Activities For American Foxhounds

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Introduction

If you are the proud owner of an American Foxhound then you are probably very familiar with your pup's love to sniff and track. That natural instinct to trail anything with a strong scent is due to the fact that American Foxhounds were bred to hunt foxes. So, even if your American Foxhound has never actually tracked an animal, their instinct is still there! Why no cater the games and activities you play with your dog to that natural ability? These activities are perfect for hound dogs who love to sniff!

Treat Track

Popular
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Any Day
Free
Easy
20 min
Items needed
Treats
Activity description

American Foxhounds are known for their innate sense of smell. They can track almost anything in any environment. And you know what else? They love doing it! In fact, one flaw of the breed is that once they get on a scent, it can be hard to call your Foxhound back - they become completely engrossed in their tracking job! Since your dog loves to track so much, why not set up a game that is specifically for tracking? No, you don't need to go out and find a fox or other live animal for your pup to track, some simple treats will do! 

Step
1
Smelly treats
Grab a bunch of your dog's favorite treats, the smellier the better. You want a treat that your dog will be willing to search for and also be able to sniff (those unscented, cardboard texture bones just won't do!). Once your dog gets really good at tracking, you can use less smelly treats!
Step
2
Make a trail
Have your pup sit in one room and drop a trail of treats toward one final, larger treat that is hidden in your house. If you already know your pup is great at tracking, skip the trail of treats and try just rubbing the treat in a path toward the actual prize. Even if the treat just grazed the floor, your dog will be able to smell it!
Step
3
Track
Release your dog and let them sniff their way to the hidden treat. Then, play again! You can make this game as challenging or as easy as you would like by simply hiding the treats better or further away from your dog's starting place. This is such an easy game but one that will truly benefit your dog.
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Indoor Obstacle Course

Popular
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Rainy Day
Free
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Blankets
Treats
Furniture
Activity description

American Foxhounds need a decent amount of exercise. This translates to mean regular walks, games of fetch in a yard where they can run and an occasional swim are all activities that your dog will love. However, occasionally you can't bring your dog on that pre-planned five mile hike because of bad weather. Just because it is raining, snowing or there's a local hurricane doesn't mean that your dog should be forgotten! Setting up an indoor obstacle course is the perfect way to pass a day inside that you and your dog will enjoy. Not only will your dog get some exercise but you will get some entertainment as well!

Step
1
Set up
Begin by setting up an obstacle course where you have a decent amount of space in your home. Grab things that your dog can go over as well as objects they will be able to go under or through. You want your dog to be physically challenged so the more variety, the better
Step
2
Train to navigate
Once your course is set up, teach your dog how to navigate it. Show them one obstacle at a time before linking them together. For example, if the first obstacle is to jump over a couch cushion, teach your American Foxhound this first and then teach them how to jump over the cushion and under an ottoman.
Step
3
Master the course
Have your dog run through the obstacle course as many times as they would like. You can even time your dog and see if they can do the course faster! Remember to give your dog rewards such as treats and attention so that they continue to work hard and have fun!
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Search and Rescue

Popular
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Any Day
Moderate
Hard
2 hrs
Items needed
Treats
Activity description

If you feel like your American Foxhound truly has a gift of scent, you can train your pup to be an actual search and rescue dog. This activity does take a great deal of commitment and both you and your dog will need to work hard to become certified as a rescue team. This activity is perfect if you know your dog already loves playing things like hide and seek or treat hunt (as we described previously). It is also a fantastic way to put your dog's skills to use and use specific training techniques to hone their amazing skills. 

Step
1
Find a class
Begin by enrolling in a local search and rescue class near you. If you are having a hard time finding a course, there are a few online classes you can take which will show you how to train your dog. Remember that this activity is supposed to be fun, so pick a class that is beneficial for your end goal and also convenient for you.
Step
2
Practice at home
Begin practicing at home by taking your dog for runs, fine tuning their hearing and making sure they are well socialized. A search and rescue dog needs endurance in all types of terrain, the ability to hear things that humans cannot and the natural skill of being friendly to strangers. If you join a class for the search and rescue training, you will still need to practice at home the skills your American Foxhound learns every week.
Step
3
Socalize
Take your dog on practice searches where a person (whom your pup doesn't know) will hide and act as if they are lost or in danger. Your dog will be trained through their class to immediately start to search for the missing person. When your dog inevitably begins to look for the lost person, praise them and use the training you learned in class to guide your dog where they are going.
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More Fun Ideas...

Play Ball

Hounds love to run and the American Foxhound is no exception. Bring your dog a place where they can really stretch their muscular legs. 

Food Find

If you want to make dinnertime more fun for your dog, hide their entire dog bowl in a new location and see how long it takes for your pup to sniff it out!

Conclusion

American Foxhounds are true hunters at heart. They are fast, smart and fiercely loyal. Keep all of these personality traits in mind when you head out with your dog. While your pup will never be a true lap dog, they will be well mannered, sociable, and a true joy to have around, especially when they have gotten some energy out playing one of these fun activities! So set up an activity for your dog, rain or shine, they still need the exercise!