Thanks to their uncanny sense of smell and being sensitive and loving creatures, Basset hounds are experts in some fields. If you want to take your Basset hound’s natural skills to the next level, you might want to consider some specialty training classes. Just make sure that your Basset hound is up-to-date with his immunizations and be prepared to bring proof.
Which is the best specialty training for Basset hounds? Basset Hound Specialty training lessons can include agility training, lure coursing, earth-dog trial training, hound trailing training, therapy dog training, and brain training.
Here are some professionally-led training courses that will take your Basset hound’s natural skills to the next level:
Basset Hound Specialty Training Lessons
Basset hounds are stubborn and independent dogs and you might have difficulty training them for obedience. But, that doesn’t mean that you should give up. You have to understand that Basset hounds are low-energy dogs. They have to be constantly pushed to get through the day and learn a thing or two. The only way you can see a Basset hound running is when he is trailing a scent.
This is where the specialty training lessons come in handy. There are a lot of training sessions that include scent trailing, digging, barking, and other things that your Basset hound will enjoy doing. So, keep your basset hound happy and healthy with one of the specialty training lessons:
1. Agility Training For Basset Hounds
Agility training for Basset hounds is an obstacle course for dogs. I know that Basset hounds shouldn’t be jumping because they have fragile joints and spines. But, this course is adjusted to accommodate limitations which makes it an ideal sport for the breed.
Agility training exercises for Basset hounds can include:
- Barreling through tunnels
- Bounding around obstacles
- Getting under tight spots
- Run through weave poles
- Jumping through a car tire
2. Lure Coursing For Basset Hounds
Lure coursing is great for Basset hounds. Basset hounds were created to hunt which means they are attracted by sight and scent. Lure coursing is a training session where dogs chase a mechanically operated lure (usually a bunny) around a 700+ yard course.
Basset hounds run in packs of three and the bunnies are kept close enough in front of the dogs to entice them, but far away so they can’t catch them. This training is a great way for the Basset hound to get both physical and brain exercise.
3. Earth-dog Trial Training For Basset Hounds
The earth-dog trial training for Basset hounds involves digging, pawing, staring, scratching, barking, and other active behavior. In this training session, the Basset hound navigates a quarry that consists of man-made underground tunnels. They are driven by a scent of a rat that is spread throughout the quarry and they compete against other dogs.
The rats are alive but don’t worry, neither dogs nor rats get hurt in this training session because they don’t come into physical contact with one another.
Although formal Earth-dog competitions are reserved mainly for Terrier dogs, Basset hounds are welcome for open sessions and competitions. You can bet that they can do quite well.
4. Basset Hound Trailing Training
Hound Trailing training involves traveling a cross-country course that involves sniffing, tracking, and trailing. This is kinda what Basset hounds were bred originally. The dogs in this course are judged on endurance and speed.
Basset hounds might not be the fastest dogs out there, but their endurance is amazing. The courses for adult dogs are around 10 miles and approximately 5 miles for puppies.
5. Therapy Dog Training For Basset Hounds
Basset hounds are famous for having hearts that love almost to a fault. All it takes is one look from those droopy, sad eyes and you will break out in laughter, no matter how down you feel.
Basset hounds are one of the best breeds for therapy dogs because they are low-energy, highly sensitive, and in tune with emotions. On top of that, they have a knack for cheering people up. Due to their body build and fragile joints and spine, the Basset hounds don’t do very well as working dogs. But they are great as emotional support dogs.
If you are interested in having your Basset hound trained to be a therapy or companion dog, you will have to do some research and incorporate the assistance of a professional trainer to do the job in the right way and to certify his training.
6. Brain Training For Basset Hounds
Basset hounds are smart only when they want to be. I’ve read that Basset hounds are so smart, they play dumb when it suits them. I thought this was a joke until I got my Basset hound puppy. A lot of intelligence is required to be able to hunt and as we know, hunting is in their DNA. Training your Basset hound to use his brain to solve problems is a great way to boost his mental energy and build his brain.
Here are some brain-training games for your Basset hound:
- Dinner for the winner: Create an obstacle course where your Basset hound is required to follow a trail of kibble to find his dinner in an interesting place. This will help him connect with his ancestors that had to hunt for their meals.
- Out of the box: There are a lot of great brain games on amazon.com. Find one of those where there is a puzzle and your Basset has to figure it out and be rewarded with a treat. I have three of those games and we have a game night at least twice per week.
- Pick a winner: This is a great game where you can involve your little kids. Place a treat in one of your hands and call your Basset hound. Tell him to pick a hand. Expect him to be an expert at this fun game. You can try the same trick with three glasses and hide a treat under one and shuffle them. My Basset hound loves when I shuffle the glasses.