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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, this is my first post.

After liking basset hounds for a long time, I have decided to buy one and am hoping to get him/her in September. (i'm in contact with a breeder at the moment).

As a child, we had a dog, (schnauzer) but I have never owned one as an adult. But I have a loving family, with kids who are desperate for a dog and me and my husband feel it's the right time in our lives, where we can fully commit to one.

So, as I am a COMPLETE novice to owning a dog, I am after as much information as possible, so that, come September, I am completely ready.

Can anyone give advice on toilet training, other training, food, exercise and anything else you can think of, please. I want to be as fully prepared as I possibly can, to make life as happy as I can, for our new puppy.

Also, we're not sure whether to get a male or female, can anyone give us any advice as to what the difference is (apart from the obvious) :)

Or is there anywhere I can get information that someone can point me in the right direction.

I have been doing lots of 'googling' recently to find out as much as possible, but thought somewhere like this forum, would be ideal.

Sorry for such a long first post, but look forward to many replies.

Nat :)

1,240 Posts
Welcome Nat! I am owned by Annie Oakley and we live in Southern California. She is 6yrs old now and such a character. Can't wait to see pictures of your new pup! (We LOVE pictures!)

There is a search feature at the top of each page on this forum. You can type anything in there...fleas, ears, itching, yeast, smelly arm pits, poop eater, best dog get the picture...and you'll find tons of info. Bassets are a cool breed. You just gotta be prepared for the long ears, drippy drool and sweet bassety smell. Contrary to what many people think, they are not lazy or stupid. Many Bassets do very well in field trials, agility, rally, etc.

And if you stick around on this forum you will get to see tons of cute pictures and read through many silly, funny, sweet, endearing, touching and a couple sad stories.

Long story short...welcome!

2,787 Posts
Welcome, nittynat, like Ms. Oakley says!

Can't say enough about crate training-- really helpful for housetraining and for not chewing things up when my people are away. of course if u have a house w/a big backyard, maybe not as essential... anyway, crate was really good for me.

oh, and for boys vs girls-- all i can add is that the boys in my litter (including me) cost $100 less than the girls in my litter... my person saved $$ when she got me...!!

1,862 Posts
Welcome to the forums! The search feature is very handy, and our resident expert, Mikey T, has lots of good answers and advice.

And yes... we LOVE LOVE LOVE pictures here!

9,844 Posts
Sorry for such a long first post
your about to find out how short your post actual was.

So, as I am a COMPLETE novice to owning a dog, I am after as much information as possible, so that, come September, I am completely ready
The most inportant think you can do to insure a good fit is educate your self so you are ready when the dog arrives Please take the time to read all the linked to articles as well

Countdown to a Crackerjack Canine Companion
Deadline #1 BEFORE You Get Your Puppy -- Puppy Education and Owner Education!
Without a doubt the most pressing developmental deadline is BEFORE you get your puppy. The most important considerations are your puppy's education and YOUR education!

Most people thing of housetraing and the most import thing to teach a puppy actual it at best the third most import thing. Far and away the most importhing you need to teach a puppy is

Bite inhibition. Under the right circumstances any dog will bite. The diference between a safe and dangerious dog is how they bite not whether they bite. I safe dog has a soft mouth and does not cause injury when it bites. A dangerious dog does not inhibit its bite. There is only a realitively short window of oppurtunity to Teach bite inhibition reliably after 20 weeks that window closes. Puppies that stay with the litter longer also tend to have better bite inhibition to start but it is something they still need continious education about.

Bite Inhibition - How to Train It

2. on the list is socialization and hibituation. Most animals have an imprinting period where they are open to new things. After this relatively short period they react to situations and things that they have not encounter with fear. Keep in min in dogs the number one cause of agressive behavior is fear. It is impossible to under estimate the importance of socialization and Hibituation.

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

One in five of the dogs that Dr Valerie O’Farrell (1986) studied while conducting research at Edinburgh (Royal Dick) University Veterinary School had a behavioural problem to a lesser or greater extent. A similar, but larger, American study fixed the figure at one in four. In one year my practice treated 773 dogs - 79 of them, that’s 10 percent, had problems of fearfulness towards people or the environment due to a lack of early socialisation or habituation and a further 4.5. percent were inept at relating to other dogs, again due to a lack of early socialisation. The problem is immeasurably greater than these figures suggest. Many dogs show a weakness of temperament or inability to cope when faced with a particular situation, without their behaviour becoming problematical enough for the owners to seek help from a behavioural counsellor.
Puppy Socialisation and Habituation (Part 2) How to go about it

During this off time you will want to investigate puppy kindergarten classes in your area. A well run class provides good safe structured socialization along with starting on teach proper puppy manners , the ability to work and listen amonst distraction, an self control.

Puppy Training
When watching puppy training classes, it is so easy to be seduced by the sight of individual pups happily and obediently responding to off-leash, verbal requests and hand signals to come, sit, heel and down-stay, that one tends to forget the major reasons for holding puppy classes:
A comprehensive puppy program comprises both behavior training and temperament training in addition to the trainer's choice of obedience work. The most vital ingredient is temperament training - providing an educational forum for pups to learn social skills and to develop the confidence and social savvy for friendly interaction with other dogs and especially, people. Pups must be allowed to play with other puppies and dogs, and to enjoy numerous positive interactions with a wide variety of people, especially children and men. Socialization should always be the prime directive of any puppy program, whether the class comprises a group of owners forming a circle on the floor with pups having a right old time playing in the center, or fancy obedience skills performed off-leash in the middle of an ongoing play sessions
there will be many including vets that will recommend against any sort of dog vs dog socialization until the dog has had it full round of vaccines this advice is wrong, dead wrong.

AVSAB Position Statement On Puppy Socialization
American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior
The primary and mostimportanttime 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 one cause of death for dogs under three years of age.
While puppies’ immune systems are still developing during these early months, the combination of maternal immunity, primary vaccination, and appropriate care makes the risk of infection relatively small compared to the chance of death from a behavior problem.
Bold added by me for emphysis

3. Housetraining the best article on this subject I have found is the following Housetraining Your Puppy

A couple of thing specifically about bassets and house training. they are natoriously hard and slow to housetraining. IMHO it is because they are slow to mature in gaining sphincter control, they simply do not have the capibility to hold it to the same extent other breeds are at a young age. I have never seen a basset that was truely housetrained befor the age of six months and 1 year is more typical. Keep in mind a lack of accidents is not an indication of house training it is but the first management step toward housetraining.

One area that house training typically breaks down is the dog learning a cue that humans will consistently respond to to let them know they need to go out. Osmosis is not a reliable process especial given the human penchant to ingnore the dog sure they are signaling out of bordom etc, by ignore a cue we teach the dog that such cue is unreliable and they need to try a different one., so as time goes by dog and human never settle on one. The far easier process is to teach the dog a cue to use. For most/many an easy cue to teach is simply ring a bell

Ring My bell

If you have read the housetrain article above beside discovering that "activity makes Urine and when a puppy is active and playing they need to be taken out quite often and the complaint is why does the dog go in the house 10 minutes after being outside is unjustified and really very easy to explain, is that house training is all about teaching substrate prefference. That is teach/training the dog to want to go with a particular surface under it feet, ie paper training paper is the preferred substrate, When house training for most people it is grass. However if you don't want a burn lawn from dog urine then you need to teach another substrate preference from the beginning like pavement. The tip below can be very helpfor for teach a substrate prefference consistiently along with teach ifd desired a limite is size potty area as well

4. Impulse control . A dog that lacks impulse control is very difficult to live with, I dog that has impulse control but no other formal training is realitively easy to live with, Most hounds are lacking in impulse control unless actively taught,

[URL=""]Lowering Arousal

In my experience, a few dogs are born with low arousal levels and they have a natural sense of self-control. But I find that there seem to be less and less of these dogs. This may be because of breeding priorities that don’t include low arousal, or it may just mean that most dogs don’t live in rural environments and therefore they don’t come with very good natural programming to live in a mainly human-controlled world. I think dogs living in a busy household or environment never learn self control because they are constantly being stimulated and conditioned to be up and active, particularly ones who might be crated for long periods of time.

Teaching your dog self control as the foundation for all other learning

Now on to basset specifics vs other breed Hound in general have be classfied as dumb and hard to train. Which is not true. This perception is basied on how the resond to traditional training method based on compulsion and a dogs willingness to please. refered to as bidability. I deal with the latter first basset were bred to hunt independantly. without much or any human input. So have a dog looking to a human for direction and input is not what was desired. Basset as most scent hound have very little to no bidibility that is they do not derive any pleasure to do something because you want them to. They only do things if they percieve it it be in their best interest to do so. The trick to training is to make what you want in their best interest for the typical basset this means food.​

Basset can be some of the smartest dog on the planet but they do not respond well to correstion or force. The typical response is to resist by shutting down and doing nothing. That is why if reading you willhear a lot about flat basset etc. it is how they deal with stress.​

A look at "difficult-to-train" breeds and the reality of what shapes these canine minds.​

I would also highly recommend the webinairs I have links to in
Dog training Struggles
"I have posted 2 of 3 on line dog training webinars and the third will come out tomorrow. These will be available for the next week completely free of charge. The topic is foundation dog training and in particular how to overcome dog training struggles without the use of physical or verbal corrections."

Compared to other breed basset hare more social and need social contact. It is a rare basset that is good with being alone for extend periods of time. this means they are much more prone to seperation anxiety than the average breed and to have a well adjust puppy you need to activily work at teaching the dog to be comfortable when it is alone​

Scent hounds unlike the perponderance of other breeds general do not have an off switch when it comes to food. That is they are always hungery and it does not matter how much the have eate , the last time they were fed etc. A basset is only sated when it feet can no longer touch the ground. I a theory i first hear espoused by an old vtime vet goes like this. Basset and scent hound were perposly bread to be tenaatious hunter, untiring etc. To this end wich dog would be the more tenacious hunter. The dog that is full after having breakfast, or the dog that is sill hungry. So through selective breeding basset and other scent hound have lost the off swictch, that switch that most have the says i'm full.​

This can manifest itself in a number of problem behaviors. the first is counter surfing. ie steeling food. There really is no behavior cure. punishment and booby traps rarely work because the posible reward is so much greate in the basset eye the the punishment consequeces. The only real cure to preventing the behavior is never giving the dog the opurtunity. Granted a lot easier said than done but If nothing is lon the counter to steal the dog never learn to check out the counter for food.​

The other is resource guradiang of food and or food bowl agression with a puppy it is best to have all members of the family especial young childeren under supervision practice food bowl games​

Resource Guarding & The Food Bowl Game​

we're not sure whether to get a male or female

Keep in mind the difference between individual dogs is greater much greater than any average difference between the sexes of the same dog breed. In general males are bigger than female on average 10 lbs heavier. The also habe square. droopier and looser flews (lips) so are much more likely to be heavy droolers or slingers of drools. Males then to be more mellow and laid back but this does not mean snugglier as some can still be quite aloof. Females then to be more driven, active and pushier. As applied to bassets it is not uncommon to here it said They don't call then Bitches for nothing. In a mixed sexed household Females tend to rule the roost not the males. If conformation is important to you high quality males are easier to come by than females.​

Additional reading I highly recommend for anyone that has never owned a basset before seriously read Diane Morgan's
The Basset Hound Owner's Surival Guide and keep in mind all the stories are true. Because there is a lot of misconception about the breed that keeps getting repeated. This book goes a long way to dispell a lot of them.​

It Takes a Pack to Raise a Puppy
Understanding what a puppy expects and needs from his family. [/URL]​

But I have a loving family, with kids who are desperate for a dog and me and my husband feel it's the right time in our lives

You do not mention ages but if one is a toddler or younger I would highly recommend wait before getting a dog/puppy this stage is very scary one for any dog as a toddler doe not move in a humanoid fashion the appear to be alien and as such as you have seen for the socialization articles that the typical dog responce is going to be fearful and defensive making a biteing incident much more likely. So it is no wonder why the todder age group dominate dog bite statistics. if they are younger childeren I would recommed an older rescue dog with a known stable perosonality and tolerance of childern in the end it is a safer choice than a puppy which will be going through a nipping and teething stage that most young childeren can not handle appropriate. The way they natural react pushing the dog away, running screaming actual incites the dog to play and bite even harder.​

It is impossible to cover everything but if you have question on what is posted or other question that have not be answered plese fill free to ask and also make use of the search function on this forum because it is very rare a question has not ben asked before. but keep in mind date when a question was ask because things are never static and there may be new information that contradicts some of or all the responces in older posts.​

30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow, Mike that is alot of information! but thank you, i will take the time to read ALL of it. My children are 7 & 11, so out of the toddler stage.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to reply, I appreciate it.
Nat :)

9,844 Posts
My children are 7 & 11
Pay attention with then and the puppy earlly on to be sure when they are playing with the puppy they are doing so appropriate. ie reaminimg calm and practicing the bite inhibition training protocol. Unlike humans dogs do not generalize well and are much better at discrimination, On of the problem family often incounter is the dog plays appropriately with adult but rough with childeren because they have discriminated the difference between the twe. childeren tend to get over excited and that feed into the puppy play and nipping behavior. It is very important that all memeber are consistent in how they interact with the puppy to make learning faster and have the desired result. It does not take long to figure out if different members have different rules and act/react based on those different rules.

If any of the childern are boys and I guess we can include the husband in that as well I thing the following article will be helpful as well

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
from the same link above.
By Dr. Ian Dunbar

No topic engenders such a wide range of conflicting advice than whether or not it is advisable to play physical-contact games with dogs, e.g., play-fighting, tag and tug o' war. Some breeders and trainers are vehemently opposed to these games, feeling they make the dog uncontrollable and more aggressive. Other breeders and trainers, however, feel frequent games make for a better companion. Certainly, there are pros and cons of doing almost anything with a dog and this includes roughhousing. Without a doubt, misguided and/or inadequately informed owners can very quickly turn a good dog bad by allowing contact games to get out of control. On the other hand, a thinking owner can derive so many benefits from properly playing doggy games

So, why not just stop playing these games altogether? Well, a good class instructor quickly learns to anticipate a lot about dog behavior and a whole lot
more about human nature. Firstly that dogs, especially adolescent dogs, are going to attempt to play this way with people anyway. In fact, much of a dog's waking existence and certainly most of his playtime focus on mouthing (and/or biting) objects both inert and alive. Consequently, it makes sense to take time to teach the critter rules. And secondly, that many owners, especially men and children and extra-especially boys (ranging in age from two to fifty-two years old), are going to play these games with dogs anyway. And so, it similarly make sense to teach owners how to be better canine coaches, so they may correctly referee Rover and reap the many benefits these games have to offer.

Bold added by me for emphysis
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