Is there some easy way, cheating or otherwise, to stop the hounds from attacking so often/strong? I am on day 150, and every 5 days or so they break all my armour and nearly kill me. And don't get me started on winter or night attacks...
You will get warnings when a Hound attack is imminent in the form of growling sounds. Your character will also make a comment to that effect. When they appear, the growling sounds are replaced by panting and running sounds.
Best way to counter hounds is to build walls so that there is only one entrance and path that leads to the player. Line this path with tooth traps, and hounds will kill themselves when they run over trying to reach you.
You can also stand near beefalo herds (not in heat) because hounds target any living creatures nearby when they bark. Beefalos can quickly dispatch hounds and you can farm items off of both as long as you pick up the items before they burn. Same strategy if you are near a marsh,killer bee hives or frog ponds, pig village, tallbirds, etc.
If you are alone, try to prepare. A better weapon than a spear, a helmet and some armor work wonders. Manage your inventory so you're carrying what's necessary (grass, twigs, flint, wood, food, healing, sanity, heat stone, weapon, extra armor).
If you are alone and haven't prepared, then you have to fight smart. When a hound bites, it pauses for a brief moment. You can dodge the bite and hit twice during this period.
If you are unprepared to fight and decide to run, then use a walking cane or use a road. Otherwise, a hound has faster move-speed than you and you might be chased down. Don't forget to build a torch or two in advance so you won't be surprised by night!
There are a lot of different strategies you can use, but here's a relatively easy one: Tame some Treeguards.
Set up a fire pit away from your main base where you can go to deal with hound attacks. (You don't want to use your main base because fire hounds might burn it down.)
Chop trees somewhere nearby until you awake a Treeguard. Lead it to the fire pit, and then plant trees near it until you pacify it. Repeat as often as you like until you have a Treeguard army you're comfortable with. This can also help with boss monsters such as the Deerclops; two Treeguards are more than a match for a Deerclops even if he frequently freezes them.