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How to Train Your Basset Hound Dog to Stop Barking

Training

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2 min read

|

1

Comments

How to Train Your Basset Hound Dog to Stop Barking
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon1-3 Weeks
Behavior training category iconBehavior

Introduction

Your Basset hound is everything you hoped he would be. He’s affectionate, tenacious, devoted, and sweet-tempered, plus, he’s got a sense of smell you can hardly believe. You open some food in the kitchen and he will be at your feet in seconds. One thing you didn’t realize he’d be though, is noisy. When you’re preparing his meals he barks constantly in anticipation. When you’re getting ready to take him out for a walk, he again won’t stop barking. When someone approaches the front door, he’ll start barking. He’s slowly destroying the relatively peaceful household you once had. It needs to stop.

Training him to stop barking will make taking him out for a walk relaxing. It will also mean you’re not woken up early in the morning when he’s hungry for breakfast. Everyone in the house will appreciate the peace and quiet.

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Defining Tasks

Training your Basset hound to stop barking is definitely achievable. Basset hounds are intelligent and switched on. You simply need to find the right incentive. Like most dogs, they have a soft spot for food. But because they’re the breed with the second most sensitive nose, some truly smelly food is guaranteed to catch their attention. You’ll then need to use obedience commands to silence him and look to some deterrence measures. 

If he’s a puppy and the barking habit is new you could see results in just a week. If he’s older and more stubborn then you may need three weeks to fully stamp it out. Get this training right and you’ll have a well behaved and more importantly, quiet dog. You’ll also find this training makes it easier to stamp out other problematic habits.

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Getting Started

Before you get to work you’ll need to gather a few bits.You’ll need a water bottle and a deterrence collar for one of the methods. You’ll also need a quiet room to practice in. 

Some extra smelly treats or his favorite food broken into small chunks will play an important role. You’ll also need to set aside 10 minutes each day for training over the next couple of weeks.

Once you have all that you just need earplugs and a positive attitude, then the work can begin!

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The ‘Quiet’ Method

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Monitor

Spend a couple of days monitoring him to see when he barks naturally. This could be when you get him ready for a walk or make his meals. You are going to teach him how to bark on command, so you can then teach him to be ‘quiet’.

2

‘Bark’

Put him in a bark inducing situation and then issue a ‘bark’ command as he starts barking. Then hand over a treat straight afterwards. It’s important he gets the treat within 3 seconds of him barking otherwise he won’t associate the action with the instruction. Practice this for 10 minutes each day for a few days.

3

‘Quiet’

Now put him in the same situation but wait for him to stop barking. As soon as he stops barking, say "quiet". You can use any word or phrase you like. Basset hounds are capable of learning hundreds of different commands.

4

Reward

As soon as he stops barking, hand over a tasty treat. You can also shower him in verbal praise. Opt for a particularly smelly treat and he’ll be more likely to follow your instructions.

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Practice

Now practice this each day for a few days. He will soon associate ‘quiet’ with falling silent. At this point you can start giving the command while he’s still barking and then rewarding him when he stops barking. You can now use this to silence him whenever he starts barking. You can also gradually cut out the treats.

The Deterrence Method

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‘NO’

It’s important you react every time he barks. The first step to take is to give a clear ‘NO’ whenever he starts barking. Don’t terrify him but make sure he knows you mean business. Hold eye contact while you do this.

2

Water spray bottle

The next step is to carry a spray bottle with you. Whenever he starts barking, give him a quick spray of water from the bottle near his face. He will soon start to associate barking with a negative consequence and think twice.

3

Deterrence collar

These can be bought from a range of online stores. They work by emitting an unpleasant spray of citronella whenever he barks. If he always experiences a negative consequence the habit will quickly be broken.

4

Cold shoulder

Once you’ve given one of the reactions above you can then ignore him. Simply turn around and don’t look or talk to him. It may be frustrating but eventually he’ll stop barking. By doing this you are showing him that barking won’t get him what he wants.

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Reward

Then when he does stop barking you can turn around and give him a treat. He’ll soon realise that if he stops barking he’ll get attention and tasty rewards. Use any combination of the steps above until the habit has been truly broken.

The Time Out Method

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Out

When he does start barking, you need to take him calmly by the collar and lead him out of the room. You don’t need to say anything or scare him. Once he’s out of the room you can shut the door and go back to what you were doing.

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30 seconds

Leave him in the time out for 30 seconds then, without saying anything, you can release him. Make sure he doesn’t have any toys or anything too fun in his time out spot. Once he’s back in the room you can continue to give him attention.

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Increase the sentence

If he starts barking again when you’ve let him back in the room, repeat the same process. However, this time add an extra 30 seconds onto the sentence. Keep increasing his time out period by 30 seconds until he gets the message.

4

Don’t scare him

It’s important that when you use this method you aren’t too rough with him. If he becomes scared of you then controlling his behavior will be even harder. You need to remain calm throughout.

5

Exercise

Basset hounds need a good walk each day. You may find the barking comes from having too much built up energy. So, give him a decent walk and throw a ball or a toy while you walk. If he’s napping all evening he won’t be pestering you with his bark.

By James Barra

Published: 12/14/2017, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Duke

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Basset Hound

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10 Months

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Question

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Duke whines all the time. I really think it is a habit as he whines all day. Someone said a spray bottle would help! Thoughts?

Dec. 30, 2021

Duke's Owner

Expert avatar

Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Christy, Sometimes an interrupter is needed when it comes to barking and whining but that's often only 1/3 of the training needed and doesn't always work long term on its own. I suggest combining a few things in your case. You need a way to communicate with him so I suggest teaching the Quiet command from the Quiet method in the article I have linked below - don't expect this alone to work but it will be part of the puzzle for what I will suggest next. Once pup knows this for barking, practice with whining, rewarding pup when get get quiet to help them make the connection. Pup needs a command they associate with getting quiet. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Next, once pup understands what Quiet means you will choose an interrupter - neither too harsh nor ineffective. A Pet Convincer is one example of an interrupter a water bottle another. A pet convincer is a small canister of pressurized, unscented air that you can spray a quick puff of at the dog's side to surprise them enough to help them calm back down, I prefer air to water in most cases. You don't want to create an aversion to water, the air is a more unique sensation and doesn't leave pup wet. (Don't use citronella and avoid spraying in the face!). In situations where you know pup will whine or is already whining (catch them before they whine if you can), command "Quiet". If they obey, reward with a treat and very calm praise. If they whine anyway or continue to whine, say "Ah Ah" firmly but calmly and give a brief correction. Repeat the correction each time they whine again until you get a brief pause in the whining. When they pause, praise and reward then. The combination of communication, correction, and rewarding - with the "Ah Ah" and praise to mark their good and bad behavior with the right timing, is very important. Once pup is calmer in general after the initial training, practice exposing him a lot to the things that trigger the whining normally (make a list - even if it's long). Whenever he DOESN'T whine in that situation, around something that he normally would have, calmly praise and reward him to continue the desensitization process. In the end desensitization it what will work best long term. The initial Quiet and interrupter sets pup up to be quiet to give you opening to desensitize enough to progress, while helping pup be open to replacing that whining with something else instead - your rewards and feedback when pup is doing what you want them to do will tell pup what behavior and attitude to choose as the new normal for them. Sometimes whining is also connected to other behaviors and needs. I would pay attention to why pup is whining. Is there something they are afraid of or excited about that they need to build confidence around, or be desensitized to? Some dogs are simply vocal all the time, but for others it signals something else that also needs addressing. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Dec. 31, 2021


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