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Hello All!

We recently took in a Basset Hound puppy. He was found wandering along the side of the road - dirty and cold. He has no chip and no one is looking for him. So, we're keeping him! I'm trying to do some research before his 1st appointment with the vet.

I'm trying to figure out how old he is and what a healthy weight would be. Someone guessed 5-6 months but he seems a lot smaller than pics I'm looking at of 5-6 month old bassets. Also, he seems a little underweight. Other than just feeding him a little extra, is there anything I should be doing to get him to a healthy weight? He's filled out some since we found him but he still seems a little skinny. He weighs 17.0 pounds.

I'm trying to find him a crate. What size is appropriate for a basset? I would also love any training and/or housebreaking tips. He seems to be a very intelligent puppy and I want to get him started on the right foot.
He biggest issue is some serious separation anxiety! He completely loses it if he is left in a room alone for 5 seconds. How can I help him to relax and be confident in the fact that he isn't going to be left again? I'm a SAHM. So, it is rare for him to be alone. And he keeps trying to use my 2-year-old human baby as a chew toy. Any suggestions on this?

Thanks in advance!
Cooper's Mom

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First- Congrats on your new baby! You'll get lots if advice from people much more knowledgeable than me but I will offer a couple of suggestions based on our experience. Bassets are very food driven, you'll learn this if you browse a few posts. Don't expect to break him from "counter surfing" and such, rather train yourself not to leave things within "basset reach". Don't feed from your plate ever or you will never have peace. Basset hounds are loud and talkative, learn to love it! Our puppy has been
destructive so puppy proof like mad!! There are exceptions of course but I think if you start of with these in mind it will make it easier.

After all the dire warnings let me say our basset Cannoli is without a doubt our favorite dog ever. We adore her. She has managed to charm everyone, including my ex husband who hates dogs. With a little patience and a lot of treats she is well trained and generally well mannered. Your 2 year old is so lucky to have such a friend, Cannoli is my daughters best friend.

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Bassets vary greatly in size. Mine is 60 pounds, kind of big, but I have seen 40 pound ones too. I have also seen a 70 pound basset (aptly named Tank). Your vet will be able to make the most educated guess on age.

As far as crate size goes, I believe bassets usually need pretty big crates since they are so long and need to be able to turn around. We don't use them though so I can't offer specifics.

For separation anxiety, don't make a big deal when you leave or when you come back. Stay calm and don't go crazy to see them. If they're sitting around waiting for that crazy happy moment that's part of why they get anxious. There are many resources out there for separation anxiety, hopefully you'll find something that works for you.

Crate training makes housetraining much easier.

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Crate training definitely makes housetraining easier. Plus it helps with the puppy stuff. We crate our dogs so they don't get into trouble while we're gone or can't directly supervise them. Doppler is over a year and we got him the XLarge kennel from Petsmart. This is the link. http://
Doppler weighs 65 pounds as of yesterday but we got him this crate because it's long enough for him and wide enough for him to turn around. Virga, on the other hand, is only 6 months old and she's pushing 25 pounds. I think the crate we've got her in is a little big for her now but it's the same kind as Doppler's. In fact it's his old one.

As for training, it's very true that basset hounds are food driven. You can get them to do almost anything for a treat. But keep food out of reach or else you'll be out a lunch and your pup will be very smug and satisfied with himself.

I don't know how to help with the separation anxiety as neither of mine go through it. But if he destroys things while you're gone then crating would probably be in the best interest of your dog and your sanity!

This forum is great for finding solutions to problems or support when it's necessary. These people are great, kind, and very informative. And everyone has different view points so you'll probably get different views on an issue. Good luck with your new little one!

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hi! : ) I would keep him too...hehe
But then again i'm a newly spoiled person with a baby basset boy of my own who loooooves mama!
Bowser also had seperation anxiety. Most dogs are pack animals, but bassets are extremely so. Also, since he's a baby and you rescued him, you're mama!
Bowser just learned with time that I come back when i leave. But, honestly, what helped was that we had another dog that could stay with him so he wasn't totally alone. He still gets sad when we leave, but he no longer cries and freaks out. He did that from the beginning (i got him at 6 weeks old and he's now 10 months) it did take him a while to learn that mama comes back.

As for the biting, always scold "no bite!" and then instantly give him something he CAN bite and then praise him. Bowser is excellent at this now. He never bites people except when he gets very excited and only gently "mouths" us, but then i tell him "no bite!" and he immediately stops and comes over to me to say he's sorry and to get reassurance.

Bassests are thought of as lazy (they are) and stupid (they're not). I've actually found they're hyper sensitive to human emotion. They display it themselves very intensely. He's going to be willful, but the love and devotion they provide is unlike any animal i've ever seen. Just remember he doesn't want to be left because he ADORES you. That makes it easier to deal with : ) also, he's a puppy! puppies bite! so just be persistent that he can't do that, then let him do it on something he can. He'll learn what's okay and what isn't : )

Also, check his teeth! Bowser started losing his baby teeth at the end of 4 months old, and finally finished at the beginning of 6 months old.
Hope that helps!!!

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as for asscessing a dogs weight there are a few method but I recommned the methods out lined in the following article.

corpulent Canines
The best way to determine whether a dog is overweight is to test 3 different parts of the body: the neck, the ribs, and the hips.

  1. To check the neck, press your thumb and index finger deep into the side of the neck just ahead of the shoulder, and pinch them together. If your fingers are more than 1/2" apart, the dog is overweight. (Note: this is where old dogs tend to carry most of their excess fat, and they may actually be thin in other locations.)
  2. To check the ribs, stand with your dog beside you, facing his butt. Place your thumb on the middle of his spine half way down the back and spread your fingers out over his last few ribs. Then run your fingers up and down along his skin. You should be able to feel the bumps of his ribs without pressing in.
  3. To check the hips, run your hand over your dog's croup. You should be able to feel the bumps of his two pelvic bones without pressing down.
Some of you may be reading this and thinking, "I would never want my dog to be that skinny!" Think about the Olympic athletes. If you want your dog to be an athlete then it is only fair that you do what you can to help him achieve the body that he will need to perform and stay healthy and injury free for many years.
Unfortunately the esitmate is 40% if all dos in US are overweight or obese in breeds like bassets this tends to be even higher, so much so that it skew what people actual think is ideal. Keep in mind if the dog is as you as you think he is ie less than a year you want to keep in on the thin side to prevent developing orthopedic problems associated with over nutrition. see Dog Diet Do's and Don’t's

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. Feed whatever amount is necessary to maintain a BCS of two during the growth period, realizing that dogs have varying growth rates and activity levels. Once his adult stature is achieved, you may allow him to reach a score of three.
...1= Emaciated - ribs, lumbar vertebrae, pelvic bones and all body prominences evident from a distance. No discernible body fat. Obvious absence of muscle mass.
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.​
3 = Moderate - Ribs palpable without excess fat covering. Abdomen tucked up when viewed from side.
So being thin is good unless the dog looks emaciated you will want to maintain his current condition.

Someone guessed 5-6 months but he seems a lot smaller than pics I'm looking at of 5-6 month old bassets
At 17 lbs he is either younger than 5 months or a small basset or a basset beagle mix ie Bagle.

I'm trying to find him a crate. What size is appropriate for a basset?
When crate training you need a crate large enough for the full grown dog, I would reccomend nothing shorter than 36" long but some larger basset require even longer crate this does not appear to be the case in your instance. That said a large crate with a puppy can be a hole house rather than just a den. So going in the corner does not have the same negative conotation to them. You can simply make the larger crate a more appropriate the an ajustable barrier many manufactures make or simply fill the space with approprate sized carboard box(es)

I would also love any training and/or housebreaking tips. He seems to be a very intelligent puppy and I want to get him started on the right foot.
Bassets are natoriously hard to housetrain. I believe they are slow to mature sphincter control compared to other breed so are not actual capable of holding it when puppies like other more easily house trained breeds which requires more dilligent management to prevent accidents. Also one of the biggest failure when it comes to housetraining is not having a clear signal to indicate it needs to go out. Rather than leave this to chance Teaching a cue like ringing bells can cut this confustion and fustration.

Housetraing Your Puppy
Do not rely on a puppy to tell you when it's time to go out. That is expecting too much responsibility and communication at too early an age. It is up to you, the adult human, to know when he needs to go out. Watch his activity level and the clock.
A 12 wk puppy who is busy playing may need to urinate every 15-20 minutes, whereas a resting puppy might go for an hour, and a sleeping puppy can go 8 hours at night. Activity makes urine! Activity makes urine! Repeat this 10 times, slowly. This is a very important lesson for new puppy owners.
Potty training Tip

House Training: Ring My Bell!

He biggest issue is some serious separation anxiety! He completely loses it if he is left in a room alone for 5 seconds. How can I help him to relax and be confident in the fact that he isn't going to be left again?
Basset are more prone to this than other breeds because of their social nature, Keep in mind most basset will follow you room to toom but will be ok if you leave. If the dog is barking, anxious, destructive etc then it something you need to work on. Rescue and stray are also more prone than dogs that have not had an abandment experience. How to approch this depends on the severity of the situation. Many dogs require medication to help the medication is not a cure in it self but without it the dog is to anxious for behavior modification to have a chance. The dog is in such a state it can not learn. the follow article is a good place to start but you may need professional help

Seperation Anxiety?
Puppies and newly adopted dogs are at higher risk to develop separation anxiety if they are smothered with constant attention their first few days home. It is much better to leave for brief periods extremely often so the dog’s early learning about departures is that they are no big deal and predict easy, tolerable lengths of absence: "whenever she leaves, she comes back."
Give your dog both physical exercise and mental work to do. Not only does problem solving increase confidence and independence, it is mentally fatiguing and so increases the likelihood that your dog will rest quietly when he is left alone.

Mild Separation Anxiety
Reduce the contrast between when you’re gone and when you’re home. Refrain from smothering him with affection (see the "mental work" options above to discover other ways of interacting with your dog). Regularly interrupt his shadowing you around the house continuously when you’re home by baby-gating him into another room for short periods. This is like practicing a "semi-absence." Do many, many extremely brief (1 – 30 seconds) absences with no fanfare on departure or arrival. Increase physical exercise and mental stimulation. [/quote

he keeps trying to use my 2-year-old human baby as a chew toy. Any suggestions on this?
Keep then separated unless you can strickly supervise any interaction. For most dogs toddlers are not humans they do not move as human are unreliable and general create some anxiety. Some even view than as they would wounded prey. That said most likely you son interacts differently with the dog than you do. When the dog is playing what most children thing should discourage the dog pushing, yelling, hiding etc is percieved by the dog a encouraging even more of the same type of play. The First thing you need to be doing with the pup is teaching Bite inhibition, he might be to old for this as there is a limited time frame for this type of training but engaging in trying to train it will do no harm

see Bite Inhibition- How to Teach it

Teeth stage increase a puppies mouthyness. Hence the need for tteaching bite inhibition, First recognize the need for the dog to chew. Most dogs have a preffered chewing substrate based on mouth feel. Ie some like wood, other softer pusher material and still other harder itens like nylabones etc. Besure the dog has access to these. For training the dog not to mouth it should first have acquaired bite inhibition, because teach the dog not to mouth eliminates the opportunity to teach this important trait. General the most common practice involves using a disruptive stimulus to interupt the dogs behavior when it is chewing on something in appropriate. such as a load noise, shouting no, a squirt of water from a spray bottle. Just doing this however will never change the dogs behavior. As they really are not punishment to the dog. What they do do however is give you the oppurtunity to train a more appropriate behavior. That is giving the dog a more appropriate chew toy and praising and rewarding the dog for chewing on it.
Puppy Biting - Have Patience

Stop Play Biting – How To Train A Puppy Not To Play Bite

How To Stop Puppy Biting”?

Insights to Puppy Mouthing


Dogs and Toddlers

Dogs bite babes and toddlers more often

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Hello everyone!
This info has been incredibly useful! We just added a Bassett to our family Sunday; I'd never owned one because I've never found a Bassett at the shelter...only overpriced pet stores! Anyway, Buddy is 23 weeks--he was free; his owner recently got promoted in the USMC and was away too often for it to be fair to Buddy.
Of course I had many questions, especially about separation anxiety. They're answered, now :) I have heard conflicting stories about Bassetts being hard/easy to train--I'm just going about it the same way I did with my other dog Oscar (he died this month after 15 years, he was such a joy!) by assuming the "Alpha" dog position! Buddy is a quick study, doing very well!
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