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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
HI All

Great to see there is a basset forum out there. We have had our basset for just over a week, he is 8 and a bit weeks old, and he is so lovely but I would like some advice on which games and training exercises should come first. I believe bassets like chase and retrieve games, is this correct?

He has pretty much learned to sit and we are currently bite training (using yelp and walk away and stuffing toy in his mouth methods). We were playing too much tug of war with him but have cut this right back as I think it was making him more aggressive and led him to bite more.

We are restricted to playing in the house and garden as he has not had 2nd injections yet so I think (mainly through tiredness on our part) his games sessions and training sessions can become a little tedious for him so can anyone offer some good advice on games to keep him interested, assist with training, tire him out and keep us both from getting a little bored please?

We love him to bits and want to make sure he has the best start in life!
 

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We are restricted to playing in the house and garden as he has not had 2nd injections
No longer is this believed the correct course of action see
Puppy Socialization Position Statement
American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaivior
The primary and mostostost impoportatant time for puppy socialization is the first three months of life.1, 2 During this time puppies should be exposed to as many new people, animals, stimuli and environments as can be achieved safely and without causing overstimulation manifested as excessive fear, withdrawal or avoidance behavior. For this reason, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior believes that it should be the standard of care for puppies to receive such socialization before they are fully vaccinated.
Because the first three months are the period when sociability outweighs fear, this is the primary window of opportunity for puppies to adapt to new people, animals, and experiences. Incomplete or improper socialization during this important time can increase the risk of behavioral problems later in life including fear, avoidance, and/or aggression. Behavioral problems are the greatest threat to the owner-dog bond. In fact, behavioral problems are the number one cause of relinquishment to shelters.3 Behavioral issues, not infectious diseases, are the number http://flyingdogpress.com/content/view/32/97/one cause of death for dogs under three years of age.
I believe bassets like chase and retrieve games, is this correct?[/quote]

While there are a few basset that do retrieve that vast majority do not unless extensive training is used retrieving is not a natural instinct for them as in sporting breeds like labs. Most also prefer to do the chasing as opoossed to being chased.

I would like some advice on which games and training exercises should come first
TO TUG OR NOT TO TUG:
SERIOUSLY, THAT'S STILL A QUESTION?


Tug of War
Dog owners have been admonished for decades to never play tug of war with their dogs because of the risk of it increasing aggression and/or dominance in the dog. Even many dog resource people such as breeders, trainers and veterinarians caution against this game. This is partly a failure to discriminate between agonistic behavior (conflict resolution & defensive aggression) and predatory behavior. Also, many people have issues about witnessing intensity. Intensity is not aggression, however.
Played with rules, tug-of-war is a tremendous predatory energy burner and good exercise for both dog and owner. It serves as a barometer of the kind of control you have over the dog, most importantly over his jaws. The game doesn't make the dog a predator: he already is one. The game is an outlet. It’s intense, increases dog focus and confidence and plugs into something very deep inside them. The big payoff is in lowered incidence of behavior problems due to understimulation and a potent motivator for snappy obedience. There is a maxim in training: control the games, control the dog. It's also extremely efficient in terms of space and time requirements.
IS THERE SUCH A THING AS TOO MUCH FETCH?

scent Games

buster cube

Interactive toys

Brain Work Games


Personally I don't think it is ever too early to start teaching a puppy self control


Bite Inhibition - How to Teach It
Rather than "No bite," I strongly, strongly, strongly urge you to teach your puppy bite inhibition instead. Bite inhibition is a "soft mouth." It teaches the pup how to use his mouth gently. Does this mean that the pup will forever be mouthing you? No, not at all. Actually, regardless of the method used, puppies generally grow out of mouthing behavior after a few months.

So why should you teach bite inhibition? Because dogs have one defense: their teeth. Every dog can bite. If frightened enough or in pain or threatened, your dog *will* bite. That doesn't in any way make him a "bad" dog. It makes him a dog. It's your responsibility, therefore, to teach your dog that human skin is incredibly fragile. If you teach your dog bite inhibition that training will carry over even if he is later in a position where he feels forced to bite.


Crate Games for Self-Control & Motivation DVD
The much talked about DVD has finally arrived! Step-by-step training that is as easy as it is effective. Crate Games for Self-Control and Motivation features not only mature dogs but puppies as young as 9 weeks old learning

•Focus and motivation for work
•How to relax in a crate even while another dog is working
•Self-control for a phenomenal sit-stay
•A speedy and dependable recall
•Distance skills for obedience or agility
•Confidence while being proofed during any tough distraction
•To keenly offer responses when being shaped
•And much more!
As you develop an amazing working relationship with your dog, you'll see why crate games are the cornerstone of Susan Garrett's unbelievably successful dog training program and why they are now being implemented in dog training schools all over the world.
Guidelines for Teaching Self Control

Any dog can Live Calmly

Impulse Control

lowering arousal

Protocol for relaxation

Rewarding Non-behavior
 

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This doesn't exercise them but if you need something to keep them busy, a bit of peanut butter stuffed in a kong works wonders.
 

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I'm with kirska on the kong keeping them busy. Even better is to put it into the freezer overnight and let the filling become more solid. (I've found the puppy kong spray works pretty well for this.) The best thing I found to tire out my dog when he was a pup was a good old walk around the block.
 

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Stuffed kongs provide mental stimulation much like interctive games in which the dog has to work out how to get to the treat or food. they can also provided a sustianed reward the sort of self reward calm behavior, Ie while the family eats dog has kong in his crate or a particular spot .
 

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We were playing too much tug of war with him but have cut this right back as I think it was making him more aggressive and led him to bite more.

tug of war need to be played by rules the only way the dogs learn these rules which are life long lessons is through such play you need not lessen the amount of play but instead teach the rules. That said self control in puppies is taught in a natural setting over a prolonged set of time. Dogs up untPuppy Socialisation and Habituation (Part 1) Why is it Necessary?
il 16 weeks of age are given wide berth to behavior obnoxiously with adult slowly as sex hormones increase that becomes less so to the point that adult can routine act quite domineering at any puppy infraction

The Puppy and the Young Dog - About Growing Up
Dogs who raise puppies, raise their offspring into perfect dogs. Wolves who raise wolf puppies, raise them into perfect wolves who are prepared for a life as ´survivors´. When humans raise puppies into dogs, they run into trouble. Why?

First of all, we don´t allow the puppies to get the natural upbringing that they would and ought to receive had they been brought up by other dogs. Secondly, we expect the dog to respect our human rules, which are often meaningless to the dog, and we fail to take into consideration the dog´s age, developmental stages and its capacity. The result is that the dog fails to meet our too high demands.

Puppies who grow up surrounded by their own kind, gradually learn to obtain the self-control they will need as adults. And they learn so well! As adults they have obtained all the self-control necessary to survive. We need to learn to raise puppies in a similar way that they would be if they were raised naturally by other dogs from birth to adulthood.

The first and major mistake we do as puppy owners, is to set our expectations and demands to the puppy so high that there is no way the puppy will be able to meet them. In nature and where the dogs are allowed to grow up naturally in a pack, they learn self-control very gradually. Until they are about 16-20 weeks old, they have a so-called ´puppy license´. They get to flutter their license about and say ´Na-na-na, you can´t get to me - ´d4cos I have a puppy license!´ We often see how the puppies are taking advantage of this license. They bully the adult dogs around, and we can almost see that mischievous sparkle in their eyes.The adult dogs let the puppies carry on with unbelievable patience during this period of time.
Tug Rules

When it comes to tug I thing many have trouble in teaching the dog to give up the toy when it is one of the easiest thing to do. Keep in mind to have value as a tug the toy must pulled ie. resistence. The first approach I use to to grab the tug In each hand on hand on each side of the dogs mouth and hold it still.
When the tug no longer moves most dogs let go of it. When that happen praise the dog and start tugging again. At first this must occur immeadiately after the dog give up the toy but once the dog get the idea that once the tug stops moving it need to let go to make it come alive again then you can add duration to the amount of time the dog has to wait patiently for the tug. Now tug becomes a play that help with self control. Als the increase in biting etc is not an increase in aggression but an increase in arousal. When you get to the point the dog is realsing the toy would can wait a brief amount of time. This alows the dog to calm down and lower the arrousal. But in the end over time you can use tug to teach the dog the rules of tug and mouthing under very high arrousal situations. There is not any better way to proof such behavior than under these high arrousal situations If the dog can maintain control while highly aroused it will always be able to maintain such control.

There are some dogs even if the toy stops moving will continue to tup on the toy. Keep in mind when first starting this the dog does not know the acceptable behavior and it will take up to a minute or two before they release, if the dog still will not let go on its own, never try and physical remove the toy from the dog mouth,. The dog natural instinct is to resist presure. You pull the dog pulls harder in the opposite direction. Us this injstinct to your advantage. Push the toy further into the dog mouth the will natural release the toy.

Once you have and can predict when the dog will release the toy you can add a verbal command such as give or out . Personally i do not use a lot of verbal command as they are much harder for bassets than a lot of other breeds but that is a matter of personal preference I just do find it worth the time to do so.

stuffing toy in his mouth methods
I do not thing stuffing a toy in the dogs mouth at this stage of development accoplishes anything and can be detrimental. It is most important to teach bite inhibition at this age. Dog learn this through extend contact with litter mates but
hiowever when we seperate the dog from the litter we short change the process. (i am not advocating that dog should not be removed from the litter at 8 week because there are some other more compelling reason in favor of it) but it means that human must take over the process. Also human skin is more frail than dogs so what is ok as far as bite pressure to a dog is way to strong for a human. Using the substitution method buting an appropriate toy in the dog moth does nothing to teach the dog to bite inhibition in fact it hinders it because the dog is unfedered in how hard it can bit the toy. The substitution method such be reserved for the teeth stage 16 weeks and older when the dog is chewing on an inappropriate object. The substitution work to teach the dog what is an is not an appropriate object to chew, but this must be done after the dog has learned bite inhibition.

while not specifical asked for but related to my first answer on restricting the dog to the house and yard

Puppy Socialisation and Habituation (Part 1) Why is it Necessary?

Puppy Socialisation and Habituation (Part 2) How to go about it

Countdown to a Crackerjack Canine Companion

puppy training

The Importance of Puppy Kindergarten Classes

SIRIUS® Puppy Training


After you get your puppy
 

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Our two Basset sisters love to chase balls or sticks and they bring them back to us to throw again and we sometimes do this whilst walking. Occasionally the two of them will have a bit of a tussle over a stick and often end up walking side by side carrying it together and look so cute!

As 10/14 week old pups they had a lot of fun in the garden together with some wooden dowelling that they would carry togther and they still do it. Lottie likes carrying things in her mouth and often carries a stick or part of a branch back to the house. We have only had two Bassets who fetch and carry before these two.

Maybe having two pups together makes for better playing partners as they're good at sharing, including licking out a yoghurt or butter tub together!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Wow, all wonderful responses thankyou all ever so much, especially Mikey T for some really good info, I have not read it all yet as my pup keeps me so busy but I will read the rest later.

I think we got off on the wrong foot with our pup, for the first week he had way too much freedom of the open plan living room, he does have a crate in there but we have had major problems getting him to stay in it Especially when we are walking past it or doing something in the living room. So for the first week we had serious problems with him being over active and chewing everything we did not want him to chew and he just would not chill out. Basically we were exhausted.

For the last couple of days we are trying Long term and short term confinement, the kitchen is now pretty much where he is to spend most of the day (with frequent trips outside to toilet) so that he gets used to being alone and he is learning pretty fast to accept this.

We do have a few problems still that I wonder if you lovely people could help us iron out?:

He still will not chill out with us in the living room, and we really want to get him loving his crate so he will sit nicely in there and chew away on toys/chews while we are with him, and just Rest up after a play/training session without us having to confine him in kitchen every time as he cannot see us from the kitchen. Would you guys recommend using a house leash so he cannot run wild? And how can we get him loving his crate again so he will be happy in there whilst we are present.

He is not chewing enough chew toys and bones, will this come in time if that is all we leave him when he is confined? I know he has to become a chewtoyaholic so he doesnt chew up the furniture in future but we can't seem to crack it.

Can anyone suggest any games to play in the living room with him to keep his mind working?

I really appreciate all the replies, your help is very much appreciated and needed as we love our little guy, but at times he can be real hard work.
 

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How exciting-- congrats on the new boy!

I have a very hazy memory of my first month with mine-- felt sleep-deprived and tired from the CONSTANT SUPERVISION. but in retrospect, i think the constant supervision was important and helpful for us. He was crate-trained within a month, and housebroken within 1 1/2-2 months. He would START chewing things, but because we watched him like a hawk (well, watched him like we would for a toddler), he never destroyed anything of importance. Mainly would get at my slippers and try to chew cardboard boxes; did not chew anything else (he was 4 months old). We were able to teach him quickly what was ok and what was not ok because we gave him pretty immediate feedback.

He actually never plays with his chews or toys in his crate, even though we always have them in there; he only rests or sleeps in the crate. When we get home and let him out, though, he is funny and will drag his toys out to chew/play with them! So, mine does chew and play with his toys a lot, but not because he chews them in his crate. More because anytime he chewed the wrong thing, we would be right there to tell him 'no' and give him a toy instead, which he would take us up on most of the time.

When we weren't able to fully supervise, or when we needed a break, we would put him in the crate. Sometimes, I would give him a super yummy bone (like a beef rib bone) that he could not resist, and put it in the crate for him to eat there, with the door closed. He would be very quiet and occupied completely with the bone for a half hour, while we did housework around him.

Don't know if any of this helps, but thought I'd share...
 
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