by Melody Keilig
On the second Sunday of September, give your hound dog a big ol’ hug! Why? It’s National Hug Your Hound Day!
Even if you don’t have a hound dog breed, this holiday is for everyone to remember to take a moment and appreciate your dog. So, give them a hug, and we’ll dig into the history of this dog holiday!
What Hug Your Hound Day is About
Let’s first go over which dogs are included in the hound breed. According to the American Kennel Club, most hound dogs share the ancestral hunting trait. Some hounds also share “baying,” the distinct bark they use while tracking prey.
Although every hound dog is diverse and unique in their own way, they collectively have these shared abilities. Hound dogs come in two different groups: scent hounds and sight hounds. These are the two major differences between hound dogs, which have their advantages in various hunting situations.
Hug Your Hound Day started as a way to celebrate the bond between dogs and humans. So it’s not specifically about the hound dog breed, but we don’t mind showing love to a specific breed out there!
How to Celebrate Hug Your Hound Day
The best way to celebrate any dog-inspired holiday is to help your local animal shelter in any way possible. Whether you’re able to adopt a dog, give a helping hand, or donate, your help is greatly appreciated in making the lives of animals better.
To make Hug Your Hound Day specifically about hound dogs, promote education about the breed through your social media. Teach people who may be turned away from the hound breed due to their “baying” barking sound why this breed has such a deep bark.
It could be fun to explain that the deep and loud bark that hounds are known for is essential when hunting. The baying sound acts as a tracking beacon to let hunters and trackers know exactly where the pack is located at any given time.
With the number of hound dogs and the intensity of the baying sound, hunters and trackers can indicate the freshness of the scent the dogs are tracking. So hound dogs don’t bay for no reason at all! It’s built into their breed to hunt and track down prey or look for hidden objects to alert their human companion.
A significant number of hound dogs may be waiting for adoption at the local shelter. Your educational posts could change someone’s mind and encourage them to give hounds a chance!
What Makes Hounds Unique
Hound dogs aren’t only hunting dogs. They make great additions to the family due to their deep loyalty, protective nature, and affection.
A hound dog is a great companion if you’re a big fan of the outdoors. In particular, a scent hound would keep up with you because they have excellent stamina and love sniffing out hidden objects. These hounds will even sniff the ground and start digging holes if they think there’s something hidden in the earth!
Think of Bloodhounds, Basset Hounds, Beagles, and Foxhounds, to name a few of this division.
Scent hounds have more oversized ears and shorter legs, making their bodies hover closer to the ground. Their build makes it easier for them to sniff away for anything that catches their attention.
On the other hand, sight hounds appear taller because they have longer legs and don’t look like your typical hound dog. Sighthounds rely much more on, well, their sight over their sniffing power. Because of their sharp eyesight and lean build, these dogs pursue their prey with their agility.
Sighthounds include the Afghan Hound, Greyhound, Irish Wolfhound, Whippet, Pharaoh Hound, and Deerhound, highlighting just a few of these dogs.
So, if you’re looking for more hound-related activities with your dog, play a treasure hunt game to test their scenting or sighting abilities! You can start by showing them a dog toy, letting them sniff it, and then hiding it indoors or outdoors. Then, lead your dog around the area of the hidden object and see if they can find it for you.
Hug All the Hounds!
As we’ve stated, this dog holiday is for all dogs to get a big hug! But we don’t mind giving a shout-out to any of the wonderful dog breeds out there.
Spread the word of Hug Your Hound Day to your social circles, take awesome pictures of your dog, and find other fun activities to appreciate the company your dog brings every day!
Do you have a hound dog? Has your hound's unique sniff and sight abilities helped you in everyday life? No matter what breed your dog is, you can celebrate Hug Your Hound Day! Show us photos of your furbaby on our official Porch Potty Facebook group.