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Sighthound temperament....

This is good read everyone This is for owners of any breed of hounds. Donna Brown found this and shared it. I find it especially thought provoking when dealing with a particular line of girls in my pack. Although written about scent hounds , its a good way to explain sighthound temperament. This is why I tell potential adopters hounds are not like labs and can keep you on your toes!


"They aren't for everybody- I’m reposting this, it was on a page called Hound Hub and the author was not listed. I think the frustration with hounds comes from a lack of understanding them.


Here is a basic underlying influence...a basic understanding...regarding your hound dog that I think most people miss.


Hounds do not believe that they need you. You are a convenience - like a favourite coffee cup or a favourite pair of shoes. If the cup is broken or the shoes are lost, we can get along just fine with another.


Let me explain:


Where other breeds of dogs like Labradors, Shepherds, Cattle Dogs (to an extent), and a host of others are bred to work WITH man; their original bred temperament is to work alongside man in cooperation to achieve a goal. The Cattle Dog follows man's commands to herd the livestock. The Lab follows the hunter's commands to get the quarry - so and so forth. They are a teammates of man. Neither can do their work without the other --- and so they have been bred for eons to have that in their make up --- to be anxious to please. Even the worst behaved Labrador cares when mom and dad are annoyed. It is in their DNA to make man happy.


Hounds... not so much.


Hounds have been bred for eons to be taken out to the edge of the woods or field and be let loose to go out and do what they do with NO INSTRUCTION from the hunter or handler. They go out and do their thing, all on their own. They make their own decisions and do their own work. And when that work is done and they have found their quarry, they command/call the hunter to come to them with those beautiful voices. (Who is working for whom in that scenario?)


Do you see how your hound thinks differently?


Life with a Hound is far more like having a spouse than a dog. It is far more of a "cooperative effort" with all the give and take that implies. Hounds are not going to do what you say just because you have said it. You are secondary to their desire. There has to be something in it for them. There has to be a trade off. If there is no reward or benefit for the Hound, the Hound cares little what you are asking him/her to do. People incorrectly refer to this as being stubborn - or worse, stupid. Hounds are actually neither of those things - they are just independent and cunning. They prioritize things differently than do other breeds.


They prioritize differently and *you* are not always their priority. This is EXACTLY AS THEY SHOULD BE. They were bred to be this way. It is all necessary to be a Houndy Dawg.


When working with a Hound you have to always be thinking:

How do I make myself the priority?

What do I have to give this dog to make me more important than what it smells - or wants? (and do not expect that anything will ever be 100% successful every time - always be looking for your Hound to act like a Hound.) We humans always think we are in charge of things. We think that we are top of the chain, the head honcho's...and we naturally approach training our dogs and living with our dogs this way - as though we are in charge.


Your Hound doesn't see it that way.

Your Hound - at best - sees you as a family member or as a sibling (if you are very fortunate - as a parent). Do you walk into your sister or brother's house, start barking orders and they hop to?


Mostly your Hound sees you as a good friend. And what do we do with our friends? When a friend does something for us, we return those favours. There is give and take. When a friendship is out of balance - when one friend takes and takes but does not give - the friendship suffers. It is okay for one friend to be the strong friend - the dominant friend in the partnership -- -but it is *always* a partnership.


Hounds are happiest when their humans are humble."