A Redbone Coonhound barking at home can be just as big a problem as a Coonhound barking unnecessarily while treeing quarry. Controlling nuisance barking at home can help immensely when a hunter wants to train a Redbone Coonhound about barking with treed quarry. A command or action that you take can be used to control when it is appropriate for a coonhound to bark. As a hunter lay the groundwork now at home in a controlled environment, and the step up to barking when hunting will be easier.
If you’ve decided to teach your Redbone Coonhound controlled barking, and eliminate nuisance barking, you will likely already know that there are only so many things you can do with a dog bred to bark. Regardless of breeding and refinement over the last several millennia, every dog still has that urgent desire to vocalize their feelings and needs. In fact, there is only one breed of dog, the Basenji that does not bark at all.
So, before you can begin training your Redbone Coonhound, you need to understand why they bark and what forms of barking you can control.
What Triggers a Redbone Coonhound to Bark?
A Redbone Coonhound will bark for any number of reasons. They bark when they are angry. They bark when they are excited. They even bark when they are scared. Here is a rundown of when you might expect your dog to start barking:
- Alarm Barking
- Treed Quarry Barking
- Excitement Barking
- Greeting Barking
- Attention Seeking Barking
- Compulsive Barking
- Pursuit Barking
- Frustration Barking
- Injury or Illness Related Barking
- Territorial Barking
As you can see, a Redbone Coonhound has plenty of reasons to want to bark. Some of the reasons will never be able to be stopped altogether, and as a hunting dog, you need them to communicate with you at certain times. The trick is to train your dog to bark in certain circumstances and stop when instructed.
Training a Barking Redbone Coonhound
Firstly determine if the barking you want to control in your Redbone Coonhound is necessary to its purpose as a hunting dog. Often it is excessive and can be monitored. If you decide that your dog’s barking can and should be controlled, ask yourself these three questions:
- When does the dog bark?
- What is the dog barking at?
- Does the dog have a specific trigger?
These three questions apply to a Coonhound barking at home, and barking on a hunt.
As an example let’s talk about when your Redbone Coonhound barks because it is protecting its territory or something startled it. Yelling at your dog to stop in these circumstances is counterproductive, and doesn’t address the issue. In fact, negative reinforcement for territorial barking can often lead to biting, or aggression in other forms. Your dog when you yell doesn’t understand what you’re trying to tell them. They may stop the barking, but the territorial issues are still present.
Instead, you need to train your Redbone Coonhound that territorial urge to bark is ok, but it needs to be threats that are within its territory. Not outside the fence etc. This starts by taking control of your household. Be the alpha leader of the pack and show your dog that ultimately you are the safe keeper of the space. Another method is to physically reduce the ability for your dog to see those incursive threats to its territory. Draw your blinds so they cannot see the mail man, or put up an opaque fence so they cannot see outside the yard. Your Redbone Coonhound can be taught not to bark at threats outside the fence, but that barking at threats inside the fence is acceptable. However, when you, the alpha leader, signal that the threat inside the fence is not a threat, the dog stops barking. As the alpha leader you teach your Coonhound how to speak, and then be quiet. By creating a command that allows you to control the barking behavior, your dog will learn to stop barking when it is not necessary. Do you see how you can train your Redbone Coonhound to bark when it is necessary, and how this technique can be applied to their hunting training?
A Redbone Coonhound with Anxiety
Barking due to anxiety can be the symptom of a larger issue. Your Redbone Coonhound wants to reach you, and they’ll bark continuously until you return. When you return home, and they are excited, do you immediately give them attention? If this is what you do, then this could be the cause of the anxious barking. You are rewarding their behavior with praise, and pats. Rather than rewarding them as soon as you arrive home, you should ignore your dog for as long as 10-15 minutes. Ignoring a Redbone Coonhound is not cruel. It is how their pack as puppies would have operated. Have you watched a mother just walk off on her puppies when they are feeding? She feels no remorse in doing that; remorse is a human emotion. If you make your arrival home insignificant, it will help stop your Redbone Coonhound associating your return with attention, and it will eventually reduce the dog’s anxiety.
Nuisance barking from a Redbone Coonhound does not have to be the bane of your community or a hunt. Learn how to train your dog at home first, and then apply the same strategies to when you are hunting. As the alpha leader, you will have developed a relationship where your Coonhound respects your leadership, and they will obey all of your commands at home and when on a hunt.