Most places nowadays require dog owners to keep their pet leashed at all times when outside unless it is in their own secure, fenced yard. This law is not only for the dog's safety but also for the safety of others. If your American foxhound suddenly smells something interesting and runs off, there is always the possibility of the dog running onto the road, resulting in injury of death. Your foxhound could take off chasing a moving object such as a cat or vehicle or jump up on someone to greet him or her. There is also the chance that the authorities could become involved if your foxhound causes damage or displays aggressive behavior. There are certain places and situations where having your dog off-leash is acceptable, making off-leash training of your American foxhound necessary.
Your American foxhound can be off-leash in fenced dog parks, off-leash designated areas, hunting, dog agility training, and other specific areas and activities. In order to train your foxhound off-leash, you must know the correct way to use a leash and your foxhound must know both basic and advanced obedience training. It is nearly impossible to have a dog that is successfully trained off-leash if he does not sit, stay, or follow other commands. Most dogs under eighteen months old are often still mentally immature, become easily distracted, or have difficulty concentrating, so it makes more sense to wait until your pet is older for off-leash training. Working off-leash when training your American foxhound requires patience. Like many other breeds such as sighthounds, they can be difficult to control at times.
When you are ready to start working with your dog on off-leash training, do it in a safe area and never off-leash unless in is in a secure, fenced area such as a large yard. One of the many training exercises for off-leash training is using a retractable leash. Have your foxhound sit and stay while you walk approximately twenty feet away from him. If your dog will not remain sitting and staying at that distance, start reworking with your pet, going a shorter distance away and gradually working back up to twenty feet. Keep practicing this exercise until you can move twenty feet in any direction and your foxhound remains sitting and staying, even if there are other distractions, until called. Use positive training such as praise or a small treat to not only reward him but also keep your dog interested. Once he has mastered the sit and stay, work on commanding your dog on down/stay exercises the same way. Always work with your dog from different directions such as behind him, in front, to the left, and right. Your foxhound needs to follow your commands properly from a distance even when there are distractions. Work on heeling also, when your dog comes, keep moving so your foxhound has to work to return or remain in the correct heel position. These are only a few of the many training exercises for you and your American foxhound to practice for off-leash training.