Imagine the cold air hitting your face, the dark closing in around you, the silence--then the mournful howl of a pack of wolves in the distance getting ready for the evening hunt. Beautiful, isn't it?
But what if that howling is from your Basset Hound, and instead of being up north in the wilderness, you live in a suburban neighborhood, and it’s 11:00 at night. Your neighbors and their kids are all in bed and have just been awoken by your Basset's serenades! This is not going to make you popular in your neighborhood.
Why do dogs howl? Why are Basset Hounds particularly prone to howling behaviors? Dogs are closely related to wolves; they howl to communicate with each other when hunting and on the move. Basset Hounds are particularly likely to emulate their wild cousins. They too are a pack hunting dog and use howling, barking and baying to communicate with their pack members and handlers for hunting. But unless you are actually hunting with your Basset, or live a long way out in the country, howling behavior is going to need to be brought under control if you and everyone around you wants a good night's sleep!
Getting a Basset Hound to ignore other animals howling or prowling about may be asking a lot of your naturally vocal pet. However, you can mitigate triggers, especially triggers such as boredom and anxiety. Putting howling on command may sound counterintuitive, but actually, it is providing direction to your hound as to when and when not to howl, which is helpful in preventing the behavior when it is not wanted. Reinforcing the 'quiet' command can also be used to prevent your Basset from singing for you and all to hear whenever he wants.