Tag Archives: California

Hound Dogs in Southern California and Hound Dog Training

Andrew Ledford your hound dog trainer 714-827-4058

Yes I like hounds and I do Hound Dog training in Southern California.

The training I do is for pet dogs and not hunting dogs. Although I do like going out to talk with the hunting hound dog groups in the area. I have also included a hound dog rescue video at the end of this article. The video give a little bit more information about a few of the different hound breeds.

Most positive reinforcement training research has been done with hound dogs. At least the early research mainly used beagles which is a scent hound bred for hunting rabbits.

Beagle Dog Training. Beagles are the most popular hound dogs I work with in the Southern California area.
Beagle Dog Training. Beagles are the most popular hound dogs I work with in the Southern California area.

Hound dogs have some peculiar behaviors that make them a challenge to train. Being scent oriented often makes this breed pay more attention to some good smell and not to the owner. It’s ideal if you can teach this breed to get off scent, on command. This will give you more control at a time when the dog is focused on something it finds highly rewarding.

All hound dogs even the Blood Hound has special traits that can make them more difficult to train than other dog breeds
All hound dogs even the Blood Hound has special traits that can make them more difficult to train than other dog breeds

Next I would over train the recall (come on command.) You should be able to get an orientation response using the dog’s name no matter what the dog is after or doing.

One of the most noticeable features of many hound dogs is their extra big ears.

Black And Tan Coon Hound With Big Ears
Black And Tan Coon Hound With Big Ears

Over the years I have had several different breeds of hound dogs. One of my best was a walker hound. That dog had a good deal of drive. I remember the night I was driving down a dirt road with that dog in the desert when I heard the first Gulf War had started. He was the darndest dog you’d ever seen. He had a great voice and made a good deal of racket when he got something treed. But during the spring and into the early summer he would kill a baby opossum every night and never make a peep. When we would go to clean the kennels in the morning there was always a dead opossum to great us in his run.

I have also had Blue Tick hounds and a Red Tick along with a Black and Tan Coon Hound and a Plott Hound.

I think the walker hound was the best out of all of these. But, because of his rather intense hunting drive he was also the most difficult to train.

Surprisingly from all that I have read, as Plott Hounds go, the one I had was easy to train. Plott Hounds were originally bred to hunt wild boars. It is my understanding that there are long eared and short eared Plott Hounds. Mine had short ears, no hunting drive, and zero aggression. She was a very sweet dog and made a good pet. You don’t see many Plott Hounds in Southern California.

The Black and Tan was in the middle and was a good dog who was moderately easy to train with a scent oriented personality and a bay to match the breed.

My other hounds were somewhat average run of the mill dogs. I got all of these dogs from one of the hound dog rescue groups or from the dog pound. Except for that Walker hound, he was given to by a guy who was moving.

I have included a short video I did about Hound Dog Rescue that first aired on Long Beach Public access Television.

Wishing you the best in dogs and in life,
Andrew Ledford
Southern California Dog training

Teaching a Boxer Dog with Ducks and Geese

In Home Dog Training With a Boxer Dog
In Home Dog Training With a Boxer Dog

In this video you will see an in home dog training lesson with a reactive boxer. This dog is not terribly aggressive but he does react to big birds taking flight. On this day we are training at Heritage Park in Irvine California. This is the first part of a thee part video series. We begin with our arrival at the park and a critique of previously learned training techniques. Including a crisp and precise about turn and the two leash grips I most commonly use. You’ll also get to see the change of pace exercise used to keep the dog’s attention in distracting environments.

In the video I go over some personal equipment requirements and how it relates to safety. Along with this I go over techniques that make executing commonly use training movements safer. One thing I don’t mention in the video but it is important is if you are moving quickly such as running don’t do a square left turn or you are likely to fall over your dog. I did add it as annotation in the video. Left turns should be done as a deliberate and precise movement even when moving at a normal pace. If you have good knees and a good back you can probably get away with doing a square right turn at a fairly quick pace.

In Home Dog Training at the Park  With Geese
In Home Dog Training at the Park With Geese

There is a little control issue when the dog wants to bolt after a flock of flying geese. It’s at this point that I go over how to use a stable stance to control the dog. In this section of the video I explain what good body positioning for control should look like. Good body positioning is especially helpful when the dog is getting out of control.

It’s sometimes easier to know what needs to be done than to actually perform the technique when needed. The reason I give specific drills is so the dog handler will have the behavior in their repertoire at a moments notice. One should be able to react without thinking too much about what needs to be done.

Throughout the video I encourage dog handlers to be aware if their dog. I actually edited most of this information out because there were too many children in that part of the video. However, you should focus on what is important and not be distracted by superficial events.

Long Line – Lunge Line Dog Handling Video

Traditionally in dog training the long line has been called a lunge line. I think this is because people used lunge lines from horse training. It doesn’t matter which term you use I will use them interchangeably.

Safety is the most important considerations when using a long line. Make sure you know where the line is at all times and don’t get tangled in it. It’s very easy to fall if the line is behind you. Tripping in this scenario is quite likely if you are backing up. Such as when taking up line when the dog is coming to you.

Dog obedience training using the long line
Dog obedience training using the long line

For dog obedience training or teaching basic manners I will barrow some long line handling techniques from tracker dog training. When training with the long line I usually run the rope or line over my right hand. This is shown in the video. I refer to the right hand as the guide hand.

The dog in this video was very energetic and sometime playfully wild and crazy. Usually I will not give a command if don’t think the dog will respond. the first video doesn’t show this but the next one I post will show the dog did not respond the way I had thought it would on a few occasions. This video was from the first day I worked the dog on a long line. So it was very early in the long line training. In fact you will notice in the beginning she is afraid of the long line. The dog did much better after a few days of training.

Many of the dog’s most severe problems reappeared when I started the long line training. Some of these problems were wild running and jumping, very forceful play biting, and picking up objects from the ground and not dropping or giving them. As I mentioned the dog was doing quite well on the 6 foot training leash. The dog also did well off leash around the house.

Since I did this series of videos we have trained the same dog at central park in Huntington Beach on a weekend and she did very good. Even with the ducks, and a teenager running up to play with her.

Tying the Long Line, the king of knot you use can make a difference. If you're not good at tying knots use a line with a snap instead
Tying the Long Line, the king of knot you use can make a difference. If you’re not good at tying knots use a training line with a snap instead

In this video I am not using food reward. That is because I forgot her special treats. Those of you who know me might ask why I didn’t use the treats I usually have in my truck. Well this dog was on a special diet so I was using her special treats. When dog training we sometimes have limitations or requirements that determine what training techniques we use. I think it’s best to stay flexible in how you train. This dog was in for a Board and Train / in kennel training program so I had several weeks to work with her.

While I do the majority of my training in the Orange County and Long Beach area this video was taken just north of the Orange county line in the Rowland Heights and La Habra Heights area. As you can see I also serve the San Gabriel Valley. California has a lot of great places to adventure with dogs and some good place for training too.

In this video you will see some short clips of the dog displaying its typical problematic wild behavior.  The snake in the video I believe is a garter snake. After training the recall from the snake this dog did much better on fallowing days, and not only from the snake but other interesting discoveries too. At one point in the video you can see me manipulating the line to keep it from getting tangled. I left that in mainly for the benefit of people I am working with. I wanted people who are training with me to see how important it is to be aware of where the line is at all times. The video is a little over 7 minutes long.