USA but in Europe and the UK these things have been decided already. The use of dogs to track, flush out, chase, and take down deer, fox, rabbit, or other game animals is considered "hunting". Whereas the use of firearms to take down game fowl or smaller game animals is considered "shooting".
The difference and implications are quite clear. If your weapon of choice is a canine, you are considered as a "hunter". Sansguns. If you are using a pistol or rifle you are considered as.... A hunter also. lol The houndsman is the man responsible for the care, upkeep, housing, and feeding of the hunting dogs. So, no. No specific term comes down from the old country.