Bassets were bread as hunting hounds, and their main training was to follow scents without allowing anything else to distract them from their track. This is why, even today, many owners and trainers consider Basset hound training to be one of the most challenging endeavors they have ever faced when training a dog. Although general dog training methods will have some success with the Basset, specific breed training for this particular dog group is far more efficient. As the word “obedience” is hard to associate to the independent thinkers represented by Basset hounds, many trainers begin focusing on the particularities of the breed in order to create the most effective Basset hound training program.
There are many training methods for obedience and command response. Harsh training and aversive methods will work poorly on the Basset. Using a kind training approach will, however, require your undivided attention. Bassets have a tendency to place their own needs first and they are not really worried about pleasing their master. This is why you should focus on each new command you wish to train your dog in a way that also allows the Basset to enjoy himself while doing it. If you are teaching your dog the COME command, try to lure the Basset with something he loves ï¿½ a favorite toy or a really special treat that you only give her once in a while. Creativity, for your part, is almost always required!
No matter what command you are teaching your dog to respond to, there are six basic steps you should take in order to ensure the success of the training program. Bassets that are trained about 20 minutes each day will learn how to follow simple commands after 2-3 months of training.
1. Set a goal, what is it that you wish the dog would learn?
2. Decide upon an auditory and a visual sign that will trigger the desired action. The auditory command should have his name in it and your voice should be of normal tone and volume.
3. Only verbalize the command once.
4. To help the dog make the association of the command to the action, help your dog perform the command after the verbal command is given. If you are teaching your Basset the SIT command, you can help her sit by gently pushing her lower back down.
5. Praise the dog when the command receives a good response. Basset hound training that relies on positive obedience training methods has more chances of being a success n a shorter time than aversive training.
6. Once you manage to get the Basset Hound to respond to your commands in a controlled environment (your backyard, for example) you should also test the commands in an area filled with distractions.