Potty Training Tips for Your New Basset Hound

basset hound

With his short legs and long body, it’s no wonder so many people refer to the adorable basset hound as a hot dog. It does look like one with that sweet little build. It’s not a “hot dog” per say, but it definitely could be if you really want to imagine that! This breed has long ears, short legs and a long, big body. It’s unlike any other dog around, and that’s only part of what makes this breed unique. It makes a great hunting dog, and that’s another reason so many people enjoy this particular breed. If you’re considering one of these dogs in your family, you will be very pleased to know it has a very sweet disposition, a calm nature and a very loving spirit. It’s gentle and sweet, and there is no need to worry about a breed like this around small children. Though the American Kennel Club and the ASPCA always recommend that dogs and small children are never left together unsupervised for caution.

When you have a basset hound at home, chances are good you will keep this dog inside. While most people keep their dogs inside, it is less likely that a small dog will be left outdoors as an outdoor dog. There are many families who do leave their much larger dogs in the yard, in dog houses and on porches rather than allowing them inside, but this is – typically – not the kind of breed you will find in that type of situation. If you’re going to keep this dog in the house, you’ll want to ensure it has the proper potty training. Should you choose to adopt an older rescued basset hound, chances are good that he or she will already know how to use the bathroom outdoors and not have accidents indoors. If you elect to bring home a puppy, however, your basset hound is going to require some training.

Something to Remember

Before we help you with the quest to train your basset hound, let’s remember that we do have something interesting to say. Basset hounds have an excellent nose and sense of smell. What this means is that they are going to take you on walks if you’re not careful. They will follow any scent they pick up because they are trained to do this when hunting. It’s in their nature. It will get annoying from time to time when you are in a hurry, such as walking the dog before work, in the snow or in the rain, but you should expect and encourage this behavior other times because curiosity is usually a good thing.

Something else to remember is that basset hounds do respond very well to positive reinforcement. This means that you should encourage good behavior when it occurs instead of only acknowledging mistakes and bad behavior. Come to think of it, we should do this to everyone in our lives regardless whether or not they are dogs or cats or kids or adults. Make them feel good about doing well and they’ll probably continue to impress you.

Training a Basset Hound

There are many ways of training a dog to use the bathroom outside. There is the tried and true method of taking the dog outside after so many hours or minutes to make sure it goes potty and then rewarding him with a treat. There is crate training. There is professional training at what we like to refer to as “doggy training school,” and there are probably a million other ways that dog owners swear by. We can’t tell you which method is going to work best for you and your basset hound. However, we can recommend a few things that might help you with the process.

The most important thing to remember is that you have to find consistency in whichever method you choose. Potty training any dog is going to be far more effective if you are consistent with your training and your praise. If you decide to let the dog do whatever on Tuesday because you’re sick or busy or tired or lazy, you can’t expect that the dog is going to pick up where it left off on Wednesday with the potty training. Be consistent. It’s not always fun, but it is always necessary.

Praise the Dog

When the dog does go potty outside, lets you know it has to go potty outside, or does what you want him or her to do, praise the dog. Tell your puppy what a good boy/girl it has been and offer a treat. If your dog goes to the bathroom in the house and you catch it in the act, be sure to discipline the dog. In the presence of the accident, let the dog know this is not acceptable. If you don’t catch the dog in the act and realize it’s going potty later on, don’t bother. Some people disagree with this, but the AKC recommends you do not discipline or punish a dog for something that happened hours before as it is not going to understand what has you all upset.

If the dog does use the bathroom in the house and you witness it, take the dog out immediately. This is going to help the dog associate the bathroom with going outside and it will help the dog understand what it is you want from him.

Crate Training

While there will always be those who disagree with this method, most associations and experts agree that it is one of the most effective ways to train a dog. It is highly unlikely that your dog will use the bathroom in the area where is sleeps or rests, and that’s its crate. When you are not home or not around to supervise, keep the dog in the crate so that it does not have accidents around the house. Immediately take the dog out when you are finished and be sure that you are showing him what you want; and to allow the dog to relieve him or herself.

Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images

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