Calling All Hounds!

Hound dogWho hasn’t been transfixed by the sad-eyed Basset Hound looking lovingly at a pair of Hush Puppy shoes? Or mesmerized by the elegance of the sophisticated Afghan Hound? Members of the hound group include breeds as diverse as the charming and funny Dachshund to the lazy-eyed Coon hound.

The AKC categorizes hounds as “even-tempered, affectionate and relaxed.” That sounds like a description for the perfect canine companion.

But there are a few caveats. These dogs were bred for hunting. They will resort to their nature by running frantically after bunnies and squirrels or whatever they determine to be prey. Consequently they need plenty of safe exercise, on a leash or in a fenced yard.

Many of these beautiful animals, such as Beagles, Foxhounds and Bloodhounds have distinctive voices which they use to alert their owners of nearby prey. They can’t, however, distinguish between the mail carrier or a mountain lion (the original objective of the Rhodesian Ridgeback).

Some find the resulting “baying” musical; others maniacal. Know your tolerance for this aspect of some members of this group.

With research and care you, like Elvis Presley, may find yourself singing about hound dogs.