Keeping 'Em Happy: Hounds Who Don't Hunt
Hounds — and other hunting breeds — love to be on the hunt, but that doesn't mean they can't be happy in non-hunting homes. Keep your hound content by providing him with plenty to do so he won't resort to hunting for your favorite shoes or howling all day instead. Here are five alternative activities to traditional hunting that can keep your hound howling with joy.
1. Start Agility Training
Get your pup involved in agility training, which involves a course of obstacles for her to go through (and around and over!). You can enroll your hound in a professional class with other dogs or set up a course in your own yard, including tunnels, teeter-totters, A-frames and hurdles.
Agility training is a great way to engage your dog's natural prey drive because you initially lead her through the course using a lure — like a favorite toy or food reward. Plus, it will give her the exercise she needs to stay fit and happy.
2. Play Hunting Games
Regularly engage your pup during the day with games like fetch or hide-and-seek to make use of her hunting instincts and give her a great workout. To play hide-and-seek, your pooch will need to know basic commands like "stay" and "come" so you have time to hide and call for your dog to come find you.
3. Teach Your Pup Tricks
Hounds love to track scents. Let your pup hunt for toys by rubbing some yummy treats on them to give them an alluring odor, having him smell them, and teaching him to find them once hidden. Reward him with treats and praise to positively reinforce the behavior and encourage him to enjoy it. Try some Milk-Bone® Soft & Chewy Beef & Filet Mignon Recipe dog snacks for delicious results!
4. Get Her Hunting for Her Dinner
Hide some kibble around your house so she can hunt for it throughout the day. Another option is to use a puzzle toy to dispense her food. Not only will this engage your dog's attention, it will make mealtimes a fun challenge. Plus, some hounds are prone to bloat if they eat large meals too fast, and these games can help slow them down.
5. Spend Time with Your Hound
Hounds are pack animals and enjoy spending quality time with their pet parents. Bond with your canine companion by snuggling up with him at the end of each day. Plus, you can use your time together to brush his coat to banish any hound odor. Regular cleanups are especially important for hound breeds with long ears, and those who tend to drool more than others, like Basset Hounds, Bloodhounds and Coonhounds.
Where do you go for outdoor fun with your hound? Find more dog-friendly spots on our Pet Places map!
Explore more articles
7 Things That Can Stress Out Your Pet
Keeping the Muddy Paws off of Your Floor
With a little planning, your home can remain clean(ish) even on rainy spring days.