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Leash Training Your Basset Hound

Few owners of dogs regret it when they choose a Basset Hound. Its distinctive dome-shaped head and long, silky ears — as well as its noticeably long torso and short legs — are endearing in and of themselves. For the most part, too, this breed of dog is famous for a kind and sweet disposition. Yet keeping the Basset Hound healthy and spry into old age means a regimen of regular walks. Owners quickly learn that there is dog walking and then there is basset Hound walking. This particular breed demands a style and skill of the leash walker all its own.

Anatomy and Temperament

The American Kennel Club (AKC) sets very specific standards for the canine breeds it chooses to recognize. In setting standards for the Basset Hound, the AKC understands the characteristics of this dog. It stands close to the ground, but those short legs can distract from their power. Strong, heavy bones combine with expansive paws to propel this hound forward, achieving better-than-expected speed and covering great distance. Important for those walking the Basset Hound: only the Bloodhound exceeds it in the sense of smell. Without exception, the Basset Hound follows its nose if allowed to.

While the Basset Hound might sport a sad-looking countenance, this breed is normally very sociable with people and often with other dogs. Like many other dogs, Basset Hounds sometimes get separation anxiety when left alone for many hours. All this goes to the fact that they bond with their caretakers and others in their lives. Therefore, dog walkers should take into account the physical capacities and instincts as well as the personalities and inclinations of their Basset Hounds. To optimize the walking experience, the one wielding the leash does well to remember that dogs reflect their respective breeds but also have particular idiosyncrasies to be discovered.

While it may seem fun to let your dog run free, it is important they know how to walk on leash for their own safety and to abide my local leash laws. Educate yourself about the regulations in your town. In many localities, such as Lexington, Kentucky, even dogs who can obey voice commands are not allowed to wander off leash. If you’d like to let your dog run free, find fenced yard or secure dog park where they can enjoy themselves.

Practices and Techniques

A few things to remember when training your Basset Hound to walk on a leash:

 

  • In all things, moderation — Basset Hounds have their moments but they do not possess the boundless energy of other hound breeds. Rather than distance, think in terms of minutes, in most cases 20 per walk is sufficient. This dog can be walked two or three times daily.
  • In new things, security — whether your hound is a puppy or simply new to you, employ a harness when training it to walk on a leash. Young dogs want to pull, especially if they catch an interesting scent.
  • In stubborn times, incentive — though usually agreeable, your Basset Hound may choose to sit and go no further without some kind of reward. Bringing treats along is a must.
  • In young dogs, control — use a short leash at least until walking becomes more routine.
  • With all dogs, consistency — let the dog grow used to being on one side of the walker. You might be ambidextrous, but the hound can get confused.

As noted, the Basset Hound is easier to train than some other breeds, but it is, after all, a dog.

 

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