Ever hear of the phrase, “the nose knows” ? Scent hounds are guided by their nose! Any Beagle, Basset, Dachshund or Coonhound out in the field working a track is happy to be sniffing out rabbit, hare or raccoon.
In addition to scent hounds having amazing noses and the drive to pursue a scent, they also have loud, booming voices. Beagles, Bassets and Coonhounds let out deep, throaty vocalizations to announce their confirmation of game. Some scent hounds, such as coonhounds, will let out repetitious vocals or bawl until their handler arrives. Each hound has their own voice with their own desire to bawl or bay, which can be unrelenting. These hounds may seem laid back but out in the field they are serious hunters, having endurance and drive to keep following the track over rough terrain, sometimes working scents that are days old.
Hounds competing at trials are judged and scored according to how successful they are at scent trailing game. Each of these breed trials have their own specific set of rules and judging criteria to measure their success. Dogs are judged in packs or casts, as well as in groups of two, which are referred to as braces.