Training

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2 min read

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How to Train a Basset Hound to Not Bark

Training

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2 min read

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1

Comments

How to Train a Basset Hound to Not Bark
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon1-6 Weeks
Behavior training category iconBehavior

Introduction

Your Basset Hound is probably tenacious, affectionate, devoted, and sweet. However, what you didn’t realize when you welcomed him into your home, was quite how loudly and frequently he would bark. Far too many mornings you are awoken by the distinct bark of your Basset Hound thundering through the house. It can also be frustrating when you have guests over if he’s barking in the background. Again when you meet other dog walkers and want to stop for a chat, he consistently barks. Something needs to change.

Training him not to bark will do wonders for your eardrums. However, there are also other benefits too. For one, it might repair otherwise strained relations with the neighbors who are fed up with listening to him every day. If his barking is aggressive in nature then this type of training may also prevent it progressing to anything worse, such as biting.

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Defining Tasks

Training your Basset not to bark is thankfully relatively straightforward. Training will consist of several parts. Firstly, there are a number of deterrence measures you can take to try and silence him. You can then use obedience commands to first teach him how to bark on command, so you can then teach him how to fall silent. 

If your Basset Hound is a puppy, he should still be learning the ropes and eager to please. Therefore, you could see results in just a week or so. However, if he’s older and been exercising his voice for a number of years, then you may need six weeks to fully tackle the behavior. Get this training right and relaxing lie-ins of your youth could once again become a reality. In addition, this sort of training will reinforce your position as pack leader, making it easier to stamp out other unwanted behaviors.

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Getting Started

Before you get to work, you will need to gather a few bits. You will need a water spray bottle and a deterrence collar for one of the methods. You will also need to stock up on treats or break his favorite food into small pieces. Access to a TV or radio will also be required for one of the methods.

Set aside 10 minutes each day for training, and remember, the more consistently you can train, the sooner you will see results.

Once you have the above, you just need patience and some earplugs, then work can begin!

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The Deterrence Method

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Close the curtains

Your Basset Hound may be barking because he can see people walking by the house and he wants to defend his territory. So, closing the curtains or doors to the front rooms may remove the temptation.

2

Sound

If he can hear people walking by, you may want to try leaving the TV or radio on quietly. This will obscure the sound of passers by and again may remove the temptation to bark entirely.

3

‘NO’

If he does bark, head over quickly and give a firm ‘NO’. While you don’t want to terrify him, make sure he knows you mean business.

4

Water spray bottle

You can also give a quick spray of water near his face whenever he barks. This will make him start associating barking with negative consequences. If you can react consistently each time, you may quickly deter him.

5

Deterrence collar

You can buy them from a range of online stores and they can be very effective. Whenever he barks, an unpleasant spray of citronella will be emitted. This will soon make him think twice about barking.

The Distraction Method

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Exercise

Some Basset Hounds bark because they are full of energy and restless. So, make sure he gets plenty of exercise each day. Take him out for a longer walk or throw a tennis ball as you go. This will ensure he spends the rest of the day napping. A tired dog is a quiet dog!

2

Food puzzles

If the barking is a result of boredom, try giving him food puzzles to keep him occupied. This should keep him content and stimulated. Barking should then be the last thing on his mind.

3

Obedience classes

Take him to regular obedience classes. This will help socialize him with other pets and people. It should show him how he should and shouldn’t behave. Not to mention, it will teach him a number of useful obedience commands.

4

Attention

Make sure you spend some time each day giving him the attention he needs. Play fetch and tug of war with his favorite toy. If the barking is attention seeking behavior, ensuring he gets a decent amount of attention from you each day could keep him quiet.

5

Encouragement

Reward him for quiet, gentle play. Give him the odd treat and verbal praise whenever he meets someone new without barking. Part of that also means trying not to get him too worked up.

The ‘Quiet’ Method

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‘Bark’

Put him in a situation which you know is likely to trigger a bark. Then as soon as he is about to bark, issue a ‘bark’ command. If you do this every time, you will soon be able to instruct him to speak.

2

Reward

Once he does indeed bark, hand over a tasty treat and give him some verbal praise. Continue practicing this each day until he gets the hang of it. You can then start giving the instruction when he isn’t already in a situation that is likely to cause a bark.

3

‘Quiet’

Instruct him to bark. However, as soon as he falls silent, issue a ‘quiet’ command. Make sure you give it in playful voice. Basset Hounds learn best when they think they are playing a game. You can use any word or phrase you like for the command.

4

Reward

When he does fall silent, ensure he gets a treat within three seconds. Now practice this for a few minutes each day. He will soon come to associate that instruction with falling silent.

5

Application

Now he understands the ‘quiet’ command, you can use it whenever he barks. Do this every time and have everyone else in the house do so too, and you will soon break his barking habit. At which point, you can gradually phase out the treats.

By James Barra

Published: 02/12/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Canelo

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Basset Hound

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7 Months

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He's a bit bigger in size now than this photo but he barks a lot. Like all the time and I put him in his cage whenever he starts barking excessively, but then in the cage he is still barking. He also likes to nibble at ankles so I'll put him in his cage too for it. He has not stopped and my family and I are getting tired of this. He is so sweet and we love him, but we are getting neighborhood complaints as well. His cage is outside where nobody is usually so he knows its timeout.

Dec. 18, 2020

Canelo's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jennifer, First, for the barking, 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. 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 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. (Don't use citronella and avoid spraying in the face!). In situations where you know pup will bark or is already barking (catch them before they bark if you can), command "Quiet". If they obey, reward with a treat and very calm praise. If they bark anyway or continue to bark, say "Ah Ah" firmly but calmly and give a brief correction. Repeat the correction each time they bark until you get a brief pause in the barking. 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 to a lot to the things that trigger the barking normally (make a list - even if it's long). Whenever he DOESN'T bark around something that he normally would have, calmly praise and reward him to continue the desensitization process. For the ankle biting I recommend teaching pup Leave It and Out - which means leave the area. Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out: check out the section on how to use out, as well as the section on using out to deal with pushy behavior. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Dec. 21, 2020


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