Activities For Basset Hounds

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Introduction

The Basset Hound is an interesting breed. With the short legs and large girth and body, they are considered a mid to large sized dog, depending on weight. This dog has a powerful sense of smell, only second to the Bloodhound, and they use their scent to hunt. This breed was, and still is, an aristocratic dog of French ancestry, and was bred to follow a scent in forests to hunt. They were bred to track down rabbits. Bassets have a reputation of being quite lazy when they are not hunting, and today, many Basset Hounds are simply family dogs. Therefore, many people say they are couch potatoes. Well, they are if given the chance to be on the couch all day! Believe it or not, Bassets do need exercise or they will become overweight and that can lead to health issues. Bassets have an amazing, intuitive personality. They can be stubborn at times, but are very loving and loyal to their owner. Being more stubborn and persistent, they tend to not give up when they want attention, a walk, or food, by howling and howling even more. They tend to be harder to train than many other breeds because of their stubbornness, but with consistency, it can be done. They are quite intelligent. Due to their extreme sense of smell, they should always be kept on a leash when walking unless they have been trained in recall.

Obedience Training

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Leash
Dog harness
Activity description
Obedience training for the Basset Hound should be started early. Bassets can be stubborn, so early training in puppyhood would be best. Training can include: how to walk on a leash, to obey basic commands (such as sit and stay), and not to jump up on people when excited. Basset Hounds are typically pretty laid back dogs, so a little obedience training may be all that is needed. However, if you have company often, you may find your Basset does jump up on them, so training can go a long way in that area. Also, if you take your dog on walks (always recommended), then having them walk alongside you is important.
Step
1
Find a class
There are many obedience training classes in various towns and cities, so do some research and find the class that is the most convenient for you. If you are unable to find a class, see if you know of someone who can come into the home and train your dog. Ask around at the dog park for recommendations.
Step
2
Attend class consistently
Once you find the ideal class, make sure you go each time. Keeping your Basset Hound puppy in the routine will greatly help them learn and understand what is expected of them. Keep in mind that going to each session will help you be more comfortable around your companion! Some classes meet once a week, and some meet several days a week, depending on the course you are taking.
Step
3
Practice at home
Obedience training does not end when each class is over. Take what you learned and apply it at home several times per day. This will ensure you and your fur baby are getting the most out of the training. If something isn't working out for you both, then you can ask the trainer in the next session for advice.
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Walking around Town

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Sunny Day
Free
Easy
30 min
Items needed
Harness
Leash
Activity description
Taking your Basset Hound on regular walks is very important. Not only does it give them socialization (you will have many people wanting to take a look!), but it will give your dog the exercise they need. Walking is very good for your dog's health. As with people, a promenade gets the heart working, encourages circulation, and helps stretch out those muscles. Basset Hounds are bigger dogs, despite their short legs, and can gain weight if not taken out for about thirty minutes per day to walk off some calories. Yes, it is true that some Bassets can be considered "lazy" and may pull a "flat basset" from time to time, but do not let that deter you. A "flat basset" is a term for when they just decide to stop walking and lay down, no matter where you are. Be patient, as your Basset Hound will decide to eventually get up and walk some more.
Step
1
Find a walking spot
Many Basset Hound owners find that a 20 to 30-minute walk is all their dogs can handle. So, find a route, either in your neighborhood or in town where you can make the round trip in that amount of time. Some dogs do quite well without wanting to lay down, but perhaps after 10 minutes or so you can stop to rest. Maybe you can find a route that has places you can stop for a bit.
Step
2
Enjoy the time together
When walking, you can talk to your dog, or talk to others as you meet them along the way. If you are walking in a town or city, you may find that people may want to pet your dog, as Basset Hounds are special in their appearance. The long ears and short legs really garner attention, especially if the people you meet are dog lovers!
Step
3
Once home
When you return home, give your dog plenty of water and a treat. After that, you will more than likely find that your dog will sleep for a long period of time. That's what this breed does! Give them a comfy blanket and pillow and they will rest for a while, but, don't worry, they will awaken and demand their dinner with many howls!
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Tracking

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Leash
Harness
Activity description
In terms of scent tracking, many people say that if the dog has a nose, they can track. This is somewhat true, as some breeds have many more scent glands than others. The Basset Hound is one of those breeds. Sport tracking allows the Basset to do what they were bred to do, and gives them a chance to spend time honing their instinctual talent. Tracking is a fun way for the dog and the owner to enjoy time together. You can spend time with your dog outdoors in a field on in your backyard, letting your Basset practice those tracking skills. This will be really fun for you to watch, and will be really fun for the pooch!
Step
1
Purchase yummies!
The first thing you will want to do is purchase some really good treats. It is probably better to get something other than typical dog bone treats; a fresh food item is best. You can cook up a small piece of beef and chicken and cut it up in very small pieces. You can even use pieces of hot dog or deli meat. Place the pieces in a plastic baggie until you need them.
Step
2
Place them outside
Without taking your dog with you, take the pieces and place them in your yard or field. Place each one a few feet away from the other in a trail for your dog to follow with their nose. Then, in the end, have a squeak toy or another item with the scent of the treat on it. Let your dog out and watch the nose get to work! Once the nose finds it, praise your dog!
Step
3
Try another scent
Once your dog succeeds in the previous way of tracking, try something different. Go online or to a pet store and purchase some tracking scent. There are many varieties, and for the Basset Hound, rabbit scent may be a good choice. If you use a scent like this, make sure at the end of your trail you have a delicious treat for your hardworking dog.
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More Fun Ideas...

House Run

Sometimes, your Basset may have a quick burst of energy. When this happens, take a bone or toy and toss it down the hall or across a room. He will run after it, and possibly fetch it for you.

Belly Rubs!

No matter the weather, all Basset Hounds love belly rubs! You may even notice this when your Basset is lying on the floor and you approach him. He will turn over onto his back and wait for a good ole' rubbin' on the belly!

Conclusion

Basset Hounds are very intelligent and very witty. They are filled with personality and are very loyal and loving. Although a bit stubborn and wanting things on their terms, activities like the ones above are ideal for them. Due to their extreme sense of smell, a leash should always be worn when out. Enjoy your hound!