Training a basset hound puppy is a must so that it knows what to do at a particular situation. Whether you plan to keep it indoors all day or bring it outdoors for some morning walks once in a while, basset hound obedience training is just as essential for it to become acquainted and well-behaved no matter where you want it to go and stay. As a new basset hound parent, you might find it overwhelming or scary to undergo basset hound training. If you did background checks before adopting a basset hound, you probably know how difficult it is to train the breed.
Difficult, yes, but certainly not impossible. And we are here to help you. Here are tips and tricks you can use on how to start training a puppy. I have tried and tested these stuff myself, and with a few tweaks here and there (every dog is different so you might have to adjust your training methods based on its unique personality), it worked for me!
What To Do and What NOT To Do While Training A Basset Hound Puppy
As soon as it steps in your home, training a hound puppy begins. Yes, you may need to give it time to acclimatize to its surroundings for a few hours, especially if you brought it from a faraway place.
But as soon as you observed that it is somehow calm and at peace with the surroundings (one indication is if it didn’t refuse the food you gave it), try to introduce the steps below.
One of the first things you have to do in training is to establish where it will do its puppy business. Here is a checklist of what to teach.
- The location of its food and water bowls: Putting them in one place establishes routine during feeding times. Changing this could lead to confusion and frustration, which might make your basset hound disrespect you.
- What time is lunch and dinner (or breakfast, depending on what you want): Keep this one consistent. No matter how much your dog begs even though it is not yet time for it to eat, be firm about it.
- The location of the bed or crate: Like the food and water bowls, it establishes a routine. Crate training is also essential for your dog’s mental health.
- Sleeping and waking up times: You wouldn’t want to be awakened by a hungry basset hound in the middle of the night, right? I personally establish my basset hound’s waking up time about thirty minutes as mine so that my pooch can help drag me off to bed whenever I don’t feel like going to work or exercise.
- The location to potty: As soon as it steps inside your humble abode, tell your basset hound puppy where to relieve itself immediately. This would give you fewer headaches later on.
- The location of its toys (optional): Some who provide basset hound puppy training, recommend a specific place where your dog can access its toys. Others, on the other hand, believe that keeping the toys until play time comes rolling in is better since it avoids boredom from playing the same toy over and over again. If you’re still looking for the perfect toy, we reviewed here 5 of the best toy options for Bassets.
Find a suitable space for the crate and bowls, specifically where very few family members visit so that your basset hound puppy can have its own “me time” while at home. As much as possible, involve all the members of the household in the hound obedience training.
The key to surviving this step is to plan all of these things beforehand. Before raising a basset hound puppy or even bringing one to your home, you have to establish these things in your routine first.
Teach “Good!” and “No!”
These two words would be the foundation of the basset hound training. Before you teach it a myriad of tricks such as “Sit,” “Stay,” and “Roll over,” teach them the meaning of “Good” and “No” first. That way, training them becomes easier. Unfortunately, unlike the first step, this one should be taught repeatedly until your basset hound puppy understands the meaning behind the words.
The key to teaching these two commands is to use the right tone of voice and body language. Your dog can read and understand more than mere words. Once it senses from your stance and assertive voice that you really don’t want them to do a particular act, it will know that you mean “No.”
Don’t rely on treats.
The million-dollar question remains: is it okay to use treats during the training? Yes and No. Let me explain why. Yes, using treats in training a hound is okay. Food is an excellent motivation for a basset hound puppy to do things for you. It even works for humans! However, using treats as the ONLY motivation is what makes it not okay to use. For one, your basset hound would have the option to ignore your commands if it is not hungry or the treat is not enticing enough to eat. It might end up choosing to follow a scent it found in the backyard (a common distraction during the obedience training) or to continue the bad habit because it is so much fun to do. Eventually, your basset hound puppy would get the idea that it is in charge of YOU, not the other way around. Your basset hound would have the impression that it can twirl you around its paw.
So when should I use treats? As much as you can, use food only during the first few moments of teaching a basset hound puppy new tricks. For example, give it treats once it can follow the command “Sit” three times. Couple the treats with profuse “Good!” praises so that it can associate the good deed with approval from you. In time, your basset hound puppy would want to hear the praises instead of vying for the treats.
The key is to use more praises as the reward; not treats. Once you gain your puppy’s respect, it will ask for more approval than food.
Have some respect!
Compared to biscuit training, the respect training has little to no adverse effects on your basset hound puppy. A dog who knows how to respect its owner will listen and trust him or her in anything. Wouldn’t you want that over dangling treats on its face? There is no right and wrong way of teaching respect. But the critical part of doing so is keeping it consistent and complete. If you are firm about saying “NO,” your dog will eventually understand that you are the master of the house. He will follow whatever you say.
But this does not just apply to you. Other family members must also have that firm stance and assertive voice so that they can also give training and teach them what to do and what not to do when you are not around. For example, your family decides in training, not to sleep or lounge on the couch. Of course, you are not the only person who uses the furniture; other members do. By asking them to be firm when it comes to telling the family dog “No,” your basset hound would finally understand that it is not allowed on the couch.
The key is to build trust. If your dog knows that you are there to take care of it instead of the other way around, it will come to trust your judgment about its life.
What To Teach In Basset Hound Training
Now that you we have laid out the do’s and don’ts, it is time to go to the training proper. We may have brushed on these things on the previous section. But on this part, we will carefully elaborate each one.
As previously mentioned, the crate is helpful in maintaining your dog’s healthy mental state. The crate serves not as a cage for it to endure punishment for doing an evil deed, but as a safe getaway from all the hustle and bustle inside the house.
In training this dog breed, the crate serves as a powerful tool in keeping it behaved and well-mannered. At first, your dog would naturally see it as a jail. But in time, once you associate the crate with positive things, like naps, food, and silence, your puppy would see it as a haven.
How to proceed:
- First, you have to establish where the crate should be and keep it there. Training a puppy involves being consistent.
- Let your puppy be accustomed in the presence of the crate. Go with your pup to the crate area and stay near it for ten minutes or so. Your presence nearby as it explores the contraption would give it the idea that the crate is not a bad thing. Once it starts smelling and checking out the cage, proceed to the next step.
- Put the pup inside but keep the door open. If your pooch escapes, let it be. Your basset hound would get used to being inside as long as you Do NOT leave its side the whole time.
- Finally, if your pup shows no signs of protest as you put it inside the crate, try to close the crate door and stay by its side. Your comforting presence and assurance that it is safe for it to be there would eventually soothe your pup and consider the crate as a bonding memory between the two of you.
How to potty train a basset hound puppy? Most owners find potty training to be the messiest and most challenging part of basset hound potty training. That is because once the pup gets it wrong, you have to live with the consequences, and that is cleaning up after your puppy, wherever it may be.
How to proceed:
- Do NOT allow your basset hound puppy to roam around the house freely
If it does not know where to “go” yet, keep your basset hound confined in its area. I know, it’s tempting to let it go free and explore the house, but unless you are interacting with it, keep it in the crate or playpen. Otherwise, again, you would have to live with the consequences.
- Give access as to where to go.
On the event that your basset hound puppy wants to relieve itself, you have to arrange the house so that it would know where to do so. This would depend on what type of potty you want to use.
Some owners potty train their pups by taking them outside every three hours or so, while others provide a litter box (for small breeds), newspapers, or Wee-wee pads in the bathroom for easy cleanup. Some also use a doggy door that could grant their pups access to their backyard. Their puppy can go and find and dig a place there, do its business, and bury the evidence.
Again, the key is to prepare all these things beforehand. The more accessible the potty is in training a basset hound puppy, the more likely that it would develop the habit of going to that specific area to relieve itself.
Early socialization is an essential part of basset hound training. You can’t keep your dog cooped up inside the home forever with the family members as the only familiar faces. It is inevitable that you have to bring it out to the world, either for a walk or an outdoor trip with the pack. So is bringing guests in your home. Training a puppy to socialize means that it will be polite and well-behaved whenever an unfamiliar but friendly face walks near the proximity. Imagine what your guests would feel if your dog starts barking and growling fiercely at them while inside your premises. Not only is it embarrassing to the guests; it also gives them a sense that they are not safe in your home. But do remember that socialization training is not just limited to humans, both children and adults alike. Training a pet to be friendly includes being polite (or in the case of male basset hounds, tolerant) to other animals as well. This is important especially when you take your basset hound for a walk. You wouldn’t want it to sprint away while chasing a stray cat or pick a fight with a Shih Tzu who is also walking along the park with its owner.
But more than that, training a dog how to socialize gives it the confidence to face the outside world. Out of the confines of your home, your basset hound would experience different sets of sights and smells that are unfamiliar and, for his supersonic doggy senses, overwhelming. Not giving it time to adjust could lead to phobias and fears that could be crippling and detrimental as your pup grows up.
How to proceed:
There is no written steps or rules as to how to do socialization training since every dog reacts differently to certain stimuli. Some may be welcoming to unfamiliar faces, while others become aggressive. In either case, being firm on your “Good!” and “No!” commands is the best way to go.
In his lifetime, your basset hound would experience being coddled, touched, and treated by other grownups, children, pets, groomers, and veterinarians. To make the experience worthwhile to both parties, you must train your basset hound puppy to be calm or at least tolerant enough as these people do their business.
How to proceed:
Just like the socialization training, there are no rules set in stone when it comes to teaching your basset hound puppy how to be handled. However, aside from the two basic commands, you have to learn how to soothe your pup while remaining firm and assertive as you groom its nails, brush its hair, feed it medications, and put on its collar and harness, among others.
The key, then, is to make the experience a positive one. Treat it as a bonding experience for your dog, not something that must be done and get over with immediately.
Other Household Rules
Household rules can be unique from one family to another. For example, to some families, training a puppy to lounge on the couch is okay, but sleeping on the master’s bed is not.
How to proceed:
Aside from the two basic commands, the household rules must be clear and established to other family members as well. For example, if you told your pooch to avoid hopping on the couch, the other members must also tell your dog the same thing. Otherwise, your basset hound would end up confused and frustrated.
Part of the basset hound obedience training is to teach them how to be well-behaved and polite while walking outside on a leash. After all, basset hounds need an hour of walking exercise to strengthen the bones and joints of their short legs.
How to proceed:
- Buy a suitable and sturdy harness and leash. Yes, harness. Some studies show that attaching the leash on a collar instead of a harness can lead to bone problems on the neck due to constant strain. Not to mention that it’s a choking hazard, too.
- On the first day, try to make your dog accustomed to wearing the harness while inside the house. Make sure that you are there in case he claws and gnaws its way out of the harness. Again, your comforting presence nearby would give it the impression that what you’re subjecting it to is okay and safe.
- Once it can tolerate the harness, add the leash. Do not let the latter dangle freely as your dog grows accustomed to it. Hold it firmly, but do not force your dog to walk immediately. Save it for the next step.
- Now, gently coax him into walking in the direction you wish to using the leash. Do it indoors first so that it is safe for your dog to try and learn what to do. Give it time to get the hang of it.
- Do step 4 but outdoors this time. However, keep the experience short and sweet. For example, allow it to walk until the next corner or street sign, then back home. Keep at it until you can sense that your pup is ready and confident to experience more.