Activities For Plott Hounds

1k Views
0 Comments
0 Votes

Introduction

Plott Hounds are known for their strong stature and skill at hunting big game animals like bears and cougars. They are unfailingly brave and loyal to their owners, which make them wonderful companions, but they can be difficult to train and require a strong and experienced owner who can channel their instincts and drive into productive activities. Owners need to have plenty of activities for Plott Hounds on hand to keep them exercised, mindful of their owners, and to satisfy their need to search and track. Here are a few games and activities that will help your Plott Hound excel.

Big Game Hunting

Popular
0 Votes
Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
4 - 8 hrs
Items needed
Harness
Long Leash
Hunting and safety gear
Food and snacks
water
Activity description
If hunting is your goal, you've got the right dog. Plott Hounds were bred to hunt large game animals like bears and cougars, and chances are your dog is excited to help you find and tree these big game animals. Though their natural instinct is strong, they will still require some training and handling from you. Soon, your Plott Hound will be your favorite hunting companion. The two of you will spend hours together searching beautiful and rugged terrain for incredible and powerful animals. If you've never hunted before, the Plott Hound will be an excellent companion on your first outings.
Step
1
The basics
Before you head out into the backcountry, both you and your dog need to learn the basics of backcountry and hunting safety. Make sure you take a hunters' safety class and that your dog has basic obedience under their belt. Be sure to have a good grasp of reading maps, terrain, and compass and make sure you both are fit. Big game animals can cover a lot of ground which means the two of you might be hiking for miles. Preparation is key.
Step
2
Learn to hunt with dogs
It's worthwhile to take a few classes with an experienced hunting dog trainer to learn how to work with your dog on a hunt. Sure, they have a natural ability and drive to pick up scents and follow it until they find the animal, but you want your dog to look to you for instruction. Working with an experienced hunting dog trainer will let you establish cues with your dog, teach them the proper way to follow a trail, and let them know when you want them to tree an animal and when you want them to bark or bray to let you know the animal is in sight.
Step
3
Test your knowledge and skill
When you have some experience, it's time to test your skill. Take your dog out and let them start smelling, when they pick up a scent, encourage them to follow it and try to keep up. If you get nervous, take a deep breath and rely on your dog and your training. When your dog has an animal in sight, make sure they stay safe and stay on the trail. If they do everything correctly, you'll have a chance to take a shot. Breath steady and make sure it's as clean as possible. Make sure to do a little celebrating with your dog.
Love this activity?

Search and Rescue Team

Popular
0 Votes
Any Day
Moderate
Hard
1 - 3 hrs
Items needed
Harness
40 ft lead
Search and Rescue courses
Activity description
If you want to put your dog's natural tracking abilities to use helping the community, you can train them to be on the search and rescue team. This is one of the best activities for Plott Hounds because it gives them an active job to direct their energy and focus. Becoming a Search and Rescue dog is not easy. It takes many hours of training in a certified course with a knowledgeable instructor and many more hours on your own practicing. The rewards will be worth it though. Finding people who have become lost in the wilderness is an incredible job and important way to participate in the community.
Step
1
Basic training
Before your dog can begin a Search and Rescue course, they will need to be proficient in basic training and obedience. Sit, stay, heel, and come are just a few of the skills they need to master. Plott Hounds are known to be stubborn which can make training difficult, so hire an experienced trainer to help you and who knows how to best work with these unique dogs.
Step
2
Get trained
When your dog has mastered basic obedience, sign up for a certified search and rescue course. Find a local club to volunteer for and find yourself a mentor. While you and your dog are going through courses on tracking and wilderness travel, you can work side-by-side with a dog and handler team out on rescues. Learn as much as you can in a classroom and with your mentor, and take your dog out to practice as much as possible. It takes a long time to train a dog to be proficient at search and rescue, but the reward is worth it.
Step
3
Go out on a rescue
When you and your dog have finished your course and training hours, it's time to be an official part of the team. Keep all your and your dog's search equipment at the ready. When a call comes in, you want to get going as fast as possible. During the rescue, stay calm and remember your training, you may work together with another dog and human team at first so you know what to expect and so you can learn from the more experienced members. When you help your first lost person to safety as a team, make sure you celebrate together. It's a great feeling.
Love this activity?

Tracking

Popular
0 Votes
Sunny Day
Moderate
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Animal scent
bone or toy
Harness
40 ft leash
Flags
Activity description
Plott Hounds were originally bred in North Carolina to hunt, and that drive is not something you can train out of your dog. They will always follow their nose, looking for animals to tree or chase. If your dog is not allowed to follow their instinct, they may become destructive. If hunting is not your thing, you're going to need different activities for Plott Hounds that still capitalize on this amazing instinct. Teaching your dog to track is a fun activity for both of you. If you make a habit of practicing several times a week, you'll have a happy dog on your hands and a new hobby to enjoy.
Step
1
Set the course
Start by setting up the course. This works best in an empty field or open space. Mark out the route you want your dog to follow with flagging and leave a few drops of animal scent along the way. Leave a bone or toy with the scent on it as a reward at the end of the trail. Start with a more straightforward course with a clear scent trail. You can up the challenge as your dog learns to channel sniffing capabilities.
Step
2
Take out your hound
Set your dog up with a well-fitting harness and a 40 ft leash. Most hounds are scent driven and difficult to call off a scent once they are on it. The leash will allow them to move freely through the course without taking off for miles on another animal scent. Show them a bit of cloth with the scent you want them to follow and walk them to the start of your trail. When they pick up the scent and continue in the right direction, give them plenty of encouragement. If they get off track, lead them back to the trail, show them the cloth, and try again. When they reach the end, make sure to give them lots of praise and let them enjoy their reward.
Step
3
Enter a tracking competition
The AKC has many tracking clubs and organizations around the country. These clubs often hold trials for tracking dogs of any kind to test their sniffers. Your local club can help you train for competition and provide a community of dog owners to practice and learn from. Entering a trial will challenge your dog and give you new ideas and inspiration for tracking training.
Love this activity?

More Fun Ideas...

Play Find It

If its raining and you need an indoor activity to keep your hound occupied, you can play find it. Hind treats all over one room while your dog is in another room. Bring them in and tell them to "find it."

Go For a Walk

Plott Hounds can benefit from daily walks. They need time out of the house and stretching their legs just as much as you do. Make sure you keep them on the leash as they can easily follow their nose and get lost.

Conclusion

Plott Hounds are strong, aggressive, and powerful trackers and hunters. While they make excellent companions and family dogs, you need to find activities for Plott Hounds that utilize their incredible instincts. Whether you hunt with them, teach them to track or challenge them with search and rescue, they will reward you with their sweet and caring family personalities. Though these dogs are not best suited for first-time dog owners, the patient Plott Hound owner will be rewarded with a steady and strong companion.