Blog By Nikki Alvin-Smith
If you’ve ever volunteered as a puppy walker and puppy home for a hunting club then you’ll appreciate the incredible ability the hound has for finding trouble. The American Foxhound, a cross between the English and French Foxhound, later intertwined in some cases with the Irish Foxhound, is a prime example of a canine with speed and stamina and a nose for finding quarry.
As a kid my first hound puppy was an English Foxhound named “Wizard.” During one of many of his naughty antics he managed to score an entire top round of beef that was earmarked for our Sunday family dinner. I was busy grooming my neighbor’s pony in their yard and my mother had stopped by on her way back from the shops to have a chat with the neighbor.
Wizard jumped up onto the hood of the car and searched through the bags of groceries where my mother had left them for just a moment. He was halfway through chowing down on his find, when my mother came back into the garage. To say she was not happy was an understatement. But, as the farmer explained, we could hardly blame the dog. Though Mom certainly blamed me for neglect of duties in keeping an eye on the pup. The farmer packed us off home with a leg of lamb from her freezer to compensate as I was supposed to be minding the hound for her!
Back then hunting clubs housed their canines in concrete boxes with large concrete runs outside whether the hounds were working dogs used as a pack in the foxhunting field or other breeds - such as Labradors Retrievers used for duck and game hunting. Difficult to sanitize and keep hygienic, the dark kennel boxes and pens were regularly hosed down after the solid waste was picked up. Clean up was always an unpleasant task even at the best of times.
In my college years, I worked briefly for a dairy farmer and his sporting dogs were woefully kept in a horrid concrete box with wire mesh fencing where they were clearly unhappy. As apparent county champions in the field, these animals were in the glummest of environments when at home.
The dank and dark kennel space was hard to hose and clean out as you had to crouch to enter the unlit interior box. It was impossible to escape the stench of the lye used for cleaning. Unfortunately, the old ways are not always the best. Dogs deserve better.
Hounds can be great family pets as well as working dogs, but their need for lots of exercise and social interaction due to their convivial nature can be a challenge for the breeder and keeper of this type of dog. Factor in the famous musical bay that a hound produces (…that can be heard for miles!), and you can see that kennels need to offer some soundproofing.
In addition, a good kennel will foster a sense of calm and well-being for the occupants by allowing them to see each other even if - due to whelping/breeding concerns - they may not directly interact.
What is the best way to cut down on the labor involved in canine care, and how best can you improve the level of hygiene and well-being for kenneled dogs while also providing a comfortable environment?
A modern-day prefab commercial kennel for hounds offers solutions.
Clean up is a critical component when it comes to top-notch canine care and a well-built commercial kennel comes with a tear and stain resistant Polyurea® floor with channel drains that run the entire length of the building. This channel is connected to a sewer pipe to take liquid waste away from the structure.
This convenient feature keeps unpleasant odors to a minimum and improves the overall hygiene of the kennel. A similar system can be implemented underneath dog outside run areas to ensure the exterior exercise space is also kept clean. Read more details about how to complete the best kennel cleanup here.
A great commercial kennel will include waterproof GlasbordTM sidewalls and ceilings for easy wash downs and deep cleans, be light and airy with soffit and gable ventilation, and offer an electrical package and interior hose port for easy hook up to necessary services.
An experienced kennel builder will offer a wide array of options for full customization. Individual requirements and special needs are easily accommodated whatever your unique situation. Be it big, small or something in-between in terms of number of dogs or size of your breed there’s no need to compromise. Get exactly what you want.
Consider what size kennel box is best suited for your breed, how big each run should be and whether or not it should be covered. What gauge of wire panels do you need? Chain link or welded wire? Handy functional features such an interior lobby area or feed room, bathing and grooming space or storage area for training equipment can all be incorporated into the design.
Opting for a pre-built or modular kennel offers the distinct advantage of being able to take the structure with you if you have to move. The need for sporting clubs to relocate to more rural or remote areas as the neighborhood develops is often an issue. Being able to pick up the kennel and take it with you can save a lot of money down the road.
If you need help don’t hesitate to reach out to a proven producer of high quality commercial kennels to ask questions. A company with experience in all things canine can answer questions you didn’t know you needed to ask and provide ideas that will help ensure the new kennel fits your pack’s particular needs.
Whatever the canine need, from care and comfort to security and safety, a modern prefab kennel can be a valuable adjunct to your dog-related business.