It’s no secret. Hounds are noisy. Really, really noisy.
Nellie was no exception.
This was the noise that we heard day and night for the first few weeks with Miss Smelly Nellie Belly, in addition to some little talking noises and even a bay one day.
A hound is always going to be noisy, but it had to stop.
Teaching her to hush proved to be futile. She’d hush for a second, then start right back up.
Sometimes she’d get put in time out if she just wouldn’t stop. We are advocates of time outs. While I have read various articles on how it doesn’t work, it essentially does the same thing as ignoring a dog until it behaves.
The ignoring option has rarely worked for us. Gambit was a little terror as a puppy, and since all his adult teeth were in, we didn’t realize he was still having teething pain. He’d grab on to a sleeve and hang there. If we ignored him, he’d just keep doing it.
Positive reinforcement when he was good did nothing to deter him from being bad. Saying NO! or OW! was futile. As a last resort, we tried time outs. The only thing that worked was having him lay down in a corner of the kitchen and having him stay there, with no acknowledgement for 2-5 minutes. Sometimes, Gambit would put himself in time out if he knew he was being bad and having a hard time listening to us- it was his way of keeping himself in line.
Once we had a multiple dog household, the ignoring method still didn’t work. Another dog would just play with the misbehaving dog instead. If we put them in separate rooms, they’d make noise with no end in sight.
Time out works well for us to separate the misbehaving dog and let them gather their bearings with some time alone. They know they have to be quiet, and no one is allowed to get in their face and tease them about being separated. They’re given warnings to stop misbehaving first and have ample opportunity to be good and avoid the time out.
They all get to the point where they rarely need a time out, and if they do get one, they come out ready to play without being bad.
But, back to Nellie’s noisiness. Nothing, including time outs, seemed to work for her. Well, time outs did work to a degree, but she was resistant enough to quieting down that she would get way too many time outs if we used them. At that point, they become meaningless and just make everyone unhappy. We had to come up with something new.
Finally, my husband decided to give her a three count to hush, with several seconds between each count.
“Three. Do you want a time out?”
Realistically, this started out with Nellie getting four warnings. She needed that amount of time to calm herself down.
Nellie learned that counting meant business very quickly, and since she had sufficient time to control herself, it worked like a charm. We were able to get to the point of just counting “One… two…” and she’d hush right up. Works like a charm to this day.
And that is how we saved our hearing.