Activities For Basset Fauve De Bretagnes

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Introduction

The Basset Fauve De Bretagnes is a small, stocky dog that was used as a hunting dog by the French in the 1700s. They were descended from the longer legged Grand Fauve de Bretagne breed, a hunting hound used by the aristocracy in the 1500s, when only the aristocracy, who hunted on horseback, were allowed to keep hounds to hunt. When the law changed in the late 1700s, peasants, who hunted on foot, preferred shorter legged dogs that they could keep up with on the hunt. 

Search for Supper

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Any Day
Free
Normal
5 - 30 min
Items needed
Dog Food
Food Bowl
Activity description

Dogs have a much more refined sense of smell than their owners, they have an average of three hundred million olfactory receptors in their noses, and the portion of the brain dedicated to smell is approximately forty percent larger than that of a human. Activities like searching for your supper can not only give your hound an opportunity to use their mind each evening, it also makes their meals more entertaining for your dog and may give you an opportunity to eat your own supper without being watched.  The Basset Fauve De Bretagnes is, like most hound-type dogs, led by their nose and should find this particular activity extremely diverting. 

Step
1
Start slow
Starting slow is of particular importance for mature dogs and dogs that are resistant to change, as they may have become set in their ways. It is often less confusing for your dog to start by hiding their supper, in their regular food bowl, in a simple hiding spot fairly nearby to their usual eating area, like under a chair or just around a corner. It is important that your dog not have to break the rules to find their food, if your pup isn’t allowed in the kitchen, don’t hide their food there.
Step
2
Increase the challenge
Once your dog has gotten used to locating their food nearby each night, you can start making the hunt a little more difficult, by hiding the food in places that are slightly more difficult to spot, under beds, in open closets, or in open boxes. You can also increase the challenge by increasing the distance and hiding the food in spots that are farther from the original feeding area.
Step
3
Split things up
Once finding their food in their own food bowl becomes old hat to your dog, you can increase the intensity of the game again by splitting their food up into several smaller bowls and hiding it in several different spots, or by using treat toys filled with kibble in place of their bowl. Hiding multiple smaller meals has the additional benefit of ensuring that your dog doesn’t bolt their food or overeat during their mealtimes.
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Barn Hunt

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
15 - 60 min
Items needed
18 inch Hay Bales
Trained Rats in Safety Tubes
Activity description

The sport of Barn Hunt involves placing rats in safety tubes and hiding them in large mazes made up of eighteen-inch bales of hay. The rats are typically family pets that have trained to be calm and relaxed around dogs. This activity is open to any dog that is able to fit through an opening that is eighteen inches tall; deaf dogs, senior dogs, and even dogs with missing limbs are often able to compete at these events. While the Basset was generally employed to hunt larger prey than rats, this activity speaks directly to their need to find and hunt prey.

Step
1
Find a club
While this activity is rather difficult for the average person to replicate in their backyard, it is an activity that is quickly gaining popularity. Many different Barn Hunt clubs and groups have developed across the country, however, and finding one in your area should not be overly difficult. You can either access the list of clubs recognized by the Barn Hunt Association on their website or contact local dog sport and training professionals to get local recommendations.
Step
2
Introduce the target
Barn Hunt is intended to test a dog’s ability to hunt and locate rats in a barn-like setting and to do this, actual live rats are employed as a lure. While the average Basset Fauve De Bretagnes would prefer to hunt rabbits over rats, their scenting ability makes them excellent candidates for this sport, but they will need to be introduced to the rat in the safety tube so that they know what they are hunting for.
Step
3
Compete
While the sport of Barn Hunt is generally handled as a competitive sport, many pet parents are in this mainly for the enjoyment and satisfaction it gives their dogs. There are many levels of difficulty, from the casual participant to the serious competitor, each with their own specific titles and championships, making it easy to find a competition with the right level of intensity.
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Fast CAT

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Sunny Day
Moderate
Easy
15 - 45 min
Items needed
Lure and pulley system
Activity description

Another newer dog sport that has recently begun to get some attention is called Fast CAT. Fast CAT, short for Coursing Ability Test, is a competition sport that is similar in nature to Lure Coursing. In Lure Coursing, a lure, usually a white paper bag, is pulled quickly with a pully, with the lure switching directions frequently through the trial in order to emulate a fleeing prey animal. Fast CAT also has a lure pulled along with a pulley, but it is pulled on a straight 100-yard dash, with no twisting.  Basset type dogs like the Basset Fauve De Bretagnes are more likely to have back problems than other types of dog, potentially making Fast CAT a safer alternative for this breed.

Step
1
Prepare your dog
While this sport causes less strain to the back than lure coursing it is still an active and demanding sport. Basset Fauve De Bretagnes are prone to heart trouble, so if you haven’t had a check-up recently, a visit to the veterinarian is probably a good idea to ensure your hound is up to the chase. Some Lure Coursing clubs that hold the Fast CAT competitions may require the use of a muzzle at any time when the dogs are not actively competing, so if your dog has not been introduced to a muzzle, this may be a good time to introduce that as well.
Step
2
Learn the sport
While there aren’t many groups dedicated solely to Fast CAT, trials are often handled as a subset within other Lure Coursing competitions and groups that handle Lure Coursing often have members who prefer Fast CAT. They should be able to guide you to the right competitions for your dog, as well as helping to update you on current rules and regulations.
Step
3
They're off!
This sport is rather instinctive for most hunting dogs and once the lure starts moving their prey drive tells the Basset Fauve De Bretagne what to do. It is important to make sure there is someone to meet your dog at the end of the course to get them off the field quickly, efficiently, and safely.
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More Fun Ideas...

Hide and Seek

Another good game to play with your Basset Fauve De Bretagnes is Hide and Seek, a game this people-loving dog with a hound nose is well-suited for.

Earthdog Trials

While Basset Fauve De Bretagnes breed dogs are not generally considered terriers, they do have a strong prey drive and often do quite well at Earthdog events.

Conclusion

The Basset Fauve De Bretagnes is an active and intelligent hound that needs a great deal of exercise to prevent problem behaviors from developing. Activities like Barn Hunt, Fast CAT and Earthdog Trials can help to ensure that your dog gets enough vigorous activity as well as helping to satisfy your dog’s natural prey drive.