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How do I keep my Plott hound rescue happy?

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Atticus

Mark Twain had- it right.
 
 
Barked: Sat Jun 25, '11 11:29am PST 
My husband and I adopted a Plott hound 3 weeks ago. We're long-time dog owners who lost both our dogs in the space of about 4 months (between December 2010 and April 2011), but we've never had a hound in the family.
Atticus apparently has a whole different set of priorities than the lab mix and the husky mix we had, and we're not sure how to work with some of the behaviors we're seeing:
1. Barking nonstop when he sees a dog he wants to meet, even from a decent distance. Once he meets the dog he's happy, and doesn't seem like he needs anything else, but I don't want to (and can't always anyway) just cater to insistent barking. We can't get a second dog right now, but we're hoping a dog park might help.
2. Obsessing and barking if he smells something we're assuming he's previously hunted: racoons, a pig farm nearby (Plotts are boar-hunters). He seems very dissatisfied when he can't follow his nose, but we can't just let him do that, because we don't want him to wander the neighborhood, get hit by a car or run away. His hunting instinct is very selective-when we run into deer out on walks, he doesn't make a move or a peep about them.

We're not hunters, unfortunately. My husband did do a lot a research into the breed before finding Atticus at a shelter. I guess we're just used to toys, treats, walks and play keeping our dogs happy, and Atticus seems to need something different. Is there a good substitute for hunting that people have found with hound rescues?

He's an older guy, and we thought we'd be more of a retirement home for him, but his hunting instinct is still going strong.
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Member Since
12/15/2011
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 15, '11 10:00pm PST 
I realize this topic is several months old, but I think the dog we just adopted is a Plott hound. He is the most lovable dog, but then when I take him outside he goes crazy to get a hold of a cat or squirrel. He attacked our cat in the house today. He almost jumped on top of the fridge. Yes I said the fridge! Then he jumped on the washer to get the cat. He shook him like a rag doll. I think the cat is going to be ok, I don't know since we can't afford to take him to the vet. No bleeding and he did get up and walk a few times. Anyway, back to "Arrow", he chased a cat and I swear that dog jumped higher than my full size truck to try and get up the tree. He is totally different when he is outside compared to inside. He hates being alone, the first time I left him in our apt, he tore up the blinds, the carpet and the door molding. I tried crating him, but he barks constantly and that does not work in a duplex apt. I am going to have to send him back to her rescuer/foster mom in Florida. I am heart broken, I wish I had known what type of dog he actually was before I had him transported all the way from Tampa to Louisville Ky. I was heartbroken over my older dogs death, now I have to give this one back because he does not fit in with our lifestyle or apt. I am once again heartbroken. Is there a rescue that anyone knows of in the Louisville, Ky area that might be able to find him a local home if his rescuer agrees? I would prefer him to be closer and maybe visit him. I love this dog and he even sleeps at the foot of my bed and cuddles with me all the time. He rides with me everyday in my truck because I can't leave him alone. This is heart wrenching.
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Betsy

1251146
 
 
Barked: Sun May 27, '12 3:45pm PST 
I wonder if either of you have resolved your Plott hound issues. I hope so. I rescued/adopted Betsy, a Plott, 5 years ago and no idea what she was. I suspected some type of hunting dog (the way she chased/caught/ate squirrels, and went after possums and raccoons was a decent clue.) She was soooo sweet. But she displayed a problematic dog aggression issue, threatening to kill one of my others. I suspect her ability to kill may be why she was at the pound.
I considered putting her down for this aggression (I didn't want to pass it on to unsuspecting adopters), but she is very smart and so eager to please, and I was somehow able to convince her to stop.
Here's how I stopped the aggression: I worked with her on the word "Stop" and "Halt" (which seems easier to shout when I'm in a panic.) Then, when she fought one of my other dogs, I kept yelling that along with her name. It worked. Then I put her in isolation for a half-hour and she knew she had displeased me. (I also know her triggers and watch for her ears to go forward - her fight posture.) I also used these words to stop the barking.
Plotts are very sensitive, and hitting/striking or even yelling negatively will cause them to withdraw and shut down. Then you have lost the point of the lesson and spend hours/days/weeks earning their trust again. Positive reinforcement/praise is the way I can train her. She learns so fast and has made it clear she wants to please. She can be loud, but stops if I tell her, or with a touch to her body. Once I acknowledge her alarm, she settles down. She is a serious minded watch dog - the only time she is serious. Otherwise, she is a hoot and I'm so glad I kept her. She even has a Facebook page. I love this dog!
P.S. She was clearly raised with cats. She is perfectly content with my 2 cats, but will chase if they eat her food. And, she is fantastic and friendly with all people.

Edited by author Sun May 27, '12 3:55pm PST

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