Your sweet American Foxhound plays with you every day and you go for jogs together in the morning. He’ll follow his nose as long as you’ll follow him on the leash, and he seems to have so much energy. He can bounce around a dog park for hours without losing steam. You’ve noticed the same is for his bark. He barks so much and doesn’t seem to stop. Not only does he bark often, but his bark resonates so loudly in your home and yard; it even reaches neighbors so distant you haven’t even introduced yourself. Once your American Foxhound made the vocal introduction for you, your neighbor from the other side of town is at your door complaining. You’re both asking the same questions: why is your dog barking so much and what can you do to get some peace and quiet?
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The Root of the Behavior
Dogs from the hound breeds tend to be high energy and have different barks, sometimes even howls or yodels. The American Foxhound breed was developed by English settlers in the 1700s to have a dog to suit the hunting needs in America. The American Foxhound is a combination of English, Irish, and French hounds and does better when he lives with other dogs. His bark was valued as a communicating tool. His mighty yelp was once very useful to alert the rest of their pack to intruders, but when living with non-hunters, his bark can seem loud and excessive at times. American Foxhounds have a sweet demeanor and they like people and other dogs. They are good with kids and will stand by their families, making them a fantastic option for a family pet.
However, these dogs cannot be left alone for too long, otherwise, they will make quite the racket. And their bark can carry for miles. If an American Foxhound gets bored, he will let you know, either by becoming destructive or barking. If he does not have enough exercise or companionship, he will start letting you know by barking a lot. How much exercise is enough? This rare breed needs a significant amount of exercise. In fact, he will need at least one to two hours of activity per day. The American Foxhound should have access to a fenced in yard so he can run and follow his nose while he’s on the hunt for that pesky squirrel or bird. When you’re home you should be with your dog and include him in family-time activities, ideally playing in the yard or going for walks. But ultimately, he just wants to be near you, even if it’s watching TV or talking in the living room. The American Foxhound enjoys companionship, and you are his buddy.
Encouraging the Behavior
The range and volume of an American Foxhound’s bark make him a bad fit for apartments or communities where houses are close together. His need for companionship and exercise require owners who will be able to spend a lot of time and energy with him. Without these two things, your American Foxhound will make a lot of noise. If it’s not under control, not only will you endure your dog’s yapping, but your neighbors will too. Disgruntled neighbors and confrontations are not enjoyable, and you don’t want your dog (or you) to be the scorn of the neighborhood.
Maintaining an exercise routine will help manage your dog’s barking. Many American Foxhound owners take their dogs for jogs with them to expend some of that energy. Make sure your dog is on a leash, though, because this dog will follow a trail if he finds it. His independent nature as a hunting hound makes it hard for him to stop following a scent once he’s found it. Your dog also has a strong need for companionship. Another way to incorporate his needs into your day is to turn family time into an active outing, like playing fetch or going for hikes. His need for companionship will be met, and both your pup and your family will be healthier.
Other Solutions and Considerations
Making sure your dog’s physical and emotional needs are met are vital to limiting the barking, but training will also help in this situation, too. Teaching your dog to stop barking on command is a valuable tool that will serve you well. American Foxhounds are smart dogs and can start training as early as eight weeks. But be careful, they are also known to be stubborn and as a result, training might take a good deal of effort. If you’re an inexperienced trainer or a new dog owner, consider taking him to a professional trainer or the vet to get some tips. Also, if your dog is barking along with other behaviors, he might be alerting you to a health problem. Call the vet and describe his symptoms if you’re unsure. Your vet can suggest for you to bring him in or to monitor him for other problems.
American Foxhounds are cute and lovable, but need a serious commitment from a serious owner, one who lives a fair distance away from others. Make sure you are ready to fulfill this dog’s needs before adopting or buying one, otherwise you might have a boisterous barking four-legged friend on your hands.