TO BE OR NOT TO BE
.......A Basset Hound owner
By: Jane Baetz
First and foremost realize owning A Basset Hound is a longtime commitment. The average Basset lives about 12 to 14 years. Never buy a dog of any kind with the
intentions of “well, if it doesn't fit we can always get rid of it.” Dogs are not like Bic lighters that you can toss out when you’re done with them. The humane societies and rescue organizations are filled with dogs from irresponsible, uncaring owners.
You might as well know the negatives of owning a Basset Hound up front. I don’t profess that a Basset is for everyone.
1) Basset’s shed, only once a year……..All year long
2) Bassets slop when they drink, and they get those long ears in everything. Don’t bother purchasing one of those cute bowls made especially for long eared dogs. Bassets hate them and will let you know in no uncertain terms.
3) Bassets have an odor. Every dog has it’s own unique odor. When they get wet, it is even more pronounced. Even the cute fluffy breeds that claim to have no odor have a cottony coat that absorbs all the odor around them.
4) Bassets need companionship. Bassets do not do well as yard dogs. They will become barkers if left alone outdoors for too long a time. In the house, if left alone too long, they will find ways you will not like, to amuse themselves. Bassets were bred as pack dogs to hunt and live together in groups. They need the company of other pets or humans. Do not buy a Basset if you plan on spending most of your days and nights gone. Pets are not toys you put on the shelf when you don’t have time for them.
5) Bassets need containment. A fenced yard is a must. Their keen sense of smell is second only to the Bloodhound. I happen to think Bassets are better because their noses are naturally closer to the ground. They do not know boundaries. The whole world is theirs for the sniffing. They are not runners.
They won’t bolt out an open door. They prefer staying near the kitchen. BUT if they pick up the scent of something, forget trying to distract them or calling them back. The ears won’t work. They turn stone deaf. Those short stumpy legs will take them farther than you can imagine. Unless you can catch up with them, you’ve lost a dog. They have no enemies, everyone’s a new friend, be it a wild animal or an automobile. They very seldom have any fears. Unconscientiously owners have lost their Bassets in ways it hurts me to talk about.
6) Last, but not least Bassets are bullheaded. If you’ve ever dealt with a teenager you’re one step ahead of the game. Most dogs want to please their owners. Bassets just want to please themselves. They’ll do what you want eventually. But if it’s the snap of a finger response you’re seeking, forget
the Basset. They have more important things to do. That is of course, unless the snapping fingers have a piece of sausage attached to them.
Puppies are adorable, but do you have the time for proper training, care, and socializing? A puppy is no different than an infant. They sleep, eat, and eliminate. Not necessarily in that order. Don’t be disappointed if the pup is not housebroken in 2 weeks. Were you potty trained in 2 weeks? Did you get scolded, dragged to newspapers or get your nose rubbed in your diaper when you had an accident? If you can program yourself into thinking “infant” You’ll be OK. They eat 3-4 times a day. Will you be around for that? What goes in comes out instantly. If you’re starting a new family and feel a Basset puppy will finalize that perfect family picture, just remember you’ll have 2 babies to care
for. Both will be demanding of your time.
CH. OLDE FASHION AMERICAN BEAUTY, 12 WKS.
Never buy a Basset puppy from anyone selling before 8 weeks of age. Between 8 and 12 weeks is best. Before that time is when the fear emotions are peaking. This is a critical time, and the pup could be traumatized for life, exhibiting behavioral problems later in life. They need this period to be stable, in familiar surroundings with their littermates and mother. Socializing is very important for a well rounded, trusting, secure personality. This is what breeder’s refer to as good temperaments. Stay away from kennel/puppy mill type breeding. These dogs get little or no human contact and grow up to be social misfits. They are great candidates for dysfunctional pets. You don’t need a dog that’s bull headed, sheds, slops, smells and acts like a teenager with a nasty attitude to boot.
If you make it through the first stage then you have the “terrible two’s”, (4-6 months) thing, At this age puppies do not need to sleep as much so they are constantly in motion. Places to go, things to see, lots to do all at the same time. Anything that their lips can wrap around is fair game. How do babies
investigate? They crawl on all fours putting everything, within reach, in their mouths. Get the picture? You can’t really find out about texture and flavor until it’s slobbered on and pulverized. This is also the stage where stubbornness starts emerging. Training can be started at this stage, if you have patience and fortitude.
OLDE FASHION WOULD YOU BELIEVE,CGC
toilet paper shredder
No: is a four letter word (NOOO!) and is usually interpreted as, if you’re gonna’ do something, hide it and you won’t get blamed for it and hear that four letter word.
COME: You can get a treat if you really make your owner desperate.
STAY: Something you only have to do if your owner sticks you in one of those stupid cages or glues your feet to the floor.
OFF: You only have to do if there’s nothing good worth jumping up and begging for.
DOWN: Something humans say to get you in a horizontal position. It is usually for doing something you won’t like so roll over on your back and let loose of the bladder.
HEEL: This is where they put something around your neck and drag you around the yard. If you scream and holler and do summersaults they’ll usually give up quickly. If you look really pathetic you’ll get a treat too.
If you let Bassets get a way with anything just once (they have a steel trap for a memory) they will try to get away with it for the rest of their lives. No matter how determined you are they will be as determined. It’s cute holding that ten-pound puppy on the family heirloom sofa, but how will you feel about an eighty-pound dog on it, leaving no room for you? Personally I’ve gotten quite accustomed to watching television on the dog’s bed. How about the sweet puppy getting tidbits off the table, then at the formal Thanksgiving meal Aunt Josie has eighty pounds of Fred drooling in her lap.
Training is basically very simple. They’ll have you jumping through hoops in no time. The Basset is the most likely to get laughed at in the obedience ring. It becomes a test of who obeys first. There are thousands of Bassets that have done well and gone on to achieve high awards in obedience. But only with handlers that were able to get inside the Basset brain, yes there is one, and the stamina and patience of a saint.
BISS CH. SASQUATCH TALK ABOUT ME
School Work Shredder (Father of Norman)
The truth is that there is nothing dumb about this breed. Just dumb people who resist their ways. Bassets are ranked very low on some intelligence tests. Those people who create the test are probably the finger snapping kind, possibly unable to get his or her spouse or children to jump on command so they take it out on the dog. Bassets are not quick to respond to anything. The exception may be food. Actually they just don’t give a damn. One of the tests was putting a blanket over all sorts of breeds and seeing how quickly they could get out of it. Heck! The Basset just laid down and went to sleep.
If it’s a watchdog you want, keep looking. Bassets have a deep scary bark. If, you can wake them up to use it. They may lick a burglar to death or trip and mame him.
On a positive note, you will not find a more sensitive, loving social breed.
Bassets are a sturdy large dog. Need very little maintenance. Health problems are minimal IF you buy from a reputable breeder.
Excessive pungent smell on any dog is a serious medical/hereditary problem, which usually stems from serious allergies. This is a problem I hear all too often from people who purchased from the wrong source.
Glaucoma is a heart breaking hereditary affliction causing extreme pain and blindness. Ask the breeders you are considering buying from if the eyes have been tested on their breeding dogs.
Any long backed dog is susceptible to degenerative disc disease. Breeding cannot totally eliminate this in a line. It is breed specific, and several breeds experience it at middle to old age. Simply put, it is arthritis of the back. Discs disintegrate, leaving the dog from temporarily incapacitated to totally
paralyzed. With immediate veterinarian attention and all the wonderful medications, and surgical techniques it doesn’t have to be an unhappy ending anymore.
A few precautions will help your Basset throughout it's life. To protect it’s back never let puppies 6 months or younger go down long flights of stairs. Going up is usually not a problem. Going down does all sorts of nasty things to their weak young joints and backs. Not to mention what it must do to the little boy’s unmentionables. I would never let any of my dogs jump out of a vehicle, especially a truck or SUV. Their spines jackknife on high jumps. When getting in vehicles I always give them a “butt boast”. Exercise is always a good practice. Bassets don’t need to run a marathon everyday, but a nice walk or a big area to play and run keeps muscles in tone and weight down. Excess weight
is another curse for their backs.
As for grooming the Basset, a bath every 3-4 months will suffice. You can do it monthly if you desire. A good brushing will keep shedding to a minimum. Teeth brushing, ear cleaning and toenail trimming should be done bi-monthly. It’ll take that long to catch them each time.
CH. OLDE FASHION AMERICAN BEAUTY
15 YRS OLD
If you are one of the fortunate people to have a Basset through its golden years, cherish every minute. Those soft gray faces will melt your heart. Just like that little puppy, you picked out so many years ago did. It will make you forget about the Log Cabin syrup that got punctured by little teeth and then drizzled over every piece of furniture as she gaily carried the bottle through the entire house. The piles and puddles you stepped in while sneaking a midnight snack. The chunk that was chewed out of the new leather chair purchased two weeks earlier, the 8-inch hole in the wallboard, and the cedar tree that was debarked and killed in 12 seconds. The thousands of dollars I, oops! I mean you blew trying to get a championship title when she stomped her feet around the ring trying to pound them through the cement floor in protest because she hated it. The judge telling you what a beautiful girl but “she really doesn’t like this”. So you give in, and let her have her fun at home. It’s only money. What about those dog magazines you’ve saved for years that one-day turned into confetti all over the house? The one-day she brought you a beautiful rose…………the whole bush! Always trying to be mother's little helper, emptying the trash cans, airing out the laundry (all over the yard). Rearranging the knick knacks, shaking the rugs (she didn’t know you’re suppose to do it outside). Taste testing the cookies or homemade bread cooling on the kitchen counter. Yes, I've been slipping and saying "she"........I owned her!
CH. OLDE FASHION FOREVER IN LOVE
14 YRS OLD
As you look at the warm heart resting as close to yours as possible. With muscles atrophying, joints not quite as nimble as they once were, a haze on those once bright brown eyes, cherish the moments. They sleep through the doorbell and the entire ruckus around them. You look out the patio window and you visualize this young pup flying through the air all four feet flat out, in hot pursuit of a bunny. It seems like only yesterday. Now it is hard for them to get up and walk across the room.
Please have patience and muster up all the heart you can. It goes by all too fast.
If you decide “To Be” You will have a longtime companion. The kind of unselfish, forgiving genuine love seldom found in humans. Someone who will love you,
NO MATTER WHAT!