I am a whipper-in and every staff member I know, in all the clubs I know of or have hunted with, lavish attention on the hounds. Retired hounds are sent home with members or staff. From the time a hound is born it is cared for, well trained and fed, and is handled and given attention daily. Someone is at the kennel every day; cleaning the kennel and paying attention to the hounds. Hounds are walked out daily outside of the hunting season. They get plenty of exercise, they get to play in ponds when it is hot out, and afterwards we pet them and rub their bellies, just like folks do with their pet dogs.
The whip is used as a noise maker. Scent hounds tend to be very single minded and will get so focused on the scent that you have to make a loud noise to get their attention. The whip does that. It makes a cracking sound. A pet owner might clap his hands or make a loud noise to his dog for the same reason: to get his attention. The whip is used because it can be heard for a longer distance, and the hound may be many yards away. You never touch them with the whip unless it is a life threatening emergency. Our hounds come when they are called, they are happy to see us each day, we give them lots of attention and they give it right back to us. We work with them every day of their lives - and when it is time for them to retire, we find them a home with a big couch. If they develop a severe illness or are too arthritic, they are euthanized by a veterinarian. But until that day - they are happy, healthy, well adjusted working dogs and they are very much loved. And that's the Lord's honest truth from someone who devotes her entire life to hounds.