Dori is a 1½-year-old hound mix, and she spent January in a foster home. Her foster mom, Ashley, provided a wealth of information about Dori, giving us notes on all aspects of her behavior from Dori’s general disposition, housetraining and crating to her play style and preferences.
Dori is a very sweet hound who likes getting love. Once she gets to know you, she will calm down. It only took about a day with us for her to settle down. We let her up on our couch, and she will snuggle with you if you sit with her on the floor or on the couch.
When she gets enough exercise she is fairly calm inside, even in our two-bedroom apartment. We would walk her around for 5-10 minutes twice a day, take quick bathroom breaks the other times, and then give her a walk or 15-20 minutes of play time outside on a 30 foot lead. We took her to a completely fenced field a few times and just let her run to her heart's content. Those days she was quite tired out.
Dori needs a little help in this area. She does not tell you when she needs to go out, so taking her out regularly when you’re home is really important. She improved greatly over her time with us in foster care, and we think she will continue to improve after some consistent house training. We took her out every 3-4 hours when we were home. She can hold it longer if she is not up and playing around.
Overall, Dori doesn’t mind the crate, but generally she does not like being left alone and she would whine a little initially. We always fed her in the crate and either gave her food or a stuffed kong when we left.
Training basic skills
Dori is eager to learn, but to keep her attention, she needs to be taught in short spurts. Keep it short and fun! We would usually clicker train for 3-5 minutes, working on “sit” and “down.” She’s much better with sit. Down needs a little work, but she’s starting to get it.
Dori is also working on her manners. Her jumpy behavior lessened a great deal. If she jumped up, we would turn and walk away until she stopped jumping. Early on, it took about 4-5 times, but by the end, it only took one. She is most likely to jump up with the excitement of her people returning from work. When she gets worked up, we were able to get her to sit and be calm. She also picked up on the Gentle Leader very quickly and does not pull on leash when walked with the Gentle Leader as she did when just wearing her collar.
Dori can quickly get bored with toys, so we had a variety of toys out at any given time. Her favorites are balls and Kongs. A stuffed squeaker ball was her favorite of all. She likes to play tug with a rope toy, and we even got her to tug with our dog. She plays well with our dog for the most part; however, she does not always pick up on the “it’s time to be done” signal from the other dog. Supervising play will be important early on if you have another dog.
Being a hound
Dori is a hound. This means she likes to smell just about everything. A closed trash can is probably a good idea. She sniffed the trash quite a bit, but only went in it once or twice. Outside she can smell or sense things from a long distance and get locked onto them. Break her concentration and walk the other way if you need to. She will generally forget about it if you do that.
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