Activities For Basset Retrievers

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Introduction

With a background consisting of a Basset Hound and a Golden Retriever, Basset Retrievers are bound to be smart, playful and friendly pups. Sounds like this breed would make the perfect pet! However, when you mix a Golden Retrievers enthusiasm for play along with a Basset Hounds tendency to be a little stubborn or lazy, you may get a dog that really needs activities set up for them in order to keep them occupied and happy. These games are the place to start!

Hunting

Popular
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Any Day
Free
Normal
20 min
Items needed
Remote controlled car
Treats
Activity description

Both Basset Hounds and Golden Retrievers were used as hunting dogs in the past and because of that, you may have noticed that your Basset Retriever has a strong prey instinct. While you may need to watch out for smaller dogs at the dog park (you don’t want your dog chasing them away!), you can certainly use your dog's desire to hunt to set up some fun activities. When you entertain their natural need, such as hunting, they will be happier, well balanced and an all around better member of your family. Sounds like it’s time to grab your pup and go on a “hunt”!

Step
1
Treat search
Hide treats around the house for your dog and have them go on a treat hunt. Let your dog watch as you hide a few behind a curtain, some under the corner of a rug and a few on a shelf that is just at your dog's nose level. Your Basset Retriever will need to use their superior sense of scent to hunt for their prize.
Step
2
Car chase
Grab a kid's remote controlled car and drive it around your yard or inside your house for your dog to chase. Your pup may be surprised or confused the first time they see the toy move “on its own” - it is definitely a new experience when a toy starts moving around! Soon, your Basset Retriever will be running all over hunting that car.
Step
3
Squirrel hunt
If you are lucky enough to have a nice yard for your dog to run in, chances are you have seen them chase a squirrel or small animal in the past. Next time you see your Basset Retriever head quickly toward an animal in your yard, let them! This is your dog's natural instinct at work so let them play - chances are, they probably won’t catch that fast squirrel anyway!
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Scent Games

Popular
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Any Day
Free
Easy
20 min
Items needed
Tennis balls
Towel
Treats
Activity description

Basset Hounds have an incredible sense of smell. In fact, their noses are considered to be one of the best in the dog world, second only to Bloodhounds. This means that your Basset Retriever likely inherited this trait and is equipped with a powerful sniffer! All of these short scent related activities are perfect for your Basset Retriever to not only get up (some dogs of this breed can be a little lazy!) but use their nose in an exciting and fun way. There are also lots of scent games that you can play inside with your dog which makes them perfect rainy day activities. 

Step
1
New pet
Have a friend or family member who also owns a pet rub a towel on their pet and then give the towel to you. Hide the towel somewhere in the house and your Basset Hound will instantly smell that something is new in their domain. Watch as your pup goes on a sniffing mission to find the “new pet” in the house.
Step
2
Pick a hand
A very quick and simple scent game to play with your dog is to hide a treat in one hand and extend both your closed hands out toward your dog. Your Basset Retriever will likely sniff the hand with the treat in it right away. Open it up, and give them their reward!
Step
3
Find your ball
Play fetch with your dog using a tennis ball for a little bit and then, place the dirty ball you have been using (that is likely covered in slobber) among a few other clean tennis balls. See if your Basset Retriever can pick out which ball is theirs based on which has their scent on it. You’ll be surprised when your dog goes right for their own ball!
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Dock Diving

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Sunny Day
Cheap
Hard
1 hr
Items needed
Treats
Ball
Collar
Fresh Water Bowl
Towel
Activity description

If you believe that your Basset Retriever has a lot of the Golden Retriever breed in them, then they are likely to be a pup who loves a good swim paired with a lot of running. If this sounds like your dog, then dock diving is a game that is perfectly suited for them! If you find that your Golden Basset really enjoys dock diving or has a natural knack for it, you can even consider entering your pup in a dock diving competition. From casual fun in the water to a competitive sport, dock diving is perfect for just about any Basset Retriever no matter what their energy level! 

Step
1
Find a swimming spot
Find a lake, pond, ocean or pool near you that allows pets. Once you find a place you and your Basset Retriever can swim, make sure there is a dock that your dog can jump off of. Start by easing your dog into the water to make sure they enjoy swimming and splashing around.
Step
2
Throw the ball
Grab a tennis ball and throw it into the water for your dog to fetch. Once your dog retrieves the ball and brings it back to you, toss it a little further and a little further until your dog really has to run in and then swim to get the ball. Once your dog is comfortable swimming around in the water, it is time for the dock!
Step
3
Run and jump
Start on the dock with your dog and then toss the ball into the water again. Your Basset Retriever will need to run to the end of the dock and jump off! While it may take a time or two for your dog to get accustomed to jumping into the water, soon they will be running and leaping off the dock. See how far your dog can jump and how many seconds they are airborne before hitting the water!
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More Fun Ideas...

Hunting Clubs

If you feel as though your dog is very into hunting and tracking, look for a local dog club where you can bring your pup on real, staged hunts with a dog pack. This is a great way to let your dog use their natural instincts and will surely tire them out!

Hiking

Basset Retrievers are a breed that loves a good walk. Why not take that everyday walk into the woods or up a nice trail? Hiking with your dog is a great way to give them some exercise and be outside in a new environment.

Conclusion

As you can see, there is so much you can do to keep your Basset Retriever entertained. You will never need to appease that lazy attitude of your dog (and you don’t want your dog to be lazy as it can lead to obesity!) but you can keep them busy with fun activities every day! From swimming to sniffing out treasures to hunting pretend prey, you and your Basset Retriever are guaranteed to have fun no matter what you choose to do together.