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.

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 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.