Training Tips & Info

House Training Tips Basset Hound Puppy

1.   Start immediately when you get home with your puppy to introduce the right place for him to do his buisiness. Use the same location each time you take your puppy outside. You can clean this area in the yard, but leave some scent nesscary for him to smell. 

2.   Crate-train your Basset puppy and take advantage of the natural habit that most dogs have in wanting to keep their den area clean.

3.   Buy a crate that is large enough for the puppy to turn around but not too large or he may make a bathroom in the corner. You can always partition off part of the crate as he grows so avoid buying multiple sizes. He should be able to comfortably sleep in there as well.

4.   Always praise your Basset with lots of pats and hugs eachtime he does what you want him to at his relief spot.

5.   Time your puppy's meals with a trip outside. Young dogs have limited colon and bladder volume and taking food or water in generally means that some wastes will soon need to go out. 

6.   Take your puppy out after any nap as well, this is a good potty break time

7.   Take your puppy outside as late as possible at night and as early as possible in the morning.  Don't be unintentinally cruel and  leave puppy with a full bladder in its crate longer than you abolutely have to.

8.   No matter how much you may want to house-train your Basset puppy, bladder control comes only with age. A young Basset under one year old may not be able to keep from the occaisional messes now and then. Make sure if this happens you clean up with a odor covering agent so there are no incidents in the same spot.

9.   When your puppy is out of his crate, watch carefully. If he starts to look incomfortable, comes to you in a plaintive manner, stays near the door, or starts circling or squatting, get him outside. Quickly and gently and even if he has already begun to urinate or deficate, take the puppy out to the relief spot and wait until he goes there, reward him with praise and come back in.

10.   Never punish a puppy for making a mess. You can attempt to stop the act by firmly saying “No” or by clapping your hands in a way to break its concentration as you go out to the relief spot.  Rubbing a puppy's nose in its waste is stupid, pointless, and counterproductive. Your puppy won't even know why you are doing this. Never strike a puppy with anything as punishment.

11.   Be Consistent with your young basset puppy. Don't chance  spots in the yard. Don't wait to clean up a mistake. Don't yell at your puppy.

Crate Training

To crate or not to crate

Crate training is not the ultimate solution for teaching your dog house etiquette, but it is a good way to house train a dog or puppy. Used properly, it gives your dog an opportunity to be safe and secure in his/her own space.

 Crate training is helpful as a training tool:

 ◦  When a dog must be left unattended for less than six hours.

 ◦  During sleeping hours with a young, un-housebroken dog.

 ◦  As a feeding station for easily-distractible puppies.

 ◦  To encourage good sleeping habits and discourage inappropriate elimination.

Crate training has disadvantages:

 ◦  It doesn't communicate leadership.

 ◦  It separates you from your dog when you're at home.

 ◦  It can't teach a dog how to behave in all rooms of the house.

A crate can prevent problems, but it provides no real training. Thus, a crate is a training tool, but by itself, it cannot produce results. If you do decide to use a crate, here are some suggestions for how it can be properly applied.

Size of the crate

Not too large, or your dog or puppy will have enough room to soil in one corner and sleep in the other. This defeats the premise of crate training!

A puppy should be enclosed in the crate no longer than four hours, because a young dog can't go that amount of time without needing to eliminate.

A crash course on crate training

Crate training builds on the basic "denning instinct" in the dog world. A mother dog gives birth to her puppies in a nest or "den" -- a safe place to sleep. She keeps it clean until the puppies are old enough to eliminate outside of the den. She teaches each pup that it is NOT acceptable to eliminate where it sleeps. It is canine instinct not to soil the area where they sleep.

Crate training uses this natural instinct to help you house train your new dog. Here's how it works: When you bring your new dog home, it is important to provide it with a nest or 'den' it can have as its very own safe place. A crate becomes a punishment only if you use it with that goal in mind. If you view a 'crate' as a training tool to help you reach your goal -- which is to house train your dog -- then you will use the crate appropriately.

One of the first difficult things about introducing your dog to a crate is that dogs often whine or cry when they are confined to the crate. But you must keep in mind that your dog doesn't want to be confined. A puppy may have just left the comfort and warmth of his littermates, and that comfort and warmth is associated with sleeping. Sadly, unless you purchased the entire litter for the enjoyment of your puppy, learning to sleep alone is just part of growing up and is an experience your puppy must master successfully. Imagine the adult size your dog will eventually attain, and try to imagine whether that adult will still fit in your lap or under the crook of your arm in bed at night. Most puppies will grow up to be too large to continue those habits.

At any rate, set the rules from the beginning. It is kinder to be consistent, than to "punish" your dog later on and banish it from your lap or your bed for committing the horrible crime of merely being a dog.

For a puppy, try to get a familiar piece of bedding from the breeder to place in your pup's crate. If you are fortunate to have a local breeder, you can drop off a towel at the breeders a few days before you pick the dog up, so the litter can sleep on it and leave their collective scent.

** Basset Acres Puppies come with a small blanket that smells like home**

When first using the crate, it is important that the crate not have any negative associations. For example, don't shut the dog away in the crate immediately after it has done something it shouldn't have, or has had an "accident." Have the crate ready and comfortable, with a toy and a treat, and let your dog go in and out on its own, exploring the crate as it chooses. Don't shut the dog in the crate right away. Always praise the dog for entering its crate, and choose a word or a phrase to say when the dog does enter its crate, so that phrase will be associated with the behavior. "Go to your room,"; "time to take a nap," and "crate time" all accomplish the goal of word association. Do this several times in a row over a short period of time, and then stop for a while. Repeat several times throughout the dog's first day with you.

Select a 'good' time for the dog's first time enclosed in the crate. When your dog enters the crate in search of the treat it expects to find there, and has just been outside to eliminate and is ready for a nap, it's time to close the door. Many owners find this a good time to introduce a new toy for a dog's enjoyment. Stay with the dog after you close the door, and if the dog cries, talk to it and put your fingers through the door openings. Generally leaving the dog there ten minutes or so is a good rule of thumb.

But one word of warning. NEVER let the dog out because it is crying or digging at the door. If you do, you will have sent a dangerous precedent for your dog. What lesson will you have taught? Misbehave and you will get what you want. You must wait out your dog. That's why it is helpful if you wait until your dog is tired before closing the crate door the first few times. It tends to cut down on the whining. If your dog continues to whine and dig, distract him with a toy or something so that he is quiet for a half a minute or so. Never let a crying dog out of the crate, you are rewarding it! And don't be too excited when you open the crate door, or your dog will get the message that it's "fun" to be let out of the crate (and NOT as much fun to be enclosed). Your approach to crating should be matter of fact.

What if your dog has an accident in its crate? Don't punish the dog. Chances are, your dog tried to tell you it had to go out, but you were in the middle of fixing dinner or in a deep sleep and didn't respond.

Crating your dog when you leave the house

Remove any collar you have on the dog, because it is unsafe. Make sure you have just taken the dog outside before enclosing him inside the crate. Close the door and leave without fanfare. Stay away an hour or so and return and check on the dog. If you cannot find someone to check in on your dog while you are at work, then come home for lunch to feed, exercise and take your dog outside. Remember puppies cannot be expected to go more than four hours without a potty break. Once a dog has gotten used to soiling its crate, the basic premise of crate training has been violated and you will probably need to find another method.

Crating your dog while you sleep

Remove any collar you have on the dog, because it is unsafe. Make sure you have just taken the dog outside before enclosing him inside the crate. With all the lights out, sounds subsiding and stimulation next to nil, your dog should fall asleep shortly. Set your alarm for no more than four hours. Have your clothing ready to put on quickly, and reach in, pick up your dog, and get outside. When your dog has been successful, praise him, bring him back in and return him to his crate. Turn the lights out and go back to sleep. Keep lights, noise and excitement to a minimum to allow your dog to stay relaxed, and increase the chance it will go back to sleep without fuss.

Dog nap times

After your dog gets used to sleeping in its crate while you sleep and while you are at work, you will probably find that your dog returns to its crate whenever it wants to nap or have some time on its own. Remember to keep the crate door open so that your dog can make the crate his own home, on his own terms.

Other uses for your dog's crate

A dog that is crate trained is easier to travel with. If you fly with your dog, it will have to travel in a crate. The noise and sensation of flying is stressful for animals, and there's no reason for a dog to endure the stress of being in a crate for the first time while flying. If you will be boarding your dog at various times, you will be providing early training forvyour dog to cope with a few days in a small enclosure. If its crate is comfortable and considered a haven by your dog, you can bring the crate to the kennel and your dog will have a familiar bed to sleep in. And teaching your dog to travel in a car while being in its crate is the safest way to travel with your pet. You won't have to worry about your dog slipping out the door when it opens, or your dog being injured if you stop suddenly or thrown out of the car in case of an accident

Used by permission of Basset Rescue and Welfare of Northern Virginia

If you ever require help of a qualified dog trainer I recommend 
Dog House Rules Sarah 780-886-6282


My Young Basset Hound Just Started Limping...

Sometimes referred to as “growing pains” or “pano”, occurs as a rotating lameness, usually in puppies up to 18 months. Many veterinarians are not aware that this is prevalent in basset hounds and will sometimes misdiagnose it, often with costly and unneeded surgery options. Pano IS prevalent in basset hounds as we’ve seen many, many of our members’ hounds diagnosed with this over the years.

The following is from the Basset Hound Faq by Judy Trenck:

Paneosteitis is an elusive ailment occasionally seen in young Bassets. It is also known as wandering or transient lameness. Attacks are usually brought on by stress and aggravated by activity, and up to now, the cause and the cure are unknown. This mysterious disease causes sudden lameness, but its greatest potential danger may lie in false diagnosis, resulting in unnecessary surgery. A puppy will typically outgrow it by the age of two with no long term problems. It can be quite minor, or so bad that the dog will not put any weight on the leg. Symptoms may be confused with “elbow displasia”, “hip displasia”, “patellar luxation” and other more serious disorders. The most definite way to diagnose paneosteitis is radiographically. Even with this, signs can be quite minimal and easily missed. As to treatment, no cure was found in experimental tests and the only helpful thing found was relief for pain (aspirin, cortisone, etc.) However, using these, the dog tends to exercise more and thereby aggravate the condition. Note again: A GREAT MANY VETS ARE UNAWARE OF THIS DISEASE IN THE BASSET .

In diagnosing the cause of a Basset’s lameness, a radiograph of the forelimbs may indicate a condition called elbow incongruity. (Elbow incongruity is a poor fit between the 3 bones which comprise the elbow joint.) Studies to date indicate that elbow incongruity is normal in the Basset and is not the cause of the lameness. It is also suspected that many of the previously mentioned unnecessary (panosteitis) surgeries have been performed on Basset pups just because radiographs that were taken showed elbow incongruity. A study on forelimb lameness in the Basset is currently underway at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. As previously mentioned they have determined that elbow incongruity occurs in the Basset but suspect that incongruity rarely causes the lameness. During the course of the study, conservative therapy will be recommended for all cases in which panosteitis appears to be the cause of the lameness. In cases with severe growth deformities or elbow pain associated with elbow incongruity, surgery may be recommended. If your Basset develops lameness and is diagnosed with an “elbow problem”, discuss with your veterinarian the possibility of panosteitis. If your veterinarian is not receptive to the possibility of pano in a basset (I had one tell me flat out that he’s never heard of them having it), please get a second opinion before having any type of surgery on your hound.

(None of this information is designed to be a substitute for veterinary care!)

What to Feed your basset puppy

We feed our bassets Horizon Complete, Lifetime Performance and Nutrisource Grain Free and the puppies Horizon Large breed puppy food. I have done a lot of research on what is the best way to feed our hounds. For a basset puppy that is growing you will need to be aware of the phosphorus levels and calcium levels as your basset puppy is a large breed puppy. I will be happy to discuss the food options available in your area. The other thing to keep in mind when choosing a food for your basset is the protein level. Some of the best rated foods available have too much protein for your hound and will cause stomach upset. 
I have recently discovered that there is some thought that you should rotate your dogs food. I will be switching between 3 different quality foods with my non pregnant adults. If you have any questions about this feeding method please feel free to discuss. 
Our puppies are fed 3 times a day once weaned. You can switch your puppy to twice a day once they are 12 weeks old minimum.
If  you find your basset is eating to quickly you can purchase a slow feeding bowl which is shaped like a donut.

General Tips on Things I get Asked Often By Families

What treats and bones/toys do you recommend: I buy Zukes training treats the most often. I like the ingredients and the size for training. The other brand I use is Northern grainfree they are similar and made in Canada. I never give my dogs rawhide or pigs ears. They LOVE bull sticks, they are a bit most expensive but the dogs go nuts for them and they are great for teething puppies or adults teeth cleaning. When puppies are small they love those stuffless animals with the squeaker in them. Once they are a bit older I buy any really tuff rubber toy that squeaks. 

Do you use harness or collars and what type: I prefer collars to harnesses. I have families that swear by their harnesses. For this reason I tried one with Paris as she is a puller for sure. I found it very frustrating to try to get it on her and she pulled on it more. But remember each dog is different. I use on my puppies after 12 weeks and all my adult dogs a mostly nylon collar with a small portion of chain. It works similar to a chock collar but not as harsh. Its not the only way to do it, but the way I prefer to do leash training. 

My puppy hates the crate after months what am I doing wrong: In short, nothing! as much as I advocate crate training, it's not the best option for every single dog. I encourage my families to stick with it for a month. After that if it is still a battle you can try a puppy playpen with a dog bed, or even a safe puppy proof room. 

Any specific care things I should know about my basset: No stairs for the first year Ideally. I know this isn't always practical but stairs are not good for your growing bassets joints. A ramp works great. Do not let your puppy jump off and on the furniture either. Walks should be daily but limited at first. Their ears should be cleaned monthly when you trim their nails. I use a bit on white vinegar and water on a paper towel. ( this is what my vet recommends as I used to use the ear wipes) 

All in all your goofy companion will be stubborn and test the best of patience, but will repay you with the upmost of loyalty and love.