Do Basset Hounds bark a lot? It can seem like a silly question after all they are hound dogs. But even so some hounds bark more than others, and knowing the barking level of your dog is the first step to being able to cope with it. Excessive barking can be a real pain for even the most loving owner. knowledge can be one of your first defenses.
Basset hounds love to bay, bark, and howl. Bred to aid people in the hunt, expect these dogs to always be communicating. Their big talkers and they’ll be talking to both people and other animals often. Heavy barking often is a signature of all hound breeds including the lovable basset hound.
If you get a basset hound be prepared for quite a bit of barking. Not just barking but many other sounds and noises that for some may be adorable while being a strong annoyance for others. Though the breed type does affect the amount of barking a dog does. There are many other factors as well.
- How well you train them.
- Generally the more interesting the surrounding environment the more basset hounds bark.
- The distinct personality of your dog, some basset hounds like to bark more than others.
Barking really is one of the key signatures of this breed. So make sure your the kind of person who can tolerate it. The sweet, loving basset makes the best of dogs, it’s easy for them to grow on you and you might even enjoy their occasional lively conversations.
But if your dealing with an excessive level of barking that’s causing a lot of problems for both your basset hound and your family. Then there are things that can be done to try to reduce it. From training to a large variety of helpful tips this article will do its best to arm you with all the basset hound barking know-how that you need to reduce it.
First however we need to understand why dogs bark, and the reasons that bassets bark. Only then will we have the affinity needed to help your dog with their excessive barking.
Why Do Dogs Bark?
Barking comes as easily to a dog as talking comes to people. Just think of your self and all the friends and coworkers that you enjoy conversing with. Its no different with dogs, and this is especially the case with a basset hound.
With their impressive sense of smell, greater than that of other dogs, Bassets are hyper-aware of everything going around them. At least where their noses are concerned this is not necessarily true about their eyes and ears. Combined with a naturally sociable nature they would like to talk and meet the sources of those scents.
So we understand now that barking is a dog’s way of talking but what are they actually trying to say?
- Territorial barking: dogs are pack animals and packs have territory. A regional location that they consider theirs and no one else’s. It’s their property and while they may not have guns they will fight to defend it. When someone or something encroached upon their land then dogs bark to let them know they need to get off their turf.
- Scared barking: If your Basset Hound gets startled or frightened by something then their probably going to bark. We all get scared sometimes, in the case of people we might scream or shout. A bark can be a dog’s equivalent of a scream.
- Boredom barking: neglect your Basset Hound and expect more barking. It’s practically a law of canine ownership. Bored dogs bark a lot and the more bored they are the more they bark.
- Greeting barking: This is probably going to be one of the most common forms of barking that you will experience from a basset hound. When you come in the door you will be greeted by all kinds of cheerful yips and howls.
Now that we understand why dogs bark in general we need to investigate more closely why Basset Hounds bark. To really understand your Bassets barking we need to see the reasons why Basset Hounds, in particular, like to bark a lot.
Why Do Basset Hounds Bark?
Basset Hounds are considered to be scent hounds. This differentiates them from other types of hounds like sighthounds, who hunt by sight. A scent hound will track its prey’s scent and so help guide their human hunter companions to their quarry.
Developed for this purpose in France they are second only to Bloodhounds in terms of their capabilities in this arena.
Much of their body and genetics are all geared around this purpose. From their short sturdy legs to even their characteristic hanging skin.
The commonly seen sagging skin in Bassets actually serves a specific purpose. Its called the dewlap and what it does is help to trap scents. This helps the smells to reach the dog’s nose, heightening Basset Hounds mighty tracking abilities.
Their short sturdy legs were developed for hunting with people on foot. You see in France several centuries ago when the breed was developed only wealthy people and the nobility could afford to hunt on horseback. As a result they tended to use larger long legged hunting dogs. But the common people had to hunt on foot, so as a result the Basset Hound was developed as a common man’s hunting dog. Their short legs helped make it easier for their owners to run alongside of them in the epic chase.
With such a social and cooperative atmosphere to their history, Basset Hounds were bound to love barking. It becomes one of the chief ways for them to stay in touch with their fellow hunting dogs and their human masters.
Why Do Basset Hounds Howl?
Basset Hounds are one of the most vocal breed of dogs. Barking is not the only canine sounds in their repertoire. Any Basset owner can tell you that all kinds of yips, howls, and baying are a part of their language.
Howling allows a basset hounds voice to travel for much greater distances then barking does. When on the hunt if the dog got separated or had sight of their quarry. Their howls could let their pack mates and human handlers know their location even if they were far away.
With a basset hound expect plenty of howling. Its a key charm of the breed for many. If you don’t want a dog that howls then I would strongly recommend staying away from owning a Basset Hound. I would consider their howl to be the sheer essence of the breed.
5 Great Tips to Reduce Your Basset Hounds Barking
The first thing to realize is that you will never completely be able to stop your Basset Hound from barking. It’s too essential to their character. In fact the idea of a totally silent hound kinda brings tears to my eyes. It’s just too sad.
But you can with a bit of work gain some level of control over their vocalizations. Reduce it and perhaps eliminate from some of the most annoying and egregious barking situations.
It will take a lot of work however since Basset Hounds are not the most obedient breed. They’re often very stubborn and prone to ignoring you if there’s nothing good in it for them. So using treats and food will be key.
Nothing makes a Basset Hound respond and listen better than a whole lot of yummies. They obey with their stomach, and there are few other ways to really reach them.
Here are five great tips to be able to gain some control over your Basset Hounds barking and howling.
Tip 1: Make Sure Their Always Entertained
While Basset Hounds often like to lounge they can also be very playful dogs. With their happy go lucky disposition their always game for praise and love. Though their sagging skin can make them look sad at times don’t be fooled. These dogs are just gunning for a good time.
Unfortunately their not always self entertainers. So if you don’t bring the fun then they can easily get bored. Left to their own devices bereft of toys, games, and attention then they shall turn to the oldest of canine past times. That is barking of course.
Science hasn’t proven it but its pretty common knowledge that a bored dog will get into all sorts of mischief. This could be chewing your shoes to grubbing around in the pantry. In the case of Basset Hounds they’re go to will likely be barking and howling.
So make sure they have plenty of toys. Preferable a whole treasure chest of squeaky toys, chew toys, and stuffed animals of all kinds. This could be hearsay but I’ve heard down the Basset Hound grapevine that stuffed duck chew toys are their favorite.
Tip 2: Train Your Basset Hound With a Command Phrase
Generally the most effective form of training for any dog including Basset Hounds to reduce their barking is a command phrase. This training takes some time and consistency just as with anything worthwhile but in time it should reap great benefits.
A command phrase will simply be a word that we want the Basset Hound to associate with being quiet. This can be whatever you want but probably best to choose either “quiet” or “hush”. Though you could even make it teddy bear if you feel like it. But it needs to be reserved for your dog otherwise it could confuse them and reduce the effectiveness of the training.
When your Basset Hound is barking wait patiently for them to stop. As soon as they quiet down then say your command phrase while giving them a treat and lots of praise. Bassets tend to respond well to food training so make sure to find an especially tasty treat.
What this does is make your dog associate them ceasing barking with your command phrase, the treat, and lots of love from their master. Repeat this many times daily. It’s vital that you give your canine lots of repetitions on a consistent daily basis. Fail to do this and they may not fully take to the training.
Once this stage has been mastered then you can advance the training to the next level. You could say that your basset hound levels up in their training just like an RPG character. Once you’ve reached level two then try using the command when their barking. If they stop in response then reward them as normal, if they don’t then consider that they make take more time at the first level of training or another training method may be needed.
Tip 3: Using Water spray
While dogs don’t dislike water at the same level as cats might, but yet still no creature likes a thin stream of water hitting them in the face. I would try tip 1 and 2 before doing this method however. Simply because it’s more involved and a little harsher to your dog. Don’t worry hitting them with water-spray won’t hurt them it will just annoy them a lot.
Some dogs may be of a hardier sort and be more immune to the discomfort. This tip will probably not work as effectively on them. For best results combine tip 3 with tip 2.
When your Basset Hound starts barking at an inappropriate time just spray them with the water spray bottle. When you do it use your command phrase. Speak the phrase first to give them a chance to obey and if they do not then proceed with the spraying. Given a bit of luck they should respond to it with surprise and stop their barking.
It’s important to understand with all these tips that when you use your command phrase it should never be shouted or yelled. Use a strong, firm calm voice, Your dog will respond best to this. Yelling is harsh on your dog’s ear and your voice, while not being very effective. In the case of a basset hound that might even mistake your yelling for barking and think that you’re joining in.
Tip 4: Using Barking Collars
It’s important to note that I do not recommend shock collars. They are painful and very dangerous to your dog. A dog’s barking is a normal part of pet ownership and a normal part of being a dog. You shouldn’t violent punishing them for simply trying to communicate in the manner that mother nature gave them to speak in. This is especially true for Basset Hounds as they love vocalizations more than other dogs.
When I am referring to bark collars I’m talking about the non-violent kind. These generally come in several flavors. Some spritz a bit of citronella at your dog. These can be especially effective as Basset Hounds generally don’t like the smell of citronella.
There are other collars that spray water at the dog when they bark and even some kinds that emit noise at the dog that they find particularly displeasing.
Basset Hounds love barking so much however that barking collars may just be a bit too mean to them. After all barking is what they love so do you really want to stop it with a barking collar? It’s up to you however.
Tip 5: There Could Be a Medical Problem
If you find your dog barking a lot more then usual then consider it might not be normal. Many dogs when they feel unwell will get quiet and lethargic. Not all dogs respond in this manner though. There are some that speak up about their pain and suffering. These may respond to illness by barking more.
So if your dogs starts barking more then normal it could be an underlying illness. This makes a certain amount of sense if you think about it. It’s your Basset Hounds way of crying out for help, through the time-honored tradition of barking.
Take your dog for a wellness check at your trusted vet. It’s possible that in this situation your dog’s excessive barking could have achieved something positive instead of just annoying you. It might even save your beloved pet’s life.
With a heavy barker like Basset Hound we as owners might need to accept that there will be a certain amount of barking that will always happen. But we’re not completely powerless to control our barking however.
There are multiple highly effective methods from making sure their not bored to training them with a command phrase. Barking collars can be used as well but will most likely make your basset hound very sad, they are too vocal of creatures to never get to bark. So for them, we could say that some barking is probably a must.
Accept that and try out some of the five tips I gave you and hopefully your barking situation with your basset hound will improve and you will be able to reduce their most annoying barking habits.