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Gun Dog Breeders: Fitness Tips for Keeping American Foxhounds in Shape for Hunting Season

By    |   Tuesday, 09 Feb 2016 06:51 PM

An American foxhound is a high-energy dog that can have trouble focusing on anything except the scent it decides to follow. For that reason, keeping a foxhound in shape for hunting season can be a mental and physical challenge for the human owner and/or trainer.

After you get your puppy from a gun dog breeder, here are some tips for keeping your foxhound trim for tracking:

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1. Lots of exercise: A foxhound is bred to chase a scent, for hours on end if necessary. The breed has a lot of energy and, if it’s not chasing a fox, needs hours of vigorous exercise to both keep in trim and burn off that excess energy, according to VetStreet.com.

That eagerness to follow a scent means “walking” your foxhound can be an exercise workout for the human on the other end of the leash. Otherwise, the dog may take off after a scent at a pace the human may be hard pressed to match.

In fact, StreetDirectory.com notes an American foxhound’s eagerness to follow whatever scent it picks up may lead it into dangerous situations, including a busy intersection, and it can be a challenge for the human to keep the dog out of those situations.

VetStreet.com also notes that the dog can become so focused on a scent that the electric “fence” with shock collar popular among some suburban dog owners simply won’t work; the momentary shock won’t be enough to deter the animal from following the scent.

2. Get professional help: Though hounds such as the American foxhound are considered easier to train than most dogs, its short attention span (except when it’s on a scent) means training sessions should be kept short. PetGuide.com recommends training sessions that are not “overly repetitive” and calm and patience on the part of the human trainer. Speaking harshly may lead to a stubborn dog that won’t want to learn.

“After tackling the basics with your dog and establishing leadership and trust, enroll your foxhound in advanced obedience, agility and tracking classes,” PetGuide.com says.

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3. Don’t overfeed: A foxhound, being an active and high-energy breed, needs a diet high in high-quality meat protein and fat, especially when it’s going to be active and on the hunt. StreetDirectory.com notes that hunting-pack hounds are traditionally fed a diet of horsemeat and oatmeal mash before going on a hunt, but aren’t fed at all in the day leading up to the hunt.

For foxhounds as pets, the site recommends one-and-a-half cans of high-quality meaty dog food and a biscuit, or five cups of dry dog food high in meat protein.

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An American foxhound is a high-energy dog that can have trouble focusing on anything except the scent it decides to follow. For that reason, keeping a foxhound in shape for hunting season can be a mental and physical challenge for the human owner and/or trainer.
gun dog, breeders, american foxhound, fitness, tips
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2016-51-09
Tuesday, 09 Feb 2016 06:51 PM
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