Dog Training Tips for Hounds

Guest Article by Alissa Zucker

Training Tips for Hound Dogs

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According to the American Kennel Club, hounds are different breeds of dogs with one common trait: they were bred to hunt. Dogs in the AKC’s hound group include Beagles, Basset Hounds, Bloodhounds, Scottish Deerhounds, and more.

If you share your life with a hound, you may find the following tips helpful when it comes time to training.

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Busting Some Myths

Hounds sometimes get a bad rap when it comes to dog training. Some complaints often heard about hounds is that they’re impossible to train, they bark too much, they’re tough to housebreak, and they’re tough to train to come when called.

While you may struggle with training your hound, it’s not because they’re impossible to train. Most of the problems people have with training them can be traced back to breeding. Hounds are often used to scent animals for hunters and then bark to alert the hunter.

A number of their behavior problems can be traced back to these traits they were bred for. Knowing this can be half the battle when it comes to training hounds.


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Tips for Housebreaking Hounds

Dogs tend to pick one area where they like to relieve themselves, and once they have, even after the mess has been cleaned from that spot, odors can remain. This is a problem with any dog breed, but especially so for hounds with their amazing sense of smell.  With this in mind, there are a few things you can do to help your hound with housebreaking:

● Use a crate. By confining your hound to a crate when you are unable to supervise him, you can make sure he never has an accident around the house.

● Clean thoroughly. If your hound does have an accident in the house, be sure to clean it thoroughly. Most pet supply stores have products designed to help eliminate pet odors. If there’s any trace of the scent left, chances are your hound will return to that same spot over and over again to relieve himself.



Coming When Called and Other Obedience Commands

Here’s another instance where breeding tells. Hounds are bred to hunt, so once they’re on the track of something, it’s hard to rein them in. This doesn’t mean that they’re impossible to train. It just means that you may have to make a little extra effort. Here are a few things you can do:

● Start practicing an emergency recall the day you bring your hound home. All dogs should have a command that brings them running back to you in any circumstances. With hounds’ tendency to roam once something else captures their attention, it’s important that this command is ingrained in them from day one.

● When you begin training, start in an area of low distraction. Again, since hounds are bred to hunt, interesting scents or the sight of anything moving past them can kick their instinctive need to follow and chase into high gear. When you first start training the “come” command, or any command, begin in an area where there isn’t much activity, and where there aren’t many new sights, sounds, and smells. Make sure your dog has a good grasp of the command before practicing in an area with more distraction. Move ahead slowly.

● Keep your hound on leash. One of the best ways to keep your dog safe and healthy is to keep him on leash when not in a fenced area. Even the most well-trained dog may give in to his instinct to follow a scent or chase a small animal under some circumstances.

● Make a habit of practicing obedience commands daily. The more you work on obedience with your hound, the more natural it will be for him to obey your commands.


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Dealing with Barking

Barking is another complaint often voiced by hound owners. Your dog isn’t barking to annoy you, but rather has been bred to use his voice.

If you have a very vocal dog, there are several things you can do to alleviate the problem, including:
● Train a “quiet” command. This may take a little extra effort when you’re working with a hound, but being able to tell your dog to be quiet on command is well worth it. Any time he barks use it as an opportunity to train a “quiet” command.

● Don’t let your hound get bored. Excessive barking often means your dog is bored. Many hounds are even more apt to use their voices than other breeds of dogs when bored. Be sure to make exercise, playtime, and fun toys part of your hound’s day every day to overcome this problem.


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Get Involved in a Sport

Many hound owners find getting involved in dog sports that allow their dogs to use their instinctive abilities makes a big difference in the dog’s behavior.

Check with your local dog trainer or breed club to find events such as field trials or tracking classes in your area.


About the author:

Alissa Zucker is a copywriter working for paper writing service. She is interested in reading classic and psychological books which give her inspiration to write her own articles and short stories


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