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Do Bassets stay housetrained?

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Member Since
03/06/2010
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 4, '10 10:46am PST 
Despite the warnings of my relatives, who had a Basset with fairly bad separation anxiety and whom they could never fully housetrain... I find the Basset look and laid-back personality pretty hard to resist and am kinda considering a Basset for my first dog anyway.

But, Basset people, let me know-- is the SA and the impossible-to-housetrain nature for real? I know Bassets are notoriously stubborn, but did my relatives get a particularly difficult Basset, or is this common?

Especially, do housetrained, non-SA Bassets stay that way? Let's say I were to rescue the "perfect" adult Basset, fully housebroken, not destructive when left alone for a couple hours... I'd expect a brief adjustment period, but after that would he stay housebroken and non-SA, or would I still be taking my chances?
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Droopy CD,- RA, HH, TDI,- CGC

I didn't do it
 
 
Barked: Thu Apr 8, '10 2:49pm PST 
Basset hounds are a breed that are often misunderstood. They are not an easy breed. They are self pleasing and have been bred for centuries to work independently from their handler. Bassets should have enough energy to hunt all day in the field, but they are also very adaptable. If you are lazy, they will become lazy. This is often where people get the impression that bassets are lazy. It is usually a trait that is created. If a basset is kept active, they will be active. They will not have the energy of a border collie, but they need to be far more active than the average pet home provides for them.

I would not say that separation anxiety is a basset trait. Of course a basset could develop SA, but it is not characteristic of the breed. Some characteristics of the breed are drool. They can sling slobber to great heights on walls. They shed a lot for a short haired breed. They can be noisy. Some bassets are barkers. They quickly develop a hound smell. Their nose will lead them anywhere. They can NEVER be left to roam. They are a dog that will need to be kept on leash at all times on walks. Many have a high prey drive and will chase small furry animals. They are pack animals, so they do enjoy spending time with people and other dogs. They are not dumb dogs by any means, but they will not go to any lengths to please you. They are driven by their stomachs and will eat anything. With that said, I love bassets to the core and I will never be without one, but you need to know what you are in for and have realistic expectations.

As far as house training, bassets like all dogs, need consistency. All of mine have been house trained quickly and do not have accidents ever. With house training, every environment is different. If I take my dogs that never have accidents to another house, I will have to do some training. Dogs do not generalize. I will have to instruct them where I want them to go at the new house. I will have to reward for eliminating in the correct area and watch my dog like a hawk to prevent mistakes. This is for a dog that is completely house broken at my current house. Whenever you change an environment, you must back up a few steps in training. If someone else took my dog and expected him to be house trained at their house, they would be making a huge mistake. My dog does not know where to eliminate at another house. He would make a mistake. It only takes one or two mistakes to start creating new patterns. He could quickly learn that he is supposed to eliminate in the house now. My perfectly house trained dog at my house is now constantly eliminating in someone's house. This is not just for basset hounds, this is for any dog. Don't think that just because a dog is labeled housebroken that there is not consistent training involved to keep him that way.

I would also say that you will rarely find the perfect dog. They are all a work in progress. That is true for all breeds not just basset hounds.
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Emma

I'm waiting for- my dog park- trip....
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 11, '10 1:34pm PST 
.......excellent and accurate response.
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Member Since
03/06/2010
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 11, '10 4:07pm PST 
Thanks for the great response Droopy, I appreciate it. About finding the perfect dog, by the way-- I agree, that's why I put "perfect" in quotes.

Most of what you mentioned-- drool, shedding, smell, must be kept on leash, etc.-- is no problem for me, though I'm curious to know more about how they relate to their owners, if that makes sense. Given that as hounds they're not as focused on pleasing their owners as a lot of dogs are, do they actively bond and share affection with their owners, or are they the types to just put up with their owners' affections since they know it means food in their bowl? Also, do they respond well to praise, or is there no way to train them other than food training?
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Droopy CD,- RA, HH, TDI,- CGC

I didn't do it
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 11, '10 5:09pm PST 
Hi Guest,

Glad I didn't scare you off. I want to make sure that potential basset owners know the bad as well as the good. So many bassets find themselves in rescue because owners didn't realize the cute wrinkly, long eared puppy will grow into a drooling, stinky, shedding, barking hound dog.

Even though a breed shares many characteristics as a group, each individual dog is going to be different. I have dogs that are from the same line and even siblings from the same litter and they are as different as night and day. My bassets are affectionate. One of my dogs wants to be with me all the time and will follow me from room to room. Another one likes his tummy rubbed and to hang out with me on the couch, but if I get up, he isn't. As a general rule, I would say that bassets do want to be with their people, but since they are pack animals, they also want to be with other dogs.

I have found that bassets are very good at getting what they want in a very passive, non aggressive, yet pushy sort of way. Many are over weight because they are masters of begging and the sad hound dog eyes. A basset friend of mine had a dog that liked to sit on the end of the couch and her owner happened to be sitting there. When the owner did not get up, the dog went to the door and started scratching, which was her signal to go outside. When the owner got up to let the dog out, the dog ran and jumped on her favorite spot on the couch. They are not dumb dogs as many people think.

As far as training, it depends on your dog. The most important aspect of training is finding what motivates your dog. There are some dogs that want nothing more than to have their owners look at them and pay attention to them. That is the most reinforcing thing in the world to them. I think you would be very hard pressed to find a basset hound that was willing to work for praise alone. The average basset hound likes praise and wants to be pet, but it is not going to be motivating enough to get them to do what you want them to do. For the average basset hound, food is going to be far more rewarding than praise. You can pair food with praise to make the praise more valuable to the dog, so it is a conditioned reinforcer, but praise alone probably won't be enough.

I do competition obedience with my bassets. Training a basset is a long road and you must have a sense of humor and endless patience. I clicker train my dogs and love to show people what a basset can do. My dogs are excited to work, and want to train. For me, paying them with food is a small price to pay.
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