All The Things You Probably Won`t Be Told About The Basset Hound!



All The Things You Probably Won`t Be Told About The Basset Hound!
Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
Long Ears And a Lovable Personality:
The Basset Hound
“The Insider’s Guide To The Happiest, Healthiest and Most
Well Behaved Basset Hound On The Block”
© 2007 - 2011
Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
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© 2007 - 2011
Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
Table Of Contents
Page No.
1. The proud beginnings of the Basset Hound in England
2. Is there a Basset Hound in your life?
3. Typical features of a Basset Hound
4. Recognizing the Basset Hound Breed Standard
5. Do you really want a Basset Hound?
6. Find the right Basset Hound pup
7. The pitter-patter of tiny paws
8. Feeding your Basset Hound pup right
9. Housebreaking your Basset Hound
10. Socializing your puppy
11. Pretty as a Picture: Grooming
12. Follow the leader
13. Healthy and happy
14. Insuring your pet against disease
15. Actions and Reactions: Allergies
16. To breed or not to breed
17. The twilight years
18. Finding a new home for your Basset Hound
Basset Hound Resources
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
Shakespeare wrote about this wonderful animal. French monks bred this animal. Those
long ears are a dead giveaway. Besides, one moment this adorable dog is on your lap and
the next? Bounding away after some secret scent. If you still can’t place the breed, all you
need to do is look into those eyes.
Basset Hounds.
A purebred you can get to love in seconds and keep as a pet for a lifetime. Warm, funny,
cute and extremely lovable, they exhibit almost all the qualities you expect in a family
pet. These are the very qualities you’ve either heard or read about in books.
But that’s not all. Basset Hounds are extremely intelligent too. So, don’t be fooled when
you think they haven’t heard your command. Perhaps, you haven’t trained them well to
listen and obey. But train them well and they are yours for life.
As a pet owner, you will soon find that your Basset Hound is virtually devoid of negative
traits. As a family pet, he is at once entertaining, cute, endearing, lovable and nonaggressive. If he loves your attention, he will return it too. He will grow to love your
family and will always expect you all to love him equally. Feed him well and he will get
on to your lap. If you want him, he can go running all over the countryside chasing a
There’s a lot to a Basset Hound, which you as a prospective pet owner, will soon find out.
Believe me, there is a whole lot more to know, understand and love in this beautiful
breed. Caring for him will be a pleasure. In return, your Basset Hound will, I’m sure,
shower you with some of the most beautiful moments in life.
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
Chapter 1
The proud beginnings of the Basset Hound in England
Often, breeders of Basset Hounds are faced with the question, “Is this
a French or an English Basset?” Perplexed, they reply, “But there is nothing like a French
Basset.” But, this is far from the truth as today, there are indeed several kinds of French
Basset Hounds, though not all are fortunate enough to be officially recognized by The
American Kennel Club and therefore are very seldom seen.
The word Basset is French for “low-slung.” Two kinds of Basset Hounds are of
importance to us while tracing the history of this breed—first, the Basset Artésien
Normand, the direct and earliest ancestor of our own Basset Hound, and the Basset Bleu
de Gascoigne, which people feel was interbred with the Artésien Normand before it
reached British shores as far back as 1866.
Differences between the Basset Hound and the Basset Artésien Normand: At first
glance, our present-day Basset Hound resembles the Basset Artésien Normand, but of
course, on close inspection, you will find several differences. For one, there’s a
difference of size. Then, there’s a difference in weight. While the traditional Basset
Hound weighs between 20 kg and 32 kg, depending on the sex and bloodlines, the Basset
Artésien Normand usually weighs about 30 kg-35 kg.
The Basset Hound also has a lot of extra skin and massive bones, unlike the Basset
Artésien Normand who lacks both. The Basset Hound’s head has a well-formed and
distinct occiput, but the Basset Artésien Normand’s skull is pretty flat. The Basset
Hound’s ears are set pretty low, --below eye level--, but the Basset Artésien Normand’s
ears are set quite high.
His eyes are slightly sunken with a prominent haw, while the Basset Artésien Normand’s
eyes are round and lack the necessary haw that gives the Basset Hound its trademark
doleful appearance. The Basset Hound’s lip are droopy and hanging while its dewlap is
pronounced, but the Artésien Normand has a long muzzle, lacks a dewlap, and its head,
unlike the Basset Hound, is refined.
Historical records tell us that the present-day Basset Hound breed was developed from
inter- and selective breeding with the Basset Artésien Normand, though today, they are
two distinctive breeds. But genetics plays its own dominant role in both these breeds, so
often the ancestor’s looks or particular mannerisms crop up in either breed from one
generation to another, especially in poorly bred specimens such as pet-shop Basset
Hounds, who still closely resemble the Basset Artésien Normand.
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
The Basset Artésien Normand goes to England: In the 1870s, the English first
showed an interest in the Basset Artésien Normand when Lord Onslow and Mr. Everett
Millais first imported specimens of this breed from France. When Millais visited France
in 1874, he attended a dog show at the Jardin d’Acclimatation where he would get an
opportunity to see some French dachshunds and be able to compare them with his. Since
the show was benched, the dachshunds were seated next to a few Basset Artésien
Normands, who Millais fancied. Right then, he knew he must have one Basset Hound. It
so happened that the two dogs he liked were from the kennel of Count le Couteulx de
Canteleu and were named Fino de Paris and Model. He took home Model. Today, these
two dogs are remembered fondly because they stand at a very crucial juncture in the
history of this breed, since all Basset Hounds are said to be their descendants.
At the time, there were two famous kennels of Basset Hound Artésien Normand in
France: the kennel of the Count le Couteulx de Canteleu and that of M. Louis Lane of
Château de Frangueville near Rouen. Although both kennels specialized in rearing Basset
Hound Artésien Normand, in time, each of them developed a distinct type of the Artesian
Basset. The Basset Hounds that were thought to be the offspring of more consistent and
purer breeding were the “Lane type” of hounds. so, it’s no wonder that they were in very
popular in France.
These Lane dogs were largely seen in coat combinations of lemon and white or gray and
white. They were very heavy and had a lot of bone to them, and were low to the ground.
Their front legs, being fully crooked were referred to as jambes torses. Despite the fact
that they were purer than the second variety, the Lane dogs were not easily accepted in
England. Though a few were imported, they were crossbred with the Le Couteulx types.
On the other hand, the Le Couteulx kennel reared two distinct types of hounds. Of them,
one was a larger animal with heavier bone structure and low to the ground, with coarse
coat that was either red and white or heavily marked tri-color. The second type was partly
beagle too, and was lighter in build with short, fine haired coat, with less well marked
colors. These could either be tri-color or very pale red and white. Its legs were sometimes
full torse or demi-torse, and it was common to find both types in one litter.
Of the two, Model was “rather flat in skull and having badly hung ears, but otherwise as
perfect a specimen as I ever hope to see.” The fact that he was knuckled over was as
much a disqualifier as his long muzzle. Though Millais wasn’t really interested in dog
shows, he decided to show Model to the general public and did this at the
Wolverhampton Dog Show in 1875. Among Model’s admirers was Lord Onslow, also
credited for having developed the Basset Hound of today with Millais. Though he wasn’t
new to this breed, the idea of seriously breeding it came only now to him.
In 1877 Onslow imported three Basset Hounds from the kennel of Count le Couteulx de
Canteleu: Fino, Finette and Nestor. Finette and Model were bred and the litter bore
Proctor and Garenne, who in turn produced Isabel, Model II, and Vesta. Isabel was a red
and white, as was Vesta, while Model II was tri-colored. In bringing the breed this
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
forward, there was a lot of inbreeding and brother-sister breeding. The result of this
breeding was Ulfius, Bratias, Niniche, Kathleen and Marie.
In 1880, Millais’ first breeding career came to a close. Being unwell, he left for Australia
at around the same time that Lord Onslow decided to break up his pack. Their dogs were
distributed among several breed fanciers. These new breeders purchased new stock from
France, thereby continuing its breeding in England on a larger scale.
Early Basset Hounds in England did not conform to the Standard. But this wasn’t
surprising, as Count le Couteulx had been experimenting with developing a new strain.
Despite this, the numbers of Basset Hounds were very small and the inbreeding due to
this began to take its toll with the stock beginning to reduce in size and bone, besides also
being infertile.
New blood was obviously needed. George Krehl, another noted breeder, imported two
bitches from France from the kennel of Louis Lane. These two Basset Hounds, when
crossed with the Lane type of this breed gave the “perfect touch” to the establishment of
the breed and perfected the work of early breeders.
In 1884, when Millais returned from Australia, English breeders felt confident enough to
establish the Basset Hound Club. The charter members were Count le Couteulx de
Canteleu, the one man instrumental in preserving the breed in France, Lords Onslow and
Galway, two early importers and breeders of Basset Hound in England, Everett Millais,
and George Krehl. Soon H.R.H. Princess Alexandra and Mrs. Ellis of Brettenham Park,
Billesden joined them. Princess Alexandra was a great fan of this breed and maintained a
large kennel of both the smooth- and rough-coated variety. Her kennel was named
A couple of years later, England reported 120 Basset Hounds entering the Dachshund and
Basset Show held at the Aquarium in London. The judge was Everett Millais. This large
a number of entries to one show only prove the success of this breed in England. The
inbreeding within this breed also began to show up with some Basset Hounds showing a
loss of bone, having difficult whelpings and infertility.
To counter this problem, Millais decided to cross his B asset hound, Nicholas with a
Bloodhound in 1892. The mating was achieved by artificial insemination, due to the
physical differences between the Bloodhound and the Basset Hound. The couple had a
dozen pups, of whom a few died.
In the 1890s, many French Basset Hounds were already in England, and by the turn of the
century, it was common knowledge that by injecting new blood from France and the
Bloodhound, the Basset Hound breed benefited. Until this time, these pets were imported
only as show quality dogs, but soon, the Basset’s virtues as a hunting companion were
also discovered.
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
By the end of the century there were three English packs that hunted on a regular basis—
the Walhampton pack maintained by Godfrey and Geoffrey Heseltine; one maintained by
T. Cannon, Jr. of Dansbury; and Prince Henry of Pless’ pack in Germany.
In the early 1920s, the Walhampton pack was streets ahead of the others in the show ring
and in the field. It also formed the foundation stock for early American Basset Hound
breeders. For instance, Gerald Livingston of Long Island, US, began purchasing
Walhampton dogs to import to the United States. And this began the story of the Basset
Hound taking root in another part of the world—the United States. But that’s another
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
Chapter 2
Is there a Basset Hound in your life?
Crook-knee’d, and dew-lapped like Thessalian bulls; slow in pursuit,
but match’d in mouth like bells.
---Shakespeare, Midsummer’s Night Dream
The Bard’s description of a Basset Hound is very apt, you’ll agree. At first glance, its
long ears hanging by the sides of its head will take your breath away. In fact, it seems as
if he brushes the earth with the tips of his ears, taking in the scent of game as he brushes
past fields, striding proudly and easily on his short legs and long happy tail.
This breed is often seen as a clown due to his doleful countenance and odd build. But pet
owners will testify that he is actually quite agile and intelligent, besides also having a
reputation for being a loyal and steadfast family friend. He is gentle, well suited to
families with children and gets along well with other dogs.
Since he was developed to be a scent hound, his chief talent and demeanor continue to be
faithful to this: he still has a huge talent of locating and flushing our variety of game from
rabbits, foxes, deer and wild boars. This ability of locating scents should really be
attributed to his ancestor, the Bloodhound, known at that time as the St. Hubert Hound.
The present-day Basset Hound is second only to this ancestor in his scenting ability and
has also inherited from him some of his laid-back attitude and ability to work in teams.
Though the exact history of the breed is unknown, it is said to have gained popularity
among the French aristocracy and working classes in the late 18th century. When the
English came to know of this breed, they and the French took them to the colonies.
General Lafayette also gifted a pair of them to George Washington. Here, sportsmen used
the dog to trail fox, raccoon, opossum and squirrel and to flush rabbits and pheasants.
Having said so much about this breed, are you ready to take on one? You’ll find that your
Basset Hound is much more than you just read. From your own experience with him, you
will find that he is a great companion who agrees with you and gives you quiet, happy
peaceful moments.
Perhaps the most important aspects of a Basset Hound are his ears. His long, sweeping
ears help him follow a scent. Heavy folds of skin under his chin retain the scent and act
as a very useful guide for him. He will come to you whenever you call him, but not if an
interesting scent takes his attention away from anything else. Then, you can forget about
him for the next two hours. In fact, his ears make him a rather different kind of dog.
In wintertime, your Basset Hound will love to curl up on a settee but don’t let him do this
to the exclusion of exercise since this is not very healthy for his low frame. Snuggling
close to the fireplace is fine sometimes but don’t encourage it too often as he may grow
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
too fat and will end up with health problems. If he comes across as being stubborn, don’t
let that fool you—he’s just being lazy.
Despite being a hunting dog, this breed is not ferocious. Your pet will love you, your
family and friends and will be proud to sit around them as much as he would love to go
hunting. But beware of your pet’s temperament as he could be mild, or you could have
got yourself a comedian to amuse you. But whichever his temperament, he will be very
energetic and will certainly not frighten anyone he comes across.
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
Chapter 3
Typical features of a Basset Hound
Why is the Basset Hound a breed of distinction, you ask? Well, certainly because of its
low-lying body, gay tail and long, long ears. Ordinarily, these dogs do not exceed one
foot at the shoulder, but due to their heavy bones and muscles, can weigh between 18 kg
and 36 kg. Though categorized as a medium-sized breed, he can really weigh over 32
kg—just like many large dogs! Females, though, are lighter, weighing between 18 kg-22
They are horizontally shaped dogs rather than tall, a conformation that can cause back
problems if the dog is not managed properly.
The Basset Hound’s head is unique. While his skull is rounded and the
muzzle deep, his skin is loose on the face and heavily wrinkled over the brow when his
head is lowered to sniff the trail. Combine that with his pendulous ears and lips and face
wrinkles and you’ve got yourself a winner!
His short legs end in massive paws. His fore feet turn slightly outward to balance the
width of the shoulders while his hind feet point forward. If he has large feet, they help to
make him steady, while his heavy bone structure makes him sturdy. His short legs too are
advantageous in helping the hunter to follow him apace on foot without any difficulty.
If your Basset Hound is an excellent hunting dog, it points to the fact that he has a
massive lung capacity and a large, strong heart to be able to track game for long periods
of time. They are known to hunt for days together in different and difficult terrain, often
with dense undergrowth. This is truly a hardy breed.
His coat is short, hard and dense fights water very effectively. He doesn’t need much
formal grooming either, a matter of great relief to you whether you are a show dog owner
or a house pet owner. The color and pattern of his coat are typical of hounds with tricolor (black, red and white), or red and white, or lemon and white. Blue, in fact a shade
of gray, is also accepted by the standard but is not preferred since it is linked with genetic
Your Basset Hound has a distinct sense of humor, is extraordinarily intelligent,
affectionate and entertaining.
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
The physical characteristics of your Basset Hound: Your hound should ideally be
slim and well muscled, healthy and free of disease. Only then can he perform to the best
of his ability and capacity.
Front structure: The front structure of your pet should have deep and ample rib
spring with its chest ably supported by his forelimbs. To have a good posture for hunting,
his forelimbs must be able to support more than half of his body weight. So that his chest
receives good support, his legs must drop from below his chest rather than beside it or
outside it. Part of this support will necessitate his feet to turn out slightly. If your Basset
Hound has a good powerful front structure without the strong driving rear, he will have
plenty of initial speed, but will not be able to sustain it for long.
His chest: His chest may be very deep and shallow too, but it’s not too deep if:
¾ It is well supported by his legs
¾ It is balanced with the rear
His ribcage: The perfect Basset Hound has a round and tubular ribcage. This is
helpful to him, as this will otherwise interfere with the free movement of his legs. His
feet usually rest on thick pads that can take the shock of the heavy weight he bears on
arduous runs. If he is true to his nature and is sensitive to scents, he will need to have a
strong, long and well-muscled neck, but if he does have a short neck, put it down to his
loaded or steep shoulders.
His posture: According to the breed standard, the Basset Hound can go so low to
the ground that it should be the distance from the deepest point of the chest to the ground,
while also being enough to allow free movement when working in the field. This should
therefore not exceed one-third of the total height at the withers of an adult basset.
The length of his body should be measured from the front of the brisket to the base of the
tail. If you find that his forelegs are forward of the deepest part of the chest, he might
seem longer than one with proper supportive placement. A slim, muscular hound is the
best prototype of this breed, if you want to have an idea of its bodily proportions. If he is
slim, and all his body parts are in proportion to each other, then it is obvious that he
walks easily and effortlessly.
Sometimes, it may happen that your hound may not conform to all the standards of his
breed but could be an ace runner and in fact is even a field champion. How is this
possible? It is certain that this hound has the right traits for performance—beginning with
desire or heart that is strong enough to overcome his physical handicaps. This is fine until
he competes with a typical Basset Hound of equal ability and better physical endowment,
when he will lose out due to a lower stamina. If he makes up for muscles and stamina
despite his faults, you may end up with a good athlete for a pet, but he will have to work
harder to achieve this. It takes time to breed a winner, so don’t be discouraged when
people criticize his appearance only because he may have a few faults in his make-up.
His head: Is his head not too coarse or too refined? Good, because that’s the head of a
typical Basset Hound. You will notice that he has a prominent occipital protuberance and
a well-defined back skull. It will be very easy for you to figure out where his head joins
his well-arched neck. If the head and neck blend without a clear definition, steer clear of
choosing this one.
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
His slightly arched muzzle is similar to the Dachshund “ram’s nose” though ideally it
should be straight, of equal length and parallel to the top skull with a moderate stop in
His forequarters: Good fronts are very scarce among Basset Hounds. If you find his
shoulder blade equal in length and set at right angles to his upper arm, he is more of a
typical Basset Hound. His shoulder blades are placed well back and obliquely while his
forearm is intentionally crooked so that it can support the mass of the chest. This in turn
helps the feet appear below the dog but not so far that it seems as if the legs holding teh
chest poised as if on an imaginary pedestal. Your Basset Hound will stand squarely on
both feet with a slight turnout and by this he displays symmetry and balance.
His laid back shoulders will give you an indication of his smoothed, arched and muscular
neck that flows into the line of the withers. But if has a stuffy neck, it means that he has
two faults—either a neck that’s very short or with steep shoulders or shoulders that are
set too far forward. If his shoulders seem padded even under his ample folds of skin, he
has “loaded shoulders,” an indication of an improper front. If he does have a well-placed
front assembly, he will be able to show off his prosternum. If you reach out and feel it,
you will find its presence isn’t overpowering.
His body: His loin is typically short and muscular. His top line is level, though the
females of the species are usually high in the rear. When looking down at your pet, you
will find that the width at the shoulders is equal to the width at the pelvis with a slight
indentation at the loin. His tail set is high with no slope in croup to the base of the tail.
But he certainly carries it gaily. Incidentally, this is more than a virtue in him—it is a
valuable asset in locating a Basset Hound in tall cover. So, it’s necessary his is held high
and waving. You could also choose a Basset Hound by its gay tail held high. After all,
you never know what might have affected its carriage before it entered the ring.
The underline should flow gradually up from the sternum to the flank, though often this is
hidden by loose skin that forms a “skirt.” If he has a well-angulated rear, muscled for
drive, he would be good for endurance training.
His hindquarters: The bones of the upper and second thighs form right angles
matching the front angulation. As a rule, Basset Hounds are high on hock and therefore
stand with their hind legs well under their bodies. If he has a good length of hock, he will
stand easily and squarely with his pasterns perpendicular to the ground and his feet
pointed straight ahead. You’ll notice he has well-rounded hindquarters with stringy
thighs. His rear feet will be just a little smaller than those in front. He will have ample
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
Chapter 4
Recognizing the Basset Hound Breed Standard
The American Kennel Club has laid down a detailed report on the
physical characteristics and temperament of Basset Hounds. The American Kennel Club
accepted the standard for Basset Hounds in early 1964. Since then, the Basset Hound
Club of America has revised it with recommendations.
Physical characteristics: As you know, the Basset Hound is a medium sized dog.
He has a large but proportionate head, with slightly sad eyes and long ears. Loose skin on
his forms a dewlap and gives him a distinctive character.
His eyes: Neither do his eyes bulge nor are they deep-set; but they range in color
from being mid-brown in light colored Basset Hounds to dark. The red of his lower lids
can be seen. If he has light or yellow eyes, they run contrary to the standard.
His ears: His ears are low–set, just below eye level. He has long, narrow ears that are
fine and smooth in texture that end in an inward curl.
His forequarters: The standard lays down that his shoulder blades be laid back. He
must ideally have short forelegs with the upper forearm tilting inwards without hindering
motion. Some wrinkles on his lower legs are acceptable.
His hindquarters: This part of his body should be well muscled and should ideally
look spherical from the rear. The stifles should be well bent and the hocks, though bent a
bit under the body, should neither turn in nor out. The skin between the hock and the foot
could appear wrinkled.
His coat: His coat is usually short but dense.
Coat colors: Acceptable coat colors of a Basset Hound are black, tan and white, though
the coat looks black and white from a distance. Lemon and white are common too. But
blue or gray is not usually welcome since these colors indicate a genetic problem. If the
coat is soft with feathers, reject the animal.
The Basset’s coat color is not directly proportional to its price. All we can say is that the
commonest color is the tri-color, followed by the red and white, sometimes with a touch
of tan, a deep mahogany and a dash of white. Real lemon, though, is unusual with white
markings running into light tan. A lemon Basset Hound at birth is really all white. When
it develops a tan with age, it becomes a lemon Basset Hound.
A blue Basset Hound is not very good as this color proves it has a recessive trait and
indicates genetic disorders. A good and responsible breeder would not breed this color.
His gait: Since the Basset Hound is a hunting dog primarily, look for smooth, fluid
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
movements in him. His forelegs should reach out and the hind legs should pack in a
powerful thrust. If he drags his toes or has stiff hocks, he has a problem.
His temperament: This is a gentle breed and belongs in a pack so a Basset Hound is
usually pretty friendly and very adjusting. Males usually do not mark their territory
unless there is a male that has not been neutered.
When a Basset Hound runs contrary to the Standard: Here are some features that
disqualify a Basset Hound from being his best:
When your Basset Hound is taller than 15 inches at the highest point of his
shoulder blade.
If he has knuckled over front legs, this is a disqualifier.
It goes against Basset Hound standards to have a long coat.
Cow hocks or bowed legs are serious faults.
For a Basset, a flat skull is a flaw!
A flat-sided body is a no-no too!
A tight skin and dry head are what a Basset Hound should not have- after all
what’s a Basset Hound without wrinkles?
If a Basset Hound’s teeth end in a bite that’s either overshot or undershot it’s a
serious fault.
A Basset’s ears should not be high set or flat- it should be set far back on the
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
Chapter 5
Do you really want a Basset Hound?
Choosing a Basset Hound for a companion seems an easy job but you have to consider
your personality, your working hours, your home and family and the time you can give to
the pet before you buy one. But if you have decided to take in a Basset Hound, how can
you be sure that this is the right one for you? As always, you need to know his nature and
his personality before you plump for him. First, let’s start with the good news:
He is a mild-mannered dog, gentle and loving.
He doesn’t throw any tantrums.
Males and females of the species get along well.
He also gets along with other dogs.
He loves to curl up with his owner.
He can be quite a funny guy and make you laugh
He can get along with your kids and kids too love him.
His IQ is pretty high.
He can be a good friend.
He rarely panics or gets nervous.
He is not aggressive.
He is a good watchdog.
His barking can actually prevent thieves from breaking into a home.
He can be active and can have fun with lively kids
Reasons why you shouldn’t buy a Basset Hound:
His barking or baying may not sound attractive.
Females of the species find it tough to whelp and raise a litter.
He has large stools.
He loves to chew, so be careful.
He can get pretty fat as an adult so feed him with care.
His ears require special care. They must be wiped after meals.
His eyes need attention and sometimes even medication.
His drool is bad. Enter a Basset Hound owner’s home and you could see drool
marks everywhere. Invest in a good vacuum cleaner and watch out for that
Persian carpet.
He can get bored easily.
He demands attention.
He needs to be on a leash when he is away from home and in a fenced yard at
Housetraining is a longer process.
He can be stubborn which may lead you to think he is not very intelligent. But the
truth is, unlike some breeds which are absolutely obedient and look for their
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
master’s commands and approval every time, this one has a mind of his own.
Pleasing you is not important to him.
He also sheds a lot, so think about it. If you are fastidious about your living
conditions, this could be a problem. His hair will come off easily every time you
stroke him and you might find hair on your carpets.
But he is an ideal family dog:
Here’s why:
• He is even tempered and does not fly into a rage or throw tantrums.
• He is gentle, loyal and affectionate.
• He is known to get along with all other kids or pets.
• He is alert to strangers.
• He won’t bite or nip and is safe with kids.
• He enjoys quiet moments at his master’s feet.
• A Basset Hound can live in either a house or an apartment.
• And he loves being part of a family. He likes company and being around people.
He isn’t a loner so you can’t leave him alone for too long or he will howl till you
return home.
What’s the real Basset Hound personality? A Basset Hound has a very distinct
character. While some of the species are very energetic, others are relaxed and easygoing.
You could very easily find a Basset Hound that just likes to clown around and play the
fool or he could be the serious type who still makes you laugh anyway with his funny
No matter what his personal quirks are, there are some temperament traits common to all
Basset Hounds. Before you go any further, let me tell you that all Basset Hounds have a
stubborn streak and a sweet nature. Your pet won’t be a mean, biting dog but sweettempered. He will never feel the need to show off his brute strength and mark his territory
as males of other breeds. But both the male and female of this breed are very friendly and
easy to get along with.
Traits to look out for in your Basset Hound:
The easy going Basset: You can safely go in for a Basset Hound as it can easily adapt
to life in either a house or apartment. Once he’s in your house, he’s sure to take it easy.
Perhaps that’s why, though he’s a hunting dog, he’s been given the tag of “an armchair
athlete.” He may like the outdoors, but give him a comfortable spot in your home, and
he’ll loll there all day.
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To prevent this, it’s a good idea to see that your Basset Hound gets a daily dose of
exercise or, just like us, he too will put on weight. To burn his excessive calories, he’s
going to need a lot of activity but this does not include aerobic exercises as this could
strain and hurt his legs.
Walking is a better idea and one that will go down well with your pet as this breed loves
to go for long walks. But remember to walk him on a leash as otherwise he will wander
off after a scent he’s picked up. For this reason, it’s better to take in a Basset Hound if
you live in a house with a fenced off yard and a dog door. If you leave him here for a bit,
he will be on his own for a romp in the yard and yet not get carried away by a scent. But
if you don’t have a yard, your pet won’t mind as long as you take him out on runs, play
ball and give him frequent chances outdoors to exercise his sharp nose and little legs.
Stubborn but not dumb: You might have a problem house training your Basset
Hound as this isn’t a breed of fast learners. This doesn’t mean he’s dumb; on the contrary
he’s very intelligent. It’s just that he is stubborn and very opinionated and feels that he
doesn’t need any advice or direction from you.
If he’s bored, you’ll have to be careful. Unlike other dogs, he won’t be destructive out of
boredom, but he will tend to be inquisitive about the trashcan or sprinkler outside and feel
he has to know all there is to these things.
For this reason, you need to be firm with him when you bring him home and quickly get
him started on obedience training. He’s strong headed so you will have to be patient till
he learns to obey you. To encourage him, give him the occasional treat. This is certainly a
better idea since rough punishments will only make him more defiant and won’t work.
He will take his own time to get accustomed to your rules. But once he is trained, he will
be surprisingly obedient and alert watchdog, and most of all you will have created a bond
with a sweet, loyal friend for life.
He sheds a lot of hair: Don’t get fooled by his short coat. Your Basset Hound will
shed hair and a lot of it, so brush him regularly with a currycomb or hound’s glove. This,
in the long run, will help retard the rate of shedding.
The Basset Hound is not what you are looking for if you want a pet that:
• Is obedient because a Basset Hound might not take orders.
• Would be a good guard dog.
• Is rather slow at housetraining efforts.
• Will jog along with you.
• Is trim and lean.
• Doesn’t shed and slobber.
• Doesn’t need a leash when taken on walks.
• Listens to your calls and comes right back.
• Smells good. A Basset Hound has a very strong hound odor.
• Has a soft bark. In fact, your Basset Hound has a loud bark and louder howl!
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Isn’t gassy. This breed usually has a problem of flatulence.
Some problem areas
Stubborn and willful: It’s a fact. Basset Hounds are terribly stubborn. It can be quite
frustrating because they won’t listen and don’t really care about pleasing you, unlike
Golden Retrievers. You really need to show them that you’re the boss or get ready to be
pushed around. In fact, the joke usually is that a Basset Hound owns one!
Obesity: This is a fact too! Basset Hound Hounds are prone to obesity and need to be
exercised because they won’t do it on their own. They need a brisk daily walk and
regulated diets. Since they are scent category dogs they can get the whiff of food
anywhere. Some owners have had problems like putting a dish on the table, leaving it
there to attend a phone call and coming back to see the Basset Hound having a snack! So
as is clear obesity is a problem.
Slow to train: Basset Hounds are not immune to housebreaking but they do resist it.
You will need at least four to six months of patient training and unwavering crate
training. However, even after the training they might not obey your calls or do your
bidding. If you love them enough, you’ll be able to live with it!
Noisy barks: When it comes to barking no breed can beat a Basset Hound! Make
sure you make it a rule never to leave a Basset Hound alone in the yard or house, because
he will howl his heart out.
A Basset’s bark is piercing and echoes so much that it carries far and wide. It is quite
deafening to neighbors who won’t consider it a bit musical, the way you might. A Basset
Hound does have a noisy bark but it’s something any owner can avoid by making sure he
gets adequate attention and company. It’s a social breed and protests terribly loudly when
A drooling pet: Basset Hound drool and males drool more. They drool if they are
excited or panicky. You will see drool everywhere in your home; so if you are finicky,
think again about bringing one home. However, some of this breed does have dry
mouths. If your pet is one of these, keep his coat dry too.
Did you know that:
• General Lafayette gave a pair of gave a pair of Basset Hounds to George
Washington as a gift?
• During the French Revolution, this breed came in for some suffering too because
they were favorites with the French aristocracy?
• The main use of a Basset Hound in USA is to hunt for rabbits?
• A Basset Hound might not be as big but his sense of smell is rated second after
the Bloodhound?
• Way back in 1956, when Elvis Presley came on the “The Steve Allen Show"
wearing a tux – guess what number he belted out? He sang his famous “Hound
Dog” to a Basset Hound sitting on a stool! Everything went great except that the
Basset Hound casually peed on stage?
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
Chapter 6
Find the right Basset Hound pup
Deciding on a Basset Hound is the easy part. The tough part is getting
one. How on earth do you locate a good breeder? And how can you make sure the puppy
you pick is a healthy one?
First, get in touch with the Basset Hound Club of America (BHCA). It can help you by
giving you the names of breeders in your area. Next, observe them at a dog show. You
can find out about dog shows from the AKC who can provide you with information about
such shows.
At the breeder’s, ask as many questions as possible. A responsible breeder will only be
too happy to answer them. What’s more, he will have a few questions for you too. After
all, if he is a good breeder, he will not want the new owner to be an irresponsible owner.
What to expect from a good breeder:
That he tests both parents: A responsible breeder does not breed just because he has a
female and has decided to experiment. Or perhaps his female just gave birth to a litter and
he needs to sell them as soon as possible. On the contrary, he is one who has had both the
parents tested medically and after getting them certified as healthy, has gone ahead with
his breeding program. He is interested in improving the breed and conforming to the
standard. A good and responsible breeder breeds not just for a dog’s looks but also
makes sure that the dog’s health and temperament are fine. He will be more concerned
about the dog getting into a good home rather than just selling a puppy to you.
Canine temperament: He will make sure that both the parents have good
temperaments. He will not use parents with traces of aggression, nervousness or shyness.
Knowledge: A responsible breeder should impress you with his knowledge. He should
tell you everything about the Basset Hound.
Selling from home: You will usually find a good breeder selling puppies from his
home. He would never think of passing them on to a pet shop.
Activities: He will be involved in a lot of activities like dog shows, rescue
organizations, obedience training centers and so on.
References: He will be happy to give you a list of other good breeders, not just
customers. Finally, if you do return the puppy, he will be happy to take the pet back. He
should give you a spay/neuter contract and a guarantee that he will take the dog back you
feel like giving the pup back.
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Some questions you could ask are:
Have you always bred Basset Hounds?
(The usual period is 3-4 years.)
What kind of temperament does the dog have?
(Purebreds have certain fixed traits and temperament is one of them.)
Who is the vet?
Do you microchip your puppies?
Are you interested in competitions and titles for your breeding stock?
What kind of environment does a Basset Hound need?
Are you a member of The Basset Hound Club of America (BHCA)? Or a regional
Basset Hound breed club? (BHCA has a code of ethics for breeders.)
What health problems could a Basset Hound have?
(There are some diseases peculiar to every pure breed.)
Is there a written contract and a guarantee?
A few hints:
Good breeders usually keep one puppy from a litter
Their interest in the breed will extend to more than just breeding: dog club
memberships, show and match ribbons, Championship or performance (obedience,
agility, tracking, field) titles
They are not interested in selling for selling’s sake. They may tell you that a Basset
Hound is not the right pet for you
Have a written contract and guarantee for you
They will give you a registration slip, the puppy’s pedigree, and updated shots/health
They are willing to talk about problems/genetic disorders /common diseases of the
They will volunteer to help you and offer you advice on raising a puppy
They do not breed more than one or two litters a year
They will never claim that their stock is picture perfect. Nor will they say that each
one is show/breeding quality
They will admit that their breed may have a few problems
They will not sell puppies that are less than 7-10 ten weeks old
They will always sell a puppy with proper documentation /records / registration slip
and pedigree going back at least for 3 generations) or charge for papers
You should also beware of some words used by the classifieds or a breeder. For
example: rare. Rare is not exactly a desirable trait. It could be a fault in the breed
standard. It may mean a more expensive proposition, that’s all
If the breeder says the dog is a ‘champion’, ask him what he means. A champion
earns points in a competition. Blue ribbons do not qualify as a championship. If he says
the dog is a grand champion, find out more
Champion lines are another matter. Most purebreds have some champions in their
lineage. One parent and a major number of dogs should have a championship title
If he says they are OFA puppies, look skeptical. OFA is the Orthopedic Foundation
for Animals, where dogs are examined for hip dysplasia. Dogs must be at least two years
of age to be examined
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The AKC registers dogs of the recognized breeds and whose parents were also
registered. It is good to have this registration but it is no indication of a healthy pup or a
responsible breeder.
Some questions the breeder may ask you: A good breeder is judged not just by the
answers he gives you but also the questions he puts to you. So be prepared for some of
these questions:
Are you a dog owner? Have you ever owned a Basset Hound? The breeder needs
to satisfy himself that he is not sending his puppy to a person who is doing this for a lark
/experimenting or just trying something new.
Why have you chosen a Basset Hound? He will obviously want to know if you
know enough about the Basset Hound’s temperament to own him. Besides, he will want
to reassure himself about your lifestyle.
Are you planning to use a leash? Have you fenced your yard? Basset Hounds are
notorious for running off after a scent so you need to be careful.
Where will you keep your Basset Hound? Your Basset Hound needs company,
caring and love. He will want to be with you. Do you have the space and time for him?
Will the puppy be all by himself for long periods? Your pet cannot be left alone
since by nature, he needs to be with people. Besides, he craves for human company.
Another cat or dog in the house will be good company if you are not there.
Are you ready to spay or neuter your pet? This is needed for the protection of the
Are you aware of the maintenance costs? You should realize that costs could
mount –trips to the vet, grooming costs, feeding and so on.
Does everyone in your family want a Basset Hound in particular? This is
important because the whole family should take care of your pet. A loving family will
help develop a loving pet.
Pet shop buys: Pet shops, to put it simply, sell for money. They buy puppies from
backyard breeders or puppy mills where breeding conditions are terrible. The female is
usually confined in a small cage to breed. These mills usually have no breeding program,
let alone a proper one and their interest in the puppy ends once he is out of their hands.
Here are a few reasons why you should avoid such breeders and the pet shops.
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# Lack of information: No pet shop gives you the right information about the pup’s
parents or lineage. The seller is usually vague and may say that he bought the puppies
from a local breeder. But then again, why would a responsible sell them to him? Besides,
you have no way of finding out what kind of breeding program was conducted.
# Guarantees: Their guarantees don’t really work because illnesses or defects show up
after six months. By then, an owner doesn’t return the puppy but even if he does so, the
shop will offer a replacement. This still doesn’t explain why genetically poor pups are
Choosing the perfect Basset Hound: A Basset Hound pup can be very cute, cuddly and
great fun, but selecting one requires a lot of thought and preparation and can even be a
very daunting task.
Your pup’s pedigree and breeding are the most important factors, while choosing a pup.
While some people look at only the sire of the pup, his accomplishments, style of running
and nose and are happy with a reasonably good bitch, most others certainly take the
pedigree of both the sire and the dam into consideration. Many also watch one or both of
the parents in the field to see if they like the style of the dogs. You should also speak to
other field trialers to find out the background of the breeder.
A breeder may sometimes refer to hound’s nose. By this they mean the dog’s ability for
scenting game. It’s true that some dogs can very easily follow a cold track. But your
Basset Hound will choose a more cautious style of tracking. Whatever his style, you need
to know how good he is at it: does he wander off too far or does he pursue his game till
he catches it?
And lastly, conformation is important too. You must find out if your pup has any serious
flaws? Perhaps he’s bow-legged or his shoulders are turned out? Whether you are a house
owner or a show dog fancier, this is important for you to know as it concerns your pet’s
health and well being. His serious flaws can affect his performance in the field besides
also affecting his endurance levels.
Further, flaws also affect his ability to go through the tougher brush piles. If he has any
skirting of brush, that is a flaw too. While you are checking out his flaws and strengths,
you will also come to realize that he can run for over an hour.
Do you have enough “dogness?” Before you make that first trip to the kennel or to the
dog shelter, ask yourself if you really are ready to take care of a dog. Ask yourself
why you want a dog? Does your lifestyle allow for it? Which breeds should you be
looking at? Is the Basset Hound an appropriate choice? Male or female; puppy or adult—
what’s your choice?
But before you think you’re done with questions and answers, you need to answer the big
one. Ask yourself if you know the true essence of being a dog owner or “dogness.”
Dogness is a number of things all rolled together. It combines the smell of a dog when
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you reach the door of your house; it’s the late-night visits to the vet when your dog has
eaten something he shouldn’t have; and it’s the easiness with which he adjusts to your
comings and goings and gets ready to go for that walk with you.
But dogness isn’t for everyone, so be careful. Once you get a dog, you’ll have to forget
all those impulsive vacations you take now–you’d have to find a pet-friendly hotel or
reputable boarding kennel, reserve boarding, gather his health records or leave him at
home with a sitter.
Apart from the headache there’s the hole in your pocket too that you have to think of. Vet
care is expensive and can come at the most inopportune moments, often setting you back
by a cool few hundred dollars at a time, not to mention the on-going expenses such as
dog food, grooming, boarding fees and toys.
All the above are easily possible when you specially carve out some time for your pet
every day and you can do this without cribbing. You could begin with three 15-minute
walks everyday, to start with. And you’ll also have to give him a lot of exercise—like
playing ball or going for a run—if you don’t want him scratching your walls and ceiling.
Get your home ready for your pooch: Before you bring him home, make your
home habitable by your pup’s standards. For this, you will have to make sure that your
landlord, condo or co-op board will allow a dog in the building. This is one of the
commonest reasons why dogs end up in shelters, not being allowed into their owners’
apartments or houses. If you’re bringing home a large dog, check to see if your yard is
large enough for him to run about in and that it is fenced so he can play unsupervised.
You need to fix up with your family about who will take care of feeding, walking,
grooming him, and cleaning up after him. If you’re bringing home a dog for your kids, be
warned that they will quickly grow tired of him, so make yourself in charge of day-to-day
management of this pet.
Pup vs. grownup: Bringing home an adult dog has advantages and disadvantages.
While you are saved the agony of teaching him how to adjust to your family and be
“mannerly,” he might just come to you with a lot of negative baggage from his earlier
home. So, while his behavior and expectations are set, it might prove advantageous for
you, as you know quickly in your friendship that you gel with him. Besides, you don’t
have to worry about the new pup adjusting to a new home, the problems of feeding young
ones or getting him used to a family.
When choosing an adult dog, look out for obvious medical problems. Check his skin for
rash or redness, look out for discharge from the nose or eyes and be careful if he has a
cough or if his ribs show up. And don’t forget to ask the breeder if he has been
On the other hand, raising a puppy is a lot of work – in fact, it often means making a 10or 15-year commitment. Beginning with cleaning up his puddles and piles to
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housebreaking him, it’s very difficult and is a whole load of unwelcome work. Then, he
may begin to chew, and he may even chew something precious to you. If you choose a
big dog, he demands a lot of exercise being energetic. But the toughest part remains
teaching him house etiquette.
At a kennel, don’t reach out for the most gregarious pup because this trait proves he’s
domineering, while the shy one in the corner is submissive. Either of these is a warning
for you as this behavior can work against you as the pup grows into an adult. Instead,
look for a pup that’s more balanced by nature.
Bring him home when he’s between eight to 12 weeks old. This is the right time to begin
socializing him when his bladder begins to be under control.
Male or female? The argument of which is better can go on but each has its positive
and negative sides. Here they are:
Male: the good side: The male of the species is usually calm, extrovertish, and
expressive in his affection, clumsy and cute. He will not experience mood swings.
Male: the bad side: He will have ego clashes, trying to establish leadership. He may
embarrass you if he licks his genitals in public. Or he may decide to lift his leg to urinate.
So make sure your carpets, potted plants are all safe.
Female: the good side: Softer and subtler, she trains faster and is not easily
distracted. She is also less aggressive, and you will have less power struggles.
Female: the bad side: She is usually moody.
The above pointers aside, the male of the breed, if not neutered, is likelier to roam and
fight with other dogs. Plus, he will need to be taken on a longer walk because he urinates
in many spots, but unspayed females tend to get pregnant until they are spayed.
To ‘show’ or just a pet? Deciding if you want a show quality dog or pet quality is
the first step. If you buy a show quality pet, you’re buying one that has been specially
bred to match the AKC standard. That is the objective of a good breeding program.
Animals that meet the standard are used to breed. Breeding quality animals and nonbreeding quality (some prefer these terms to the other two) ones have some very minor
For instance, ‘pet quality ‘ could mean a slightly bigger animal, correct color, and better
chest. This is a minor defect, a defect that goes unnoticed most of the time and does not
really trouble the animal. However, he will not be used to breed or be ‘shown’ at a
competition since the rules state that the breed standard has to be adhered to. Faults are
put down in any written breed standard. These faults would be considered when checking
a puppy from a litter. Though minor faults, they are enough to send him to non-breeding
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Some breeders will tell you every one in their litter is show quality. Others are stricter. A
good breeder should point out the minor defects in a pup and tell you why you shouldn’t
breed the pup.
A show quality dog should have a good temperament and should also have some kind of
acting abilities. They should love to be on stage and should also love people. These dogs
also make pet quality dogs.
Buying a show quality dog: These aren’t just sold at a higher price but sometimes
with conditions too. A breeder may want breeding rights for a lifetime. Some may want
to choose a sire for your dog, if she is a female and also want a puppy from the litter. If a
breeder sells a show quality dog, he may monitor the dog till the animal gets his
All terms and conditions should be clearly written down so there is no confusion.
However, do keep these in mind when you look for a show puppy:
There aren’t too many Basset Hound show puppies; one or two really good
puppies in a litter on an average.
The Basset Hound undergoes major changes as he grows to adulthood. So buy an
animal around 6 months that has already been ‘shown’ or has won some points.
Conformation Classes: At these classes, a Basset Hound is judged by the AKC
standard. A single judge will judge dogs of the same breed. When a Basset Hound is
judged against a scorecard, then it called an Obedience test. Commands like sit, down and
so on are the tests of obedience. A field trial judges a purebred according to the purpose
for which it was bred. The Basset Hound must be a registered dog with the AKC and over
6 months old.
The Breed: If you choose a purebred over a mixed-breed dog, it’s advantageous to
you, as you know its personality traits, idiosyncrasies and health profiles before you take
him in. Though, on the flip side, a purebred is less hardy than a mixed breed, both
physically and emotionally. Mixed breeds also go through more behavioral extremes than
a purebred.
So, have you now decided on a purebred? Now, you’ll need to select a breed compatible
with your lifestyle and with your reasons for wanting a dog. Considering the AKC has
over 140 recognized breeds, and many more, you’ll have enough to choose from.
Finding your Basset Hound: Dog shelters are a wonderful option for locating either a
mixed-breed or a purebred dog. Here, some 30 % of shelter dogs are purebred. At most of
the approximately 4,000 shelters in the United States, there are almost endless choices of
dogs available in many varieties – ones you probably didn’t even know existed. Adoption
fees, if any, are nominal. And you’ll feel good knowing you’ve saved a life.
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Breeders are a good option if you want to know more about the background of your new
dog; the AKC can refer you to a breeder near you (919-233-9767). When choosing a
breeder, visit his or her kennel area. Are the parents on the premises? Are the conditions
clean? Is the breeder the puppy’s advocate, asking you questions, or does he seem more
interested in a quick buck?
Pet shops are another available option but one that is not highly recommended. Pet shop
pups, while generally purebred, often originate in puppy mills, and the dogs are often
unhealthy and genetically unsound.
Rescue organizations: People who care for homeless Basset Hounds form these
organizations. They care for the animals, take in ones that have been abandoned and even
train them. Basset Hounds could get abandoned due to a variety of reasons. The owner
may have realized that he can’t care for the pet anymore; the family may not have the
time to look after the animal; the owner may move out of the city and so on. Some lucky
Basset Hounds go to a new home, some go to a new foster home. Volunteers also look
for Basset Hounds that need rescuing from places like animal shelters or pet shops. They
raise funds for Basset Hounds.
Healthcare: At these places, a vet will check every rescued Basset Hound. He will
examine the pet for parasites and may give a series of immunization shots. He may either
spay or neuter if it is needed. The animal is then taken to a foster home until somebody
adopts him.
However, it’s not as if once the Basset Hound is out of the organization’s hands, he is out
of their minds. Rescue workers check if the dog is being treated well by the new owner
and insist on a trial period. During the trial period, a rescue person will check on the
animal and find out how he is faring. A new owner can ask for advice. An adoption fee to
recover veterinary costs is usually charged.
More love and care: Basset Hounds at these homes need more love as they have
been traumatized. Abused or abandoned, they may not trust humans so it is absolutely
essential for them to be placed in a good home the second time. Moving from one owner
to another, one living environment to another can be unsettling and so it is necessary to
give them a nice, caring home. You can find Basset Hound rescue organizations on the
Daily Drool web page.
Adopting a Basset Hound: Each rescue home has its own rules. The National Basset
Hound Rescue Organization sets out the guidelines. Generally, a contract is signed.
Normally, rescue homes are very cautious when it comes to sending the dog to a new
home. Simply because, they cannot risk the trauma of abandonment again. In cases where
the Basset Hound has been traumatized due to a cruel kid, the organization may refuse to
send the animal to a new home with kids. Children are impulsive, mischievous and not
very predictable so such rescue organizations may refuse to send the animal to a home
with kids. The rules vary from place to place. Check with your local organization.
They cost less: Adopting a Basset Hound from these places would cost you about US
$100-$150, depending on the kind of organization.
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Pros of adopting a Basset Hound rescue dog?
• You will have the double joy of saving the deserving Basset Hound from being
destroyed and giving him a new home.
• You will most likely get an adult Basset Hound dog because it has been abandoned.
• Since you are getting an adult Basset Hound rescue dog, he or she will be already
housebroken an spayed or neutered.
• The Basset Hound rescue dog will be the pet you really wanted all these years but at a
lower price than a puppy would be at a reputed breeder’s kennel.
What are the cons of adopting a Basset Hound Rescue Dog?
• Some of the Basset Hound have been rescued from homes where they have been
abused and ill treated.
• You will have to be understanding and spend more time with him.
• Your Basset Hound rescue dog may be extra shy, timid and defiant, so you need
to be patient to deal with him.
How much for lifelong happiness? Before you start parting with the bucks, consider
your pup carefully. Usually, a purebred pet quality puppy from a reputable breeder may
cost between US $350-$700. A pup with show (or breeding) potential will be more.
Make sure the puppy has been checked by a vet and given the proper and appropriate
inoculations suited to his age. For instance, inoculations for rabies, distemper,
leptospirosis, hepatitis, kennel cough and parvovirus are necessary. Your breeder should
also have the complete records of the puppy.
How prospective buyers choose their pup:
Only red and white pups
No red and white pups
Only black and tan
No black and tan
The ugliest puppy
The cutest puppy
The largest puppy
The smallest puppy
Ignore the smallest and largest puppy and choose from the rest
The boldest
The quiet, laid-back one
Tips for choosing the right puppy: Before you actually choose a puppy and say,
“that’s the one,” you need to keep a few things in mind.
© 2007 - 2011
Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
Don’t go solely by looks. Most puppies look adorable and may melt your heart but
watch out. This is not the time to get emotional or buy on an impulse. You will be
responsible for this puppy for the next 10-12 years and it is your duty to see that you buy
a healthy puppy.
Do not buy one at a rescue place because you feel sorry for it, nor should you gift
A puppy is an investment and a commitment. Pets have proven benefits and help ease
life’s stresses. Buy a puppy when he is about eight to 12 weeks. He would have had
enough time to be with his mother and siblings and be ready for early socialization skills.
His bladder control should also be in place by 10 to 12 weeks.
At the breeder’s, observe the puppies carefully. See how they interact with each other.
Is one aggressive towards the other? Which is the shy one?
Ask the breeder where the parents are. See both the father and the mother.
Is a puppy bold enough to come to you? This could mean aggression. Look at a
puppy. Is he staring right back at you or following you with his eyes? This could indicate
aggression. Avoid him.
Never make the mistake of picking up a puppy. You could get attached to him and
might end up making a wrong choice.
Observe the environment. How clean is it? Is the food and water clean? Are the living
conditions hygienic? Check for poop on the ground. Infected poop can be harmful if
Take a look at the puppies closely. Do they look healthy? Look at the coat. The skin
should be smooth and the coat glossy. It should not be dry.
Look at the way they walk. The steps should be even. Clumsiness or wobbliness
suggests a problem with the leg or spine.
After you have gone through the above steps, pick up a puppy.
Let him lie on his back on your lap. In the beginning, he may be uncomfortable but
soon he should relax. His interaction with you is a good indicator. If he squirms, gets up
and walks off, then he may not be a good companion.
Put the puppy down in a separate place, away from the others. Squat and clap your
hands in front of him. If he runs to you with his tail down, he will be easy to train. If he
comes barking or bites you, he may be difficult to train, especially if this is going to be
your first pet. If he is slow to come or crawls, then he may be meek or shy.
Start petting the pup. If he is dominant, he will growl or bark at you. If he is even
tempered, he may lick your hands. If he is meek, he may roll over, look away from you
and urinate. A scared puppy may struggle and walk away after you stop petting him.
Let the puppy lie on its side or back. An aggressive one may struggle, bark or bite. A
calm one should stop the struggle after a while. A meek one may not even struggle.
If you are a first time owner, try to get a puppy that can be trained easily. Aggressive
ones are tough to control and a household with kids will find him difficult to manage. A
very meek pet will not be happy with energetic children. Such pets are suited for senior
© 2007 - 2011
Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
Chapter 7
The pitter-patter of tiny paws
That palpable air of excitement is something you cannot ignore. Your cute Basset Hound
is about to come home and you know it will change your life forever. Your puppy is not a
toy who can amuse you for a short time and then never have your interest again. He is a
living, breathing animal. A life you must look after, care for and love. So how do you
prepare for this new life in your home?
Things to buy for the new arrival: First of all, you need to get a good crate—large
enough for an adult Basset Hound. This could be around 21 x 24 x 36 inches. Line the
bottom of the crate with a large soft towel or warm blanket. Now his crate is ready to sit
or sleep in, so you can move on to getting him a stainless steel bowl for food, a heavy
bowl for water, a leash, about six feet long and a 17 inches long buckle collar. When he’s
a bit older, get him a choke training collar, pair of nail clippers, an ear cleaner designed
specially for this breed, cotton balls or Q-tips to clean his ears and some toys, shampoo
and biscuits.
Bringing your baby home: It’s always best to take a few things
along when you bring him home such as a crate, preferably with
towels inside, a toy, water and some plastic bags just in case the
towels get dirty. Once you’ve done this, how do you make your
puppy feel he is a member of your household? Well, here’s how:
Give him love, comfort and reassurance: Your puppy is
confused, bewildered and lost. He has left the protection, warmth of
his mother and siblings and entered a stranger’s home. However loving that stranger is,
he needs a lot of reassurance, love and comfort. It is up to you to provide all that.
Teach him that all members of your family are leaders: Establish one fact: all the
members are leaders. Dogs don’t seek companionship in a human being. They want to
follow or be followed. So if he sees you as weak, he will dominate you.
Take him home on a weekend: Bring him home on a weekend or a vacation or on a
quiet day when you can spend time with him. Do not bring him home on a festival day
when you can’t spend time with him, when he’s forced to feel lost and helpless while you
look after your guests or family.
Have him medically examined: Get a basic medical exam done on your puppy. This
is important and will help you understand your pet better. The vet will give your pet a
physical examination and test for external parasites like fleas or ticks. It’s also a good
idea to have his stool sample taken. Your vet can tell you whether your pet has internal
parasites. Is he vaccinated? Check with your breeder.
Discuss spaying or neutering at this stage: Ask the vet when you can bring him in
for this.
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
Before you start on any kind of training, here are a few pointers:
Until your puppy feels his way around with your family and his surroundings, you
can’t expect him to be friendly or happy. Give him his space and if you find him lonely
and withdrawn, believe it’s natural. So, go easy the first few nights.
Never let all the members do all the jobs. Delegate the work so the puppy gets used to
the people who look after him.
Your pup is bound to make a home for himself in a quiet place where he can rest and
relax. He won’t like dirtying his own home. This is why you will have to start crate
training him as soon as possible. Besides, a crate will help him relax. Keep a toy and
some warm blankets and he will soon adjust to his surroundings.
The first few nights he’s with you, he may cry or bark a lot. If you reward him with a
treat only to hush him, this might become a habit that you will find difficult to break.
Your puppy will need a lot of sleep till he is about four months of age. Play with him
for some time but if he looks stressed, place him in his crate and let him sleep.
Your puppy will be thrilled with his new place once he stops being lonely. He might
be highly energetic. There may be running around, panting and accidents. If he has not
been neutered, he may mark territory, particularly if there are other dogs. You need to be
He may have a few “accidents.” In such cases, keep your cleaning products handy
and supervise him carefully. When you can’t watch him, put him in his crate.
A leash is best when he is outside. Otherwise if he runs off after a scent, you’ll be in
trouble and needless to say, so will he.
Keep on eye on him even if he is in your yard and it is fenced. Dogs can find a way
out easily.
Be a responsible owner. Clip an ID tag on a buckle collar.
Do not pet or caress too much before his training. If you come too close to him, he
may bite.
Never let him sleep on your bed or furniture. All these are tough habits to break and
you’ll have a hard time once he is as adult. As soon as possible, get a dog license. Check
if you need a rabies certificate. If you have spayed or neutered your puppy, the license fee
may be lowered.
Get him used to a routine. Be consistent and be a leader.
Puppies are naturally curious so put dangerous objects, like electrical cords or
poisonous plants out of reach. Your favorite possessions or priceless objects need to be
protected too. Put cleaning products out of reach or behind latched doors. Equip cabinet
doors with childproof latches. Pets should not room fresheners or pesticides. They could
prove toxic.
Don’t give medicine prescribed for human beings.
When your puppy comes home, take him around the house. Let him walk around the
yards and do his potty. Choose a good place and train him to go there every time. Praise
him after he’s done.
If he shows an inclination to do it in the house, tug at his leash and release it, say ‘no’
and take him to his spot. Offer a treat immediately afterwards.
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
Enforcing law and order:
Any command must be seen as a command and not a weak request. If he thinks you
can’t enforce it, it is bad. So take care. If he doesn’t obey you and you don’t direct him
properly, he will ignore you.
Never encourage bad behavior by letting him think it was funny.
Keep a constant vigil in the first few days, if possible, keep him in your room. If he
needs to potty, you can rush him outside. Or if he does something wrong, you can correct
him and show him the right behavior.
Do not indulge in rough games with him. It might make him aggressive.
Be a good leader. Remember, you are the only one who can guide him and he will
need your guidance. In fact, he is looking for a leader. Lay down some clear and simple
rules for him. A Basset Hound is a pack hound so he needs discipline.
Change over to the food of your liking rather slowly. Nowadays, you can find good
dog food. Dry food is good. It aids digestion and builds strong teeth. Avoid giving him
table scraps. Chocolate is bad, even a small amount of chocolate. It is poison and can kill
Treats can be given for good behavior. Biscuits without coloring would be good for
Give him chewable toys.
Don’t feed him rawhide bones. They can choke him and cause bad digestion.
Say hello to the resident pet: If you are bringing home a pup to a home of older
animals, you’ll need to tread carefully. Here’s what you should do:
Before you actually introduce your new pet to your old one, make sure both animals
have had their shots, are healthy and carry no parasites.
Take your new pet around the house and outside on a leash. Then bring the other one
out, also on a leash. Do not pull the leash often and make sure the collar is not tight.
The introduction should be a slow one and you should ensure that both the dogs are
calm. See how they react. Reward them with a treat if the initial meeting is hassle-free. If
you sense even the slightest bit of tension, call off the meeting. Keep a close watch. The
minute you see any sign of good behavior, reward the pet.
Both the dogs should not lose sight of each other. Symptoms of trouble are raised fur,
tough stares or a stiff posture.
If one is aggressive, do not scold or punish him. Take him away, a little farther to calm
him. If both your pets are aggressive, separate them and put them in far off places.
Introduce them another day.
How to time your commands: While setting rules for your pet, these are a few
things you should take into consideration:
Whenever you correct bad behavior, make sure your timing is perfect. If the dog
barks and is about to jump, do not wait for him to finish the act. A firm, “No”, followed
by a quick pull at the leash should work.
It is up to you to be in control all the time. You must show both your pets that you are
the master. It is a mistake to let them know that you are in doubt or in two minds. You
have to be the alpha all the time.
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
If both your pets show aggression beyond a point and you feel you cannot control
them, call a vet or a trainer.
Your dogs could start a fight inside so if you are alone, tie one of them to a post or
some fixed structure and keep the other on a leash. If you have another person with you,
each can concentrate on one animal.
How to make your new pet feel secure in his new home: Your resident pet may
have begun to feel insecure about his position. So please, comfort him and pet him but do
not allow any aggressive tendencies to be shown towards the new pet. This is where
socialization at an early stage plays an important part. If both dogs have been socialized,
it will take them very little time to get friendly. Remember not to look or act nervous.
This could be communicated to your pets.
Your new pet’s crate should not be close to the others. This might unnecessarily irritate
your older pet. If you cannot supervise, make sure they are separated.
Your pets will soon get used to each other slowly. However, you must spend some time
with them every day. Play with them, feed and train them. Spray them with water or
whistle if they misbehave. Reward him for good behavior.
You must continue to socialize your pets. Introduce them to new experiences, new people
but always be the leader. Your pet can smell fear and make out when you are not in
control, so take care. Your new pet should begin learning social skills as soon as possible.
This is very critical. Make sure you don’t expose him to any situation where he feels
Your dogs and cats meet your new pup: How would you get your dog to say hello to
your cat? Tricky as it may seem, it still needs the same set of rules.
You need one person to control the dog while you praise both animals.
Your dog should be on a leash.
Keep the leash on until both are calm. Otherwise if the cat runs, your Basset Hound
may chase him.
If they are friendly towards each other, reward them. If they stare, or if their fur
stands on end, keep them apart.
Your cat may be a little more stressed out. He may hide or stay away for some time.
If so, ensure those places are inaccessible to your dog. Make sure that both do not attack
each other’s food or crates.
Your kids and your Basset Hound: If you have little children and a Basset Hound
pup, you need to supervise the time they spend together. What else can you do? Be with
them, teach your kids not to shout, scream, abuse or be cruel to your pet. Neither should
your kids ride piggyback on your little Basset because it is bad for his bones. But your
pet, being small, may not be able to cry, so he will either bay or growl. This means he’s
scared, not aggressive.
People and your Basset Hound: Allow your pet to get familiar with his new home
and settle down. Once he is comfortable, you can introduce him to your family and
friends. Keep him on a leash and introduce him to one person at a time. Make sure the
dog is calm. Reward him with a treat, if he behaves well.
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
You also need to reassure the visitor. If the dog starts sniffing the guest, and most dogs
do, your guest could become tense. The dog could interpret this as a challenge. Observe
your dog. Is he comfortable? Is he relaxed? If not, it may be wise to delay introductions
for a while.
Your Basset Hound may growl, jump at people or bay. Most people allow their pets to
jump on people; this is a mistake. So teach him the, “off” command from day one. This is
one behavior that is tough to correct as he becomes older. As your pet becomes more and
more familiar, as his socialization skills improve, you will notice how much he can have.
Besides, your family and friends too will start relaxing when he is around. All of which
makes it worth having a basset.
More tips for a trained Basset Hound:
Everyone in the family should reward your Basset Hound for good behavior. This
will teach him to relate good and happy acts with every member.
Your pet needs a leash in the first two weeks. Leash correction helps build good
behavior in the long run.
Train for a short time every day. Your Basset Hound needs attention.
Stop the training if things aren’t going well with the resident pet. Start again later.
Dangers in the house: Never be too sure that your home is free from posing a threat to
your Basset Hound, especially if you intend to leave him alone once in a while. Your pet
is a curious and inquisitive fellow who feels he has a right to know everything about
anything. He will follow a scent, chew on anything that can be chewed thinking it to be
food! Better be careful of the points mentioned below:
Antifreeze: The worst possible threat comes from Antifreeze in the garage. The
problem is that Antifreeze has a sweet smell that attracts a Basset Hound. Since it smells
so sweet, he assumes that it would taste sweet too, but unfortunately it is lethal. Even less
than one tablespoon of anti-freeze could kill a Basset Hound.
If your Basset Hound has ingested Antifreeze, you must give him an antidote within 24
hours or he will die. Keep the Antifreeze well away from your pet Basset Hound and lock
it up. Avoid any spills and if there are any, then clean it up well. See if Antifreeze could
be leaking from your car. Your Basset Hound can pick up the scent in a minute and be
there before you know it. Check your car and garage periodically and find out if another
kind of less toxic antifreeze is available.
Other deadly hazards: Once in a while, when you celebrate occasions at home such as
a dinner party, birthdays or Christmas be careful with your Basset Hound as they could
bring danger to him. The poinsettia gifts that you get and the mistletoe that you hang up
on your Christmas tree are enough to poison him. Then, the glass balls and other tree
ornaments on your Christmas tree ornaments are also harmful to him, because if they
break accidentally, the shards of glass will injure him. There could be other small hazards
like tinsel, tissue paper, ribbons that your Basset Hound might want to try out.
Also beware of Styrofoam. If your kids are working on craft projects and need to use
Styrofoam, make sure they clean it up before your Basset Hound can get anywhere near
there. If he decides to eat it, he won’t be able to digest it and it might get caught in his
© 2007 - 2011
Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
Medicines, too, can harm your Basset Hound, so keep painkillers like Advil®,
Tylenol® and aspirin locked away. Also remember not to use human medicines on
your Basset Hound, as the dosage might be too high for him. Besides, there’s no saying
it will be as effective on him as on you.
Dangers in the garden: Your garden is one place both of you are sure to love being
in. He will dig the earth, sniff things out and sometimes try to eat anything that looks
interesting enough to eat. They can’t help being greedy for food! So, you need to be
very careful in your garden.
Avoid poisonous plants: Make sure you know what you are planting. Your
Hound is bound to dig up some and chew them. As you select plant bulbs, find out if
they are poisonous to animals. You might have planted a poisonous plant or shrub or
perhaps used fertilizer that has a hazardous chemical in it.
Some might give him a tummy upset and while yet others might make him sick. Others
could endanger him. Avoid common plants like Buttercups, Irises, Ground Ivy, Poppies
and Wisteria, as they are poisonous to eat. If you have a pond and leave your pet to
roam around in the garden alone, this could prove harmful for him, in case he drowns in
Avoid the Black Locust tree: Did you know that the seed from the Black Locust
tree is poisonous to both dogs and humans? These seeds are inside large pods and are
black and pretty hard. They fall off the tree and could lie anywhere in the garden. You
wouldn’t eat them but your Basset Hound would get curious and have a chew at it.
Don’t let these seeds anywhere near your pet. The seeds of this tree are known to cause
vomiting, loss of appetite and neurological effects that can paralyze him. So, it would be
better if you got rid of a Black Locust tree if you have one.
Below is a complete list of the harmful plants, seeds and leaves that are harmful for the
well being of your Basset Hound:
Some dangerous plants, leaves flowers and seeds for Basset Hound
Amaryllis leaves and flowers
Autumn crocus bulbs
© 2007 - 2011
Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
Azalea stems and leaves
Poinsettia leaves
Rhododendron leaves
Skunk cabbage leaves and flowers
Virginia creeper bark and stems
Wisteria bark and leaves
Birds of paradise stems
Bleeding heart flowers and stems
Cherry laurel wood and branches
Clematis stems and leaves
Delphinium plants
English ivy fruit
Holly berries
Larkspur stems
Lily of the valley
Lupine stems and flowers
Mountain laurel
Oleander bark, stems, and leaves
Privet bush stems and leaves
Rhubarb leaves
Tomatoes vines
Wandering Jew
Yew bark, needles, and seeds
Black-eyed Susan
Boxwood Bark, stems and leaves
Castor bean seeds
Chinaberry tree wood and branches
Daffodil bulbs
Dumb cane leaves
Foxglove stems and flowers
Thorn apple
Jerusalem cherry leaves and flowers
Jasmine leaves
Laburnum bark, flowers, seeds
Mistletoe berries
Mushrooms- that you can not identify
© 2007 - 2011
Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
Chapter 8
Feeding your Basset Hound pup right
When it comes to feeding your pet, you must remember one thing: make sure you feed
him the right food from the day he comes home. Good nutritious food will do him a
world of good. Besides, it is the foundation for a healthy adult. Pets that are not fed right
suffer from malnutrition and have to be taken to the vet. Allergies, skin problems, yeast
infections all these are worrying, not to mention the fact that they can cost quite a bit. So,
get your Basset Hound the right food and watch him grow up to be a healthy dog.
The first step for you to take in this direction is to check with your breeder exactly what
he has been fed so far, before you bring him home. Your breeder can advise you well. If
you have a puppy from a large litter, find out if the puppy’s food has been supplemented.
However, take care not to overfeed him, as dogs look very sad when you overfeed them.
Besides, this is bad for his growing skeletal system and backbone.
Your Basset Hound’s needs: Each purebred has its own set of needs and you should
know your basset’s requirements. His ancestors have passed on these needs. So feed him
the correct amounts of nutrients that he requires.
Feeding: First of all, you should know that your pet has a very good appetite. As a
puppy, he needs several feeds a day. You should get a diet program from your breeder.
He will be happy to pass it on to you. Feed your puppy whatever was fed
earlier and change to your diet very slowly. Nevertheless, it has to be
a well balanced diet. Your puppy will eat more, even a high protein
diet because he is growing.
How to feed him: Offer your pup a meal by placing a bowl of it
before him on the floor. If he does not eat it in 15 minutes, take it
This will teach him not to be a fussy eater. Do not offer
anything until the next feeding time.
Treats: Give your pet healthy treats like carrots and celery. Get him used to these.
You could if you want make them at home.
Some pointers while you feed your pet:
Treats are not a meal. They mean extra calories, apart from those in the meal.
Hard dog biscuits are good because they do a world of good for your pet’s teeth.
Other treats like rawhide have mixed reviews. You need to check the quality,
chemical levels and choking problems associated with them. Rawhide from some
countries (USA and UK) is considered good because of better quality control.
What your puppy should eat: Feed your pup a diet of dry food, meat, vegetables
and rice. Add a calcium supplement to that. Also, bear in mind that this breed loves dry
food. While you indulge him with dry food, adding a little water to it will prevent him
from choking.
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
Choose from a variety of foods for your puppy—either dog food that is premium or
regular, puppy chow, commercial or natural. Feed him by sticking to a schedule or feed
him without one. However, a schedule is better because housetraining becomes easier.
You will know when he needs to poop. Secondly, if there is no schedule he could become
fat or turn into a fussy eater.
Your puppy needs a good, nutritional diet. A puppy can be fed dog food at about 4
weeks. Whether it is canned or raw, he needs one with nutrients. If you are feeding him a
cooked diet, make sure all the nutrients are not lost. Choose premium quality dry food
along with good canned food. Some feel vitamin supplements are not needed if you give
your dog a good branded dog food. Some brands overfeed your pet so take care.
The food you give him, as a puppy will mould his taste so give him the best. In terms
of taste, odor and variety, give him the right food.
Besides, he loves fruits and vegetables too. Feed him these, as they are a safer
alternative to most foods. When you feed him chicken, pork or fish bones, take care to
see that they don’t choke your pet’s throat and stomach. In order to prevent any such
harm to their pets, some Basset Hound owners prefer to give these up totally. If you do
add vitamins, do not overdose him. Check with your vet.
If he doesn’t eat well during his first few days at your home don’t get unduly worried.
This is probably because he is still missing his mates or his old environment. If the
problem doesn’t get solved, talk to your vet or breeder.
Another point to note is that you should ideally feed him in the same place. Never do
this at the dining table since it encourages begging.
Your puppy will eat about two to four meals a day. This depends on his size and age.
Adults can be given one feed or two in a day. Puppies need to eat more often per day.
As said earlier, your Basset Hound has a tendency to put on weight. This is usually an
owner’s fault. So never let him eat too much. It is bad for his health.
If you are taking your puppy out of town, take some water too. Otherwise he may get
Water: The most important and cheapest nutrient you can give your dog is water.
Give him water in a bowl, preferably a stainless steel one, with a flat bottom. An
unbreakable, easy-to-clean one always helps. Make sure he drinks enough water
everyday so make sure he can access it. You should also supervise his drinking habits and
the amount he drinks. See that he doesn’t drink water from toilet bowls as he might just
catch disease. To avoid this, cover the lid of the commode.
Keep a check on his water bowl. Some dogs play with the bowls and spill the water.
Protect the bowl. In order to give some taste to the water, you could also add some
chopped meat or gravy to it. He’s sure to love it. Or you can add warm water to the main
meal or to his canned food. Let the water soak into the food, if it is dry. If you make the
water yummy, you will have a well-hydrated dog.
If your dog lives inside the house, then he will drink enough water, especially during
summer. But if he stays outdoors for a long time, winter could pose a problem as he
could suffer from hydration.
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
Check on hydration: The first sign of a hydrated dog are its moist gums. Next, move
your hand over his ribs. If his skin moves, that’s a good sign. Now, lift the skin on the
back and let go. If it gets back into position immediately, that’s fine but if this takes long,
your pet needs water. A couple of hours before he sleeps at night don’t let him drink any
water. For one, he won’t create a puddle and secondly, this habit could help housetrain
him faster.
Controlling your Basset Hound’s diet: Here are a few ways of keeping your pet
from overeating:
Control his access to food: Feed him at specific times and leave food out for 20
minutes, then take away whatever is uneaten. Also, give him three or four small meals
every day. If he eats 24 hours a day or gets one huge daily meal, he’s sure to be
Know the exact amounts you feed: Use standard measuring cups to give him a fixed
amount of dry food. Count cans of wet food and keep track of snacks and “people food.”
Adjust the size of the servings to suit your dog’s constitution: Though feeding
guidelines on packages are typically high, you can safely reduce it by about 15% to 25%.
Do you know just what you’re buying? Since dogs tend to overeat high-fat foods,
check labels for “low-fat,” “low-calorie,” “light” or “lean.” Canned food usually has
more fat than dry.
Cut back on, or cut out, treats: If you give him treats habitually, he has a 50% of
growing obese. Don’t feed him scraps from the table. Instead, give him low-cal carrots,
pieces of apple and air-popped popcorn. Break big treats into pieces.
No crash diets because these don’t give long-term results.
Increase activity: For every hour of exercise you add per week, you will find your
dog’s obesity odds dropping by 10%.
Give him a high-fiber diet: High fiber foods are good for him, apart from adding a
feeling of fullness and reducing his calorific intake, thereby resulting in weight loss.
Reduce his diet by 25%: If he is overeating, cut back his diet by 25%. This should
show a marked weight loss. According to research, dogs do best when they lost at least
1% of body weight a week.
If he continues to be obese, see a vet: Only a vet can find out his caloric needs and
prescribe a special weight-loss food. But be patient—it can take 18 months for an obese
dog to regain a normal figure.
Dog labels and what you should look for in them: To make things simpler for you,
here’s what a good dog food label should read:
Crude protein is not less than 30%.
Crude fat is not less than 20%.
Crude fiber is not more than 4%.
Moisture (dry food) is not more than 10%.
Soy free
The main ingredient should be Meat & Bone Meal.
Ground yellow corn, wheat, poultry meal & poultry fat,
Citric acid, rosemary extract, Vitamin C, menhaden fish meal,
Dried beet pulp, dried whole eggs,
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
Brewers dried yeast
Kinds of food for your Basset Hound:
Dry, semi-moist, canned food: Dry, semi-moist and canned foods are the three kinds
of food available in the market. Of them, dry food is the commonest. These contain 90%
dry food and 10% water. They are a mix of meat and its by-products, fats, minerals,
grains and vitamins.
Semi-moist dog food has additives in it.
Canned food has more water; about 68%-78% with 22-32% dry matter.
Meat: The meat used for dog food should be the kind of meat we eat. Chicken or lamb
is preferable to other animal meat. Sometimes, commercial food makers use meat that is
unfit for human consumption or use animal organs that are seen as unhygienic.
Sometimes, even the chicken they use is rotten.
As a dog owner, you will have to check the quality of the dog food before you buy it. To
do your best by your pet, follow the principles given below with regard to canned human
1. Don’t buy damaged cans. Check the seal. Look for certification of quality or get
brands you are familiar with.
2. Canned food is very popular with dogs. Check if the Association of American Feed
Control Officials certifies the label.
The benefits of dry food: Dry foods are good for your Basset Hound. There is less
tartar build-up and gum disease in dogs fed on such foods. Tissues around the teeth
loosen due to inflammation and the teeth eventually fall off. Bacteria from the mouth
may also travel to the other organs, for instance the kidneys, and cause havoc. Besides,
dry foods are richer. Diseases caused by malnutrition are not very common in dogs fed on
a diet of canned or dry dog foods.
Table scraps: However, feeding table scraps is bad. Never feed your dog a bit of a
burger and rice or some bits of food kept on the dining table. Feeding a hamburger and
rice mixture can lead to calcium deficiency. What’s more, the parathyroid glands get
hyperactive. A diet with mostly liver can be poisonous due to an excess of vitamin A.
Most homemade food does not have enough calories, calcium, vitamins and micro
minerals your pet needs but have more protein and phosphorus. For a good nutritious
meal, see that your pet eats 10-12 ounces of a dry dog chow with 21% protein, 5% oil,
2.5% fiber and 8% ash, particularly if your Basset Hound weighs 9 kg-11 kg.
Essential nutrients for your Basset Hound pup:
Fiber: Your pet needs a certain amount and number of nutrients if he is to be healthy.
A high fiber diet may not be mandatory but your Basset Hound does need some dietary
fiber for his bowel movements. Fiber can help reduce his weight, if he is obese. Adult
dogs should get about 2.5%- 4.5% fiber. However, low-cal dog foods contain about 9%-
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10% fiber, given usually for weight control. A high fiber diet also helps control blood
sugar (hyperglycemia).
Too much can prevent other nutrients from being absorbed and may lead to diarrhea. The
food may also lose its flavor and stop being palatable. Low starch foods like wheat and
oat bran and barley products are high in fiber. High starch foods like rice and dried
potatoes are low in fiber.
Amino acids: He needs amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Though there are
10 amino acids, your pet’s body does not make this nutrient. Taurine is not present in
sufficient quantity in dry dog food but he can compensate for its loss by being on a diet of
lamb without rice bran.
Lack of taurine may cause a form of heart enlargement called dilated cardiomyopathy
(DCM). Dogs can have a wide variety of foods, different in texture, ingredients and form.
Animal protein is what they love but you can give your pet a vegetarian diet, which is
supplemented. Your pet should get about 10% of his energy from protein. An adult
requires about 50% more.
When you check dog foods, do not go by the %age of protein mentioned. That is no
indication of quality. Ordinary dog foods use cheaper quality.
Minerals: Minerals are very important to build your pet’s nutritional levels. He needs
12 minerals. Calcium is absolutely important for his bones and teeth. It also works as a
signal between two nerve cells. Translucent teeth that are almost pink, badly formed
bones, bowlegs and knee joints are caused by the deficiency of this mineral. Fractured
bones are also the result.
Puppies who have been born of mothers who are malnourished or been fed a diet of meat
and bread could suffer from these problems. A diet with meat and bread is low in calcium
and has more phosphorus than necessary. Too much phosphorus prevents calcium from
being absorbed.
Magnesium: Magnesium is needed for muscles and nerve cells. It is also necessary
for bones and teeth. Dogs that lack magnesium are thin and have problems with mobility
later on in life.
Calories: If your Basset Hound is a normal healthy adult weighing about 16 kg, he
needs about 1000 kilocalories a day. In dog foods, you can find them in cereals, legumes
and other plant products. If the dog is sick or hurt, he needs to double this quantity. As he
grows into an adult, your Basset Hound will need roughly double the quantity of calories
of a pup. Lactating dogs need four times this quantity. Older and less energetic dogs can
do with 20% less. Young puppies need about twice as many calories for every pound of
their weight as an adult.
Vitamins: The rule is that you don’t need to supplement your pet’s food. If you are
feeding him a good, nutritious meal, then he should be getting his dose of vitamins. Some
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even say supplements are bad. However, there is the other side of the case and some
breeders do give their dogs some supplements for a healthy coat and good bones.
To give his dry skin some moisture, add a teaspoon of corn oil or add bones to his diet for
some extra calcium. Calcium however, must be in the correct proportion with phosphorus
and magnesium in the diet. Otherwise it could lead to problems. Perhaps Vitamin C is
one supplement that dogs do not need since your pet’s body manufactures it. In fact,
excess Vitamin C may harm the kidneys. Sometimes, though an animal may need some
supplements: when he is old or sick, or has just had surgery. Very hardworking dogs too
may need them.
The lack of vitamins can cause a few disorders. Basically organic compounds, vitamins
are required for a number of metabolic activities. Your Basset Hound needs some in low
doses. Vitamin A, for instance can be toxic if an excessive amount is fed. It is good for
the eyes, skin, and the mucus membrane structure. Naturally, a lack of this vitamin can
lead to problems. In addition, Vitamin D is good for his bones and prevents rickets;
Vitamin E protects the body from oxidation and free radicals; and Vitamin E is good for
his coat.
Your puppy’s feeding program:
Up to four months: You can feed your puppy four times a day with puppy food and
some supplements. However, good, clean water should always been available all the
Up to eight months: You can cut down the number of feedings but do so gradually.
As times passes, you will observe that he will not require too many feeds.
After eight months: During this period, you can cut own the feedings to two times a
day. From now, you can continue with this number. Adults do not feed more than two
times a day.
The quality of each feed: You should observe every feed and see that he eats well. It is
important for him to have a healthy appetite. Note: your puppy should not get used to a
schedule based on your convenience or the availability or non-availability of his food.
You should give him food based on his needs.
Watch his weight: Your puppy will put on weight during the first six months, about
a kilo a week. Do not worry about this. Your vet may tell he is overweight but do not try
to reduce his weight. This will help him grow. If at all you want some reassurance, check
with your breeder. If you view your Basset Hound from the top, his stomach should not
be visible from the sides. You should be able to feel his ribs.
Is your Basset Hound obese? Having said the above, it must also be said that an
overweight adult Basset Hound is bad. This has been said before but there is a tendency
to overfeed the Basset Hound because he looks a little sad. Please take care not to do this.
This is bad for a low dog like him. However, if he is on the obese side, relax. You can do
something about it. You could feed smaller quantities but retain the same schedule, add
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more vegetables, buy low-cal dog foods and check if you have been giving him too many
You should refrain from feeding him table scraps, drastically changing his diet and letting
him taste another dog’s food.
Bloat: All dogs, including your Basset Hound, do suffer from ‘bloat’ because they
have deep chests. To avoid this, you can reduce the risk by not allowing him to exercise
immediately after a meal. You can also try soaking the food in water before giving it to
him. When his food does not expand in his stomach, it will negate the chances of his
getting bloat.
To BARF or not to BARF: There are two opinions on BARF, an acronym for
Bones And Raw Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. Here are some arguments
for BARF:
BARF supporters feel that feeding raw bones is good and that calcium supplements or
some sterilized bones upset the balance of minerals in the pet’s body. This can lead to hip
dysplasia and other bone-related problems. Besides, just because it may be difficult for
owners to procure bones or are forced to look after a messy crate doesn’t mean that the
pet does without them completely. People are being unnecessarily scared into not feeding
their pets bones because propaganda says it’s bad for their pets.
However, before introducing such a diet, the dog should be given it in small
quantities, gradually increasing it as he adjusts to it or he will find it difficult to digest. In
a worst-case scenario, this could result in your Basset Hound suffering from either
constipation or diarrhea.
If you give your pet a bone to chew, let him bite all the way through the bone. Don’t
give him a bone that’s been cut with a saw. If it is large, naturally he won’t be able to
swallow it so it’s better you select a small bone. This will help him chew his way through
in time.
Also, take care not to give him brittle bones, though you could safely give him wings
and poultry neck bones. You should give other kinds of food before bones are given so as
to pad the stomach lining. This will help form a cushion for the bones. Fiber in the diet
will remove any small pieces of bones.
Digestive enzymes may help a dog digest raw bones, especially an older one. Once
the dog gets used to this kind of diet, he will be able to digest raw bones easily. Meats
make for an enzyme- rich diet with natural pro-biotics. Cooking cuts down the enzymes
so more cooked food has to be eaten to get these enzymes.
All the ligaments and cartilage attached to raw bones help the teeth; prevent tartar
build- up by adding as floss. Dogs that eat raw bones have strong, healthy teeth. They
don’t have bad breath either.
Raw meat cannot be included in commercially made food because it is likely to go
bad. After all, canned food is kept on shelves for months. To include raw meat in your
dog’s diet, you have to make the food yourself.
Check with your vet if your Basset Hound can change his diet. Do so gradually.
Don’t feed him raw food for a day, then switch to canned food the next day just because
you don’t have time. Besides, you shouldn’t keep alternating between two kinds. Dogs
cannot adjust to different or new routines.
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Kibble: Most BARF advocates do not like kibble. It contains little water, grains
(which dogs don’t need and cooked grains at that) and harmful preservatives/ chemicals.
Allergies to food: Your Basset Hound could get allergic to some kinds of foods.
Allergies usually manifest themselves in the shape of skin or stomach problems. Most
vets prescribe antihistamine tablets. A special diet may also be prescribed. Your vet may
also suggest a test.
Some terminology in dog foods: You need to understand the contents of food as
put down on labels. Bi products are usually other processed parts of the main dish. A mill
run is the left over part after milling. Digest is an ingredient that has been made
digestible. Gluten gives food its stickiness.
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Chapter 9
Housebreaking your Basset Hound
Housebreaking is probably one of the toughest tasks for a new owner. Puppies eat, drink
and eliminate constantly; there are accidents all the time and times you will feel really
frustrated. Besides, since your cute Basset Hound is still learning to control his bladder,
he will need even more support.
Basset Hounds are, as said earlier, a little stubborn, so your pet might just not do what he
is told to do. He will need at least four to six months of housetraining. Besides, as with
any other kind of training, you have to be consistent with your commands. Letting him
soil your carpet because he looks sad will hinder your training.
Add an hour for every month :If your puppy is two months, then he can control himself
for two hours. But please don’t take this as some kind of hard and fast rule. Your puppy
is unique and his special needs are what you have to consider. Adults can control their
bladder and bowels for about eight hours.
Before you begin training, give him his own space or home. It could be a part of the
bedroom or garage or any private corner of your home. A good bed like a large cardboard
box, a crate or some blankets and towels are fine. Dogs do not soil the area they sleep in
so, rest assured. Here’s where you need to spend a lot of time with your puppy. After
your Basset Hound gets used to this home, you can move it around but he should be
under your supervision.
The toilet: Fix or mark a certain area as the toilet. Your puppy should go here every
time. You should take him to the place every time and supervise him. Healthy adult dogs
should be able to control their bladder and bowels for eight hours. Note: Do not confine
your Basset Hound for too long a period. He might dirty his den and housetraining will
become difficult.
Problems: If your Basset Hound dirties his home frequently, something is wrong
with the training. He could have been confined for too long or the home is too big (If it is
too big, then the entire space will not be considered a home. So it will be ‘okay’ to dirty a
part of it.) Or perhaps he has a medical problem that the breeder didn’t tell you of.
Other problems could be that perhaps he is drinking a bit too much of water. Don’t let
him drink water because he is bored or frequent urination could result.
Also, ask yourself if his home is really comfortable. If he starts by baying or whining, he
will eventually love his home.
Crate training: You must start crate training your Basset Hound the moment you
bring him home. If you put him in a crate he will not mess himself all over the house.
Basset Hound usually don’t like relieving themselves where they sleep. You can confine
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him to a small tiled area which is easy to clean but if does do it in the house and he can
smell his urine in some places he will tend to do it again. It is easier to housebreak a
puppy if he is crate trained.
If your Basset Hound relieves himself inside the house, it is not because he is an untrainable, dumb or sneaky dog. He genuinely doesn’t know what to do. Probably, your
Basset Hound:
• Doesn’t know that it is bad to mess inside the house.
• Doesn’t know why you are unhappy with him
• Thinks that he can’t do it on the carpet so another place in the house would be ok.
• Doesn’t know that the act of relieving himself on your floor is what you don’t
• Thinks it’s just the mess on the floor that is bad.
• Feels very guilty about doing it.
• Doesn’t know why he has to stop doing it inside the house.
The best thing to do is to do when you see your Basset Hound relieving himself on the
floor is to say a very firm ‘No’ and take him outside to the spot where you want him to
use. Do not hit him; make sure the tone of your voice is enough to get the message across
that you don’t like what he has done. A strong ‘No’ is what has to register and the next
time you take him and he does relives himself in the allotted spot, praise him or play with
him or reward him with a treat.
Crate training essentials:
Choose a crate that is big enough for an adult Basset Hound dog but not too big
that a puppy would use one end to relieve himself and the other to sleep in! The
idea is to teach your Basset Hound that it is not right to mess up where you sleep.
Besides once they get used to relieving in one corner of their crate they get harder
to housebreak.
Put the crate in a place like the kitchen or family room where you can see him and
he can also feel that he is part of the family. Basset Hound are social and have to
be with you.
Do not put the crate in the basement.
Move the crate into your bedroom at night. It could make your Basset Hound
puppy more comfortable. If he sees you asleep, he will sleep too.
Carry him out of the crate for meals and then take him to the selected elimination
spot. Give him time to relieve himself before you take him in.
Take your Basset Hound out first thing in the morning and the last thing at night.
Play with him only after he is done with his job.
Do not be angry with him or physically punish him if he has accidents.
If you carefully monitor your Basset, you will find that his elimination process might
have a regulated pattern to it. There might be a particular time he defecates every day.
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Make it a point to note that and take him out in that time and work out a plan that suits
both of you.
You can also make a rough estimate of how many times he needs to eliminate. Usually it
is found that at six weeks he needs to urinate every hour; at two months, every two or
three hours; at three months, every four hours; and four months and up, he needs to
eliminate after 5 hours.
A good idea is to involve the whole family to take out the Basset Hound to relieve
himself. Make sure you all use the same word make him know that he has to go outside
now. He should connect that particular word to the elimination process with it. Also
everyone should take him to the same elimination spot. Be consistent and soon it will
become a habit for your Basset Hound to go to the elimination spot by himself. The
whole idea of training is to get your Basset Hound into certain good habits. This has to be
done through regular and consistent repetitions.
Be realistic and do not lose patience with him because he couldn’t get it right in the first
week. Don’t get frustrated and leave him in his crate. He could cry, howl and become
more stubborn. Housebreaking could take up anything from a month to six months!
Till your Basset Hound is five months old, you are in charge of his calls of nature. Do not
blame the Basset Hound for soiling inside the house. If you have decided to have him as a
pet you will need to take him out frequently and watch over him. Your Basset Hound will
soon learn the rules, go by himself and love you for your patience.
Paper training: Put your puppy in a small area and paper the entire area. He will at first
‘go’ anywhere on the covered area. He might also play with or chew the papers. Be
patient. Clean the mess and re-paper the area. His food and water bowl, bedding must be
in his crate.
He will slowly start doing his potty on paper. First, whenever or wherever he ‘goes’, it
will be on paper. Next, he might show an interest in a part of the covered area. When he
eliminates only in one corner of the papered area, start removing the outer papers. Do this
gradually and start with the papers that are farthest. If he doesn’t dirty the same spot, go
back and re paper the whole area. If he does it only in part and that too consistently, start
removing again. Don’t give up. He may regress a bit but eventually you will be
In the first few months, you need to spend more time with your puppy. You will have to
take him to the toilet every time he feels like eliminating. This will be more or less fixed
by his feeding schedules; after eating and drinking. He might also want to eliminate after
playing or waking. The most important times are: first thing in the morning, after waking
up from a nap, about 20 minutes after eating and after playing. Let him eliminate first and
then play.
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Telltale signs: If he sniffs, circles or goes to the door, chances are he needs to potty.
Take him through the same door every time.
Praise, no punishment: When he, like an obedient pup eliminates in the marked
spot, praise him. Do not punish, yell if he has any accident. It is not his fault because he
is too young; it is yours for not being able to teach him properly. It could hamper your
training program and even take your training back a few steps.
Never allow your puppy to roam around freely in your house until you know his bladder
is empty. Even he is out of his crate, make sure he is always in your sight. Let him be a
leash in your yard. As his bladder control improves, let him play in any part of the house
under your supervision.
Basset’s housebreaking drill-some tips:
When you bring home your puppy, pick him out of the car and take him to a spot
outside (which you should decide upon ahead of time!) and let him eliminate himself
here. This would help him get used to the fact that this is the place he must relieve
himself and not inside the house.
• The next time you take you puppy out, take him to the same spot. Good idea is to take
him out often and let him get used to the spot where he needs to eliminate himself. Do
not let him wander off to other spots. Pick and put him back in the same spot.
• If you can’t watch him all the time, then put him in his crate and take him out after
considerable gaps when you know his bladder might be full. This way he will know that
the house is not where he does his thing. Follow your instincts and you will know when
your Basset Hound has to go.
• It is a good idea to leave your Basset Hound pet in the crate all night till he is
housebroken. Let him cry and bark and do not give in. You have to teach your Basset
Hound that he has to be in the crate till he learns where he has to relieve himself.
• Make it a rule to take him out to the same spot one last time in the night. Then put
him in his crate. Again first thing early in the morning, take him out and put him in the
same spot. You will need to do this consistently for some months in case it’s a really
stubborn Basset!
• Make sure that your Basset’s crate isn’t too big. Usually Basset’s hate messing up
their own place but if the crate is too big they might just use one corner of it as a rest
• Avoid giving your Basset Hound drinking water after 6 pm. If you give him water
afterwards he would have a full bladder and have more accidents indoor. Stop the water
in the evening and take him out once before he sleeps.
• It will be necessary for you to take your puppy outside to his spot at an interval of
every three or four hours. This is even more important if the puppy is just 2 or 3 months
• Fix some of the key times that you need to take your Basset Hound out. These will be
the first thing in the morning, last thing in the night, after he wakes up from a nap, after
he plays and 20 minutes after he eats.
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Make it a point not to play with your puppy until he has eliminated. That would give
him the idea that you mean business and he needs to do his thing before you play with
• Give your Basset Hound some time to relieve himself. He can’t do it whenever you
want him to do. Take him to the same spot and wait for him. You need to be patient with
him and even wait for 20 minutes!
• Use certain words to help him understand and connect to the elimination process. You
can say “ Potty time” or “Do your thing” and encourage him that it’s time to relieve
himself. Once he does do his job, use words like “Great job” or “Good work” to let him
know that he’s done the right thing.
• Once your Basset Hound does do a “good job”, get ready to give him a reward, which
for a Basset Hound will always be a snack! Play with him as a positive reinforcement of
the fact that he has indeed done a good job.
• To ensure that the housebreaking drill is a success you need to stick to a regular
feeding routine too. Fix times for his meals and the amount as well. Do not overfeed your
Basset Hound and take him outside to the same spot 20 minutes after his meal.
• If a Basset Hound does have an accident in the house and messes it up, do not be
physical. You can tell him off with words like “bad dog” but do not hit. Scolding and
caning do not help a Basset. You might instead make your already stubborn Basset
Hound even more headstrong! Besides he is too gentle and would never be aggressive
with you.
Housebreaking a Basset Hound if you are away: This needs some thought and
coordination. If you are employed, you need time to plan this well in time before you get
your Basset Hound home. Basset Hound puppies have absolutely no control over the call
of nature! They cannot control their colon and bladder for more than three hours.
You will have to co-ordinate with a friend, neighbor or another family member and get
them acquainted with your new pet. Give them a run down of the situation get them to
fall in love with your Basset Hound and follow the given tips:
Get your house fitted with a doggy door. Make sure it leads into the spot, which you
want your puppy to use to eliminate. Also be sure that the area is fenced off so that your
Basset Hound doesn’t wander away.
• Get the person whom you have talked this over with, to come home and let the Basset
Hound out at some of the key times, especially after meals. After all the same person will
have to come to give your Basset Hound his meal!
• If you have no one who can help out then just go ahead and set aside a place away
from the areas you usually use and call it the elimination area. Pad it with a lot of
newspaper and get your Basset Hound used to the idea that he needs to do his job in this
spot. Clean up the spot regularly but mark it out for the Basset Hound to use. You have
no other option!
• If you are using this indoor elimination area, make the area smaller as the puppy
grows. As he gets housebroken the area will get smaller and smaller till he knows where
to go and what to do. Usually by the time a Basset Hound pup is 8 or 9 months he
develops more control over his bladder and bowel movements.
• It’s a good idea not to use this elimination area when you get back home. Once you’re
back home, take your Basset Hound outside and make sure he uses the same outside spot.
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Once you get home remove the papers, so that the Basset Hound knows that he has to go
outside. The effort of housebreaking is to get the Basset Hound to eliminate outdoors.
Housebreaking any pet is not an easy process. With a Basset Hound, it gets a little harder
because they are not exactly obedient dogs that take orders. They are too easygoing, laid
back and playful to take house breaking seriously. They are also pretty stubborn!
Submissive wetting: This shows a meek personality. It is quite normal for puppies to
show such behavior, especially when they rush out to greet a loved one. This kind of
behavior shows respect for authority. In adult dogs, it could be insecurity. Bad
socialization skills could be one reason. Instead of licking or extending his paw, a dog
might show reverence this way. He may not have been reprimanded at the right time
during his learning days or may have received confusing commands.
Ignore your dog if he does this. If you pet him, he will think he is doing right and if you
scold him, he may eliminate out of fear. Obedience training could help by raising his
confidence levels.
Excitement urination: Sometimes, even a dog that has been trained may urinate due to
sheer excitement. Again, the puppy or dog will not understand if you scold him and it
could turn to submissive urination. If he gets exited on seeing you home from work,
ignore him. Go out and come back a couple of times and ignore him when you come
back. He will stop being excited. Some obedience commands also help.
Adults: If you ever decide to own a Basset Hound from a rescue organization, you
could be lucky. Most of these are already trained and the people working here train the
dogs before sending them to a new home. You need not, therefore worry about bladder
control. Most of the time, adults are easier to train than puppies.
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Chapter 10
Socializing your puppy
One of the most important aspects of training is socialization. The first few months of a
puppy’s life are extremely important. You need to socialize him so he grows up to be a
healthy, happy puppy. Basically, it is a process where you expose your Basset Hound to
new people, family or friends, new places, new experiences, other pets and so on. This
will teach him not to react with fear or aggression whenever he is confronted with
strangers or unfamiliar things.
Socializing your pup effectively: Begin the socialization process early, because what
you teach him now is the foundation for his future behavior. If your Basset Hound is not
socialized properly, he could become timid, excessively shy or aggressive. This behavior
will impede your training.
Besides, if you don’t socialize him or if he is badly socialized, every little command,
every little trip outside-to the vet or anywhere else can become an impossible task. If
your Basset Hound is not socialized well, any new experience could be frightening. This
could lead to a phobia all his life
You can aid the socialization process by introducing him to other pets, taking to public
places with you—such as shopping malls, parks and playgrounds or just wherever he is
likely to come across crowds of people. You could also take him for a ride in your car or
let him wander around in unknown territory, but under your supervision, of course. When
in public places with people around, let him listen to all the various kinds of sounds,
pleasant or unpleasant, such as the honking of cars, policeman’s whistle, jingle of bells,
sound of traffic, children squealing and shouting in parks, among others. Give your
puppy some rest. Teaching him or exposing him to new people continuously could tire
Grooming is another lovely opportunity to teach him these skills. He should get used to
being touched, getting his nails clipped, being shampooed, etc. However, don’t let him
roam around in areas where animals without owners have access. He could pick up an
infection. Do not comfort or treat him when he is scared, you could encourage such
behavior unknowingly.
The period of socializing is about 12 weeks. However, this does not mean that the puppy
does not require these skills anymore. He still needs to refine them.
Shyness: Shyness could turn out to be a big problem if the dog starts biting simply
because he is shy. Or if he suddenly runs out and meets with an accident. Sometimes,
when people try to calm their dogs or reassure them, they end up doing more harm than
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good: with the result the dog becomes even shyer. Every time a dog is scared, it is natural
to calm him. Soothing talk, reassurances, all attempts to placate a dog are seen as
rewards. The dog thinks it is good to be shy. The trick is to ignore him when he is scared
and reward him when he acts amiably.
Socialization should also not be forced down your pet’s throat. Do it slowly and observe
your pet while the process is on. How does he react to each new situation? How is he
with family and friends? All these are pointers for you. He may become scared or try to
defend himself by turning aggressive if he finds the experience too intimidating.
Do not allow strangers to touch him first. If your dog goes up to them, you can allow it.
Sometimes, he may withdraw and later get bold. Give him time. If you force him to come
out by pushing or scolding, he will get scared. If you cajole him, he may think he’s being
Training your Basset Hound not to nip or bite: One thing for sure is that the Basset
Hound is a breed that is too gentle to bite. Very rarely are Basset Hounds physically
aggressive. However to avoid them nipping, you must not encourage their playful
When you cuddle and play with your Basset Hound, make sure that you don’t let him
chew your fingers and toes. If you do, you are letting him know that biting is fun and that
you don’t mind it. He might also get into the habit. So don’t encourage anything you
don’t want him to repeat. It is best to prevent your Basset Hound from learning the bad
habit of biting.
Here are some methods:
Let him know it hurts! Basset Hound are terribly social creatures quite sensitive
to your reactions. If your Basset Hound pup is nipping you around your fingers and toes,
just refuse to play with him. Say’ no’ and leave him. If he nips again, let out a large yell
like you have been hurt and stare at him. Walk away or put him in his crate. Your Basset
Hound will protest and cry, so after a while pick him up again and begin to play with
him. If he nips again, repeat the yell of pain and walk away.
By doing this you are letting him know that the biting is hurting you. Don’t make this
into a game though. Be firm with your Basset. Refuse to engage in this playful biting and
instead get him to play with another toy or by rolling a ball.
Give him a shake down! When your Basset Hound bites, pick him up and give him a
shake while saying “ Don’t bite!” Let out a yell of pain but you need to physically shake
him up to make him realize that human skin is not for Basset Hound bites. You might not
like this method because it is like a physical one but do use this if the first method fails.
Actually, a Basset Hound is usually very social and wouldn’t dream of hurting a soul. In
fact he wouldn’t normally go beyond a suspicious growl, being a non-aggressive guard
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dog, so it is highly unlikely that he would go on a biting spree. All you should do is not
encourage a playful game becoming a habit.
Some Basset Hound biting dos and don’ts:
Don’t encourage tug-of-war, chase and tackle games, where your Basset Hound’s
teeth come in contact with a person’s skin.
• Don’t dangle a treat for him to snap off your hand. He would not only learn that
biting is ok he would hurt his spine and joints.
• Do take time to socialize your Basset Hound so that he adjusts with the
• Don’t let your children tease him.
• Do reward your Basset Hound if he stops biting.
• Do check with your vet if your usually gentle Basset Hound is growling or bitinghe could be in some kind of pain from a sore or might not be felling well.
• Do contact a dog behavior specialist is your Basset Hound continues to be
Aggression: Aggression shows up in a number of ways. Growling, snapping, barking
or biting. Aggression could stem from shyness. It’ s a defense mechanism. However, you
can’t get away with a statement like, he bits because he’s shy.
To get over his aggressive streak, do the following:
Reprimand him every time he gets aggressive.
Praise him the instant he stops it.
On no account should you be indifferent to this behavior. It will not pass on its own.
Besides, it could get worse.
When you scold him, take care. Let him know it’s his behavior that is bad, not the
presence of new people or situations.
Loud noises: If your Basset Hound gets scared of sudden noises, like thunder,
fireworks and so on, he could start baying. It can be rather unnerving for you or for
family. He could be scared and may be expressing his fear by barking or throwing a
tantrum. Again, follow these rules:
Never reprimand him.
Don’t soothe him. This will be seen as praise. He will think that it is a good thing
to get scared or howl simply because you are being nice to him.
During these times, let him be in his crate. Of course, he should find his space
Some commands during this time are good. This will keep him occupied. Ask him
to sit, heel or shake hands. Then you can praise or reward him for obeying you.
Practice these with him before any emergency.
Be patient.
Get him used to these more often so he will lose his fear. Perhaps you could show
him a movie or just make him listen to some recorded sounds.
To whine, bay or bark? These are all normal reactions to separation anxiety. If
your Basset Hound is left alone, he will feel abandoned. After all, he is a pack animal and
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this is one of the ways he cries for help. Secondly, some owners will do anything to stop
this incessant crying- pet him, treat him—anytime he whines, so he knows this is one
way to get what he wants. In time, this becomes an irritating habit.
Reasons: Before you start training him on this issue, find out if your Basset Hound
is hungry or needs to eliminate. Take him to the toilet area. If he eliminates, you know
things are fine. Check if he is comfortable. Maybe something is hurting or poking him.
Maybe he has lost his favorite plaything. Once you have eliminated all possible physical
reasons, train him.
Tips to train him:
¾ Train him by getting him used to short periods of solitude. Confine him in a crate.
¾ Play with him in that area where his crate has been placed and make it comfortable so
he can enjoy his place.
¾ If he starts whining or baying, do not rush to his side. He will use this as a form of
emotional blackmail.
¾ Check and reassure yourself that it is not a medical problem.
¾ Increase the time you spend with him if he continues with his baying. If he whines
when you are leaving him, say “No” loudly.
¾ Once he obeys you, praise him.
¾ Come back frequently so he’ll know you have not left him forever.
¾ Get him used to some form of play.
¾ You can also try the old squirting- water- in- his- face method.
Chewing: Your puppy is destructive. So what’s new? Destroying carpets, chewing
your favorite pair of shoes, tearing, ripping up stuff is very normal for puppies. Do not
see that as a sign of some abnormal behavior. In fact, you should expect such kind of
Your puppy is not malevolent. He may be bored or restless. Is he alone for long periods
of time? Do you come home late once in a way? Your dog could be experiencing some
anxious moments and chewing may act as a stress buster.
Tips to avoid chewing:
¾ Do not let your dog roam around the house unless you can supervise him.
¾ Do not also give him freedom until he is trained.
¾ Give him plenty of toys. He will learn to play with his own toys. Here’s how you can
make his toys a little more attractive. If you are giving him bones, add a little flavor to
them. You can stuff Kong toys with liver treats or cheese. This will keep your Basset
Hound occupied. Bury these in his favorite spot and he will have a great time digging.
¾ Play with your basset. Play a game of hide and seek. Let him find his toys.
¾ Praise if he plays with his toys.
¾ Waiting for you to come home is one of the chief reasons. Train him to receive you
with a toy. He will learn that he cannot say hello to you without a toy in his mouth.
¾ Keep your valuable or favorite things out of reach.
Deterrents: Train your dog. If you catch him red handed, reprimand him. However
this could mean chewing in your absence. Some safe deterrents are there in the market.
These are harmless but he will find them repulsive. In time, he will give up chewing the
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Chapter 11
Pretty as a Picture: Grooming
Like any other purebred, your Basset Hound too comes with his own set of health and
grooming guidelines. A healthy Basset Hound is not merely the result of healthy organs
on the inside. He needs to be kept clean and groomed frequently. All of which means you
need to take a lot of care. Grooming is also good as a part of socialization, as said earlier.
Your pet should get used to people handling him. This is especially good when he has to
see the vet or when meeting your family or friends for the first time.
Keep an eye on his ears: His long silken ears are his pride but they can also get him
into trouble. They can carry infection. For instance, while eating, his ears could drop
down into his bowl. If they get wet, he could get infected.
His ears do not allow air to circulate and therefore are very susceptible to infection. They
also touch the ground while walking. This means he picks up dirt and along with it some
infection or bacteria.
How to clean his ears: Get a good ear wash to use regularly. Some people use a mix
of white vinegar and water. Wipe his ears daily with a ball of cotton ball, moistened with
solution. Clean the crevices around the outer ear with cotton while also taking care to see
that the wrinkles inside his ear are also clean. But do not push deep down into his ears or
you could hurt him.
Keep your cleaning solution at room temperature. To clean the insides, pour into his ear
to fill the canal and start cleaning from the base. Massage it from the outside. Keep the
ears to make sure the liquid doesn’t spill out. This process can remove dirt and wax. Dry
the ears off by using cotton balls. Do not push them deep down into the canal. If wax
deposits are hard, check with your vet. If the Basset Hound suffers from an earache,
consult your vet.
When bathing him, place dry cotton in his ears to prevent water from seeping in. Note:
Always keep your dog’s ears clean. This will go a long way in keeping him healthy.
Cleaning his eyes: A droopy lower eye could collect dirt. Check for stains and clean
Cleaning his mouth: Since these dogs are always chewing something or the other, it is
a good idea to check his mouth. Let him get used to the notion. His gums should be
pinkish. If his breath is bad, then it could be bacteria.
Cleaning his teeth: You should keep your Basset Hound’s teeth clean. Brush his teeth
and check for tartar regularly. If the build up is mild, you can remove it with a scraper.
Otherwise consult your vet. Dogs don’t really get cavities but they still need good dental
care. Your Basset Hound will do well on a dry food diet as this helps his teeth. Some nice
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dental toys and bones can help. A doggy toothbrush, an electric toothbrush, or even a
piece of gauze wrapped around your finger will do for his teeth. Do not forget the teeth at
the back. Some owners brush only the front teeth.
Products he will need: Toothbrushes and metal scrapers
For clean anal sacs: These should be emptied or expressed regularly. Otherwise it
could result in impaction. A Basset Hound with impacted sacs will drag his rear. Hold his
tail up and squeeze each sac. If you have a problem with this, check with your vet.
Cleaning his nails: Your Basset Hound should have very short nails. Otherwise he will
have sore feet. You need to trim them every fortnight. You can find a good pair of nails
clippers in the market. Ask your vet how to clip his nails. Your Basset Hound may resist
at first but if you approach this task calmly and be patient with him, it will pay off.
Don’t cut too deeply or you might cut a nerve or the quick. However, if you do cut it,
then apply Quickstop. It will stop the bleeding. Make sure he does not get his feet wet
after the application. It may have to be reapplied again.
Long nails are bad for your pet. He will be forced to turn his foot outwards to walk. This
will stress his front leg and may affect his bones in the long run. Nails should not click
whenever your pet walks on a tiled floor. You can expect your Basset Hound to resist
trimming. Basset Hound are very sensitive when it comes to their feet. Try to avoid this
problem by: Getting him used to his body being touched from a very young age.
Trimming his nails regularly.
Letting your Basset Hound know it is a routine he should get used to.
Rewarding him for letting you do his nails.
Trying not to make it painful. It could make the next session tougher for you.
Getting him to lie down on a table.
Finding a friend to hold him or keep him otherwise occupied.
Asking him to sit on the floor and hold him with your legs.
Sitting with the dog in front of you but not facing you. Let him lean against you.
Put your legs around his stomach, one arm around his neck and the other with his
¾ Using a grinder if your dog doesn’t like a clipper. You can get a cordless or a
corded type. The cordless is less noisy but the corded one has more power. Don’t
hold the grinder for too long in the same spot-it could get hot. You have to grind
in this case. Do it until the tip of the quick is seen. This will regress and dry up so
you can cut the nail shorter the next time.
Some products he will need are an electric grinder, Clippers and Quick Stop.
Cleaning his coat: A dog like a Basset Hound is not too difficult to groom. A short
smooth coat is easily taken care of. This should be a very relaxing and pleasurable job.
This is also an activity that lets you get close to your pet and understand his needs. You
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need to brush his coat with a grooming mitt, a hound glove or a good bristle brush every
week. This will help remove the loose outer coat. If he is shedding, which is two times in
a year, you may need to brush him every day or once in two days. As usual, he may not
like it at first but he will get used to it.
Brushing the Basset Hound: Only regular brushing will help keep his coat in great
condition. All Basset Hound have some mild odor. If it is too repulsive, check with your
vet. Basset Hound has an undercoat and an outer coat. The undercoat is soft and lighter in
¾ The process: The tools used in this process may seem like some high technology
tools but there are basically brushes.
9 Use a slicker brush. More often than not, if the undercoat is loose, it will come out.
These brushes have wire bristles.
9 Next brush against the direction of the hair. You will release some more hair.
9 Move on to shedding blades, a fine-tooth hacksaw blade or a Magnet Stripper. Comb
and brush out the dead undercoat.
9 Don’t be harsh or you will hurt your basset’s skin.
9 One more round of brushing with a mitt and a glove. A good rub with a soft, damp
cloth will finish the process.
Some must-have products include: A slicker brush or a shedding blade, a grooming
mitt, spray and towel
Bathing the beauty: Your Basset Hound comes with a pretty
obvious hound smell. Well he can’t help it because he is a hound
after all! However when the smell gets a bit too much to bear and
hangs around him all the time- it’s time for a bath. Usually, a
Basset Hound does not need more that four or five baths in a year
but when he does need it, be prepared. Your Basset Hound might
not enjoy a bath if you don’t do it the right way and he might give
you a tough time in the process! It’s better that you prepare yourself with a few things
before you give your Basset Hound a bath:
Get a restraint that can be attached to the bathtub or the sink. Check in the store
for nylons ones or for any other type of restraints that would keep your Basset
Hound from squirming when he has a bath. With a Basset Hound you will
definitely need a restraint!
A rubber mat is a must if you are using the bathtub or sink. It will help prevent
your Basset Hound from slipping and hurting himself. If he does slip, he may get
scared and never want to have a bath again! With a rubber mat you can be sure
you and your Basset Hound won’t slip
Use lukewarm water. Keep in mind that your Basset Hound will need warm
water. They do not like either extremely cold or hot water. The temperature
should be comfortable. Besides warm water helps clean a Basset Hound better.
Keep the right shampoo ready. Like us all, Basset Hound, need the right shampoo
and conditioner! Even though they have such short hair. Get a good quality
shampoo that your vet recommends and that matches his coat type. A good
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shampoo will put a shine in your Basset’s coat. A puppy would require a puppy
shampoo though. A shampoo would help get rid of that “after bath doggy” smell
too! Do not put your shampoo on your Basset Hound pet.
Have a towel and even a dryer at hand. You need to wipe dry your Basset Hound
immediately. Otherwise he might catch a chill. Even better use a dryer after you
towel him off. You can get a dryer especially for dogs or you can use the regular
dryer set at the lowest cooling speed because you may burn your Basset’s skin!
It’s advisable to give your Basset Hound a bath in the bathtub, lined with a rubber mat.
For an older Basset Hound you might want to get a shower stall. After giving your Basset
Hound a bath you can clean the tub with bleach and other cleaning agents.
Do not try and hose down your Basset Hound in the garden because they do not like cold
water. Even if it is hot day and you think the water from the hose is not so cold, it is not
advisable for a Basset Hound to have a hose down outside. He will be uncomfortable and
even a gentle breeze might give him a cold if he has a bath outside.
Bathing basics: Now that we have a list of the items it’s time to give you tips on how
you must bathe your Basset. You must keep in mind that you are not giving your Basset
Hound a bath to just make him smell good but to clean all parts of his body.
Bath time for a Basset Hound means checking a cleaning his ears, eyes, teeth, anal sacs,
toenails etc. You can make bathing fun for a Basset Hound provided you do it his the
right way and follow these tips.
¾ Before the bath:
9 Begin with an inspection of his coat. Basset Hound usually don’t get matt’s
because they have short hair but sometimes dirt could create a mat. Brush your
Basset Hound well to remove the dirt with a grooming mitt.
9 Clean the insides of his ears and wipe them off. He won’t let you clean them
during a bath so it’s best to have the insides wiped off with a solution.
9 Trim his nails. If they are too long he might slip on the tiled bathroom floor or get
snagged in the rubber mat.
9 Wipe their eyes and face. You wont get a chance to wash his face with water!
9 Brush your basset’s teeth and check for deposits.
9 Clean your Basset’s anal sacs so that you can wash the area during the bath.
¾ During the bath:
Keep talking to your Basset Hound in a soothing voice as you put him in the
bathtub. Even while pouring the water you must keep assuring him that everything is ok.
Your voice will calm him down and make him less afraid.
Begin pouring water on to him using a tumbler till he is totally wet. Knell down at
the bathtub as you pour the water so that he can see you. You have to pour quite a bit of
water to soak a basset’s coat since it is water repellant.
Once the coat is wet, apply the shampoo. Lather up and loosen the dirt.
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Scrub the less visible parts of your Basset Hound like the stomach, groin, the tail,
anus, and ‘armpit.’ They could be quite dirty. Lather around all these parts.
It’s time to rinse out after the scrubbing so begin with the ears and then rinse off
the other parts of the body.
Remove all shampoo residues while rinsing or else it might irritate your Basset’s
Use a conditioner and rinse off again.
¾ Drying off: Start drying immediately after you rinse off the shampoo from your
9 Use a towel and blot him dry because a Basset’s coat is short. Do not rub him
down with the towel.
9 Keep your Basset Hound inside in an area that is draft-free area so that he can airdry himself.
9 You don’t need a hairdryer but if you do use it, put it on the lowest setting.
Follow these steps for a squeaky clean, nice smelling Basset Hound pet. However,
remember that where a Basset Hound is concerned you really can’t rid him of his hound
dog smell!
A healthy environment: A good, healthy environment is most essential for your pet.
It will keep his coat shiny and healthy. Your yard should be free of fleas. His crate should
be clean. Check if he keeps scratching himself. This could indicate fleas and ticks.
Grooming delights: Get your pet a good quality bristle brush, hound glove,
toothbrush, dog tooth paste (or baking soda), blunt scissors, dog shampoo, flea shampoo,
hose, electric rotary grinder, Kwik Stop, ear wash (or half white vinegar and half rubbing
alcohol), cotton balls or gauze, Q-tips, slicker brush and shedding tools like Magnet
It’s show time folks: Though the Basset Hound is a low maintenance breed, you
need to groom your pet regularly. If you are planning to show him, you need to take a
little more care. You could do with just your regular grooming but to have that show dog
polish, your pet needs a little more attention.
How to prepare: Start this grooming a lot earlier, preferably during his molting
season. Remove the loose, dead skin of the undercoat. You can use any shedding tool, a
good branded stripping knife. Use a slicker brush and brush in the opposite direction of
the hair. Use also a flea comb or a fine plastic comb.
Next, brush with a rubber brush. Some good strokes with a glove or a good bristle brush.
You need to do this a number of times before the coat starts looking shiny and smooth.
Nails need to be cut once a week. Don’t forget the quicks; don’t let them grow out. The
nails should be short. When your pet walks across the floor, are those his nails clicking?
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On the eve: Do all your preparation now. Avoid any last minute plans of grooming.
Get your beauty sleep too. Check teeth and ears. Make sure they are clean. Remember,
judges look inside the mouth. So don’t just clean the front row. Trim the hair between the
pads on the feet, only from the underside.
Some tips on hair:
¾ The long hair around the nails should be left untouched.
¾ The long hair on the tail should be trimmed. The hair on the underside is supposed to
be long so do not touch it.
¾ Trim the hair on the back of the upper thigh, the butt with thinning shears.
The nails: A rotary tool is used usually. A cordless one is less noisy but the corded
model is more powerful and faster. If you add a Flexi-Shaft attachment, it gets easier to
handle. A cylindrical sanding drum with a coarse sandpaper sleeve can be used. You
should grind the nail on all sides until the quick shows. The cute part is this tip dries up
and recedes so the nail can be cut shorter the next time. The grinder can get hot if you
hold it in the same position-so watch out.
Trim the whiskers if you want to, but take care not to leave any stubble. First make sure
the whisker is outside. Sometimes you think you’re done but your pet may have sucked
the whisker inside. Trim everywhere—on the cheeks and under the chin.
Giving him a bath: Surely you want your pet to smell nice on the big day. A good
dog shampoo is fine. Check with your vet. He may prescribe a medicated shampoo or a
flea shampoo. You do get shampoos for different colors but the choice is yours. If you
feel like going the extra mile, do so. For instance, a whitening shampoo has whiteners.
You can also use laundry blue while rinsing. Rinse well.
Preparing for show day: Start your grooming about an hour and half. Do not omit
any detail. Meticulous care is what will help your dog. After the grooming, take about 1520 minutes for any touch-up. Take a last look to find out if your Basset Hound has got
any dirt on him. His feet could have gotten dirty; there could be stuff sticking to him;
clean with spray cleaner. Wet the area, scrub, and towel dry. Ears have to be clean. Check
for drool or stains. Check if he has eaten dirt. (Yes, Basset Hound eat dirt so check if the
teeth are white and clean.) Clean the eyes. Remove loose hairs-remember Basset Hound
shed. Remove all shed hair with a stripping knife.
What you need next: Chalk mate, a small, stiff brush, a shaving brush and a container of
What to do: You can chalk areas that have become discolored. Coat the white areas of
the foot, throat and so on. Leave the chalk on. During the rest period, most of it should
fall off. Otherwise use a soft brush to remove extra chalk. The chalk will not be seen but
the coat will look whiter.
The areas that are not chalked can have coat polish. Mink oil spray is good. A non-oily
polish works better because it doesn’t attract dust. Apply with a spray, rub it into the coat
and smooth with a glove. Wipe off any excess oil or chalk before you go into the ring.
Good luck!
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
Chapter 12
Follow the leader
How do you turn a dog into your lovable, family pet? Well, first of all you need to make
sure he is healthy. Next, start the socializing sessions as early as possible. Finally, you
need to establish you are the leader and get him to obey you. This implies good training.
There are many ways to train a dog. But you do have certain foolproof methods. A Basset
Hound may be different from other breeds but you can stick to the same methods of
teaching. Different kinds of purebreds do not require different methods of teaching. There
are methods that have been tested and you can use them .You may, however have to
observe your pet’s ability to learn.
Before you actually begin the process of training, here are a few things you must
know: Make learning and training process a pleasure. Your Basset Hound will try to
please you. It is up to you to retain that feeling. Punishment could seriously impede his
progress. Training sessions should not be too long. The dog could get bored. You should
be patient. You should reward and praise. You should be consistent.
Never repeat a command. Say it once. For example, don’t say “sit, sit.” This will confuse
him. On no account should these lessons be boring. Your Basset Hound should regard it
as a fun activity where he will get some treats or praises for getting it right. Change the
routine a little to introduce an element of surprise but be firm and consistent with your
commands. Your Basset Hound may not obey you instinctively. He may be a little
stubborn at first but once he realizes you are persistent, he will give in. Being a hound, he
will not take to being commanded easily.
As you train, you will be able to judge his reluctance, his speed, his enthusiasm and his
learning curve. Find out how he responds rather than just drumming commands into his
head. As a rule, his aim in life is to please you. So your task is made easy even before
your training sessions. Just make sure you don’t correct him too severely as this may
work as a stumbling block. Tell him in simple terms what you want from him, praise or
treat him and he will do it. If there is no stress while training, learning is faster. After all,
everybody, including dogs love to repeat a good time.
Note: You may have to repeat your lessons until they are learned well. While training, it
is imperative that you, along with your dog, have fun.
Some basic commands your dog should know: There are five basic commands he
should know. Here are some of them:
Sit: This command can be taught when your Basset Hound is about seven weeks of
age. For best results, catch his attention first. Call him by name. Use the word ‘sit’. Make
him sit. The minute he sits, praise him or give him a treat. This simple is very important.
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It gives you time off to do other things. You should repeat it until he gets it. Five minutes
a day is fine but have a couple of sessions.
Long sit: This will help you in the long run particularly since the Basset Hound is a
little tough to train. It gives you control of the situation. To do this, keep him in heel
position. Now, get him to watch you. If he tries to get up or is restless, pull the lead.
Simultaneously, push him firmly back on his rear to seat him. Praise him if he does this.
Now, give him different places to sit and watch him. You could also give him a treat. But
remember, you may need to do this at least four times a day.
Stay: He may have learned to sit but you need to teach him the ‘long sit’. Here’s
how. After sit, it’s stay time. Sitting is not an activity most dogs love to do, that too for a
very long time. Your Basset Hound may get restless. Here’s the stay command. First, ask
your Basset Hound to sit in front of you. Say ‘stay’. Now, walk up to him. If he gets up,
make him sit. Wait for a few moments, and if he doesn’t move, praise him and say, ‘ok’.
If he gets up, let him. Do this again till he learns this. Try this a little differently. Make
him sit. Move away from him and sit far away. Don’t let him follow you. If he does so,
start all over again. You should be able to sit far away without your puppy following you.
Praise him if he gets it right.
Down: After sit, you need to teach him the down command. To begin, give him the
sit command. Now, dangle a treat before him. Lower the treat to his paw level. Move
along the ground. Your Basset Hound, being low slung as he is, should have no problem
in following you. Once he lies on the floor, say “down”. Now, praise him and give him
his treat. Keep practicing.
Come: This is a very important command especially in times of an emergency.
First, let your Basset Hound be leashed. Keep a treat in your hand and walk away. Let
your dog be in a sit or stay position. Say “come”. Now, pull the leash to indicate he
should come to you. If he obeys you, give him the treat. Increase the distance after he
learns the basic command. When he does this, let him off the leash but be watchful. After
all, you don’t want him running off chasing some scent. And lastly, do not punish or
scold him.
Heel: Heel is a command that is not so easy. But you do need to teach your dog to
walk by your side. To teach him this command, first call him by name and say “heel.”
Now, pull him to you so his right shoulder is aligned with your left hip. Loosen your grip
but if he pulls, command again and turn right. Now your Basset Hound will run to catch
up. Praise him and give other commands while walking. Now, walk around in a circle
until he gets it right. If he lags behind you, pull him up to position, saying “heel” every
time. Don’t let him walk ahead or behind you even for a minute.
As you continue to walk, take care to see that he is still in the heeling position. When you
gradually walk faster, or circle around chairs and tables, see that he is at your side. When
you stop, say “sit.” He should immediately at your side, facing forward. When you
resume walking, once again say “heel” and keep him there.
If he does this of his own free will without tugging at the leash, give him a food treat.
Once you’re sure he has learned to heel without a leash, teach him to walk at heel with
you. This is called “heeling free:” However, heeling is not easy to teach. If he still
doesn’t learn after a few sessions, try the following:
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Tie a rope around his stomach. Put the end of the rope through the collar and hold the
end in your hand. This is your leash. Now, pull him back firmly every time he tries to
race ahead of you, or pull him ahead every time he falls back. When the rope tightens
around his stomach, he will stop pulling forward and fall in line with you. Now, pat his
head. With this, he will learn that pulling means some pain, while heeling means a pat on
the head or a bit of food.
Hold a light switch in your right hand as you hold the leash in your left. When he
pulls ahead, touch his front legs with the switch until he moves back into the correct
position. If he lags behind you, touch his back legs with the switch until he moves up into
heel position.
Here are some tricks you can teach your Basset Hound:
Let it alone: Place a toy in front of your pet. The moment he tries to pick it up,
hold him and say “Let it alone!” When he learns not to pick it up but to sit by it without
touching it, pat his head and gave him a little reward. This will teach him not to chew
slippers or dig up your flowerbeds.
Kiss me: Pick him up in your arms. Now, hold his face close to your cheek and
say “Kiss me.” He may not understand your command, but he’ll certainly lick your face.
Catch it: As you throw a bit of meat or dog biscuit at your Basset Hound, say,
“Catch it!” When he learns to catch food in the air, throw a small ball or toy that he can
catch without hurting his mouth.
Bring it to me: Dogs like to retrieve anything you throw at them. Throw a ball at
your pet, and when he runs to pick it up, shout after him, “Bring it to me.” If he doesn’t
come right away, say, “Here, Beans.” He knows this command already so he will bring
the ball to you. Now, repeat this until he obeys the order, “Bring it to me.” Now, extend
the idea to make him do other small errands for you. For instance, say, “Bring me my
slippers,” or “Bring me the newspaper,” or “Bring me your leash.”
Drop it: Now that he has learnt to retrieve, he should be able to drop the object in
his mouth right at your feet at your command. For him to learn this, say “Drop it” while
simultaneously you open his jaws gently and take the toy away from him, dropping it on
the floor. In case he eats something he shouldn’t or picks up something that might hurt
his teeth, this command comes in handy.
Stand up: Hold a bit of food high in your hand and say “Stand up, boy.” He will
stand on his hind legs to reach out for the food. If he wobbles, hold your other hand under
his front legs, saying “Good boy. That’s right.” But if he falls down, hold the food in the
air again and repeat the command to stand up. Don’t reward him with the food until he
stands up.
Sit up: Pretty much like the Stand up command, here, you need to hold the food
lower, about the level of his nose when he sits up. Now, cover the food with your fingers
so he won’t get it as you hold his front legs steady while he tries to sit. As he practices
this command, he will learn to keep his balance and sit up alone.
Roll over: In one hand, hold a toy close to the floor. Say “Roll over”
simultaneously as you roll your Basset Hound with your other hand. Then give him the
toy at once. Or you can use a bit of biscuit, but first roll him over and then let him eat it.
Soon, he will learn the connection between eating the biscuit and rolling over and will
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roll over himself whenever you hold a toy or a bit of food near the floor, and give the
command to roll over. Always reward him by giving him the food or toy as soon as he
Dead dog: Let him lie on the floor on his side. Hold him there firmly, saying
“Dead dog.” Now, walk away from him. But if he starts to sit up and follow you, say
“No!” and push him down repeating “Dead dog.” If he stays there even after you have
walked away, give him a reward. He will soon learn to stay there even when you leave
the room, until you call him.
Shake hands: Make your pet sit on his hind legs. Hide a bit of food in your left
hand. With your right hand, tap under your Basset Hound’s right wrist and lift up his paw
from the floor, saying, “Shake hands.” As soon as he lifts his paw and puts it in your
hand to shake, give him a reward.
Shut the door: Take your dog to a door that is slightly ajar. Lift up his front paws
so that they rest on the door. When the door begins to close, say, “Shut the door.” Repeat
this, praising and rewarding him whenever he shuts the door.
Now, with this lesson well learnt, try teaching him the same principle out of doors while
he is still on his leash. Though this will be harder—chiefly because there are so many
more interesting things for him to smell and investigate—yet, with patience and firmness,
you can teach him a thing or two.
While you’re both out in the street: Don’t allow him to eat scraps of food he may
come across in the street as any garbage can be poisonous or can contain dangerous bone
splinters. He should always be under your watchful gaze, so that the moment he picks up
a bit of food, yell “No” in a loud voice. Prise his jaws apart and take the food out of his
mouth before he has time to swallow it. Scold him with the words, “Bad dog! No!” Then
make him walk right next to you for a while.
Train your Basset Hound never to accept food from a stranger without your permission.
This will not only prevent him from overeating, but also from being poisoned. To do this,
feed him, give him the food with your left hand. Now offer him some food in your right
palm, with the fingers held outwards towards him. When he comes forward to take it, say
“No!” firmly and push his nose hard with your outstretched fingers at the same time.
Now, feed him with the left hand, let him eat it, saying “Good boy,” patting him all the
time with your right hand. Now, keep offering him food first in the right hand, then in the
left, until he refuses to take it from your right hand.
The rationale behind this kind of training is that most people in the world are righthanded, so the chances of anyone offering your pet food will do so with his right hand. If
your Basset Hound learns to accept food given with the right hand at all times, he might
just accept anything given by a stranger in the name of food.
When passing people in the street: If your pet is polite, he will mind all the rules
laid out for people in the street—he will never run or jump on people who are passing by.
He won’t bark or snarl at them either, nor will he bite them. But if he has a tendency for
any of the above, it is your duty to stop him with a firm “No!” and a jerk of the leash.
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When you meet someone while on a walk, your Basset Hound should be trained to sit
quietly till you finish and are ready to walk again, with the command “Heel.” You must
appreciate that there are people who don’t like dogs or are scared of them, so would
prefer any dog to be kept at a safe distance from them.
And sure, he mustn’t bite them either, which you have to control too. For this, you’ll have
to keep him tightly on a leash whenever you’re out in the street. Be firm with him if he
begins to snarl, as it will only protect people and your pet. In some states, the law allows
a dog one dog bite per person, but if the dog bites oftener than that, the police can take
him away from you and put him down. If he continues to snarl or snap, muzzle him.
Your Basset Hound may just chase a car: Some dogs love chasing cars. If you’ve
trained your pet well, you can get him out of this habit. Call him to you every time a car
starts up or he sights one and scold him. He will soon learn that this behavior must be
Or you could attach a long rope to his collar. When he starts to chase a car, let him get
almost the full length of the rope, then yell, “Stop!” and pull hard on the rope. This jolt,
when repeated as he starts after a car, should make him stop chasing cars.
When is a good time to train? You should begin your training sessions as soon as
you bring your dog home. Start showing him his crate, his toilet area, preferably outside.
Begin the socializing and soon if you do it well, you will have a very good companion.
Consistency: Consistency is a big virtue. Which action is being called bad and which is
being praised should be made very clear to your basset. Otherwise he will find it
confusing. He won’t know what he did—good or bad. For instance, if he sits for long,
reward him immediately. If he is restless, say “no” firmly. Do not delay because delay
could increase his comprehension.
How to correct bad behavior: Never assume your dog is being disobedient to you
because he hates you or doesn’t care for you. Dogs do not do anything to hurt their
masters. Your Basset Hound does it because you have given him the feeling that a
particular action was correct.
Ways to correct him:
¾ Never scold him after the event—catch him red-handed.
¾ Say “no” firmly and instantly.
¾ Do not hit him.
¾ If he does what you ask of him, praise or reward him instantly. You don’t have to
have a fixed way or rule. If you find it tough to use one way of correcting, try another.
However, take care not to be harsh.
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Treats: Please do not give him treats because he is bored or restless. This will not
make him get active. A treat will only reinforce the habit. As your training program
advances, get into the habit of praise rather than treat. Give it once in a way. Praise him a
lot, though. The goal is to get your puppy to obey for praise.
Use your hand: You can also teach your dog to obey you by just using your hand.
This kind of training requires pretty much the same thing-reward. Besides, your Basset
Hound will find it easier to understand you. Here’s what you can do:
¾ First make sure he knows his basic commands.
¾ Next, associate these words with a gesture.
¾ Once he gets it, repeat the exercise.
¾ After a while, you will need to use both verbal and visual commands. As he learns, he
may associate one with the other and you may not need the verbal cue during some
¾ Once he learns the hand command, you can continue with the treat. *After a while,
stop giving him a treat. Praise him.
Interactions with your dog: You are either the leader or the follower in your dog’s
world. So what makes your Basset Hound follow you? Your Basset Hound belongs in a
pack. He is therefore, more than happy to follow you. But there is a catch. He expects
you to play the leader. If you don’t, he will take over. Giving up your position doesn’t
necessarily have to do with being meek or being scared of your dog. Here are a few tips:
¾ Confusing commands are a no-no
¾ Not being able to enforce a command
¾ Weak tone of voice
¾ No praise
¾ Severe punishment
¾ You need to be kind and patient
¾ Pay attention to his mouth. If he lunges at you or tries to grab your hand with his
mouth, say a firm, “No.”
¾ Ask him to obey you before you give him anything. Let him sit or heel if he wants
anything from you. Giving it to him beforehand will spoil him.
¾ You need to practice every day. Try petting him. If he is restless, talk softly till he
calms down. The minute he calms down, give him a treat.
¾ Let him get used to your hands on him. He should accept your touch calmly.
Grooming sessions help a lot. Otherwise, if your Basset Hound finds these activities
threatening, he will be difficult to train.
¾ Your command voice should be firm, calm and authoritative.
¾ Your tone when praising should be excited.
¾ Lower your voice to reprimand
¾ At dinnertime, you and your family eat first.
¾ Always walk out of or into rooms first.
¾ Never share your food at the dining table with your pet. Besides, confusing him, it is
also bad for his health.
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On a leash: Dogs do need a leash while walking, particularly, your Basset Hound.
They take off without concern for their owners at the faintest scent. So you’ll definitely
need to keep him on a leash. Apart from being safe, a leash also bonds you with your
Basset Hound.
Some reasons to keep your pet on a leash:
First, he won’t be able to run away. Next, you’ll be able to control him whenever he is
excited. This doubles up as a tool during your training. As a pet owner, the state laws
oblige you to have your pet to be on a leash.
Training: First, you need a collar. See that it isn’t tight. If he resists it or starts
baying, ignore him. But first check if it is physically uncomfortable. Leave it on. If you
put him in a crate, remove it. Fix the leash. When you let your pet walk around the house,
let him walk around with it. Supervise him. Take him to his toilet area with the leash.
Reward him if he doesn’t protest. Let it be loose and praise him if he walks in your
direction or wherever you are taking him. See that he walks on your left side. Lastly, he
should always look up to you. On a walk, give some commands, praise him and keep him
Prevention before cure: Correcting a bad action is tougher than just teaching a new
command. So how do you go about making sure your pet doesn’t start on the wrong paw?
You train faster if you prevent some bad actions. Here’s how:
First of all, you should supervise your dog. Try to keep him in a place where he can
be observed.
If you don’t, he will indulge in all sorts of activities and he will never know which are
Catch your dog when he is about to make trouble, is a better way to train.
You will have to spend a lot of time with your dog to achieve this. Ideally, you should
begin this when you bring him home and for that, it is advisable to take a few weeks off.
Just so you can concentrate on him.
Starting crate training:
As usual, a firm “No” is good whenever you don’t like his action.
Keep him in his crate if you can’t get out of your room for some reason.
Again, if he is about to do something wrong, give him a command and praise him if he
does it correctly.
All these will make him see you as the pack leader. *It helps prevent unlearning
Stretch those muscles: Exercise should be a part of your pet’s life. Your Basset
Hound does need some amount to prevent him from getting obese. Ask your breeder for
advice. Check when the next agility or obedience classes will start and enroll your pet
here. Such classes will help a trained Basset Hound apart from giving him exposure to
other dogs.
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During winter, go for a walk, even if it is a short one. Take care not to exercise him too
much. After all, how much you exercise him depends on his age too. But first, make sure
he is healthy. Do not play difficult games with him or this could scare him off.
Keep an eye on his bones. Without stressing him out, begin slowly with simple
exercises. such as walks. Begin on dirt, sand or grass. But don’t forget the leash. At the
end of the day, check his feet for burrs, grass and ticks.
Never exercise your dog immediately after he has eaten. Never go out when it is too hot.
Before and after his exercise, he should have water to drink. Never let him curl up on
your settee all the time. Lazy means fat and fat means dangerous.
Clicker Training: Give your pet a positive reaction and he will want to repeat that
action. Give him negative feedback and he will be put off a certain activity forever. In a
nutshell, this is the essence of clicker training. But as has been reiterated, an action and
its reaction should be closely linked. Otherwise your pet will fail to make the connection.
There are two reinforcers: primary and secondary. A primary reinforcer is a treat-one the
pet desires. A secondary one is what you will train the animal to get used to. It’s not
something your Basset Hound would find attractive.
The Clicker: This is a secondary reinforcer. It consists of a box with a strip of metal.
You click and simultaneously give the dog a treat. A click works faster than praise;
something that could cause a gap between action and reaction.
Dominance: All dogs work and live by pack rules. In a pack, there is hierarchy.
There are rankings and a dog placed on a lower rung would not dare to challenge a higher
one. If a dog is a leader, then he is the privileged one. He gets to walk in to any place
first, eats first, and sleeps first and so on.
So watch out. If your pet occupies your chair or your bed and growls at you when you
want to occupy it, it means he does not see you as the leader. It is challenging you.
Dominance usually shows up around maturity. As a puppy, he would’ve received
training. But if the training is not good, the dog’s instincts and not learning flare up.
However not all chewing is dominance. Most dogs need just obedience training to correct
dominance. Others may require some professional help.
Some instances of dominance:
Sleeping in your bed
Growling whenever you’re having dinner
Behaving aggressively whenever you take away his toys
He goes through a door first
Resists commands
Scares kids and other family members
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How to control dominance:
¾ Do not allow him to sleep in your bedroom
¾ No toy is the puppy’s. They are yours and you give them to him to play. Establish this
¾ Never play tug-of-war or other tough games. It could be seen as a challenge.
Training a Basset Hound to trail: This is one thing your Basset Hound would love to
be trained for because he is on familiar ground! They are hunting dogs that excel at
following a scent and are known to ferret out badgers, foxes, raccoons, opossums,
pheasants and squirrels. If you live on a farm you would want your Basset Hound to pick
up a scent. However don’t assume that because they are hunting dogs, they will know
what to do. You will have to train them and there are several ways to train them to trail:
Field walk: This is the usually the regular method. Take your Basset Hound puppy to
a field on which you must have previously let a rabbit around and you have marked the
line rabbit ran. Walk him slowly and let him sniff around. Push it in the direction of
where the rabbit had sat. This place is called the squat and the smell of the rabbit would
be strongest here.
Now get him to follow the scent. If he doesn’t get him moving push him towards the
rabbit line. In the course of the walk you might find your Basset Hound gets the scent of
another rabbit and tracks it down! However he also might not know what to do- don’t get
angry with him. Walk him in the field regularly. Tracking is in his blood.
Fresh bait- For this you would have to be in the peak of hunting season so you can
borrow freshly killed game or found a freshly killed rabbit by the road. The idea is to
create a trail by dragging the bait around to form a line in your own yard. Then you leave
your Basset Hound in the yard and see how he picks up the scent. Usually you need to
expose your Basset Hound as regularly as possible to some common scent lines and let
them take it from there.
Face to face- If you have access to a fenced in area that has a lot of rabbits, you could
take your Basset Hound there and let him find the trail that he wants to follow. The thing
here is you wouldn’t know if he really has picked up a scent or if he has followed the
rabbits by sight. Another thing is the rabbits might startle him and he might begin chasing
Scent Tutor- If you have an older Basset Hound around, leave your puppy with him.
Your young Basset Hound will follow him around and ape all his ways. In the process of
imitation he would have been trained how to follow a trail! In this method however, you
must make sure that the mentor Basset Hound is a really good one, because you don’t
want the puppy to pick up bad habits. Beware of your puppy getting too dependent
Pack run- If you have different types of dogs around, you could leave your Basset
Hound to run with them. He won’t get dependant on any one of them and yet learn. He
might try and be fast as them and miss out the trail by concentrating on the speed but
once he is adept at trailing you could hunt with him separately from the pack.
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At trailing scents, your Basset Hound will prove himself as a pro. He might frustrate you
during obedience training but he will love trailing. Don’t expect him to be trained trailer
overnight. Training a Basset Hound will take some time. Having a Basset Hound is a test
of his owner’s patience and expertise. Make training fun and don't be harsh or force him.
Every Basset Hound has his day: So your pet is all set to enter a competition. How
exciting! One of the fun things about a dog is a competition. There are many kinds of
shows so you have choice.
Agility: This is an obstacle race.
Flyball: This is a kind of relay race where after a series of jumps, your Basset Hound
has to catch a tennis ball and run back. After one finishes, the next starts.
Flying Disc: Not many dogs go for this one. Your Basset Hound has to be certified
fit. This sport involves jumping in the air and off the handler’s back. There is risk here.
Conformation: This is a kind of beauty pageant for dogs. The judges see which one
conforms most to the breed standard.
Obedience: While some owners find it tough to get their dog to obey your simple
commands but at these events, there are owners who have taught their dogs some very
complicated commands.
Other sports include: Tracking, herding, pet assisted therapy, ski-joring, tracking,
herding, rally-O, dancing with dogs, hunt tests, hunt tests and sledding.
Some basic requirements:
Your Basset Hound’s age: our Basset Hound should be mature when he competes but
you can start his training early. Get a good trainer and also check with your vet.
Your Basset Hound’s body: Your pet should have a good strong body. These are
sports that are totally physical and your pet should have stamina.
You should train well: Such advanced sports need more than normal exercise and
training. So you need to put in more time and see to it that your dog is in top form.
Intensive training is needed and care should be doubled. These events offer you a few
moments of happiness. All the hard work seems worth it when you see you pet romp
home with or without a prize.
Agile and fit: Agility courses: You can enter your Basset Hound in a number of
agility courses. There are two types, Standard and Jumpers with Weaves. These are
conducted at three levels- Novice, Open and Excellent.
A Standard Course: This one has jumps and obstacles like the A-frame, dog walk
and seesaw. Your Basset Hound should hit certain zones. These act like stoppers and
prevents any jumps off the obstacle.
Jumpers with Weaves: This is fairly self-explanatory. This is a series of jumps with
weave poles. Your Basset Hound must weave in and out.
Competition Levels: If your Basset Hound is entering as a novice, he’ll have fewer
obstacles. The teams also have a longer time to complete the course.
Open level: These dogs have more activities in less time. These dogs have more
activities in less time.
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Excellent courses: These are the most advanced. Your Basset Hound should do 2.5-3
yards a second. You check with your local organization too. Agility is great for your
Basset Hound and for you too.
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
Chapter 13
Healthy and happy
The Basset Hound is a usually a very healthy dog. After all he is a hunting dog who can
sniff out a scent and trail it to lands end! He is powerful, steady and over all a very robust
dog. As a family dog he might be the indoor kind but he does enjoy running and playing.
A Basset Hound might not be the fastest runner but he is a high-energy dog. A Basset
Hound has an amazing amount of stamina.
The Basset Hound is called the endurance dog but sometimes he has to endure health
problems too. However, like all other purebred dogs, Basset Hounds can be affected by
certain genetic disorders. Basset Hounds do have their share of problems. Long, floppy
ears may it impossible for air to circulate and could lead to problems. A long body and
short legs predispose him to lameness and obesity. A deep chest could give him bloat.
Keeping him healthy: However, sickness is a part of every dog’s life and Basset
Hounds have their own set of health problems, the commonest being obesity. Whether it
is arthritis, back problems or heart trouble, the key to a Basset Hound’s health is his
fitness level. Here are a few tips that you could follow to avoid health problems for your
Basset Hound:
Make sure you have got your Basset Hound from a good breeder who can vouch
for his health. A good breeder would give you a health certificate and even offer
to replace a puppy if you find that it has a grave health problem.
Do not by a Basset Hound from a pet store or puppy mill because they come from
improper breeding which is why they have inbuilt health problems and genetic
Avoid overfeeding your Basset. He doesn’t need so much food and will just put
on more weight.
Do not let him get into the habit of eating table scraps from your dinner. The food
you eat is not appropriate for a Basset Hound. Stick to his dog food diet.
Make sure you clean your pet’s ears once a week because his ears are heavy and
moisture gets trapped in causing infections.
Trim his toenails so that they do not hurt his feet.
Check for impacted anal glands regularly.
Keep his teeth clean.
Make sure you give your Basset Hound regular heartworm medication.
Remove and check for fleas and ticks.
Give your Basset Hound the immunizations for distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis,
lepospirosis and para-influenza.
Don’t encourage puppies to climb stairs or jump off beds, sofa.
Fence him in. Don’t let your Basset Hound roam around loose in the
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Genetic diseases in a Basset Hound include: Your pet stands to inherit and/or
contract the following diseases: Hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia, glaucoma, von
Willebrand’s disease, thrombopathia and patellar luxation. If you think your pet has any
symptom listed here in this chapter or if you feel he is not looking good, do check with
your vet.
Wobbler’s Syndrome: This occurs when an intervertebral disc puts pressure on the
spinal cord around the neck area. The symptoms are a sudden pain in the neck, Inability
to walk and walking with a bad gait.
Entropion: The eyelids turn inwards and irritate the eye. It could lead to blindness if
not treated.
Ectropion: The lower eyelid rolls and can damage the cornea resulting in chronic
Intervertebral disk disease (IDD) : This is due to abnormal cartilaginous discs.
They act as buffers between the vertebrae. If this is inherited (check with your breeder)
you should take care of your pet’s exercise and diet. This affects the discs in the spine.
There is pain, walking is difficult and in extreme cases paralysis could result. Treatment
could include surgery.
Panosteitis: This disease is hard to pin down but occurs in young Basset Hound.
Experts call it wandering or transient lameness. It mysteriously makes a Basset Hound
puppy lame but he can grow out of it. Panosteitis attacks are brought on by stress and too
much activity. Since vets don’t know the causes they still haven’t found out how to cure
Panosteitis is hard to diagnose and sometimes vets think it to be some other kind of hip
problem and schedule the Basset Hound for unnecessary surgery. If it is panosteitis, then
a puppy usually outgrows it by the age of two. Once he outgrows it the puppy has no
long-term problems.
What happens is that the puppy Basset Hound fells pain that prevents him from putting
any weight on the leg? Panosteitis symptoms are confused with other problems like
“elbow displasia,” “hip displasia” and “patellar luxation.” Panosteitis isn’t harmful but if
it is diagnosed as something else and given treatment for something else, then it could
harm a Basset Hound rather than cure him. Panosteitis can be diagnosed radiographically
but even then it has been missed.
Panosteitis is generally treated with all kinds of experimental medicines like aspirin or
cortisone. However these medicines pushed up the activity level and the Basset Hound
would exercise more and get more pain! The idea is to get rest. Basset Hound with
Panosteitis should not be taken out for exercise until you can see that he is not feeling any
Bloat or Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV): Because the Basset Hound is a deepchested dog, he is susceptible to bloat. This is called gastric torsion. The stomach
distends and rotates. The blood vessels that lead to the stomach and the lining of the
stomach are also damaged. The expanded stomach also blocks the flow of blood to the
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heart. A Basset Hound can go into shock easily.
This is a very serious condition that can strike without warning. There is no cause so it is
difficult to treat this. Overeating causes this condition so feed him small meals; don’t let
him drink too much water after his exercise. Do not start his exercises immediately after
his meal. The vet will try to reduce the pressure during an emergency. A surgical process
called gastropexy is sometimes performed to fix the stomach to the wall.
Hip dysplasia: A malformed hip joint leads to canine hip dysplasia. The ball-andsocket joint in the hip allows for smooth mobility. The two must sit together and must be
well oiled by the fluid in the joint. If they are not aligned correctly, the dog has pain and
is less energetic. Such a dog may need surgery too. This is genetic and breeders should
take care before breeding.
Feeding puppies too much to make them grow faster is also a reason. Vets say that dog
foods with less than 25 per cent protein is good for puppies. Puppies should never be
overfed. In fact it helps if they are slightly hungry. An x-ray of the hip joint will reveal
the problem. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals was the first to diagnosis this
Hip dysplasia can be severe or mild. If it is mild, a painkiller will help. Some semiserious cases can be cured by surgery. In severe cases, the dog is either crippled or put to
Obesity: This is a danger disease for a Basset Hound and the root cause for many of the
health problems they suffer from. The Basset Hound already has a structure that is quite
odd what with a long spine and short legs. Its bones are already heavy and if a Basset
Hound puts on more weight, his spine and joints cannot take the strain.
Obesity puts an unwanted pressure on the spine and legs and even affects the rest of the
Basset Hound’s internal organ like the heart, lung and kidneys. The weight will make the
heart pump more and put pressure, the kidneys would not filter properly and the lungs
will have to work extra hard too. Obesity is one disease that you should keep your Basset
Hound away from.
Glaucoma: Another common disease that most Basset Hounds get is an eye disorder
called glaucoma. If your Basset Hound shows symptoms of pain and bulging in his eyes
and also cannot look at the light, you must take him to the vet right away. It could be
Also called ocular hypertension, Glaucoma, is usually caused by an increase in pressure
inside the eye. What happens is there is either too much pf fluid production in the eye or
the fluid is not draining out, as it should. Your Basset Houndcould get primary or
secondary glaucoma. Primary glaucoma is when there is no lesion or injury in the eye
while secondary glaucoma arises from specific eye disease.
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Sometimes the causes of glaucoma could be genetic or inherited. Sometimes it could be
caused by infections or trauma or it could be a combination of an inherited problem and
an acquired eye disease.
It has been seen that adult Basset Hounds who usually develop glaucoma have a genetic
defect in the filtration angle of their eyes. That’s why when there is an injury or infection
in the eyes; the fluid doesn’t drain out properly.
However not all the Basset Hound have the same problems and glaucoma depends on the
kind of infection, how long it has been around and whether it is primary or secondary
glaucoma. Some of the general characteristics of glaucoma in Basset Hounds include:
An increase in intra-ocular pressure
Very bad pain
Cloudy or “steamy” surface of the eye
Insensitive surface of the cornea
Narrowed distance between cornea and iris
Dilated pupil
Enlargement of the eye
Loss of vision, complete or partial because of damage to nerve tissue in eye
Corneal changes due to exposure and drying of the cornea
Usually a vet will diagnose your Basset Hound as having glaucoma by looking at the
clinical signs and measuring the inner pressure of the eye. Vets use an instrument called a
tonometer to measure the inner pressure. He will assess what kind of glaucoma your
Basset Hound has and then prescribe a treatment.
There are various ways to treat glaucoma and each treatment depends on the type of
glaucoma. They might use medicines or suggest surgery or a combination of both. It will
depend on the severity of the disease and the age of the Basset Hound.
However sometimes, medicinal drugs do not help in preventing the blindness that can be
caused by glaucoma. Most vets opt for surgery. What they do is prescribe medicines to
reduce the inner eye pressure and then operate. Sometimes drugs are used after the
surgery to control the pressure after the surgery. Sadly many Basset Hounds’ begin losing
their vision even after they have been treated for glaucoma.
Lymphoma: Sadly, a Basset Hound is one of the breeds that are prone to Lymph
sarcoma. It is a malignant cancer that affects the lymphoid system. The lymphoid system
usually protects any animal from viruses and bacteria. Since the lymphoid tissue is found
in different parts of the body, a Basset Hound can have Lymph sarcoma of lymph nodes,
liver, spleen, gastrointestinal tract and skin.
Symptoms of cancer in a Basset Hound are enlargement of external lymph nodes,
vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, lethargy, difficulty breathing and
increased thirst or urinations.
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von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD) and Canine Thrombopathia (CTP): These two
are diseases that involve bleeding. A Basset Hound could have one or the other or both.
They are both life threatening. Von Willebrand’s Disease may be genetic or even
acquired. The disease is caused by a deficiency: a protein found in blood called the von
Willebrand’s factor (vWF).
CTP also involves blood cells. Small blood cells or platelets or thrombocytes collect at
the site of any injury to stop bleeding. In other words, they help the clotting process.
They also help tissue repair. Basset Hounds with this condition do not have clotting
power and so can bleed or hemorrhage. This is inherited as a recessive trait. However, the
pup is affected only if both parents have it.
Its symptoms are continuous bleeding after injury-during cutting nails, whelping or any
other cut, nose bleeds that go on and on, lameness and bloody urine or feces.
¾ Treatment: This can be controlled not cured. You can apply pressure for a long time
on the area. Sutures, transfusion may be needed. One preventive way is to see that there
is no risk of injury to your pet.
Seborrhea: There is an abnormal production of dry skin. The epidermis, the
sebaceous glands, and part of the hair follicles are getting extremely productive. The cell
production rate goes up and dry skin flakes off. Seborrhea oleosa, the oily form and
seborrhea sicca, the dry form are two kinds though some dogs could have both kinds.
Otitis externa, an ear infection that is waxy could also result due to seborrhea.
Dogs with seborrhea are scaly and smelly. In the early stages, the coat may look a little
dull These signs usually go unnoticed .By the time the Basset Hound is abut a year, the
signs of the disease become quite obvious. Basset Hounds are prone to the greasy form.
Dogs with seborrhea are also very susceptible to infection. They could develop skin
problems and catch yeast infections. Itching leads to scratching and could worsen the
¾ Treatment: This disease can be controlled though there is no cure. The dry form is
easier to control. Check with your vet on the treatment. He will tell how to recognize the
signs. You can get antiseborrheic shampoos and moisturizers. Frequent bathing may be
needed. If your Basset Hound has a yeast infection because of this disease, then
medication may be needed. Get a good after - bath rinse. Dilute it and mist his coat. Be
careful. Too many baths could bad his condition worse.
Ear infection: Otitis externa is an infection that affects the outer ear and ear canal.
Seborrhea dogs are prone to ear infections. Check your dog’s ears regularly. Ask your vet
how to flush his ears. He will give you a product that will help reduce wax build up.
Itchiness, odor are good indications. Your dog will start scratching his ears, rubbing his
head on any surface and generally be uneasy.
This will need treatment for two weeks. Despite the best efforts of some owners,
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seborrheic conditions are tough to eliminate completely. Some drugs have side effects.
The ears may smell. There could be discharge which is brown or yellow; it some cases
you could find blood. This discharge is breeding ground for fungi and yeast. Such
infections can also be caused due to mites that have lodged themselves in his ear.
Internal Parasites: Parasites can be transferred from mother to puppy. A regular
parasite check is necessary because as a preventive. These parasites live in the digestive
system and a stool examination usually reveals them. Your vet will begin the treatment
when the puppy is two weeks of age. Vets feel that some worms are inherited so it is
standard practice to give de-worming medicine to puppies.
Roundworm: The mother can give this parasite to her puppies before giving birth or
during lactation. This worm is thin but can cause expansion of the pet’s stomach. The
larvae turn up in dog feces. Its symptoms are growth problems, vomiting, diarrhea and
dehydration. Pneumonia is also prevalent with roundworm infection.
Hookworm: Of all the worms, this one is the most dangerous. It lives on the wall of the
small intestine. Black stools with blood, loss of appetite, anemia are some of the effects.
Whipworm: This parasite is found in the digestive tract. There is bowel inflammation,
mucus in the stools coupled with diarrhea.
Tapeworm: Sometimes when a dog swallows a flea, he could also take in a larva of
this worm. They can be found in feces though symptoms are rare. Tapeworms also make
a dog hungry but the dog will not put on any weight. That is because they feed from the
intestines. Control fleas to check this menace.
Coccidia: Its symptoms are the usual ones: fever, weight loss and diarrhea.
Heartworm: A mosquito, rather its bite, carries this. This parasite is very dangerous as
it lives in the heart or near major blood vessels. It can cause damage to major organs like
the heart, the lungs and can make the dog weak and tired. A blood test can reveal this
worm. Prevention is easy with medication. Ask your vet. The dosage could be daily or
monthly. In some cases, the treatment can last for a year.
Viral and bacterial diseases: Vaccinations are very crucial to dogs. They protect them
against a number of deadly viral and bacterial diseases that are very expensive to treat.
Your pet should also have booster shots every year. Such shots include vaccination for
diseases like Distemper, Adenovirus type 2, Para influenza, Corona virus and both
Canine distemper: This disease is caused by a deadly virus and can affect the dog’s
major systems like the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems. It is spread by
air and a Basset Hound can get it by coming into contact with an infected animal. The
point of contact could be urine or feces. Do not expose your puppy to other dogs or pups
until his vaccination shots are over. Its symptoms include coughing, sneezing, nose and
eye discharges, fever, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite and seizures.
¾ Treatment: You can only control it by vaccination. It is a series of shots and is given
as early as six weeks. Annual boosters are also required. The vaccination is usually given
along with vaccines for other diseases.
¾ Adenovirus or Infectious Canine Hepatitis: This is also spread the same way. The
kidneys, liver and cells lining the blood vessels are affected. Its symptoms are an
inflammation of mouth or nose, high fever, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Immunity is got
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by vaccination. Again it is a series. Initial vaccination is given as a series around the
same time as distemper. This is also given along with vaccines for other diseases.
Leptospirosis: This is a bacterial disease that spreads through nasal drops, urine or
saliva. Humans can get this disease too. Inflammation of the kidneys may occur. Its
symptoms include vomiting, fever and a loss of appetite. Again, vaccines are a series and
given around the same time as the other two. Annual boosters are needed. This
vaccination is given along with vaccinations for distemper and hepatitis (D.H.L.).
Parvovirus: This is a deadly virus affecting puppies spread through feces, blood or
vomit. Its symptoms include fever, vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea combined
with dehydration. Shots are given from six to 20 weeks, with annual boosters. If your dog
travels or stays outside for a long time he should be given his vaccines every 6 months.
Check with your vet.
Para influenza: An infectious virus, it can spread very quickly. It can seriously harm
the respirator system and even cause death. Symptoms include: a dry cough, depression,
loss of appetite, harsh, dry, hacking cough, loss of appetite, depression and runny nose.
Shots start around six weeks and annual boosters are needed.
Rabies: This affects the central nervous system. Paralysis and death could result. This
disease is always fatal. Rabies spreads through the bite of an animal. Shots are
mandatory. You will see that most state laws ask for vaccination. In the beginning, the
dog is highly excitable. Next, it may develop cramps or paralysis. The first vaccination is
usually given when the pup is about three months. Booster shots are also given. These
could be annual or every three years depending on the kind.
Corona virus: This infects the gastrointestinal tract. Feces, blood or vomit of an
infected animal spreads Corona virus. Its symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, high fever
and dehydration. For treatment, vaccinations are necessary.
Bordatella: This is bacterial in form and spread by air. Your dog could catch it in
public places. The animal coughs incessantly, sneezes and vomits. Check with your vet
about vaccinations. Vaccinations may also be given with a nasal applicator.
Lyme Disease: Ticks carry this disease. The disease manifests itself in various ways:
arthritis, sudden and severe pain and lameness, fever, and depression. Check with your
Flatulence: assets can get quite windy. They are greedy little dogs that enjoy the food
and are bound to get problems of flatulence. It is sometimes caused by bacteria in the
digestive tract that breaks down food in such a way as to produce gas.
You might find it annoying or amusing when your Basset Hound passes wind, but you
have got to know that it is hurting him and could be a serious problem. However
flatulence is something that can be controlled if you take some precautions like:
Eliminating Soy from his diet. Make sure your Basset Hound has soy-free dog
food. Soy has proteins that are hard to digest and produce a lot of gas in the
Don’t give him table scraps. The food you eat isn’t suited for your Basset Hound
and could have more oil and grease that he needs, causing him to get windy.
Feed him the same time everyday. That way he won’t be hungry for too long or
eat too soon.
Avoid changing his dog food. If the dog food you are giving him suits him don’t
change it. Changing to another on could give your Basset Hound gas.
Go slow on the doggie biscuits because those can cause gas.
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• Get your Basset Hound to exercise. Exercise will go a long way to help move the
gas out of your Basset’s body.
• Add a rock to his food! Clean it before you put them in your Basset’s bowl. This
would help slow down your Basset Hound while eating because he tends to gulp
very quickly and swallow too much air.
• Try activated charcoal! Ask a vet if adding charcoal to your Basset Hound’s diet
can help to combat the gas while it’s inside the intestine. It’s sold over the counter
but it also soak up the nutrients and vitamins and minerals. Ask your vet first.
• Try out digestive enzymes. Some safe ones are available and they do help to
digest the food and eliminate your Basset Hound’s gas. But do confirm with your
vet if it’s ok for your pet. Follow the instructions and don’t get the Basset Hound
dependent on it.
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Chapter 14
Insuring your pet against disease
If you are thinking of having your Basset Hound vaccinated against potentially fatal
diseases, let me tell you that this is a very important and crucial decision you could have
taken in the interests of your pet and his long and healthy life. Your Basset Hound too
needs to be immunized against deadly diseases, so you need to ensure that he is given the
right shots at the right time and age. So, get started while he’s still a pup.
Why vaccinate your pet? As a pup, your Basset Hound receives
certain antibodies from his mother through the placenta, and after birth, through the
colostrum (the first milk) to fight some diseases. This is why it is not a good idea to
separate him from his mother till he is eight weeks old.
Usually, the antibodies from the mother circulate in the newborn’s blood for the first
few weeks but what complicates matters is that till the first fortnight after birth, the
maternal antibodies are far too low to provide the newborn with any protection against
disease but too high to allow an artificially injected vaccine to provide the desired
Therefore, this period is rightly called the “window of susceptibility” as during this
period the pup can be highly vulnerable to contracting disease. Since the duration and
timing of this window of susceptibility varies widely, it is difficult to determine the best
time to vaccinate a pup. This is why pups are given a battery of vaccinations so that it is
immune from all diseases once it leaves the “window of susceptibility.”
Pups, however, are safely vaccinated between six to nine weeks of age—in fact, this is
the earliest age at which a routine vaccination program is started. Thereafter, he will be
given a booster dose every three weeks till he is 14 weeks old. His first rabies shot should
be given to him when he is barely four to six months old and a yearly vaccination for the
rest of his life. But if you do vaccinate your pup when he is under four or five weeks of
age, he may have severe problems. However, pups’ differences in body size or weight do
not impact the dose of vaccination given to them.
How a vaccine works: A vaccine, as you know, is merely the catalyst that stimulates
your pup’s immune system to produce antibodies to fight diseases. Therefore, your pup’s
own immune system protects him against disease. As you are aware, a vaccine contains
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the weakened or watered down version of an actual disease such as distemper or Parvo
By vaccinating your pup, the vaccination shows the pup’s immune system exactly what a
particular disease looks like so that the immune system may produce the exact antibodies
to fight and kill it. Once he is vaccinated, the animal’s immune system reacts by forming
antibodies against that disease. These antibodies (created by his own immune system)
protect him if he comes in contact with the real disease.
Five days after a certified vet has vaccinated your pup, the animal receives disease
protection. However, only on day 14 after he has been vaccinated will he receive full
protection from disease. In some instances, he may also be given two or more
vaccinations several weeks apart for full protection.
If he misses a vaccine dose by about a couple of months, he should be given two
vaccinations every two or three weeks. If he suffers from a severe vaccine related
reaction, make sure he’s vaccinated at your vet’s clinic or at an animal hospital. In such a
case, your vet may not advise him being given certain vaccines or perhaps may give him
another type of vaccine.
Your vet may also give him antihistamines before administering the vaccination to
decrease the chance of a reaction. For this, he may place a catheter in the pet’s vein so
that in the event a reaction does occur; the vet can immediately give your pet the right
medication and fluids. Once this is done, your Basset Hound will be closely monitored
for a few hours at the vet’s clinic and then at home. Despite this, your Basset Hound
could well face life-threatening reactions.
Vaccinating your pet: It’s well worth vaccinating your Basset Hound if you
consider the trouble and money you would otherwise spend in trying to get him back on
his feet, if he ever contracted any disease. First, your pet’s immune system must learn to
recognize an infection and produce appropriate antibodies. If unvaccinated, your Basset
Hound could be easily exposed to a virus or bacteria and fall sick before his immune
system begins to react. By vaccinating him, you give his immune system enough leadtime to strike at the infection with its army of antibodies before the animal can grow sick.
If you naively imagine that your darling Basset Hound could never be faced with disease
because he does not come in contact with other dogs, you probably do not know that he
can just as easily pick up infection from human beings who are carriers of germs on their
person—in their shoes, clothes and hands. Shocking? It’s true, nevertheless. In fact, if
you really want to keep your pet safe from diseases, make a note of his vaccination
schedule on your calendar and adhere to it strictly. Give him the following vaccines when
he reaches the appropriate age:
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All-In-One or DHLPP Vaccination: This vaccine takes care of your Basset
Hound, lest he contracts distemper, hepatitis caused by two types of adenovirus, Parvo
Virus, Parainfluenza and Leptospirosis.
¾ Canine Distemper: Your Basset Hound can contract this deadly disease through
direct contact or by contaminated objects. If he suffers from coughing, difficult breathing,
runny nose, diarrhea and vomiting, then he’s in for Canine Distemper. Unfortunately,
once he gets this disease, he will die even if he does initially recover from it.
¾ Canine Hepatitis: A virus causes liver infection in your pet and can even endanger
his life. Though it is not as prevalent as other viral infections among dogs in the US, your
vet will insist you give your pet this shot.
¾ Leptospirosis: Passed on through the pet’s urine, this bacterial disease is known to
affect adult dogs. Sometimes, your vet might reserve this for when your Basset Hound is
an adult. This is because of the reaction that pups have to this vaccine: he may have a
swollen face; have difficulty in breathing or even faint. Consult your vet for the
appropriate time to vaccinate your Basset against Leptospirosis.
¾ Parvo Virus: This disease spreads through the feces and is very painful to the
animal. Your pet could suffer from fever, diarrhea and vomiting, apart from feeling very
debilitated. For a strong animal like your Basset Hound, who is high on stamina, this is
indeed a very sorry sight.
¾ Parainfluenza: If your Basset Hound has a cough that’s been going on for an unduly
long time, he could suffer from Parainfluenza. This is an airborne virus that spreads very
rapidly—in fact, your adult Basset Hound could just as well pick it up when visiting the
vet, or from boarding facilities and kennels.
A vet for your pet: Your pet is mute and that’s really the trouble when it comes to
finding out what ails your pet. They cannot express what they are suffering from so just
curl up in a corner of the room, refusing to eat, drink or play. As an owner of a pet, you
will be justifiably pained and distressed to see your beloved pet in pain. While illness is
part of anyone’s life, it is still essential you adopt preventive health care measures to keep
your pet healthy and free of major illnesses as long as he lives.
It is therefore wise to find a good vet and schedule your first appointment before you
bring your pet home, especially if a medical guarantee is in effect. If you plan the first
appointment with your vet well in advance, you will only prevent loss of valuable time.
How to get a vet: The best way to find a good vet is by word of mouth. Ask petowners, friends or neighbors for recommendations or contact the American Animal
Hospital Association (AAHA) toll-free at 1-800-555-1212.
When to see your vet: You’ve just become the proud owner of a pet, so it’s the
right time for you to begin a relationship with a vet before you need one in a panic. Take
your medical records to him with the pet. If your new rescue dog is on shots, altered and
heartworm-tested, you still need to buy heartworm preventative, and you probably want
your vet to examine him thoroughly.
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If you have just bought yourself a new puppy or have just become the proud owner of
any new pet, then the first thing you should do is contact your local vet to register the
new member of your family. It is also important to visit your local vet if you have just
moved into the area to make sure he is registered with his new vet.
In any case, as a new pet owner, you should have your Basset Hound vaccinated for
rabies at age 16 weeks and then when he’s a year old, followed by a booster dose every
year or every three years, depending on the vaccine. This is mandatory in most states of
the US. If you live in a state where it is not mandatory, a rabies vaccine for your pet can
protect you from legal issues: if your pet bites a person, it must be quarantined for 10
days. If he is unvaccinated and bites another unvaccinated animal, he will be quarantined
for six months or euthanized.
Your pet’s lifestyle could also be the cause of its contracting diseases. For instance, if
your pet goes to boarding kennels, dog shows or the like, it would be a preventative
measure for him to be vaccinated for Bordetella and Corona.
By calculation, dogs age at approximately seven times the rate humans’ do. So, if your
vet says your Basset Hound should be brought in every seven-dog year, he really means
once a year, as we know it. Once your pet is six-years-old, he must see the vet twice a
year. This is because as they begin to age, their diseases progress fast too.
If you take him to the vet once a year for his physical examinations, it gives your vet a
chance to see what’s right and wrong with him, to chat with him about the changes in his
life. A routine such as this one also helps the vet establish a regular health chart of your
Basset Hound, so he can detect anything abnormal about him. Besides, it is also
preventative to give him a yearly check-up.
Vets who do a physical examination look for systemic abnormalities. So, don’t be
surprised if your vet moves from checking your pet from his front to his back, beginning
with his eyes, ears, nose and throat and then moving on to the lungs, heart,
gastrointestinal tract and a check for intestinal parasites. He will also check for new
lumps or bumps.
A stool sample is necessary to check for worms. Your vet will also take a blood sample to
check for that deadly disease, heartworm. Keep your Basset Hound on heartworm
preventive as if he is diagnosed with this disease, treatment can set you back by several
hundred dollars. You will have to give him a pill once a month as a preventive. These
tests should be done along with the annual physical. Along with this, he should also be
checked for worms for which a simple fecal test can tell whether your present deworming program is working or not.
Your Basset Hound may also need dental cleanings or extractions. Dental costs no matter
where you live, are expensive, so expect to pay about $100 to $200 per year for routine
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care. Additional visits to the vet for non-routine procedures could be another $100 per
visit, depending on the procedures being performed.
Between one examination and another, you need to be alert to your pet’s health. Check to
see if he displays any kind of trouble such as a loss of appetite, changes in weight,
vomiting, coughing, sneezing, elimination problems or other behavioral changes. If he
has any of these problems, you need to see your vet.
Since you are an important link in the chain of your pet’s good health, you need to be
sensitive to his health or ailments, if any. Besides, he is dependent on you to ensure that
medications are given correctly and that his follow-up care or testing is done. He may
also be in pain, something you can make out but perhaps your vet cannot. So, make a
record of all the symptoms your Basset Hound experiences, so you can give your vet a
complete record of the pet’s ailments before he can take any action. Given below is a list
of all the ways in which you can make a difference to your pet’s life:
List out your pet’s problems: Note down all the unusual things that might have
triggered off any problem in your pet. A complete list can be a lot of help to your vet.
List all the medicines your pet is taken right now: This list can go a long way
in helping your vet. This includes aspirin if he suffers from arthritis, heartworm
preventatives, flea control products, prescription medications, food supplements and
herbal or homeopathic medications. Drug interactions and drug side effects occur in pets,
too, so be careful!
If you have any niggling doubts about your pet’s needs, list them: If you have
a list of doubts, your vet can address them. Or if you need to buy something the vet told
you to, it’s frustrating to find this out only after you’ve reached home.
Stay in touch with your vet: If you need to drop your pet off at the vet’s clinic
while you attend to something else or if someone else can bring him in to the vet’s office,
let the vet know this by calling him in advance.
Videotape your pet’s problems: If your pet suffers with a chronic intermittent
problem with seizures, or he has respiratory difficulty or behavioral quirks that you can’t
otherwise explain to your vet, it might be a good idea to videotape your pet when in pain
and bring it in to the vet.
Don’t give him pills, if you can’t give them: If you aren’t confident of giving
your pet tablets, then don’t. You could easily give him a liquid form of the same tablet.
Further, it might be a good idea to hospitalize your pet so that he is given the medicine, as
he should be, if you can’t.
Understand all that your vet says before you leave his clinic: You need to
know exactly how to look after your pet, and if you are administering medication, you
need to understand the directions. Ask repeatedly if you don’t understand anything your
vet says or you could also ask the veterinary technician to explain.
Taking your senior dog to the vet: As your pet grows older, his body too
undergoes a lot of change such as reduced activity and a change in eating habits. Apart
from this, you may not always know what’s normal with him and at his age, and what
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First, you should take your senior dog to the vet at least twice a year for a check-up,
while also noticing those odd symptoms that you haven’t seen before. For this, you have
to be in tune with his normal habits. Once you know this and take him to the vet, quick
action alone can prevent his condition from worsening.
Symptoms your vet should look out for:
Lumps or bumps on your dog’s skin, even if they are benign. Also check for
mouth tumors, whose symptoms are foul odors or unusual discharge or bleeding.
If your dog suffers from shortness of breath, he could have a heart problem.
If he has a change in appetite, it’s a sign of kidney failure.
Sudden weight loss or weight gain.
If he is drinking more water than usual or urinating more frequently, he could
have kidney disease or diabetes.
Sudden changes in temperament. If your dog is normally very gentle and
suddenly becomes aggressive, it could indicate a medical problem.
If your dog is lethargic for 24 hours or more.
Continuous vomiting
Abdominal tenderness or swelling are signs of bloat.
Is your pet lame? Check out why.
Diarrhea for more than 24 hours or diarrhea with blood should be an alert to call
the vet.
Rashes, falling out fur, excessive shedding or chewing at spots on the body should
be brought to your vet’s attention.
Should the eyes look hazy or your dog seem to have trouble seeing or there is an
abnormal discharge from the eye, call the vet.
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Chapter 15
Actions and Reactions: Allergies
Because of their unusual structure, Basset Hounds are prone to allergies. Most allergies
are inherited. Besides, their low bodies, long ears make them particularly susceptible to
all kinds of allergic reactions. Some are allergic to grass. Following a scent, with their
ears trailing on the ground, their heads held really low increases the problem. Lack of air
in the ears also causes infection.
Grass eaters: Most dogs eat grass. But make sure it has not been treated with
pesticides. However, Basset Hound are also very allergic to grass and pollens so you need
to be doubly sure. Even if your Basset Hound doesn’t eat grass, walking with his nose
and head to the ground could cause an allergic reaction. Your vet may suggest an
Food Allergy: Food allergy is not very common though some dogs do get allergic.
Contrary to popular belief, a change in diet doesn’t cause a reaction. Sometimes, allergies
are developed to the same food. Besides, for an allergic reaction to take place, your pet
needs to have the food or substance more than once.
Some ingredients pets are allergic to beef, chicken, fish, eggs and milk. Food allergy has
the same symptoms as those of inhalant ones. However, if your pet gets an allergic
reaction, rule out food allergy first because it is easy to control: simply stop giving your
pet that particular ingredient.
Symptoms: As a result of allergies to different foods, your pet may show the following
symptoms: skin odor, itchiness, pruritis on the face, paws and ears, flaky skin, red boils
or spots, ear infections, diarrhea and vomiting.
Treatment: The last symptom is rare because usually food allergy shows up externally,
not internally. Tests may be needed; dietary history may have to be seen. Check with
your vet. First of all, once the ingredient has been identified, it is advisable to remove it
from the diet. Next, antihistamines may be prescribed. If the pet has a yeast infection, that
will have to be treated. A special diet may be prescribed. This will have to be followed
strictly. Do not, during this period, give him new kinds of treats or food. Flavored
supplements should not be given.
Kinds of allergies your Basset Hound could suffer from:
Atopy: This one occurs because dogs manufacture antibodies as a reaction to
environmental allergens. This is a common problem. an allergy caused from things dogs
inhale. Dogs with food allergies have atopy but not vice versa. The antibodies,
immunoglobin E (IgE), fight the parasites but also help develop reactions. An
environmental allergen could be anything from dust, pollen, and molds, to grass. These
antibodies are found in skin tissues. Once the dog is exposed again to the same allergen,
these antibodies will bind themselves to it and release a chemical called histamine. This
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release produces itchiness, red skin and possibly dermatitis.
Anaphylaxis: Sometimes a dog could have a fatal allergic reaction to insect venom,
vaccines or, drugs, etc. There are two kinds: anaphylactic and anaphylactoid.
Anaphylactic reactions: In this case, when a dog is exposed to an antigen, he will
develop antibodies binding the agent to the mast cells. When he is exposed again, the
antibodies energize the mast cells and produce an inflammatory reaction.
Anaphalactoid reactions: In this kind, just being exposed once will bring about a
reaction. This is because these are brought about by non-immunological factors that
energize the mast cells.
Paws: The dog’s large paws facilitate interdigital cysts, abscesses and fungus
infections between the digits.
Fleas: Fleas and ticks are external parasites. They are usually diagnosed after an
examination. A puppy may get fleas from his mother or from the environment. You
should check for fleas during your pet grooming sessions.
He will bite himself often
He will break out in small reddish spots on his skin
He will have black flea dirt on neck or rear
He will suffer from allergic dermatitis, which show up as skin lesions.
Some common treatments include:
A dip or a flea bath
Bathe him and spray him with a flea spray or powder
Check his bed and crate. Clean them thoroughly
Clean carpets and other surfaces upon which your Basset Hound is likely to walk
Ticks: Some tick bites can cause some kinds of diseases like Rocky Mountain spotted
fever and Lyme disease. Since your Basset Hound is likely to run off, he may pick these
up in the woods. Use a tick-repellant for his coat. You can also remove a tick yourself if
you wear gloves and with a pair of tweezers, grasp it near the head and pull it out. Once
you remove the head, wipe the area with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Consult your vet.
He can advise you on the next course of action.
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Lice: You can control these with sprays and powders. Your vet will give you one that
is good for your basset.
Mange Mites: Two common kinds are sarcoptic and demodectic. Again, these live
on skin or hair follicles. The worst thing about them is that they are not visible. The eggs
of the sarcoptic mites are laid in a tunnel-like formation. The demodectic mites make
their home in hair follicles. The symptoms include itching, scratching, lesions if infected
with demodectic mites and hair fall.
Ringworm: This is contagious. A fungus causes this and you can see evidence in
bare, oval patches. Do not let your Basset Hound interact with other dogs. Consult your
¾ A first aid kit: Some essentials in your kit should include gauze, eye cleaner/saline
solution, large sterile pads, muzzle, squirt bottles filled with water, tweezers, scissors,
examination gloves, anti-diarrhea medication, antibacterial ointments, Benadryl liquid,
Betadine or other cleansing solution, cotton swabs, thermometer and Quick stop for cut
Coping with emergencies:
Burns: A Basset Hound is his master’s pet and will follow you around and
sometimes knock the host’s coffee on their own coat. If that happens and your Basset
Hound breaks into pain and blisters, just take a cold compress and hold it gently to the
affected area. Do not use ointments until your vet approves.
Choking: Basset Hound are naturally curious and tend to try and eat anything that
looks eatable to them. That’s why it is possible for them to gag, vomit, cry out in pain,
salivate more than necessary and worse still become unconscious.
Avoid leaving things like small parts of your kid’s toys etc. If you see your Basset Hound
choking on something, get a firm hold of him and open mouth. Keep talking to him
reassuringly and pull his tongue forward. If you can see the object, fish it out. Take him
to a vet to check him out later.
Fractures: Don’t panic if you suddenly see your Basset Hound lying in an abnormal
position with a swollen limb and in a lot of pain. It could be a fracture. You will need to
take him to the vet but before you do so, clam him down and wrap him up in a blanket or
towel and put the fractured limb in a splint if you can. Do be alert for any lameness that a
Basset Hound shows, it could be more than a fracture.
Heat strokes: Yes they can, if you insist on giving them exercise in the hottest time
of the day! Otherwise they are hardy dogs that can stand any weather. If your Basset
Hound has been out in the heat and is gasping and panting, check to see if his skin is too
warm, if his tongue and gums are dry and gray and if he is drooling too much. Wrap him
up in a cool towel or soak him in cool water. If he becomes unconscious, it is better to let
the vet handle it.
Exposure to cold: If somehow your Basset Hound has been over exposed to the cold,
check if he has very cold skin or for signs of shivering, weakness, bloody stool and pale
pink-gray tongue and gums. Use a hot water bottle to warm him up and cover him with a
blanket. If symptoms are severe rush him to the vet.
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Insect stings: If your Basset Hound comes back from the garden or the park with
stinger marks, swelling, hives, heavy panting and vomiting, an insect could have stung
him. Remove the stinger if you can see it with tweezers and apply an ice pack. If he is
vomiting and weak, he might be having an allergic reaction and needs to see the vet.
Treat minor and serious wounds: Clean the small cut or puncture wounds with
peroxide and a cotton ball. If there is too much bleeding, put pressure on the wound and
press it down for a while to stop the flow. If the bleeding does not stop it could be
indicative of something more serious.
Motion sickness: Some Basset Hound can get sick in the car! If your Basset Hound
is restless and vomiting in the car, stop and let him out to get some fresh air. Talk to a vet
who can give him tranquilizers to take before a trip. Some Basset Hounds even get
diarrhea as a result of motion sickness.
Poisoning: If your Basset Hound is vomiting, twitching and has collapsed, check his
mouth. If his gums and tongue are bluish gums call poison control and your vet, because
there is nothing much you can do. If you can find out what poison he has ingested, this
could help in effective treatment.
Ear infections: First of all, if you give him the proper grooming and clean his ear
regularly, your Basset Hound won’t get any ear infection. If he does have an infection, try
this solution, after asking your vet. You will need the following ingredients:
16 oz. Isopropyl alcohol
4 Tablespoons Boric acid powder
16 drops Gentian Violet Solution 1%
Mix together and use a plastic squirt bottle to dispense the solution in your Basset’s ears.
First flood the ears and massage gently. Repeat again and let the Basset Hound shake off
the excess. Use this two times daily for the first week and 1 time for the next week. The
boric acid powder will soothe the ear while the violet solution will fight the infection. In
about 2 days, the infection will begin to subside. Once the infection is gone, discontinue
the treatment.
This solution helps if your Basset Hound has ear mites or wax or canker. Sometimes if
the infection persists, you can try flushing ears with two tablespoons of raw apple vinegar
added to one cup of warm water, for two weeks. But ask your vet first.
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
Chapter 16
To breed or not to breed
There are very good reasons to breed: equally good reasons not to breed. Breeding is
when it all begins. It is a program that has to be taken very seriously. A breeder is
responsible for bringing a Basset Hound into this world and he has to make sure the
animal conforms to the breed standard. Bringing forth a poor quality animal benefits
none, least of all the breeder and besides, it is unfair to the breed.
There are a lot of factors that come into play in this process. You
need pluck, luck, hard work and good decision –taking ability. You should breed for
both temperament and health. Besides, it is best to breed with the idea of bettering the
Need for specialized breeding: You must remember that Basset Hound are not
breeds that can freely breed on their own. They need a lot of help while mating and often
have large litters of ranging from seven to 12 pups! They are very slow at whelping or
giving birth and often have Caesarean sections. Breeding a Basset Hound is definitely not
a casual chore! It needs planning, careful selection and a lot of patience. Some of the
breeding essentials you should know about are:
Know the breed standard- It’s very important that you are aware of what an
ideal Basset Hound should be like as in the shape of the head, tail, feet etc.
Know the health issues- Make yourself familiar with the major health problems
that Basset Hound face. Find out which health problems seem to be hereditary and
which are acquired.
Know the canine structure and movement- A Basset Hound has a very odd
bone structure from other dogs that makes it a medium dog with short legs. It also
has heavier and denser bones than any other dog. This makes its movement
different. You will need to know all the details of his bone structure and his
Know the Basset Hound temperament- This breed is temperamentally very
different from others. But did you know that temperament is hereditary too? Well
you should know and be careful to keep this in mind while trying to breed the best
Know that it takes time and money- If you want to breed a Basset Hound, it
will mean that you must be ready to invest both in terms of time and money. It
takes a lot of effort and is quite a long procedure because Basset Hounds aren’t
good at breeding on their own.
Know the power of testing- It’s important that you invest in getting a lot of
testing done one the Basset Hound you intend to mate. Tests can detect major
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Basset Hound problems like bleeding disorders, glaucoma, bloat and immune
Why do you want to breed your Basset Hound? What are the reasons for which
you want to breed your Basset? It is very important that you know why you want to breed
him. This could help to get rid of preconceived notions you have and also prepare you for
the consequences of breeding that you have not thought of.
Wrong reasons for breeding a Basset:
You think your Basset Hound will be happier and healthier if he or she is bred and
unhappy if he or she is neutered or spayed. This is very untrue because spayed
and neutered Basset Hounds are a very happy and healthy lot and sometimes live
longer than the ones who breed.
You want to teach your kids about life. Find another way and don’t use Basset
You want another one just like the one you have. You cannot replicate your
You want to breed because it’s fun and you will pass the puppies around as gifts.
You want to earn money. This is a worst possible reason and you will end up
endangering Basset Hound.
Your reasons for breeding have to be the right reasons. You have to know what goes into
developing and breeding quality Basset Hounds and understand the importance of
You need to be committed to breeding Basset Hounds free of genetic defects and have
the finances to ensure that they are kept in the right facilities and given the right kind of
care. It is also important to know how to socialize the puppies that are born and make
sure they get the right medical shots, proper diet.
You must remember also before you breed that a Basset Hound litter can be quite large so
you must have room enough to make sure you can give all of the puppies a clean, healthy
environment to grow before they find good homes.
Whatever your reasons are for breeding, you also have to know that if you aren’t going to
keep and raise the entire litter, it is your responsibility that you find good homes for the
Basset Hound you breed. Find owners who care and who won’t dump the Basset Hound
because they slobber in a rescue center.
Before you decide you want to breed your Basset Hound, make sure that you are not
going to join the gang of bad breeders who want the money and don’t care for heath and
breed standards of the Basset Hound and cause them more harm. The Basset Hound is a
gentle breed that deserves the best. Have responsible reasons for breeding your Basset.
When is a Basset Hound female ready to breed? A female Basset Hound is ready to
breed when she is as young as six months. However it is best that with a Basset, you
consult with the breeder or vet and before you start breeding. She should have a check up
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and a series of tests before she is used for breeding. Avoid breeding your Basset Hound
Are you ready to breed your Basset? If your reasons are genuine and you are
committed to the issue of proper breeding then it’s time to give you the basics of breeding
Basset Hound. Remember that this is a responsibility and not an issue that is fun and
Make yourself familiar with the breed standard, health problems and the canine
structure and movement. Do not entertain any Basset Hound that is genetically
If you have bought a “show quality” Basset Hound ask your breeder if he can
make arrangements for breeding it.
Most of the times, breeders ask you to enter an agreement to allow them to have
breeding rights and they would take care of the entire procedure of matching,
selecting and mating. This is the best breeding option you can have.
Do not attempt to breed a Basset Hound all by yourself. Do take the advice of
your breeder and he will guide you along, since he knows your Basset’s health
and temperament.
Do not breed Basset Hounds that have been bought from pet stores because they
get their puppies from back yard breeders and puppy mills that do not care about
proper breeding. If you breed such Basset Hounds, you will not be improving the
Keep up with a lot of reading and research about breeding Basset Hounds and get
an experienced breeder to help you with the process.
Make sure you have the time. If you are holding down a full-time job it could get
hard. You need to have flexi hours to take your Basset Hound around if she is a
female and run the tests that are required.
Sometimes you should be even ready to sacrifice some of your sleep, because
your Basset Hound may require a lot of attention. They take a very long time to
whelp, or give birth and sometimes you will need a vet’s help to perform a
Caesarian section.
You will need to find baby sitters. Basset Hound have large litters and you can
end up with 12 Basset Hound puppies! When there are so many puppies around
you will need to have at least one supervising adult to stay with them at all times.
It would become your duty to socialize your Basset Hound litter. They would not
be ready to leave for their new homes till they are at least six weeks (eight weeks
is usually the best age) so you would need to familiarize them with the rules of
Some puppies may die and you need to be prepared for this. They might be the
weak ones of the litter or be born with defects. You also need to be aware that the
puppies might fall sick and would need medical attention.
It would become your responsibility to find good homes for the Basset Hound
puppies that you breed. You would have to ask all the necessary questions and be
prepared to advice them about the puppies’ temperament, health, diet and training.
You also need to be prepared that some of the puppies you place in other homes
might die and that the owners would hold you responsible.
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If you cannot place all the Basset Hound puppies you bred then you would have
to keep them. Make sure you are ready for the care they need and also be ready to
care for the older dogs as well.
One Basset Hound could be noisy so just imagine a litter of 12! Not just thatthere would be a whole load of training to do as well.
Make sure that you are sound financially to support a litter to give them the right
vaccination, the food they require and for medical emergencies which cost a
How hard is it to breed Basset Hounds? It might sound a bit discouraging, but it is VERY
hard to breed a Basset Hound. You might think it’s easy but it is not! Even if you have a
good show quality Basset Hound and have identified and selected the right mate for her,
finding the right home is not going to be as easy as pie. There are several things you need
to be prepared for before you go in for the actual breeding act:
• If you have a female Basset Hound, you will have to take her to where her mate
• Should you have a male of the breed, make sure you have a safe and clean place
where you will keep the visiting female.
• Please note that the Basset Hound won’t breed on their own and that you will
have to personally oversee and handle them through the entire act of breeding.
You should therefore know what to do and be able to troubleshoot when
• Do not just leave the two Basset Hounds alone together and expect things to
happen naturally, because it won’t.
• Don’t be surprised if the male Basset Hound begins to mark out his territory by
urinating around when he sees the female. That’s just is way of showing who is in
charge and he won’t hurt the female. He’s just being defensive.
• Be prepared that if you are the owner of the male that he might become a little
resentful to you and growl at you more than he usually does.
Breeding Basset Hounds could be a tiresome and frustrating process. You will also have
to avoid the danger of over breeding your Basset Hound or face her death while giving
birth. Be sure of what you are getting into and make sure you follow the right breeding
As a result of wrong breeding the usually regal looking Basset Hound ends up with an
extra long heavy body, unnaturally long ears, loose skin and sometimes a distorted skin
color apart from a host of other health problems. Sometimes it is more advisable to leave
the breeding of a Basset Hound to professional breeders.
How to select a stud: The male should not have any joint problems. His eyes should
have been checked annually. He should be free from any abnormality, specific to the
breed. Check for heart, thyroid problems and seizures. Also, check his temperament. Do a
check at shows, field or obedience or any other competition. Look for a dog that has sired
puppies and check his compatibility. Most bad points and good points are laid at the
sire’s door so get a good one.
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The mating game: Your bitch will need a good place to mate. The mating has to be
monitored. Basset Hounds require some help. Try to see the mating takes place otherwise
you’ll have to wait till the next season. Check your contract if there is a repeat clause. (If
you own a stud, you should check the bitch out thoroughly. Besides, find out if the owner
is giving you the litter and so on. ) The bitch is in heat for three weeks and usually during
the second week (this could change) a bitch will mate.
Heat: The heat cycle is very important. Estrus is when a bitch is in heat. The first
estrus cycle is at six to 12 months of age. There are two cycles each year. After her
delivery, a female is ready to breed again. This can be anytime from 20-24 weeks.
The mother: Make sure your girl has had all her vaccinations before you breed her.
During the last three weeks of her pregnancy, she will need more food. You will get
puppy food for both puppies and pregnant mothers.
If she has any problems, check with your vet. She could pick up some infection or
become ill during her pregnancy. Do take care to prevent such happenings. There may be
problems during whelping so be prepared for that too. You should, in any case prepare
for an emergency.
Four weeks later: Around this time, you can find out if she is pregnant. Change her
diet to a high –protein diet. She will get hungrier as time passes.
At eight weeks: You can find out the number of puppies with an x-ray. If the
delivery is normal, it will take three or four hours.
Preparation for delivery: Find a clean, spacious, whelping box, big enough for her
to stretch out in but not so big that the pups get lost in it. Cover the floor with a sheet of
plastic. Pile up several layers of newspapers on the plastic sheet. Now, cover the
newspapers with another sheet of plastic. Repeat with more layers of newspapers, and top
with yet another sheet of plastic. This will help the cleaning.
After the delivery: Cleaning the box is a full time job. Decide how you want to go
about it. Some use newspapers. Others use plastic, synthetic material. Pine shavings are
also used.
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Problems: She may deliver Mummy puppies or badly formed, unaborted puppies, so
much so that at birth they look like the Egyptian ‘mummy.’
Water puppies: In this case, the puppy’s skeletal system is not developed but is
Defective puppies: Pups may be born with hair lips. You need to give special care to
the mother during the next few months. She needs to be given a special diet to help her
produce milk. During her nursing days, she will need thrice the amount of food. She may
shed her coat too.
Weaning: After the first five weeks or so, start the weaning process. Soak puppy
food in warm water for about two hours. Do not allow people to see them until this age.
Their immune systems start working around this time.
Newborns and warmth: Keep the puppies warm. At birth, the temperature in the
whelping box should be 90 F. Despite this, if your pup feels cold, don’t feed him. After
three days, let a vet see them. Check if the tails are standing out of their bodies. If your
litter is large, they may need to be fed a lot more. A good milk supplement for puppies is
usually recommended. The bedding needs to be changed at least twice a day.
Their dewclaws should be removed or their tails docked by the time the pups are three
days old. Otherwise they won’t heal well. You will have to record the date of birth of all.
In week four, the puppies will become active so you may need a pen. Remember, also
that puppies can be destructive. After six weeks, give them their shots and de-worm
them. Check also for heart problems, hernias, testicles, deafness, and eye problems. Start
the socializing process. Test for temperament. After seven weeks, think of placing them.
Get your papers ready.
Puppies and problems: Puppies need to be kept warm; they need energy and water. If
any of these is not present, they will die. Give the puppy what he needs for the first couple
of days. Place him in a small box with some heating pads. If you need to give him water
and sugar, your vet might prescribe an injection of subcutaneous fluids, dextrose in saline,
on the top of the neck of the puppy. This should be done every two hours while the
puppy is in the box. Take care of their other needs, potty and so on and after two
days; they will be ready to join their siblings. Puppies that have major organ problems
when they are born also not do survive for long.
Some die due to infection. You need to make sure both the bitch and the puppies are in an
absolutely hygienic environment. Sometimes the puppy could catch an umbilical cord
infection. So keep everything clean.
E. coli infection: This can be detected in the vagina of the bitch. She must be treated
before breeding and after whelping. Puppies born of such a mother should be treated for 5
days after they are born. Check with your vet. He could prescribe cephalexin pediatric
suspension to be given within a couple of hours of birth. Otherwise they could die within
four days after birth. If they begin to die and the medicine is given later, half the litter
could die.
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The puppies must get colostrum from their mother within their first 12 hours of life. If
this not possible, it must be expressed. Talk to your vet. Colostrum helps a puppy develop
his immune system. Every puppy must be brought up well.
Spay and Neuter: Spaying is performed on females. It involves the removal of the
reproductive organs of the animal by surgery. Spaying is also called ovario-hysterectomy.
The organs removed are the ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes.
Surgery: Your vet may perform this under general anesthesia. The puppy may be in
the hospital for a few days. This depends on her condition and age. Ideally, she should be
spayed before her first heat cycle. This is because females mature first. Spaying
eliminates heat cycles and also many health problems. She can be spayed when she is in
heat or pregnant. This can usually be done up until a few days before delivery. These
surgeries can take longer, and can therefore cost more. If your puppy is not spayed, her
movements may have to be restricted when she is in heat.
Benefits: By spaying your Basset Hound, you reduce the chances of her ever
suffering from breast cancer. In fact, this is almost eliminated if she has been spayed
before her first heat cycle. Spaying also totally removes the chances of her getting any
infection of the uterus. She will not have mood swings, and her soiling will be greatly
decreased. She will never be pregnant again nor will she be able to attract males.
However, spaying will increase her lifespan and the quality of her life.
Neutering: By neutering your male Basset Hound, you have his testes removed by
surgery. He experiences mild pain and his stay in hospital is short.
Age: Both sexes should be spayed or neutered when six to eight months old. Older
animals can undergo this operation too provided they are in good health.
Benefits: Neutering calms the male, and makes him less interested in wandering off or
roaming in search of a female partner. So, he is less likely to be hurt in an accident as he
stays at home more now. This is beneficial to him, as he does not catch infection or
disease or even testicular cancer, and has fewer chances of developing prostate infections
or prostate cancer. He neither grows too fat nor too lazy. He is less inclined to fight, not
being aggressive and sprays less now. Neutering is good for him as it increases his
lifespan and the quality of his life. He also becomes more loving.
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Chapter 17
The Twilight Years
People age. So will your Basset Hound. That cute puppy with the cute ears is no longer as
agile or energetic. Your pet will enter old age when he is about seven to10 years. Old age
need not be a period of pain or a state of semi-health. Medicine has made huge advances
and if you’ve taken care all these years and are willing to care for him in the future, your
Basset Hound will be a great companion to you for a long time to come.
Your pet is part of your family. You owe it to him. These are the years
that he will need all your love, your kindness and affection. How do you tell he’s aging?
Signs he’s aging: Your pet is aging when he has reduced energy levels and has
slower movements. He may also have a slight loss of appetite, though his sleep is
sounder. He may also suffer from tumors and be more easily scared by noises. He no
longer has the excitement of going for a walk, playing games and generally running
Temperature: Older dogs are more sensitive to temperature changes. Too hot and he
might want to go indoors. Too cold and he might want to go outdoors. Waking up after
his sleep is tough and the legs are stiff.
Hearing: His hearing could be affected. His eyesight could become weak.
Skin: His coat may change. The sebaceous glands don’t work very well. His wounds
don’t heal fast and infection is faster.
Major organs: The major organs become slower. The heart, liver, and kidneys are
not as efficient as before. The immune system is weak. He could suffer from
How to look after him: Do not treat him like a semi-invalid. If he has been healthy
so far, he will do fine for a long time. If his limbs are stiff in the morning, let him walk a
bit. Do not treat him to wake him. Exercise will also do him a world of good. If the paws
are exercised, he can reduce the chances of arthritis. Go for a 20-minute walk every day.
Twice. Put some warm blankets in the crate. Brush the coat more frequently. This will
activate the glands and stimulate production. Check with your vet. Ask him for a good
shampoo that retains natural oils and doesn’t dry skin.
During your grooming sessions, please check for ticks and fleas. An aging Basset Hound
has less resistance. Make sure he doesn’t become fat. Reduce the calories in his diet.
Fruit, vegetables, dog biscuits are good. A baby gate is a good idea to prevent him from
climbing the stairs. He could hurt himself if his limbs are stiff or if he can’t see.
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Supervise him far more often. If he is incontinent, you might need to take him out more
often or paper the crate. Do not scold or punish him. It is not his fault. Take him out;
teach him some commands all over again. It will be fun. You need to ask your vet about
possible medication.
Golden times: Remember, these are precious days. He may need help to wake up,
to eat or to eliminate. You may need to take him out for a walk more often, a short one
though, for those limbs. Or you may need to give him a treat to help him do a job.
Whatever it is, you must forgive those little lapses of his. After all, any friend who can
give you happiness for years deserves it.
Pet Insurance: Pet insurance is a very good idea. Covering him will help you in
case of accidents or illnesses. There are many companies that specialize in pet insurance
and make it easy for you to let your pet undergo surgery or take expensive medication
that is prescribed.
They are almost like human health insurance with premiums ranging in price from under
$100 to slightly over $1,000 per year depending on your pet’s age, area and other factors.
Your vet can also give you some information on wellness packages- discounts on
vaccinations, spay/neuters and so on.
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
Chapter 18
Finding a new home for your Basset Hound
Not so long ago, you were thrilled to take home the pet of your choice. You had great
dreams of looking after it and being looked after by it too. But when the hard work of
looking after him became a reality and you felt bogged down by it, you realized that this
was not what you had in mind.
You never dreamed you’d have to give him up someday. But even if you can’t continue
to keep him, he still depends on you to do your best for him, just like he depended on you
when he was a puppy. Now, if you can’t keep him, you need to take the best decision for
his future.
Remember, your Basset Hound is your responsibility. He has just you and the breeder in
this whole world to look after his interests. For you to find him the best home, therefore,
is going to a whole load of effort, patience and persistence. But don’t let that deter you
because even you know that he deserves your best efforts.
Finding a new home: Finding a new home for him involves several steps. Before
you start, there are some important things you should know...
Animal shelters: Shelters and humane societies were created so that stray and abused
animals could find a home. They weren’t drop boxes for people who didn’t want the
bother of pets anymore. On an average, shelters take in 100 new animals or more each
day, while each one has a 50% adoption rate. Only the youngest, friendliest, cutest and
best-behaved dogs end up in good homes.
The law states that stray pets must be kept several days in case their owners reclaim
them. Often, they don’t find takers and shelters have no option but to kill them, chiefly
because they are so overcrowded.
Your pet being a purebred doesn’t help its chances of adoption either—almost half the
dogs in shelters are purebreds. Depending on the breed, some shelters will not put them
up for adoption at all. If your dog is old, has health problems or is not inclined towards
strangers, his chances of adoption are negligible. So, by sending your dog to a shelter in
the hope that he’ll find a good home is wishful thinking. You should consider a shelter as
a last resort after all your sincere attempts have failed. It’s more likely that you'll be
signing your dog’s death warrant. Instead of that, consider all the options you have such
• Do some soul-searching: If this is where you’ve landed your Basset Hound, perhaps
you need to do some soul searching. Ask yourself if you really must give up your dog?
You must consider that there is a huge difference between being forced to give up your
dog and wanting to “get rid of him.” Delve deep into the recesses of your heart and find
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
out the real reason why you and your dog can’t live together anymore. Be honest with
yourself. Ask yourself if you have people problems or dog problems.
Your people problems: “We’re moving out and we can’t find a landlord who’ll
allow us to keep our dog.” Well, many landlords wouldn’t allow kids either, so does that
mean you’d leave them behind? You could find an affordable rental home with space for
pets, if only you took the trouble to find them. But the trouble is that people like you give
up too easily.
If you’re moving but can’t take your dog with you—some coping strategies:
¾ Don’t jump at the first apartment you see, you’re sure to find better ones if you wait a
¾ Go beyond classified ads. Take the help of rental services; ask friends, relatives and
co-workers to look out for good places for you. Or you could even check out
¾ A home with pets might be farther off from work for you, making it more expensive
to commute. It may also be in a different locality from what you expected or it’s too
down-market. Are you willing to make the necessary compromises to keep your pet?
¾ Signs on buildings that say “No Pets” doesn’t always mean just that, it’s usually put
there because landlords don’t want the hassle of pets around the place. Ask the landlord
outright if the sign is to be taken seriously. If he begins to falter in his speech, you know
you can bring your pet in.
¾ To encourage your landlord to change his mind and let you keep your pet, bring your
well-groomed, well-behaved dog to the rental interview. If your landlord sees he is well
cared for and that you’re a responsible owner, he’ll give in. You could also show him
your pet’s obedience class diploma or Canine Good Citizen certificate.
¾ If he’s unrelenting, offer an additional security deposit or rental amount just for your
¾ Bring references from your previous landlords and neighbors. Invite the landlord to
see your present home and let him see that your dog has not damaged any property nor
been a nuisance to the neighbors.
¾ Use a dog crate. Landlords prefer this particularly when you’re at work.
¾ If you have to move in with family or friends temporarily who don’t like dogs, use a
dog crate when you’re not home or when your family doesn’t want your dog around. Set
up a portable kennel in the yard for exercise that can be sold later when you have your
own place and don’t need it anymore.
¾ You won’t be unfair to your dog if you move into a smaller place than what he’s used
to. By nature, dogs are very adaptable, so where he lives isn’t as important to him as who
he lives with. He wants to be with you and he doesn’t care where.
The second people problem that’s reason for giving up your pet is, “We don’t have
enough time for the dog.” You gave your pup all the time he needed because pups
demand time. But now that the pup has grown into an adult and doesn’t demand all that
time, you consider him a hindrance now? Looking after your adult Basset Hound and
grooming him usually takes an hour a week. Are you really that busy? If you are, can’t
your family members help out with your pet? Is getting rid of him the only solution? Do
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
you expect people to believe that this one pet alone has been making your life so stressful
and making you so ill that the only recourse open to you was to get rid of him? Look
closely at your life and you will realize that your pet isn’t cramping your style at all.
Yours is just a problem of mismanagement of time.
Dog problems: If your dog now displays behavioral problems, then you are partly to
blame, considering you brought him in as a pup and had enough time and opportunity to
train him. But now, you still have four options:
Continue to live with your dog the way he is.
Get corrective or remedial help for him.
Give him to someone you know.
Have him put down.
Of all these options, you might consider the third, but just for a moment. But think again,
if you can’t live with a dog that has behavioral problems, why would anyone else? To
make your dog acceptable to anyone else, you need to set his problems right.
If you set your mind to it, you will realize that behavioral problems aren’t difficult to fix.
That’s a far better option than the last one, which I’m sure, you could never resort to,
after loving him genuinely for so long.
Does he bite? If, on the other hand, he is so aggressive that he has bitten people, then
you can’t give him to anyone else. It would be equally harmful to him to keep such a dog
as it is now for you. Besides, think of the lawsuits from dog bites that run into millions of
dollars in damages.
Our society is intolerant of dogs with a bite history. The law considers it a dangerous dog,
and in some states, it is illegal to sell or give away a biting dog. Besides, you can never
procure insurance for your family with such a dog.
In such a situation, you have only choice—have him put to sleep. If you don’t, you’d
have to leave him at a shelter where he might be frightened and confused and risk other
people’s lives. And please don’t send him anywhere to be a guard dog where he will only
be neglected, abused or used for dog fighting. At this point, putting him to sleep is your
safest and most practical solution.
• Call your breeder: Before you take any long-term decision about your Basset Hound,
call your breeder and ask for help. No matter how long ago you bought the pup from him,
a responsible breeder will continue to feel accountable for the pup he sold to you and will
want to help you find a new home. He will take the dog back and do his best for the
animal. If you can’t remember the breeder’s name, look for it on your pet’s registration
papers. And if you got him from an animal shelter or rescue service, your breeder’s name
will appear in the adoption contract you signed when you adopted him. The contract may
enjoin you to return the dog to that shelter.
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
• Is your Basset Hound worth adopting? Think carefully: You now need to evaluate
your Basset Hound’s adoption potential. Do this as honestly as you can as the first
deterrent in accepting him will be that he is a “used” dog, and if he comes with
behavioral or health problems, that only compounds problems for him, rather than not.
He stands a good chance of being adopted if he is under four years old, is healthy,
friendly to strangers, obeys commands and adapts quickly to new situations. Check for
these factors in your pet and see how many of these factors he scores highly on. Now, put
yourself in a potential buyer’s shoes and ask yourself if you would adopt him.
You also need to ask yourself what kind of home you want for your pet? Will he need a
house with a large fenced yard, a friend to play with? Children for company? You know
your pet so you know his wants, likes and dislikes. Make a list of these and then get real.
Accept that you won’t find all of these in one buyer or home, so you will have to settle
for the best you have. Once you get a handle on what you’re looking for, your search will
be easier and you will get the results you want.
• Groom him for a good impression: If he’s well groomed, healthy and clean before
buyers queue up to your house, he’ll stand a better chance of being picked up. But before
that, take him to the vet for a check up. He’ll need to go through a heartworm test, a
DHLP and a rabies vaccination if he hasn’t one within the last six months. Let the vet
know of any behavioral problems your Basset Hound suffers from, so he can rule out
physical causes.
And, if your pet isn’t spayed or neutered, here’s your chance to do it! Even if he’s AKCregistered, don’t try to sell him as “breeding stock.” This is because no good breeder will
accept him unless he has come from a noted show dog fancier. But one kind of breeder
who will show great interest in him will be the puppy farmer or dog broker. Such brokers
look out for unaltered purebreds to sell to puppy mills or research laboratories. Is that the
kind of future you want for your innocent pet?
You can be saved from this humiliation if you have already spaying or neutering
guarantees that your Basset Hound won’t find his way in a puppy mill. This is by far the
best way of insuring that your pet doesn’t go anywhere else except in a family of love
and friendship. If you find the cost of surgery prohibitive, speak to your vet, local shelter
or rescue group for low-cost spay and neuter programs available in some parts of the
country. If you and your pet must be parted, spaying or neutering him could be the best
thing you ever did for him. You probably don’t realize that this can not only save his life
but guarantee him a better standard of living. So, do it today! You can also have him
tattooed or micro-chipped, so he can be found if he’s lost. A permanent ID will rescue
him to you or his new owners.
Then, you ought to groom your dog. Make him look his best self so that he can make a
good impression.
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
Lastly, set a reasonable adoption fee and make it negotiable. You should be prepared for
something between $65-$150, to offset all your expenses of advertising and vet’s costs so
• Spread the good word: You need to tell just any and everyone that you have a dog
to sell. So try everything right from classified ads to word of mouth advertising—
anything that helps you reach out to the largest number of people. It might be good to
write a good ad that will eliminate the chances of your pet going to poor adoption centers.
In your ad, give a short description of your dog, his needs, your requirements for a home
and your phone number. In the description, mention his breed, color, sex, that he’s been
neutered and his age. If he’s under two years old, mention his age in months, but if he’s
over three years, put him down as an adult.
Stress his good points—how friendly he is, that he’s housebroken, well-mannered, loves
kids, can perform tricks, is trained, etc. Do you have any specific requirements for his
new home such as a fenced yard, no cats, kids over 10? Put these as specifically and
positively as possible so as not to put off a prospective buyer.
Always ask for references because this shows that you are being selective and that you’re
going to crosscheck the facts they give you. Further, it also proves that you’re not in a
hurry to hand over your dog to just anyone at all. By asking for references, only serious
buyers will call you.
Don’t make the mistake of adding the phrase “free to good home” in your ad, whether
you’re planning to charge a fee or not. Don’t mention a price in the ad.
Be sure to advertise in all the major papers that are about half an hour away from you.
Arrange for the ad to appear in Sunday’s edition so that the largest number of people see
it. Your community is sure to have a small and inexpensive paper in which you can easily
advertise, so take advantage of it!
Despite all your advertising efforts, sometimes people don’t call right away. Don’t be
discouraged, instead give people a month or more to get in touch with you. So, continue
to advertise for a few weeks at a stretch. Add a phone number in the ad for quick contact.
Don’t depend on newspapers alone as an advertising medium. You can also have your pet
photographed and have copies made. Then, make an attractive flyer on colored paper that
you can have copied giving a description of your Basset Hound. Attach the photo onto
the flyer and once it turns out be eye-catching, distribute it. Drop them in at nearby
grocery stores, department stores, vets’ offices, pet supply stores, grooming shops,
factories, malls, etc. or just anywhere you find a bulletin board. Or ask friends in other
cities to distribute them for you.
• Interviewing callers: Do this slowly. Ask every caller who comes a whole battery of
questions about himself and the care he’s likely to give your pet. You are not obliged to
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
give your pet to the first person who meets you. Be sure the person you choose as your
buyer is really the right person to look after your Basset Hound. Don’t let anyone hurry
you or intimidate you.
Write out a list of questions to ask your callers and keep them handy by the phone. Carry
some in your purse in case you get a call while you’re at work or driving. You can also
make out a form for potential buyers to fill out about themselves and ask for references.
• Setting up an interview with a prospective buyer: Once you’ve chosen a family (or
families) that you feel is the best for your pet, set up an appointment for them to see the
dog. Or you could set up two appointments: one at your house and one at theirs. By going
over to their house, you get an idea of the facilities they can provide for the dog and
whether everything they said to you earlier matches with their home and grounds. This
can be seen as a step forward as, all things going well, you can finalize the deal with
them. But if it doesn’t, then this is the perfect opportunity for you to call it off and take
the dog back home with you.
If they already have a pet, let their pet and yours meet in a park or such neutral territory,
since dogs don’t feel comfortable meeting strange dogs at home. Their pet may turn
hostile toward the new dog or even start a fight.
If the family has children, let them come too to the interview. Your dog’s reaction to him
and their treatment of him must be seen and noted. Apart from allowing for kids’ natural
enthusiasm, you also have to make sure they are kind and gentle to your pet, not in
disciplined and disrespectful. Whatever you ultimately decide, trust your instincts, your
eyes and ears.
• Deciding on the best buyer: If you’re satisfied with the way the interviews have gone
off, give the new family a day or two to decide if they really want to take on your dog. Le
them think this over really well and while they do this, you should put together a packet
of papers to send with your Basset Hound. This will include his medical records and the
name, address and phone number of your vet, your name, address and phone (new
address if you’re moving), your dog’s toys and belongings (dog bed, blanket, etc.), a
supply of dog food and special treats he loves, an instruction sheet on feeding, special
needs, etc.; some reading material about the Basset Hound breed, collar and leash; ID and
rabies tags, and the phone number of the nearest Basset Rescue.
Now you and your dog must take a last walk together and say goodbye. It will be a very
emotional time for you, and if you want to cry, this is the right time for you when you can
do it in private, so that you’re clear-headed when he leaves. This is necessary as if you
cry when he leaves, it may upset him, plus he may be a little confused if he is left with
Now, there are still a few things you will have to explain to the new family before they
take your dog away: He will go through a period of adjustment as he slowly acquaints
himself with his new family and bears the loss of his old family. Each dog takes his own
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
time to adjust to the new family, so a sensitive new owner will not force anything new or
stressful on the dog in this period such as taking a bath, obedience training classes,
meeting too many strangers at once, etc, until he really settles in.
Tell them to take things easy at first and give the dog time to bond with them. He might
not eat the first few days but he will when he’s ready. He may also temporarily forget his
training and have an accident on the first day in his new home. This isn’t unusual and in
all probability won’t recur.
• Signing on the dotted line: Make the new owner sign an adoption contract with a
waiver of liability. There’s a sample contract given here. Keep a copy for your records.
This will help to protect the dog and the waiver of liability protects you. But it will not
protect you if you have lied or misrepresented the dog to his new owners.
If the adoption does not work out, tell the family they should call you and let you know.
Ask if you can keep in touch with them and ask after the dog’s progress. Invite them to
call you if they have questions or problems. Offer to take the dog back home if things
don’t work out the way you both expected.
Adopter’s Name:
Former Owner’s Name:
Dog’s Name:
Date of last Vet Check-up
Heartworm check
Next vaccinations & Heartworm check will be needed:
To the best of my (former owner) knowledge, this dog has no defects that would make it
unsuitable as a family pet. I certify that this dog has never bitten or injured anyone.
I (adopter) understand and agree to the following terms of this contract and understand
that non- compliance with the terms of this agreement gives the adopting agent/former
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
owner the right to reclaim this dog without refund of adoption fee. an adoption fee of
will be collected at the time of adoption.
This dog shall be kept and cared for as a family pet in a humane manner and given
appropriate shelter and medical care for the duration of its life.
I agree to abide by all state and local animal control and leash laws. I understand it is my
responsibility to become familiar with these laws.
I understand that
(former owner/agent)
makes no guarantees or
warranties regarding the health or temperament of this dog. I agree to adopt this dog and
to be solely responsible for this animal and any damages that may result from its actions.
(Former owner/agent)
shall not be held liable for the behavior of
this dog or any damages it may cause. I understand that this a binding contract
enforceable by civil law.
Date of adoption:
Adopter’s signature
Former Owner’s Signature
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
Basset Hound Resources
# Basset Hound Owner’s survival guide by Diane Morgan
# The new Basset Hound by Margaret S Walton
# The Basset Hound: An owners guide to a happy, healthy pet by Barbara Wicklund
* Basset Hound Club of America, Inc.
Contact: Secy., Carol Makowski, 9007 Tahoe Lane, Boulder, CO 80301
E-mail: [email protected]
Rescue Contact: Barbara Wickland, New Jersey
Tel: 908-874-0508
Basset HoundClub Website:
* Basset Hound Rescue - Florida
Florida Basset Hound Rescue
Rescue Website with available Basset Hound:
* Basset Hound Rescue - Florida
Suncoast Basset HoundRescue
Rescue Website with available Basset Hound:
Basset Hound Rescue Inc., New England
New England Basset Hound Rescue Inc.
Rescue Contact: Karen Fortier, Adoption Coordinator, P.O. Box 835, Raymond,
NH 03077
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Insider’s Guide to The Basset Hound
Tel: 603-895-9766 E-mail: [email protected]
Rescue Website:
Basset HoundRescue of Western New York.
Contact: Genny Kosh, P.O. Box 278, E. Pembroke, NY 14056
Tel: 716-344-3890 E-mail: Basset [email protected]
List of breeders
[email protected]
© 2007 - 2011

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