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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all

We are having a problem at the moment with training our Foxhound. The problem is that out of the house, he shows no interest whatsoever in treats or any form of attention - and is far more concerned about investigating everything and anything around him.

He gets at least 3 or 4 hours walk every single day and still doesn't calm down. In the house he will sit and stay on command, especially with the lure of a treat. As soon as he is outside (even in the back yard where he spends his days), nothing. Completely ignores us. Any tips?
 

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This is pretty normal for foxhounds. :p They're bred to be INTENSELY interested in their environment. Google "Premack Principle" and check out the book "Pigs Fly: Obedience Training For Impossible Dogs" by Jane Killion- she has some good stuff in there about training hounds who are more interested in the world around them than food. Put "Go sniff" or "Check it out" on a cue (so you can cue the dog to investigate the environment as a reward for behaving.

As for the energy level... is that 3-4 hours of WALKING? Because he probably needs more mental stimulation and a shorter duration at a faster pace to burn off some energy. Why not teach him to track ("Nosework for Novices" is a book I've heard recommended recently)? Why not teach him to run beside a bike using a Springer/Walkydog, or in front of a bike (Bikejoring- check out dogscooter.com)? Both of those would let you move him faster and burn off more energy without exhuasting yourself totally.

Foxhounds are SUPER neat dogs, but they're really unique in a lot of ways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for your reply and I will have a look at the books you have recommended.

As far as the walking is concerned - this is usually 2 hours of walk per day with another couple of hours having a mad run around a field with our Springer Spaniel. Nothing ever seems to wear him out! When we first got him, despite his breed, I was very surprised that he could keep with the springer bitch all day.
 

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Dogstar, good post and YES outside work is, well, a lot of work. LOL. Cracker is predominantly foxhound and can go for HOURS at a good pace and still have a bit left for a run and jump at the dogpark at the end of the day. (I'm a dogwalker, she walks with me for up to 7 hours at a time during the workday, including several dog park visits).

I found clicker training to be a real boon after many months of trying to control her lack of attention to me outside. I use Look at That (from Control Unleashed) a lot, but only after she had become clicker savvy using different, simpler exercises. She really enjoys the clicker sessions AND they tire her out mentally a bit. I also had to REALLY up the value of food rewards and combine them with Premack style training (sit for me and wait and I'll release you to go chase that squirrel you really really want) to get a reliable recall off leash.

Putting "go sniff" on cue is a great idea...I worked on it a bit but haven't admittedly done much with that simply because when we are walking we are usually on the way to the next client and time is an issue on these walks. I work on it on our days off (which are few) so I will get there...lol.
 

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I learned the few dog training skills I have from an old coot that loved dogs. When he passed, he had four dogs that all went to good home on a 20 acre working farm. His dog training wisdom was, unfortunately, lost when he passed because he wasn't a very sociable man and had few friends and no family aside from his dogs. I'll pass on the things that he told me that relate to this topic.

"You can't teach a Chihuahua to track because all it really wants is a warm lap. You can teach a Bloodhound to sit on yer lap but why would ya? Different breeds are for different people. I wouldn't let some 'partment guy take one a my retreivers 'cause they'll just get bored sitting in front of the TV. I wouldn't put one a them fluffy chinese dogs on a farm because they'll just sit there lookin pretty and not doin much. If ya want to train a dog, you gotta realize that that dog's been bred for a specific purpose and it ain't gonna be happy unless it's doin that thing."

Kinda silly, if you ask me, but maybe there is some truth to it.

"Speakin a hunting dogs, there ain't nothin worse than a hunting dog that won't hunt. I don't mean kill things. Every dog will do that. Instinct. I mean hunt. So, if you got a Bloodhound that will find what he's lookin for but not tell ya about it, yer wastin a good dog."

And, again...

"That don't mean the dog can run off and do it's own business. You gotta make that dog understand that he's gotta do his job on your terms. Ever hear of that "stop, look and listen" thing on PBS? When ya get to a street, you stop, look and listen?"

But, Freckles won't listen.

"Well, every time he does something you don't want him to do you make him Stop. Then you make sure he's lookin at ya. Then you tell him what you want him to do and make sure he's listening. For instance, if he ain't walkin the way you want him to, stop...make sure he's lookin in the right direction...and start off in the right direction makin sure he's listening. Now, don't think he's gonna do it right the first time because he's probably smarter than you."

I tried very hard to convince him that Freckles was a female, but he'd continue on with his lecture like it didn't matter. And, I guess it didn't.

So, I guess my advice would be to make your pup stop...look...and listen, every time he's pulling or not paying attention. Every time. 300 times in a one block walk if need be. Not to go against his nature, but you are his owner. He'll learn to do what you want if you're consistent and caring of his needs.

This particular thread may be a bit beyond my simple experience with the advice of Old Emilio, but I thought I'd share it.
 
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