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Hello everyone!

My name is Ian, and my partner Chase and I just got our first Basset puppy, Truman, who is almost 8 weeks old.

A little background about us. We're on the younger side. My partner is finishing up his undergraduate and I am currently pursuing my master's. We talked about getting a puppy for a while, but had held off because we know it's a substantial time commitment, and we didn't want to doing anything sub-par. But with COVID, we're both now required to study from home until AT LEAST late August—so we thought what's a better time than now. We both grew up with dogs, boxers and labs, but this is our first puppy together and also our first Basset! (My partner's family took in a stray Basset back in the day, but he was already an adult and trained so they didn't have to go through all of the training).

All of that being said, we know 8 weeks is young, but we also know the advantages of being able to mold him while he is young. And that starts with potty training! We've been trying to get him on a schedule, and using positive rewards only rather than harsh scolding. When he has accidents in the house, we simply give him a quick, firm no and take him outside. Only problem is, we're on the third floor of our apartment. So sometimes he's either already finished and no longer needs to go, or by the time we get him down there he doesn't want to go anymore. We don't want to use puppy pads and teach him in the long run that going in the house is okay. We've considered getting a turf plot to place on our balcony as the "backyard" to make it more easily accessible. Any thoughts on this?

Additionally, we are currently crate training him, and overall considering his age he's doing very well. He's begun to see it as his "den" and goes there on his own when he's tired, and sleeps mostly through the night. (We used to have to take him out twice at night and now we're down to once a night) Our concern though is that during the day, even though we're home we do still have school work commitments so we cant watch and play with him all day. But being that he's in his crate at night, we feel bad putting him in the crate during the day when we have our online classes (even though the crate just sits next to our desk). We make sure to take him out on regular intervals and have play time with him in the evenings. But we don't want to keep him there ALL the time... we feel bad. But we also know that in the future when he's older, he'll have to be alone sometimes during the day. Any thoughts/advice on this? (Respectfully, I know some on here don't like crating but we've always crated our dogs and it's extremely effective in the long run)

I know this is a long post, but we hope to be able to gain some valuable feedback from experienced Basset owners. We're super excited to have him in our lives now, and we know this is a crucial period of learning for him... so we want to make sure we do things the best way possible.

Thanks all,
Ian & Chase

13,063 Posts
"All of that being said, we know 8 weeks is young, but we also know the advantages of being able to mold him while he is young. And that starts with potty training! "
umm no the most critical things are socialization and and teaching bite inhibition. Trying to do that in the age of this corona virus is hard see Puppy Socialization in the Age of Coronavirus - Avidog University
Teaching Bite Inhibition
"Please read this section extremely carefully. I shall repeat over and over: teaching bite inhibition is the most important aspect of your puppy's entire education. " ClickerSolutions Training Articles --
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.
A story... Ian Dunbar tells a story of a bite incident he had to asses. A Golden Retriever therapy dog was leaving a nursing home and his tail was accidentally shut in a car door. The owner went to help, and the dog delivered four Level Four bites before she could react.
FYI, a standard scale has been developed to judge the severity of dog bites, based on damage inflicted. The scale is:
  • Level One: Bark, lunge, no teeth on skin.
  • Level Two: Teeth touched, no puncture.
  • Level Three: 1-4 holes from a single bite. All holes less than half the length of a single canine tooth.
  • Level Four: Single bite, deep puncture (up to one and a half times the depth of a single canine tooth), wound goes black within 24 hours.
  • Level Five: Multiple bite attack or multiple attack incidents.
  • Level Six: Missing large portions of flesh.
Technically, the woman received a Level Five bite from a long-time therapy dog. Dr. Dunbar wasn't the least bit surprised by the bites. I mean, the dog got his tail shut in a car door! Of course he bit! What shocked Dr. Dunbar was that a dog with no bite inhibition was being used as a therapy dog.
"But he's never bitten before." Of course not. And barring an accident like that, he probably never would have. But an accident is just that. An accident. Unpredictable. What if it had happened in the nursing home?

House training
1. you need a schedule, for everything, sleep. play food water so when the dog needs to eliminate becomes predicable and avoidable. Puppy Schedule: Daily Routine for New Puppies

2 you need to take him out before he starts to go, every time he wakes up. every ten minutes of activity/play. after meals, after drinking. With a basset puppy cut the time in half on what you see and read on how long dogs /puppies should be able to hold it. It is my experience bassets are slow to gain the sphincter control necessary to hold it compared to most other breeds hence they are notoriously hard to house train. see ClickerSolutions Training Articles -- Housetraining Your Puppy

3. you need to teach a behavior for the dog to use when it needs/wants to go out rather than hope it can figure one out that works with you. Most of the time that won't happen, But you need not start this training right away because in the beginning it is your responsibility to get the dog outside to go not the dogs. see ClickerSolutions Training Treasures -- House Training: Ring My Bell!

4. we use artificial turf for the puppies we whelp to give them some semblance of grass substrate but it is not perfect and if you use it there still we be a transition period just not quite as bad as if you used puppy pad, which general turn into chewy toys more so than the intended purpose at least with puppies.

crate training Highly recommend Susan Garrett's Crate games

teaching self control
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