Basset Hound Training – Fundamental Knowledge

Making Basset Hound training fun and easy begins with understanding the breed. By understanding what makes them tick you will know how to adapt your Basset Hound training to get the best results in record time.

Basset Hounds are a sweet, gentle, and devoted breed, known for their long floppy ears and long, stumpy body. They are a naturally well mannered dog and are very peaceful. They adapt well to virtually any family environment and are incredibly friendly, social dogs.

The Basset Hound is quite affectionate and enjoys the company of children. Although bred for hunting and equipped with an excellent sense of smell, this breed is not aggressive.

Basset Hounds enjoy spending time with their family and love outdoor activities. Their pleasant temperament is often a perfect match for just about any anyone looking for canine companionship.

Basset Hounds History

Basset Hounds may have existed prior to the 16 th century, but the first time the breed was mentioned was in a hunting text written by a French man by the name of Fouilloux in the late 1550’s. The Basset Hound was indeed developed in France, as Basset is derived from the French adjective “Bas” which means low structure or dwarf. They are believed to be direct descendants of the blood hound.

The Basset Hound breed was bred for tracking and hunting fox, opossum, hare and pheasant. They can hunt alone or in packs and are revered for their superior sense of smell. The Basset Hound was ideal for hunters who were hunting on foot because they could keep up with the slow-moving dog.

Basset Hounds became very popular in France by the 18 th century. Hunting was a well-liked sport at this time, particularly among the aristocracy. However, the breed lost its popularity during the time of the Revolution when the monarchy fell. Nevertheless, they were not completely forgotten and become popular once more

Basset Hounds were later well received in England and the U.S. during the mid 19 th century. They were recognized in 1885 by the American Kennel club.

Little, Friendly Basset Hounds

Basset Hounds are one of the friendliest and least aggressive dog breeds you can own. They are happy-go-lucky dogs that enjoy companionship and the great outdoors. Their devotion, loyalty and affection make them wonderful family pets.

Basset Hounds are good and patient with children. They don’t bite, and are relatively friendly with other pets. The Basset Hound is not really a good watchdog and is not a guard dog. Furthermore, although they are very sociable canines, they can be very stubborn when it comes to training and are slow learners when it comes to housebreaking.

You also need to keep in mind that the Basset Hound is a natural born tracker, and when outside, if they pick up a scent that interests them, it can be difficult to break them of their mission. Therefore, it is a wise idea to keep them on a leash when walking to ensure they don’t wonder away or chase any small animal down a hole. Or, worse run into danger. This makes the “come” command a vital part of Basset Hound training.

The Basset Hound is part of the Hound dog group, and was originally bread to hunt and track small animals. Bassets are very low to the ground and stand an average of 11 – 15 inches and weigh between 45 – 65 pounds, with females being the smaller of the two.

Basset Hounds are quite inactive indoors and are happy living in an apartment. That being said, they do require plenty of outdoor exercise, and if permitted will spend hours outside playing and running around. Therefore, they do best in a home with a small yard, but will be fine in an apartment if they are provided with enough daily outside exercise and activity. It is imperative you provide the Basset Hound with sufficient exercise or they can become obese.

Due to the fact that this breed is prone to obesity, it’s essential that you don’t overfeed them. When a Basset Hound becomes overweight, this places excessive stress on their spine and legs, which can eventually develop into lameness. Basset Hounds are also prone to other health problems including bloat, Von Willebrand’s disease (blood disease), paneosteitis (mysterious disease that causes acute lameness in young pups), glaucoma (eye disease), interdigital cysts, and otitis externa (smelly ears). Despite their health problems, the Basset Hound lives an average 10-12 years.

The Basset Hound is a regular shedder and is not ideal for anyone who suffers from allergies. Aside from their shedding, the Basset Hound is easy to groom and only needs an occasional bath (twice a year). The toenails need to be trimmed regularly (approximately every 3 months), and their long ears should be cleaned once a week.

The Basset Hound may be the perfect companion for you if you have children, enjoy the outdoors, and are willing to care and commit your love to them.

Choosing Basset Hound Breeders

Did you know that looking for reputable Basset Hound breeders doesn’t only mean making sure that the dogs they breed are healthy and meet breed standards? When choosing a breeder you also need to find out the reasons why the breeder has decided to carry on the line of this particular dog breed.

A reputable breeder doesn’t leave breeding to chance. They have carefully selected the sire and dam for specific reasons. Their reasons may be to breed the dog for a specific look or temperament for producing a litter of champions meant for those interested in showing and using their dogs for competition. On the other hand, other breeders may be producing a breed for regular family companionship.

Therefore, you need to find reputable Basset Hound breeders that are breeding dogs to suit your needs. This is because dogs that are bred for characteristics that are ideal for showing, does not mean that these characteristics are also ideal for a family pet. You also need to be aware of the fact that many breeders who breed for showing, tend to reserve the top pick of the litter for themselves. This means that you have less of a chance to find the dog best suited to you.

Of course, when it all comes down to it, the health and temperament of the puppies is really what should concern you most. In other words, there is no reason why you shouldn’t consider obtaining a puppy for a family pet from a Basset Hound breeder that has bred their litter for show, and is also allowing them to be sold as pets. As long as the option is available, the puppy is healthy, comes form a good line, and has been raised in a clean and happy environment, go for it.

Just make sure that regardless of where you choose to acquire your Basset Hound that you ask the breeder plenty of questions, and that you are satisfied with the answers you receive.

That being said, remember it is also the job of good Basset Hound breeders to select good owners. Therefore, don’t be surprised or offended if you are given the third degree by a breeder. After all, they want to make sure that the puppies they are responsible for are going to a good caring and loving home.

More On Basset Hound Dogs

There are different options you can consider for you Basset Hound dogs if you will be going on a vacation which they cannot attend. If you are unable to leave your dog with someone you trust in your family or a friend, and you don’t like the idea of placing him/her in a kennel, you may want to think about hiring a pet sitter.

Believe it or not, but a reputable pet sitter may actually be the best option you can provide your dog. The reason is because your pet will be happiest and less stressed staying in his/her own home environment. Furthermore, an experienced pet sitter may be better at taking care of your dog than your relatives who may not be familiar with your dog or his/her specific breed.

In addition, a decent pet sitter can provide your Basset Hound dogs more than food. They also provide your dogs with company and services such as playing and walking with your dog, and giving them any medications they may be on. A sitter may also provide you with additional services including bringing in the newspaper, mail, watering plants, running errands, taking out the garbage as well as adjusting lights and shades to make your home appeared lived in while you are away.

Of course, you shouldn’t assume that every pet sitter will be willing to go the extra mile and care for your house without prearrangements. After all, your main concern should be to find someone who enjoys dogs and will be good to your pet while you’re gone.

The following is what you need to keep in mind when looking for a pet sitter for Basset Hound dogs –

  • Make sure the sitter, or the company providing the sitter, has commercial liability insurance so that any negligence or accidents that may occur are covered. Also, make sure they are bonded to guard against potential theft.
  • Find out the sitter’s experience
  • Carefully analyze the sitter during your interview with him/her to see what questions they ask you about your dog so you can gauge how interested they are in caring for your pet (I.E. a sitter should ask – do they have any health conditions? Fears? Favorite toys? Favorite treats? What is their routine? Etc.)
  • Is there a backup sitter on call if they can’t make it
  • Does the sitter offer any other services aside from caring for your Basset Hound dogs?
  • Obtain references from the sitter who you can and should contact.
  • Make sure the sitter provides a contract.

Once you have thoroughly investigated the sitter and you have found 1 or 2 that you like, arrange a time to invite them over so you can witness how they interact with your dog. It is important that your dog and the sitter get a long well. Allow the sitter to play with the dog, and take him/her out for a walk.

Once you have selected a pet sitter there are a few things you need to ensure before you leave on your vacation:

  • Give your sitter advanced warning of when you will be leaving. This is especially important if you are taking a trip during the holidays.
  • Make sure the sitter knows the daily routine your Basset Hound dogs are used to
  • Make sure you dog’s shots are all up to date and he/she’s healthy
  • Make sure you dog wears a collar with proper identification tags
  • Make sure there is enough food and treats for your dog while you are away
  • Provide your sitter with clear and concise directions on how and when to administer medications if applicable
  • Leave the sitter with your vet’s number, as well as your’s or a family member’s contact information, incase you need to be reached in an emergency
  • Make sure your sitter knows how to use alarm systems, and let them know what they are welcome to and not welcome to use in your home
  • Ensure that no chemicals, wires, or any other item that may be hazardous to your dog is left lying around
  • Make sure you inform your neighbors that you have a pet sitter watching your dog
  • Leave a radio on for your pet so it isn’t quiet

How to find a pet sitter – The best way to find a sitter is to look in your local yellow pages or do an online search by using your city name and “pet sitter” as the keywords. In addition, don’t forget to ask your Vet, friends with pets, and the local human society for any pet sitter recommendations for your Basset Hound dogs.

Basset Hound Puppy Care Tips

Congratulations! You’ve decided to bring home your very own Basset Hound puppy. However, do you have everything in order? Do you have food, treats, toys, leash, collar, and a bed/crate ready? What about a Veterinarian? Have you picked one for your pooch?

You need to choose a vet before you bring home your dog. You don’t want to begin your search for a vet when the time comes that your pup needs a checkup. The reason is because it is important that both you and your Basset Hound puppy are comfortable with the vet, and the vet is comfortable with your dog breed, before you actually require his/her services. Furthermore, finding the right vet may not be as easy as you think. For instance, just because there may be a vet located down the street, doesn’t mean that this person is the right choice for your dog.

You need to think of finding a vet for your pup as the same as finding a doctor for yourself. You want someone who will talk to you with understanding and respect; you don’t want to be talked down to or spoken to in medical jargon you don’t understand. You need a vet who will answer your questions and not rush you along to attend to the next patient. A vet also needs to be trusted and liked by your dog. You’re looking for vet to be there for the rest of your dog’s life.

It’s also essential to your budget that you find a vet who has an on-site lab where they work. If your vet needs to send lab work out, this is going to cost you extra money and create a delay in test results. Therefore, you need to compare the costs between different vets that could potentially be a good choice for your Basset Hound puppy. However, just remember that cost shouldn’t take priority over the health and care of your dog. Don’t be afraid to question costs and find out the reasons why a vet may charge a higher or lower price for the same procedure.

The following are what you need to keep in mind when looking for a vet for your pup –

  • Will you be able to see the vet the same day you make an appointment
  • Does the vet offer 24-hour emergency care
  • Is the office of the vet clean
  • Is the staff at the office friendly to both you and your dog
  • Are all technicians qualified and licensed
  • Does your vet take pet insurance
  • Will your vet refer you to specialists, and are they local
  • Does the vet have any experience with the Basset Hound breed

It’s a good idea to find a vet you are comfortable with prior to obtaining your dog, and then schedule a non-medical visit with the vet to introduce your Basset Hound puppy to your vet and the environment to create a positive experience.

Don’t forget to ask local friends and family members for vet recommendations if they own dogs.

Basset Hound Training Tips

 All dogs require a certain level of obedience and basic training, and Basset Hound training should be no different. However, there is more you can teach your dog after he/she is familiar with the basics – sit – down- heel – come. Remember, Basset Hounds are incredibly intelligent canines and should be provided with as much mental stimulation as possible to keep them happy.

Basset Hounds excel at agility training and in the show ring. Standard Basset Hounds are also quite talented when it comes to tracking. Tracking is another form of dog training that can be taught as a hobby for fun, or as a sport for competition and earning titles.

What is tracking? Tracking is a type of Basset Hound training that involves having the dog follow a human scent trail and find the source of the scent. Unlike other forms of training, the trainer does not give the dog any signals or direction in tracking. The dog is simply connected to a long lead, and sniffs out the task that has been presented.

Where is it performed? Basic tracking usually occurs on a specific course that involves a large field. However, for the harder and advanced tracking competitions, the course is mapped out in a city-like area, involving gravel, concrete, roads, and asphalt. As you can see, tracking requires plenty of concentration from the dog, and can be quite a stressful, yet enjoyable experience for both the dog and trainer.

Do I need equipment for tracking? Yes, like other Basset Hound training, certain equipment is required. The following is a list of equipment needed for tracking:

  • Tracking harness
  • Long lead (25 inches or more)
  • Items for tracking (I.E. old sock, glove, wallet, etc.)
  • Brightly colored flags to mark start and turns

Tracking training needs to be conducted in an open grassy area or field. The open space doesn’t need to be any larger than a few acres of land to start, but as the dog becomes more advanced, 20 acres or more might be necessary in order to provide your dog with a sufficient challenge.

Finally, make sure you are healthy and physically fit before you engage in tracking Basset Hound training. Tracking involves plenty of walking over various forms of terrain. You might be required to jump over ditches, climb over fences and up steep hills. Moreover, if your dog makes it to the advanced stage, some competitions will require you to walk at least a mile over rough terrain.

If you are interested in tracking as part of your Basset Hound training, it’s a good idea to properly research the topic and seek the advice of experienced tracking trainers to effectively teach your dog.

Basset Hound Rescue – What You Need to Know

There is nothing wrong with adopting from a Basset Hound rescue. Giving a dog a second chance at happiness is a beautiful and noble thing to do. However, just as it is important that you make sure you are committed to getting a dog before adopting one, it is equally important that you make sure you are adopting from a rescue you can trust.

Here is what you need to keep in mind when looking for a good rescue –

Beware of scams – Believe it or not, but there are some wholesale breeders and brokers who advertise as a rescue organization simply because they fail to meet state/province and federal laws. In addition, some people also set up bogus animal rescue organizations and collect donations of money for rescue dogs that don’t even exist.

Unlike humane societies and animal shelters, Basset Hound rescue organizations usually work out of someone’s home and are nonprofit. Therefore, make sure you ask the rescue you are interested in important questions such as if they are registered or incorporated as a nonprofit group in your state/province.

Ideal ways to find a reputable rescue group is to check with your national kennel club, the Basset Hound club of your nation, and your local human society or animal shelter.

 Find out about foster care – A reputable rescue will place dogs in foster homes in order to determine if and what behavioral problems exist. This part of the process is required in order to find what dogs are suited best to potential adopters.

You should not trust the methods of a rescue group that attempts to place a newly rescued dog with an interested owner, without first properly assessing the dog.

 Expect to be placed under the microscope – A decent Basset Hound rescue group will not hand over the dogs they rescue without first knowing information about you. This includes asking you questions about –

  • your past experience with dogs, and the particular breed
  • Your lifestyle (I.E. Your work schedule, if you have children, other pets, etc.)
  • Your reasons for wanting to rescue dog
  • Etc.

These questions are not meant to offend or deter you from rescuing a dog, they are simply meant to ensure the rescue that you are committed to providing a healthy and loving relationship to a dog, and to ensure that the dog you are interested in is suitable to your needs.

Be very wary of any rescue that does not have an involved adoption process and only wants a fee with no or few questions asked.

You are responsible for your decision to rescue a dog – Once you have found a Basset Hound rescue you like, and everything checks out, make sure you visit and interact with the dog you will be rescuing a few times before taking him/her home. This will ensure that you are making the right choice.

Ask the rescue group how they obtained the dog you are adopting. This is very important because if the dog was found lost, this could mean that there is an owner still out their looking for their pet.

Once you have your dog, be sure to take him/her to the vet as soon as possible to check for diseases as well as for any tattoos or microchips. These devices will also clue you in on if the dog has an owner searching for him/her.

Finally, you need to be patient with the Basset Hound rescue. Due to the fact that it is a non-profit organization, the people who run the organization are volunteers. Hence, volunteers may leave and new ones may appear. This could mean that the rescue is in a constant state of disorganization. Therefore, the best thing you can do is find out as much as you can about the rescue you are interested in, and select the one that you think provides you with the best options.

Basset Hound Care – Allergy Awareness

Basset Hound care is relatively simple, especially when it comes to grooming their smooth coat. That being said, not all care you need to provide your dog is external. There are other factors that may lead to poor health and distress in your dog such as allergies to food.

Although food allergies are not necessarily a health concern for most Basset Hounds, this doesn’t mean that a Basset Hound cannot develop them. Allergies can occur at anytime, usually develop between the ages 2 and 6, and affect about 10% of all dogs. This means that your dog can develop an allergy to a food he was once not allergic too.

On the other hand, it is possible for your dog to suffer from food intolerance and not allergies. Food intolerance creates digestive distress in a dog, very similar to how a human reacts to food intolerance such as eating too much spice or rich food.

Regardless if your dog suffers from food allergies or food intolerance, you need to know how to respond so you can provide the best Basset Hound care to your dog.

How will you know if your Basset Hound suffers from food allergies? Check for the following symptoms:

  • Itching and scratching
  • Shaking of head
  • Inflammation in ears
  • Loss of hair
  • Rubbing face
  • Loss of appetite
  • Itchy anus
  • Excessive licking of feet

What types of food cause food allergies in dogs? Although it is often difficult to determine the exact food product that causes a negative reaction, the following ingredients in food that are considered to be the most likely culprits:

  • Protein – beef, chicken, pork, turkey, lamb, eggs, fish, etc.
  • Milk products
  • Grains – wheat, corn, soy
  • Preservatives

As soon as you suspect a food allergy, you need to seek Basset Hound care from your veterinarian. If your vet believes that your dog is suffering from a food allergy, he/she will put your Basset Hound on an elimination diet.

An elimination diet is one that does not include any of the food ingredients listed above, and then works to slowly introduce each food back into the diet to find out the source of the allergy. In order to provide your dog with this diet, you can either prepare his/her meals, or purchase a grain-free commercial food recommended by your vet. Make sure you find out all the details you must follow from your vet, regardless if you are feeding your dog a commercial food or home meal plan.

Introducing the elimination diet to your dog should be done the same way you introduce any new food to your dog. You slowly add more and more of the elimination diet to their regular food each day, until they are fully on the diet.

In addition, part of Basset Hound care when it comes to the elimination diet is to make sure he/she is not fed treats, bones, vitamins, supplements or even chewable heartworm pills. All of these can interfere with the elimination diet and hinder the progress of determining the cause of the food allergy.

Once each type of protein is slowly added back into the diet and there are no reactions, grains can then slowly be added to find out if they are the cause of the problem and so on.

Make sure you stay in close contact with your vet during the elimination diet process. Finding out your dogs food allergy is how you can improve your Basset Hound care so he/she can live a more healthy and happy life.

All About Basset Hound Puppies

Basset Hound puppies are very small, long bodied and low to the ground. They virtually look like miniature versions of their adult selves. Like all purebreds, the Basset Hound has a breed standard that you need to be aware of when selecting your pup to ensure you choose the one that is both happy and healthy.

First of all, you should carefully observe the temperament of the Basset Hound puppies. They should be very friendly and affectionate, and not overly timid or aggressive.

Secondly, you need to closely analyze the appearance of the pup, starting with the head. They have a round skull and a pronounced occipital bone. The foreface should be lean, and the muzzle is parallel to the top of the head. The upper lips of the Basset Hound overlap the lower lips, and the teeth of the Hound should meet in a scissor bite. The nose at the end of the muzzle may protrude just beyond the lower lips, and features large, wide nostrils. The nose is generally black, but may be liver in lighter colored dogs.

The dog should have a moderate amount of loose skin and wrinkling around the face, particularly the eyes. The eyes of Basset Hound puppies are large and soulful. They do not protrude, nor are they sunk-in, and are a lovely dark or medium shade of brown depending on the coat color. They have a calm, friendly expression.

The ears, one of the most characteristic features of the Hound, are set very low and are long. They should extend just beyond the nose end. The velvety ears are quite narrow and they curl inwards.

Basset Hounds have a muscular neck that has a predominant arch and is quite long. The neck extends into their long and deep body. They have rounded ribs that are well sprung. Their back is long, level and broad. Their back extends into their long tail. The tail has a strong base and is carried high with a slight curve.

The front legs are very powerful and short. The back legs are muscular and have well bent stifles. Wrinkles may occur on all four legs close to the foot. The feet are knuckled and well padded and are usually straight. However, the front paws may be slightly angled outwards. Basset Hound puppies should not be stiff in movement and should move freely.

The coat of the Basset Hound is smooth and short without feathering. The typical coat coloring is tricolor – black, white and tan. There is also a bi-color coat – Lemon and white. However, virtually any color that is recognized in the Hound group is considered acceptable.

You need to keep all of this and mind as you select Basset Hound puppies and when looking at the parents of the litter.