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Baying and Barking - How to Manage These Behaviors

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Tags: American Foxhound, Barking, Training, Housebreaking, Obedience Training, Behaviorial Training

Labrador Retriever Puppies--yellow--a…



fostoria, OH

Labrador Retriever

Cousin to the English foxhound, American foxhounds are scent hounds that have a very melodious bark and like to bay. Originally used as hunting dogs, they have great stamina but tend to bark a lot while hunting, which is a characteristic bred in them. Although they are not normally what is called a nuisance barker, because of the American foxhounds deep, loud voice, it carries great distances. The foxhound's barking or baying is a sound most people enjoy in the country, but people in suburban or urban settings do not usually appreciate their melodious howling or loud, deep barks.

Natural and Normal

Baying and barking is part of an American foxhound's natural behavior and communication. Barking when they are hunting, hear strange noises, or when someone approaches your home is appropriate, but if your foxhound's barking and baying is excessive or uncontrolled, this is a problem and you need to manage and control the behavior. Warning or alarm barks to alert you when a stranger or intruder approaches is something most owners want, but when your American foxhound starts his excessive barking or baying to get attention because he is bored, lonely, answering other dogs, or for other reasons, this is definitely a problem.

Although there are no quick cures for your American foxhound's excessive barking and baying problem, trying to manage his behavior can become stressful and frustrating for both you and your dog, but there are ways to curb this so both of you are happy. Be realistic in your expectations for your pet, as barking and baying are breed characteristics of American foxhounds and your dog will probably be more vocal than some other breeds. If the barking usually occurs indoors because your foxhound sees outside stimulus through a window, sometimes the solution is easy, by restricting his visual exposure. You could block his view using curtains or blinds or restrict his access to that particular room.

If your foxhound barks excessively or uncontrollably outside, you should manage and modify this behavior because it will become an undesirable, bad habit quickly. Until you have his barking and baying under control, always supervise your American foxhound when he is outdoors. Make sure your pet gets ample exercise including two or three brisk, long walks daily. Because of your foxhound's strong hunting instinct, never trust him off his lead because he might take off after interesting smells and forget his commands. Practice constant socialization such as taking him for a walk around your neighborhood to meet other people, children, and become used to the different smells and sounds. Once your dog sees and hears the sounds and sights, it drops his stress level so his barking and baying decrease. Once a dog knows someone, he is less likely to bark at that person. Dog behavior training is also a good way to help with problems such as excessive barking and baying.

Another way to curb your American Foxhound's continuous barking is to give the 'Quiet' command and when he stops, reward him with a treat or praise. Be consistent, patient, and never shout. Only reward your dog for good behavior, never bad. Barking and baying is part of an American foxhound's breed characteristics but with consistent, positive training, your dog will soon learn what barking is acceptable and what is not.

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