Activities For Redbone Coonhounds

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Introduction

The Redbone Coonhound is a born hunter; over the course of the breed's history, the Redbone has been utilized to hunt not only raccoons (as its name suggests) but also cougar (also referred to as mountain lions in certain parts of the country), bear, and deer. This is the type of hound featured in the movie Where the Red Fern Grows and, as the movie suggests, the breed is a tenacious scout. This affectionate dog wants nothing more to please their owner, so, activities that promote bonding between yourself and your pup are in order. Although the breed is a hunting dog at heart, the dog can be adapted for therapy work or may enjoy participating in scent trials.

Scent Trials

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
leash
treats
Activity description
Scent trials often provide your hunting hound with an outlet for natural instincts. Often, dog clubs that are off-shoots of the American Kennel Club will sponsor scent trials. These activities are an excellent opportunity for interacting with other pups and their owners. You will have the chance to meet with those who have been participating for some time. Many of these experienced owners can assist you in the training of your pup for scent trials. Often, the friendships that you make by participating in these scent trials will benefit both you and your pup in the long run.
Step
1
Get the info
First, start by contacting the American Kennel Club and local dog clubs to find out pertinent information about scent trial training and opportunities. As a novice, you'll need to learn how to work with your dog at home. Practicing under an expert will prove invaluable to you and your pup as well.
Step
2
Practice at home
Some experts believe that a dog is attracted to certain scents. They also recommend laying a scent trail that is with the wind. Some dogs work better with dog-safe essential oils such as anise or valerian. Speak with experts at the local dog club for tips on laying a proper scent trail and practicing at home with your pup.
Step
3
Participate often
Although most dogs are led by their sense of smell, you will still need to help them direct this talent in the right way. If you have the land to do so, run your pup through a course just as if they were participating in a scent trial. Check with the local dog club to find out scent trial events near you and enter as often as possible so that your dog keeps in practice.
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Utilize the Nose

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Aromatic treats
small kibble
Activity description
Should scent trials prove to be an activity in which you aren't interested, you can still set up some fun games for your pup that involve nose work. You can set up yummy smelling treats around the house out of the sight of your pup and "accidentally" guide the pup close to the treats. You can also play games such as "Pick the Hand" or "New Animal Scent" which will allow your Redbone Coonhound to utilize their natural aptitude for scenting while remaining indoors with you. This could also be a great alternative to scenting activities should the weather prove disagreeable for scenting outdoors.
Step
1
New animal scent
Find a friend who has a dog or cat, then ask the friend to rub a small cloth over the pet for you. Once you receive this cloth back, invite your Redbone Coonhound to inspect the cloth. Take the item and place it in your yard. If the dog is successful in finding the cloth, then play the game again by utilizing a cloth scented by a ferret or a parrot if possible. The different scents will keep your Redbone Coonhound sharp!
Step
2
Pick the hand
Begin teaching this game by cubing cheese and hiding a cube or two in one hand. Offer both hands to the pup and ask them to "Find it." Because the cheese has a strong smell, your pup is likely to find it without too much trouble. Praise your Redbone Coonhound for a job well done You might also want to practice again with "smelly" food. You can slice up turkey and do the same as before with the cheese. Once your dog understands the game, you can change the food in your hand to small kibble or treats.
Step
3
Find the food
One way to engage your pup in play is to place "smelly" treats (your local pet food store can assist in you finding these; they have a stronger scent than regular treats). Place these treats in random places around the living room or kitchen out of the sight of your pup. You might have to "encourage" them a time or two, but, once your dog begins to realize there are hidden treats around the house, your pup will seek out the remaining treats on their own.
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Family Free Play

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
45 min
Items needed
Favorite Toys
flirt pole
Activity description
The Redbone Coonhound is a fairly active dog. At times, the breed may need up to 90 minutes of activity during the day. While this may seem overwhelming, should you decide to involve the entire family, this activity will pass rather quickly. Grab toys such as the flirt pole and have a frolicking play with your pal. Pick up a ball and play fetch. Are children around? Have them engage the pup in a game of chase! (The Redbone Coonhound is a great family dog, and they will thoroughly enjoy playing with kids.) The name of this game is free play - so just be creative and have fun!
Step
1
Flirt pole
You can purchase a flirt pole at your local pet supply store, or you can make your own. Just get a dowel rod, tie some jute string (found in the craft section of most stores) to the end, and attach a favorite toy to the string. Use the toy to "tease" your Redbone Coonhound into play.
Step
2
Invite the kids
Redbone Coonhounds naturally love children. Certainly, most children love puppies too! Encourage your child to engage the Redbone Coonhound in play. Engage your buddy in a game of chase. Throw the ball and play fetch. Any kind of free play is really satisfying to the Redbone Coonhound as long as they get to interact with you!
Step
3
Dog park
If you do not have a large area for the Redbone Coonhound to run freely on, check out dog parks in your area. Often, these parks will have enclosed areas which allow dogs to run and play without a leash. This is most beneficial for your pup. In addition, your dog will surely find a friend to pal around with.
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More Fun Ideas...

Hiking

The Redbone Coonhound is happiest when they are out walking freely with the ability to sniff and explore. Hiking allows for this. However, if you have not trained your pup to stay near to you, then you might want to invest in a long leash that allows your dog to explore without wandering far away from you.

Swimming

The Redbone Coonhound is a natural swimmer! However, do not simply throw a pup in water. Dress your dog in a swim vest and help them to learn how to swim with all four feet and to float properly.

Conclusion

The Redbone Coonhound is a sweet, loyal dog that is rather active. This breed needs a great deal of exercise, but, luckily, they are happiest when exercise involves the family. Involve the kids in free play with the Redbone. Take your pup to the dog park. Sign yourselves up to participate in scent trials. Options are endless for fun with your Redbone Coonhound.