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You answered your own question of 'why do they need to be trained to hunt?' With being unsure about being able to catch the dog!

Hounds are trained to obey the Huntsman, to listen for the different calls on the hunting horn.

In the UK when hound pups are weaned they are usually 'walked' by followers of the hunt. Te pups go to the walkers home and when they are around six - twelve months they return to the Hunt for training. (The length of time they stay with the walkers depends on how long it takes for instinct to kick in and they go hunting on their own!)

At the Hunt Kennels most exercising is done either on foot or with the hunt staff on bikes. The new entry (pups) are coupled with an older steady hound, this means they are collared and a short metal chain of about six inches, links the pair together.

The cries he is emitting when he is on a line (hunting) are natural, when a hound finds a scent it will call out to the rest of the pack to let them know that a scent has been found.

In the UK Beagles hunt hares, though that is now not legal.

As for catching, yes they can and will, and kill the prey though rabbits usually die of fright.

My dogs will all catch rabbits, the GSD will kill immediately, the Pointer will shake it like a rag doll and the Lab will bring it back to me alive.
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