Are Foxhounds Stubborn? How to Handle and Train These Independent Dogs

Foxhounds are a breed of dog that were originally bred for hunting foxes. They are known for their keen sense of smell, endurance, and stamina. Foxhounds are medium to large-sized dogs with a strong and muscular build. They have a short coat that comes in various colors, including tricolor, bicolor, and solid colors. While they were primarily bred for hunting, many people now keep Foxhounds as family pets due to their friendly and sociable nature.

Understanding the Stubborn Nature of Foxhounds

Characteristics of Foxhounds

Foxhounds are intelligent dogs with a strong independent streak. They have been bred for generations to make decisions on their own while out in the field. This independent nature can sometimes be mistaken for stubbornness. Foxhounds are known for their determination and single-mindedness when they catch a scent, which can make them appear stubborn when it comes to obedience training.

Why Foxhounds can be Perceived as Stubborn

Foxhounds have a unique instinctual drive to follow scents, which can make it challenging to get their attention when they are focused on something else. This intense focus, combined with their independent nature, can lead to them appearing stubborn when it comes to training. However, it’s important to remember that their perceived stubbornness is not due to a lack of intelligence or a desire to defy their owners. It is simply a result of their breeding and natural instincts.

Positive Reinforcement Training for Foxhounds

Benefits of Positive Reinforcement

When it comes to training Foxhounds, positive reinforcement is key. This training method focuses on rewarding desired behaviors rather than punishing unwanted behaviors. Foxhounds respond well to positive reinforcement because it aligns with their natural instincts to please their owners. By using rewards such as treats, praise, and playtime, you can motivate and encourage your Foxhound to learn and obey commands.

Training Techniques for Foxhounds

When training a Foxhound, it’s important to keep training sessions short and engaging. Foxhounds can quickly become bored or lose interest, so breaking up training into short sessions throughout the day can be more effective. Use clear and consistent commands, and be patient and persistent with your training. Remember that Foxhounds respond best to positive reinforcement, so reward them for good behavior and ignore or redirect unwanted behaviors.

Creating a Reward System

In order to effectively train your Foxhound, it’s important to establish a reward system. This can involve using treats, toys, or praise as a reward for following commands or exhibiting desired behaviors. Find what motivates your dog and use it as a reward during training sessions. Be consistent with your rewards and gradually reduce the frequency as your Foxhound becomes more proficient in their training.

Consistency in Training

Consistency is key when training any dog, including Foxhounds. Make sure that everyone in the household is on the same page when it comes to training commands and expectations. Use the same cues and rewards consistently to avoid confusion. Foxhounds thrive with routine, so establish a regular training schedule and stick to it. This will help them understand what is expected of them and reinforce positive behaviors.

Exercising and Stimulating Foxhounds

Importance of Physical Exercise

Foxhounds are an active and energetic breed that requires regular physical exercise to stay happy and healthy. Daily walks or runs, as well as opportunities for off-leash play in a securely fenced area, are essential for meeting their exercise needs. Engaging in activities like hiking, jogging, or playing fetch can help tire out your Foxhound and prevent them from becoming bored or restless.

Engaging Mental Stimulation Activities

In addition to physical exercise, Foxhounds also require mental stimulation to keep them mentally sharp and prevent boredom. Engage your Foxhound in activities such as puzzle toys, obedience training, or scent games to challenge their minds and keep them entertained. Foxhounds have an exceptional sense of smell, so hiding treats or engaging in scent work can be both mentally and physically stimulating for them.

Play and Socialization for Foxhounds

Foxhounds are social animals and enjoy the company of humans and other dogs. Regular playdates with other friendly dogs can provide both physical exercise and socialization opportunities for your Foxhound. Additionally, taking your Foxhound to obedience classes or doggy daycare can help with their socialization skills and provide mental and physical stimulation in a controlled environment.

The Power of Routine

Foxhounds thrive in a structured and predictable environment. Establishing a routine for feeding, exercise, training, and playtime can help your Foxhound feel secure and reduce anxiety. Stick to consistent mealtimes and exercise schedules to provide a sense of stability for your dog. By incorporating regular routines into their daily life, you can help prevent behavioral issues that may arise from boredom or uncertainty.

Handling Boredom and Destructive Behavior

Foxhounds are prone to boredom, which can lead to destructive behaviors such as chewing or digging. To prevent this, ensure that your Foxhound has plenty of toys and interactive games to keep them mentally and physically engaged. Rotate their toys regularly to keep them interesting and consider providing puzzle toys or treat-dispensing toys to keep them entertained when you’re not available to play with them.

Establishing Leadership and Boundaries

Building a Strong Bond

Building a strong bond with your Foxhound is crucial for effective training and obedience. Spend quality time with your dog, engaging in activities such as walks, playtime, and training sessions. This will strengthen the bond between you and your Foxhound and establish you as their trusted leader.

Setting Clear Rules and Boundaries

Establishing clear rules and boundaries is essential for managing your Foxhound’s behavior. Consistently enforce rules such as not jumping on furniture or not begging at the table. Use positive reinforcement to reward good behavior and redirect or ignore unwanted behaviors. By setting clear expectations for your Foxhound, you can help them understand what is acceptable behavior and what is not.

Being Patient and Persistent

Training a Foxhound requires patience and persistence. Remember that they have an independent nature and may not always respond immediately to commands. Be patient with them and continue to reinforce positive behaviors. Consistency and repetition are key to successful training. With time and consistency, your Foxhound will learn and respond to your commands.

Avoiding Harsh Punishment

It’s important to avoid harsh punishment when training your Foxhound. This breed is sensitive and responds best to positive reinforcement. Harsh punishment can lead to fear or anxiety, which can hinder the training process and damage the bond between you and your dog. Instead, focus on positive reinforcement, rewarding good behavior, and redirecting or ignoring unwanted behavior.

Addressing Separation Anxiety in Foxhounds

Understanding Separation Anxiety

Foxhounds are known to be prone to separation anxiety, which is a condition where dogs experience distress when left alone. Signs of separation anxiety can include excessive barking, destructive behavior, or toileting indoors. Understanding the signs and causes of separation anxiety can help you address and manage this issue effectively.

Gradual Desensitization Techniques

To help your Foxhound overcome separation anxiety, it’s important to gradually desensitize them to being alone. Start by leaving them alone for short periods and gradually increase the duration over time. Use positive reinforcement and rewards when they remain calm and relaxed during these periods. This gradual desensitization process will help them associate being alone with positive experiences and reduce their anxiety.

Creating a Safe and Comfortable Environment

Creating a safe and comfortable environment for your Foxhound is essential in addressing separation anxiety. Provide them with a cozy and secure space, such as a crate or a designated area in your home. Leave them with comforting items, such as their favorite toys or a piece of clothing with your scent on it. Keeping a predictable routine and providing mental stimulation can also help alleviate separation anxiety.

Professional Help and Support

If your Foxhound’s separation anxiety persists or becomes unmanageable, seeking professional help from a veterinarian or a certified dog trainer experienced in separation anxiety can be beneficial. They can provide guidance and develop a tailored plan to address your Foxhound’s specific needs. Remember, every dog is unique, and what works for one may not work for another.

Promoting Mental and Emotional Well-being

Special Attention to Mental Stimulation

In addition to physical exercise, Foxhounds require mental stimulation to keep their minds sharp and prevent boredom. Engage them in activities that challenge their problem-solving skills, such as puzzle toys or obedience training. This mental stimulation will help keep them mentally and emotionally balanced.

The Importance of Affection and Playtime

Foxhounds thrive on attention and affection from their owners. Make sure to spend quality time with your dog, engaging in activities they enjoy, such as playtime or cuddling. This will strengthen the bond between you and your Foxhound and contribute to their overall well-being.

Training for Confidence and Independence

Training your Foxhound to be confident and independent can help prevent behavioral issues stemming from insecurity or anxiety. Positive reinforcement training that focuses on building confidence and independence can help your Foxhound become a well-rounded and self-assured dog.

Creating a Stress-Free Environment

A calm and stress-free environment is vital for the well-being of your Foxhound. Reduce stress triggers, such as loud noises or sudden changes in routine, as much as possible. Provide a comfortable and safe space for your dog to retreat to when they need some downtime. By creating a stress-free environment, you can support your Foxhound’s emotional well-being.


Foxhounds, with their independent nature, may be perceived as stubborn, but understanding their breed characteristics and employing positive reinforcement training techniques can help you effectively handle and train them. Providing mental and physical stimulation, establishing clear boundaries, and addressing separation anxiety are essential for their well-being. By building a strong bond and creating a positive and supportive environment, you can help your Foxhound thrive and enjoy a happy and fulfilling life as a beloved member of your family.

ThePetFaq Team