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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, everyone! I'm so glad that I found this forum. I really need some advice.

My grown son who lives on his own and loves the breed decided he had to have a basset and have it now. Can we say lack of impulse control? :( So, today, he found an ad in the paper, drove three hours each way and came home with the cutest little black and white girl, but I don't think she can be any more than five weeks old, if that. Of course, there were no papers - not even a receipt!!!! And, he doesn't remember what the guy said was her birthday.

I had spent the entire night last night reminding him of the importance of buying from a reputable breeder and NOT buying from a byb or a mill, etc. I had even contacted a friend who used to show and she was looking into finding a breeder who had or would have available puppies and still he couldn't wait!!! He should know how I feel as I have two maltese - one of which is a rescue who we took in as a permanent foster and came to us with all kinds of health problems and he was right beside me as we spent months nursing her back to health and learning about the despicable "breeder" who turned my baby into a kill shelter because she was too small to breed and had demodectic mange!!

Anyway, what's done is done and this new basset puppy is now a member of our family. :)

So, questions: how old are bassets when they are usually weaned from their mom? how old should they be before being separated from their mom? I wouldn't think it would even be legal to sell a puppy under eight weeks. Can they suffer from hypoglycemia like toy breeds? are there any signs we should be looking for that would indicate something is wrong? And, basically anything else you can tell me to help this little bit.

She does have teeth although they are really small. She's taking the nutrical, but not really interested in her food (I'm having him soften it with warm water before giving it to her), I'm wondering if we should have her on some type of puppy formula in addition to trying to get her to eat the kibble.

He has an appointment with the vet first thing in the morning (yes, they are open on Sundays! :) )

The thing that has me concerned is when I would put her on the ground she would immediately lay down - I was with her for a good hour and she never did stand up just kind of scooted forward. Also, her eyes have a blue tint and look sort of cloudy to me - is this normal? And, there's a lot of white showing at the bottom and instead of looking straight ahead each eye appears to be looking off to the right. Also, are there any genetic defects or issues that she should be health tested for? In the maltese breed we deal with a lot of liver shunts and patella issues.

He'll be waking up through the night to check on her and he does go home at lunch every day so she'll only be alone for about 3-4 hours in the morning and in the afternoon, but still I worry.

Sorry for the novel, and thank you for any help and advice on these questions and any info on the development stages of a basset puppy.


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Anyway, what's done is done and this new basset puppy is now a member of our family. :)

Poor baby- from what you're describing, that's a really young pup! The vet should be able to answer all your questions and give you an estimate of her age. I'll be intersted in what your vet has to say.

It sounds like you're pretty experienced with dogs, so hopefully you can help your son.

This forum is a good source for basset information- there are lots of people here who will be able to answer questions as your son raises his basset. Also, there's a "search" option (see the long black bar below the banner) that you can use to access information on lot's of topics - just type in a phrase, for example "housebreaking", and former posts that contain that word will come up. Some threads will be more informative than others, but browsing through what's there can be really helpful.

Good luck, welcome to the forum, and please keep us posted!

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Welcome. I would ask the vet all of those questions. She definitely sounds too young to be away from her mom.

Sooo many of these "so called" breeders should be found, fined and they should never have another animal. When my friend bought her dog from one of these guys, she drove to meet the "breeder" and he had the pup in the trunk of his car. (In Orlando). She took the puppy and almost ran to her car with him. He was sick, but she brought him back to health and he is doing just fine today. She turned the guy in to the local police for animal abuse.
Let us know what happens. I hope she is okay :)

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your replies! We're back from the vet and he said she is approximately five weeks old. She is healthy although she has a little divot(?) on her abdomen and an umbilical hernia - they will watch and fix when she is spayed. He is not concerned about her eyes at this time, but we will monitor and make sure they start to focus and not twitch about. She is much more active today, also. She weighed in at 3 lbs 4 ozs.

They did a fecal and gave her the parvo vaccine (parvo is everywhere down here) and she goes back in three weeks. I asked if there were any particular testing she will need to have done and he said no. I know in the maltese breed we test for liver shunts which unfortunately is prevalent in them.

The vet took a good 30 minutes explaining to my son how to care for her and what to watch for.

So, I think he's off to a good start and hopefully will have a happy healthy basset for years to come.

Oh, one other question - food - what's a good brand? They gave us a bag of science diet which I advised my son is not the best. Right now he's feeding her Natural Balance because that's what I feed, but would love to hear what brands you might recommend.

I would love to share her picture with y'all if there is a certain section of the forum for that - I just need to take one! lol

Again, thanks and I look forward to becoming an active member of this forum.


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I too was an inexperienced basset owner but experienced dog owner when I came looking for breed based advice here. Lots and lots of wisdom and support here!!

B.Basset my foster challenge is definitely in a better place for this forum being here. I think I might have decided that it was better not to chance making his issues worse and sent him back to the resuce to be placed with someone with more experience than I have with his kind of problems. I certainly wouldn't have had the confidence to deal with his issues as effectively as I have without the support of those here, not to mention my vet and his staff.

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Oh, one other question - food - what's a good brand? They gave us a bag of science diet which I advised my son is not the best. Right now he's feeding her Natural Balance because that's what I feed, but would love to hear what brands you might recommend.

There are lots of good quality kibbles out there, but whatever you give her, I'd recommend sticking to it for awhile.

Changing from one food to another suddenly can cause gastric problems- if you ever do decide to switch from one brand to another, do it slowly, adding a little of the new food to the old slowly over a period of about a week.

For a breed that seems to want to eat everything in sight (socks, rocks- I even saw an article once about a basset who had eaten over 40 nails!) they tend to have sensitive digestive systems.

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Excerpts from a top dog breeders website.

During their first week puppies spend 90% of their time sleeping and 10% of their time eating. Being very susceptible to heat and cold.

Their central nervous systems are developing rapidly at this age and they gain a significant amount of weight. By the end of the week the puppies should have doubled in size.


At two weeks of age the puppies ears and eyes begin to open slightly and they are able to move about the whelping box by "scooting".


At three weeks of age their ears and eyes are open fully and their teeth begin to come in. They attempt to stand and walk and have developed their sense of smell. They begin becoming very aware of their environment and playing with other litter mates is their main focus. They begin to bark and growl and their little tails start wagging.


At four weeks the puppies are now on mashed (gruel) food supplementation, though they still need their mother for stability and additional feedings. Depth perception is now present.


At five weeks the litter has established a dominance order. Rapid growth and development is present and play begins to become more exuberant. Weaning should begin at this age once the mother agrees.


At six weeks of age a puppy should be given more individual time and attention away from their litter mates which is critical for proper development. Though their mothers will still check in on them, the puppies should be fully weaned.


The puppies at seven weeks are on dry puppy food. They have total hearing and visual capacity at this age and are very curious.

Some states have recently changed their laws and require puppies to be at least 8 weeks old before placement. These new laws are to protect the health of puppies being produced by puppy mills that are sold to dog brokers and then delivered to pet shops.

There are some articles on the issue stating that the new laws are to ensure puppies are raised properly and not separated from their mother before 8 weeks of age. But people that have backed these laws have not raised puppies properly (or not at all). Puppies that are still dependant upon their mother for care, even at 8 weeks, are not physically or mentally ready for a new home."

As far as food, Natural Balance is pretty good.. here is a web site that rates dog food. Dog Food Reviews - Main Index - Powered by ReviewPost

Right now we are switching from Purina One, (which is about the same not so good quality as Science Diet) To Kirkland (Costco brand made by Diamond) middle of the road quality but very reasonably priced. Some dogs have problems with runny stools with Diamond, so far one of our two pups is, so we are not sure we will stay with it or not. Origen, Blue Buffalo, and Wellness are top of the line, but VERY expensive, four times the price of Kirkland.

Just wanted to mention a bit about spaying,,, Spaying a dog early will cause their bones to grow for a longer period than normal, which is not usually an issue with taller dogs, but on the short legged breeds it can be problematic in their joints. Best time to spay a basset is after 5.5 months and before the first heat cycle. (Yeah, I know, who knows when that will happen)

The same thing happens when neutering a male dog and it is not recommended to neuter a short legged dog until after 10 months.

Also,,,!!! your vet may be correct and the puppy may only be 5 weeks old, but I have seen 8 and 9 week old puppies that were that under developed.. one of the pups from the same litter as our girl was that way with no apparent problems.. attached are the pics of our Mercedes at 8 weeks and her litter mate taken on the same day. She was considerably less developed, but in good health.

That said, Snap Gardia , or liver shunts can cause lack of development and maybe should be tested for.

And did you vet do a fecal antigen test or just a fecal float test? The float test can miss a lot.


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I wouldn't think it would even be legal to sell a puppy under eight weeks
In some states it is not however many Many organization that require a dog to have a stronger human bond as opposed to a stronger ability to get along with other dogs recommend 6-7 weeks see
Puppy Socialisation and Habituation (Part 1) Why is it Necessary?
Guide Dogs for the Blind, who, until 1956, used to rely on the donation of adult dogs which they took on approval to maintain their training stock. The success rate of these dogs fluctuated between 9 and 11 percent and it was recognised that this could be improved if the association could supervise the rearing of puppies. These were purchased and placed in private homes at between ten and twelve weeks old or even later. Things improved, but the results were not good enough. It was Derek Freeman, who pushed to have puppies placed in private homes at an earlier age to optimise socialisation and habituation during the critical development period. Derek had a strong belief in Scott and Fuller’s work and importance of early socialisation and habituation in the production of dogs that were best able to survive and perform in the world at large.
Derek found that six weeks was the best time to place puppies in private homes; any later critically reduced the time left before the puppies reached twelve weeks; but if puppies were removed from their dam and litter mates before six weeks they missed the opportunity to be properly socialised with their own kind, which resulted in inept interactions with other dogs in later life. The training success rate soared because of this policy, which was carried out in conjunction with the management of the gene pool via the breeding scheme Derek also pioneered. Annual success rates in excess of 75 percent became common.
There is no real evidence that waiting longer is better for puppies though many insist it is. What earlier seperation from the litter does mean though that the owner must take more responsibility for Socialization, habituation and teaching the dog bite inhibition see

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

Countdown to a Crackerjack Canine Companion

Bite Inhibition - How to Teach It

I'm wondering if we should have her on some type of puppy formula in addition to trying to get her to eat the kibble.
Actual supplementing kibble lead to more potential health problems in large breed dogs. Especial calcium suplementation, no additional milk or calcium suplements.
The optimal growth of large breed puppies
It has been proven from extensive research, that calcium intake is the greatest risk factor for the development of OCD. When the calcium intake is too high, the risk of the dog developing clinical problems is increased. Excessive calcium intake can occur when calcium supplements are added to a complete and balanced food, when the animal is fed complete food that is too high in calcium or when the owner adds too much calcium to a "home cooked" diet. Adding calcium to complete and balanced diets should be avoided under all circumstances as the amount of calcium in these diets has been carefully controlled.
Oh, one other question - food - what's a good brand? They gave us a bag of science diet which I advised my son is not the best. Right now he's feeding her Natural Balance because that's what I feed
I would feed a large breed puppy formula which has an adjusted calcium quanity and calcium to phosphorus ratio to be optomized to large breed dogs to prevent orthopeadic problems aslo the caloric content tends to be reduced to decreace the tendency to overfeed. The biggest heatlth issue basset IMHO is obesity. The averge owners idea of what a health basset is, turns out in most cases to be an overweight to obese one. Bassets becuase of their disk structure should be thinner than the average dog to prevent future problems but they tend to be fatter. The should have a distinct waist and it should tuck up as well.

Dog Diet Do's and Don’t's
According to Dr. Tony Buffington, Professor of Clinical Nutrition, Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, your puppy can be fed a regimen of specific caloric intake compared to his body condition score (BCS), using a simple one to five scale, from overly thin to obese. Using manufacturer feeding recommendations as an initial starting point, feed your puppy to a score of two and maintain this weight until he's fully grown.

...2 = Thin - Ribs easily palpated and may be visible with no palpable fat. Tops of lumbar vertebrae visible. Pelvic bones less prominent. Obvious waist and abdominal tuck.
Corpulent Canines?
a conservative estimate is that about 50% of the dogs that I see are overweight; approximately 25% are actually obese
And if you think it is not my puppy think again studies conclude that owners are not good at ascessing their own dogs weight Purina® Study Confirms Link Between Body Fat and Chronic Health Conditions
Other Purina research found that most owners couldn't accurately assess their dogs' body conditions. When owner and expert scores were compared, only 28 percent of owners characterized their pets as above ideal body condition, while 79 percent of the experts scored those same animals to be above ideal body condition. Dr. Larson says this gap is serious because pet owners are not likely to recognize that their pets are overweight and even moderate excess body fat can lead to problems.
Also not that this study found 79% of the dogs overweight.

From a nutritional stand point their is not a significant difference between Science diet and Nature balance, If I so chose I could make a strong case infavor of science diet. But the bottom line is their is no perfect dog food for every dog. Some do better on some than others and many of the so called premium brands pocesses nothing superiour but superiour marketing. Also keep in mind most super premium brand are nothing more than marketing company they own no manufcturing facilities.

The best most straight forward least biased articles on dog food and choosing dog food I have found on the web is Dog Foods - Help in making the choice easier
My dogs tend to do better on what I consider medium grade foods. Not the best/priciest stuff (Innova, California Natural, Canidae) but not the really cheap stuff either (Hi-Pro, Dog Chow). Remember price has nothing to do with what might work for your dog. Just because a food is listed in a magazine as their 10 best, doesn't mean its better than another food that isn't listed. They do no testing of the food, they base their opinions on the ingredients. My dogs have not done well on any of those foods. Think for yourself and don't get brainwashed into thinking you are a horrible pet owner if you don't buy these foods for your dog.

...Remember, what works for my dogs or anyone else's dog might not work for yours. Buy the smallest bag you can find of what you want to start trying and if the dog doesn't eat it or you don't like the results, then you aren't out much and you can donate the rest to a shelter. I swear this last year I have to have donated more food that didn't work out with my dogs to shelters than anyone else in my county. (laughs)

... feed what works for my dogs! Whether that's Purina, Iams, Eukanuba, Diamond or whatever. This is my advice for you. FEED WHAT WORKS!!! Don't let anyone guilt you into or suck you into buying a food based on a magazine's 10 best foods or prejudice towards certain dog food companies. If it works for your dog, then feed it.
All that said I do believe that one of the biggest myths with dog food in general is the Complete and balanced myth, that is one can feed the same thing over and over again and expect not to have it be optimal as far as health goes. We do not enough about human nutrition to make such a claim in fact just the oposite is esposed that is variety is essential why in canines in wich even less is known about nutritionally we accept that feeding the same food for a life time is superiour to variety? I regular change food and because I do so regularly the dogs digestive system does not become specialized and run into gastric distress when a change is made which is common when the same food is feed over an extended period, hence the advice to change the diet gradually over time.

If you have not done use the search function on the site for housetraining. Bassets are natoriously slow to housetrain.
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