Originally Posted by Dee_petlover
Hi I am a new member here, and one of my dogs is a Bluetick Coonhound, a breed that is bred for hunting. I was wondering if there are any other owners of Blueticks out there who have this breed strictly as a family pet. I would be interested on knowing how your overall experience has been. We have had a unique experience with our dog and had a difficult time with teaching certain manners. We are still working on leash pulling. When on leash our dog barks a lot at anyone walking by us and is a very strong puller. Any one out there with a coonhound have any suggestions?
While I don't have a coonhound I do own an American Foxhound and I have faced quite a few training challenges as well. There's nothing quite like training a hound
When did you get your Coonhound? How old is she?? If you didn't get her as a young puppy and she came from hunting stock as oppose to showing (or even if you adopted her as on older pup) then I fully understand why you are having problems! I think that once a hound has been exposed to a hunting life (or a life without continuous obedience training) it's virtually impossible to mold them into obedient family pets!
I think your first step is to get yourself enrolled into obedience classes - if your hound is food or toy motivated you will have some success!
Dodger (my foxhound) was quite the puller as well and has only recently (11 months) learned that pulling is not acceptable! I started off with a halti, then just using a buckle collar and the "walk in the opposite direction of your pup until they start watching you and where you are going" - until Dodger FINALLY learned. Like you mentioned, it took awhile just to get down the driveway!! You sound like you are doing everything right - so just keep at it!
Dodger is a pet only, non-hunting dog but he doesn't believe it! He can be trusted off-leash but usually does take the opportunity to hunt (unless we are at the dog park). He hunted a fox throughout the winter but has since moved on to groundhogs, rabbits and deer. Does your hound try to hunt?
I don't think that there is much more anybody can suggest about the pulling and barking at other dogs because it sounds like you are right on track! Perhaps if you could meet up with other dogs, that are calmer and won't be intimidated by your coonhound that would be best. It might help calm your dog down around dogs. If your dog is toy motivated, try tugging with her around dog(s) until she realizes that you are more fun then dogs!
Also teach her the enough/quit command, first without distractions and then gradually increase the distractions. If she doesn't listen around distractions give her the benefit of the doubt and start again with minimal distractions. Eventually though, she will need to take responsibility for her actions, if her barking/pulling persists walk away from the distraction until she realizes that she doesn't get what she wants until she behaves.
I also taught Dodger, the attention command so that he would focus on me instead of distractions. Start applying it in the house, before you giver her food or walk out the door. Then try outside before you cross the street, with toys/food, people and eventually with dogs...it will take a while though!
I think that unless you are committed to an "intense" obedience schedule you won't see too much improvement. But keep in mind that with hounds (and probably most dogs) that less is often more. When your Dodger understands a command, I usually stop practicing and a week or so later I bring it back and Dodger is SO eager to continue!
He loves to track down treats in the house so maybe your hound will enjoy that too. Dodger also has a harness to pull things around with and a backpack to carry stuff in. He is also in obedience and agility training so it gives him lost of mental stimulation! If you can find an enjoyable job for your coonhound, and channel her energy and drive, I'm sure she will become a wonderful-obedient companion!
Sometimes formal obedience is not the best thing for hounds but many do excel at trick training - maybe give that a shot?!?!!
What's your dog's name? I would love to hear more about her - hounds are the best!!!
This is Dodger (almost a year old now!)