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Hello everyone...I've been lurking for a few days and decided to join hoping to find some encouragement. We got our 6 month old basset hound about 6 weeks ago and let me say it has turned our family upside down. We have always had dogs and always had inside dogs but this one has taken things to a new level. Let me fill you in on our situation though....We have 3 children - 12, 10 and 4. Our 12 year-old daughter has a pomeranian/chihuaha mix that we got 5 years ago and she is the sweetest, gentlest thing (mainly attached to me though). Our 10 year-old son has wanted a pet for the past 2 years and we have put him off time and again because we already had 2 dogs (the other is an outside dog-lab mix) and 2 cats, but one cat is gone now. I had been thinking that maybe a basset would be a good pet for our family since we've had one before many years ago so we got one from a nearby breeder.

I hate to say this but I was so unprepared for how much stress it would be. I can't believe a dog would overwhelm me so much. She is the cutest thing but she has so much puppy left in her and she's so STRONG. She chews EVERYTHING and runs when we try and take things from her, I can't get her housebroken (some progress though), she wrestles with the little dog and ends up hurting her. She nips and bites my son (and us), jumps on everyone that walks in the door and barks non-stop at the cat. It has been CHAOS here. Plus our niece and her 18 month-old son are staying with us and we have to watch that Ginger doesn't tackle him.

I just don't know what to do. My husband tells me that she will outgrow it, my son is trying to be patient and see what she is like when she is older but he is miserable with her right now - she just over powers him.

I feel so torn. I just don't feel like I have any energy to do this. Can any of you offer any encouragement? I've had a couple of friends swear to me that it gets better if I can just hang in there but I just don't feel hopeful. To be honest though, she has gotten a little better since she came home. She will stay in her crate without barking, she will eventually settle down and sleep lying near someone, she is learning "no", "down", "out" and already knows "sit" and "outside" and "go poopy". I am trying the Dog Whisperer approach - calm and assertive, plenty of exercise, discipline and affection. Please share your wisdom. I am ready to find her another home but I love dogs and she is sweet and I feel I made a commitment to her that I should follow through on.

Thanks so much for any help/advice/encouragement you can give....and if you got this far, thanks for reading the journal!

-Tammy
 

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Tammy,it sounds like things are already getting a little better. When you think about it , she's come into a house with 4 kids, a cat and two dogs so I would imagine it's not a calm house hold and they feed off that. She is still a puppy and will be doing puppy things. Chewing is part of being a puppy. Housebreaking takes time and Bassets are known to be a little slower in that department. If she is going to hurt the little dog I wouldn't let them together unsupervised. I would suggest taking her to a puppy class or even a basic obedience class. It will help you learn some fundementals of dog training and she will enjoy it I'm sure. If they allow it bring your son along if she is to be his dog so he can learn too and she can bond with him.
Just the fact that she is good in her crate and has learned some basic commands tells me you're on the right track. Hang in there!
 

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I wholehearted agree with Bassets3 about an obedience class. In addition to learning the basics, it's a great way to bond with your buppy. Finally, since you have homework each week (and hopefully conintue the lessons after the class is over) your buppy has something exciting to do with you every day. Bassets are incredibly social dogs and don't like to be left out of anything!

Make sure Ginger gets plenty of exercise every day. A long walk before bedtime is great. The old saying that a tired basset is a good basset is true! They have a lot of energy and will either use it on productive things like walks or destructive things.

It does sound like you are making progress. But i know it can seem like forever! Hang in there - being owned by a basset is one of life's greatest pleasures.
 

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This scenario sounds very familiar to me. Our 12 month old male has been more of a handful than we ever expected. Everything you described, from the chewing to the non-stop barking at the cat, we also went through with Thor. The words of encouragement I can offer you are, it DOES get easier. The 6 to 9-month period was the worst, but since then things have been gradually getting better. He still requires a lot of supervision, but we're not pulling our hair out any more. The one thing that still drives us a little nuts is the barking at the cat. We just have to put the cat in the basement for a while until Thor calms down.

Thankfully, there are moments like this...
 

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GingerGirl: Like sand thru the hourglass, so are the days of our lives
Bassets3,Elvismom,2happybassets,: I concur and 2happybassets I love the picture and sent it to a bunch of my friends!
don
 

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I agree with what everyone else said,especially about going to obedience class- Petsmart offers them,or you could ask your vet where to find one in your area. Your son might enjoy getting involved; the classes are interesting and fun.

Also wanted to add: Hang in there, it's worth it! Bassets are great dogs.You'll never have a sweeter, funnier companion!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks so much everyone. I think I just need to hear that it does get better as much as possible. So much of her care is falling on me and I just get overwhelmed. Our niece will be moving out soon so that will help. And Ginger has been a pretty good girl today, not as much chewing or barking. I try to love on her alot when she is being calm - I understand that helps reinforce good behavior.

question - Will her energy level stay this high forever? I have noticed that she is really active and that has been a bit of a shock really. Our last basset didn't seem so energetic but then again we got him when he was like 18 months old and he was outside alot but he loved to sleep and sleep and was so quiet inside.

I really hope I can survive this....she seems very sweet and smart. Please continue to share your experiences and success stories. I will be referring to them for encouragement! :)
 

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A puppy is a puppy is a puppy, no matter what breed. Labs, border collies, goldens -- all are high-energy for a much longer time than bassets. Wonderful dogs, but high-energy. Basset puppies are nuts, too, and they do chew, they have a lot of energy, and they can be noisy. Bassets are big dogs on short legs, and they're very strong. We brought Charlie home at seven months, and he was able to nearly topple us with one body check!

Bassets3 is very dog-savvy (I know her personally), and gives some excellent advice. Your pom-chi mix is much too small to interact with your basset right now. Much too much risk to the little one, and she could suffer severe injury during simple play. If you can't keep an eye on them every minute, separate them. Baby gates are a puppy owner's best friend, and worth the investment. Crating is a God-send, too, for those times when you can't watch your puppy closely. Interaction with the cat should be supervised as well. When the pup starts barking at the cat, tell her to, "Be nice" in a quiet but firm voice. You could try to tether her to you, attaching a lead to your belt, in order to keep her right there and give you complete control over the situation.

This is the time when you have to put a lot of time and effort into training your pup. You clearly have a lot going on, and that won't be easy, and it will fall on your shoulders because you're the mother. Kids are not responsible enough to tend to every need of anyone, certainly not a puppy. But you will get past all this, and if you invest the time she needs now, you will have a wonderful companion for life......
 

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Baxter turned 1 in August so I've recently been through the puppy thing. My advice would be three things: 1. Crating 2. obedience school 3. lots of toys.

Even now, when the weekend is coming up and I want to have a peaceful few hours to watch a movie or something, I stop at the pet supply store Friday evening on my way back from work and get bones and raw hides for Baxter and BJ, our 6 year old Lab mix. They get busy with that and have so much fun and don't keep looking to us for entertainment. We put a fence out in the yard and now Baxter is doing his "Basset 500" out there instead of in the house! He's very good at amusing himself and going nuts! Then he runs back in the house, jumps onto the couch, and falls dead asleep. Ahhhhh, peace. :p

Stick with it - it does get better! You'll be glad you did because Bassets are worth it!
 

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We had that "energy level" with Belvedere and I think he was almost 3 years old, I saw a change. That's when he turned a corner and we could somewhat control those bursts of energy. Or at least maybe HE decided they didn't need to last as long! :lol:
 

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GingerGirl,

Holy #%[email protected]#[email protected]# POOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You do TOTALLY have your hands full. I don't even have kids, but two new rescue bassets put me over the edge a couple of times - it is a ton of work. However, it sounds like you are doing such a great job already - you know a lot about dogs and what they need, that is clear.

I do have a tip about taking things away from her - and I got this from a couple of different books and it totally worked.

First, until you have taught her to give stuff to you, don't chase her at all - it works way better to run away from the dog. Chase is a very fun game for dogs - as you probably know. To them, you are playing and they are supposed to run away - that's the fun of the game. Chase is great to play after they know how to give stuff up and settle down.

So, if you are trying to catch her in general, try turning your back on her and walking away when she gets that twinkle in their eyes and prepares to pounce away. She will follow you. And if you RUN away from her she'll follow even faster. And if you have a treat with you, she'll drop what ever she's got for the treat.

And when you are trying to get something away from her, try getting a piece of chicken or steak and trade her for the item BUT when she drops it and you take it from her give it right back.

Then trade again and give the item back again.

If you do need to retrieve the item, leave her with something really great in the final trade. The Petsmart classes use the trade to teach "Leave It."

This method also positions you as a truly neat person full of fun and surprises and builds a lot of trust.

Can't wait to hear your updates!
 
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