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I'm thinking of a Basset for my next family dog but have a few questions.

Separation anxiety, how common of an issue is it? My wife and I both work, so other than the aging Papillon, no one is at home part of the day. As a side to that, how are these guys for traveling, and how much entertainment do they need when alone? In the summer I can take a dog in the service truck. It'd be a lot of sitting while I'm down the dock, but I'm in and out of the truck a few times an hour.

Stairs, I've heard mixed reviews? Our main living area is on the 2nd floor so there'd be a couple trips on the stairs every day. We do use a baby gate, partly to contain the toddler, and partly to keep the papillon upstairs. I can carry a dog for the first while, but I'd prefer a self propelled buddy for most of the years.

Fenced yard, it's currently not. Can these guys be happy on a flexi leash with occasional trips to fenced areas?

Is sand an issue with their eyes and ears? We live near the coast so there's always some sand around. We take occasional beach trips also.

Thanks!
 

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1. IMHO the bigger issue is the toddler

2. Separation anxiety is more common in them than other breeds.

3. leaving a dog in a vehicle is not a good idea. Not because I'm afraid of heat exhaustion but rather the animal rights wacko's that have nothing better to do than smash up peoples vehicles.

4. sand is not an issue provided there is not a pre existing eye issue , then it can exacerbate it.

5. stairs can be an issue for puppies and the elder hound in between not so much

6. basset tend to take on the activity level of the household.
 

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Thinking about a Basset ....

1. You are well advised to do your homework before taking on the Basset

2. The so-called, but often over-used term 'separation anxiety' would apply to the breed which is a pack animal (you can take the hound out of the pack, but not the pack instinct out of the hound) and from experience, doesn't do well if expected to live alone for long hours during the working week. Of course nobody can usually be there 24/7 but if the Basset is left alone for hours, he will be noisy, for starters. They howl which will be heard by anybody within hearing distance. Had I not been able to stop working full time through the first 6 months, there would have been NO BASSET - I did go back part time, but he went back to being messy indoors, so I took him with me which I was able to do.
Travel - not a breed known to be a good traveller, although we have had some better than others. You surely can't leave any dog in any vehicle during the hot summer months.

3. Stairs. NOT for puppies, especially coming down. This breed has heavy bone and until the muscles etc are there to protect the heavy bone, you should keep a Basset completely off stairs - and that includes furniture too or you'll risk an injury which could continue through to adult life. The aim should be to keep the puppy 'sound' through to 12 months.

4. Fenced Yard. VITAL! This is a scent hound and if he picks up a good scent, he will be off and potentially under a passing car. Not for nothing is one of the most important things I have to check for when doing a Home Check for the Shelter I work for. I don't do Flexi-leads. I believe the lead should be no longer lthan 6 ft., at most. You have to work on a (reasonably!) solid recall. And even then, be one step ahead as Bassets can be deaf, when the situation warrants. The 'she can't possibly mean me' thing.

5. Sand - with their droopy eyes (which in some have become excessive) it's possible for sand to get in and cause untold damage. Ears - not so much. Beach trips are 'okay' except sand gets very hot - in many cases the hound (or any dog) is better off staying at home while you enjoy your beach trips.

If you contact the relevant Breed Club where you are, that's where all your information, the pros and cons, should be coming from. I used to include a sheet of Dos and Don'ts with my Puppy Pack.

Oh and lastly, if you have a toddler, please wait. Toddlers all too often don't recognise pulling ears (red rag to a bull) hurts and can be a nightmare for any Basset puppy. And being low to the ground, housetraining could come into play as all too often you can't SEE a Basset puppy having a mistake (pee) until he moves off. I didn't like selling our puppies to people with children of under 5 unless I know them and they were responsible - correcting their kids, not necessarily the puppy!

Please look up the load of information there is on the breed, and perhaps borrow a few of the equally numerous books on the breed from your library. And source a good breeder who should be willing to sit with you and answer your questions, so you know that a Basset is for you. :D


 

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Thanks for the replies.

The summer here tends to be 60-65F, certainly no dogs left in cars when it's hot out. I'm also within line of sight, 100' away or less.

I can certainly see the toddler and ears being an issue. We have specific rules on how to pet the dogs and cats, but they're not yet 100% obeyed. Generally any problems aren't the dogs fault, a woof when the kid is too close to the food bowl, chewing if their bored or need appropriate toys, having an oops because they weren't taken out enough or not trained yet.

Had a mini schnauzer with selective hearing and a bicycle eating disorder, so always on a leash in case I couldn't out run him. He was happy enough with the leash and only occasional trips to fenced areas, but I imagine many dogs aren't.
 

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many bassets do fine in a urban setting it is find one that is not too barky. Basset tend to take on the energy level of the household. While a fenced yard is a requirement for many breeders and rescues for use it is not we look at the totality of the environment not one aspect.

Rather than a puppy you might be better off with an adult with a know personality that meets your need. These are general more available from a rescue but many rescues have a non-negotiable fenced yard requirement. A breeder can often have an adult available, ie Show career ended, return for owner etc and they may be more flexible about a fence.
 

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Just to come back re fencing ...... when we had acreage, out in the sticks, we still fenced off an acre, from the house, using 'agricultural fencing', so we were absolutely certain there was no chance of anybody getting out, and potentially away. I don't know how anybody can keep a scent hound (let alone any other dog to be honest) and not have adequate fencing.

Add - I'd agree that no dog should be left outside alone rather than being walked, but not to have fencing at all, with a scent (or sight really) hound ...... recipe for disaster. And we did/had BOTH for our hounds. Still do!
 

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Fencing is definitely a plus, but I would rather a home without a fence that takes their hound out for frequent walks that one with a fence yard that just puts the hound out alone .
 
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