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(30 Posts)
henryhsmum Sun 24-Jul-11 18:30:24

Has anyone on here got a basset hound? I am thinking if getting a dog but it has to be cat and child friendly. I have 2 pedigree cats one of which I hope to breed from so I need a breed that is calm around cats. I have always loved bassets but would love to find out a bit more

wildfig Sun 24-Jul-11 20:26:17

I have two - it's quite hard just to have one. grin

Basset hounds are one of the easiest-going breeds, and (I think) the most loveable. BUT...

- they're never going to win any obedience trials; they're hounds, and they tend to do their own thing. My dogs sit, stay, drop things sometimes, come when called, walk to heel and sometimes bring back toys but that's taken me years of training and a metric ton of cheese. Mind you, I don't really need them to do more than that, so we're all happy
- they do shed
- they're BIG, the size of Labradors on short legs.
- they need at least an hour's exercise a day, and can/should be able to happily trot on for hours and hours
- they're pack dogs and need company; leave one on its own for more than a couple of hours and everyone will know how booooOOOOOOoooooored it is
- sadly they're one of the most puppy-farmed breeds, so you have to be really careful about where you buy from. Always go through the Breed Club; the secretary keeps a list of club members who have planned litters and can offer lots of realistic advice. Ideally, meet some grown-up Bassets before you let baby ones steal your heart, because once you see a basket of baby Bassets you'll want to take them all home.

However, having said that -

- they are total love-sponges; they snuggle up on your knee and if you have more than one, they pile up together like seals
- they're very affectionate and calm with kids and cats and new people; like most hounds, they definitely have an off switch, and love snoozing by your feet
- they're funny and companionable
- as dogs go, they're fairly low maintenance; just a bit of regular ear-cleaning and a bath when the smell gets a bit much
- they have huge paws like lions and melting, gentle eyes that mindmeld you into buying them their own sofa

I might be rather overselling the cons, rather than the pros, here because too many end up in rescue since the fully grown version is so different from the puppy. In fact, if you're considering homing one with your cats, it might be worth talking to Basset Welfare about rehoming an adult with cat-friendly history? Many of the other Bassets I know live with cats - they enjoy the company and don't tend to chase. It would certainly cut out the teeth grinding challenges of house training a hound puppy...

henryhsmum Sun 24-Jul-11 20:51:43

Hi wildfig, they sound adorable. None of the negative points put me off. We had a bad experience with a Labradoodle puppy. Basically she was absolutely mental- very high energy, she would charge at us constantly and jumped up a lot at my 5 year old. He was frightened of her. She bit really badly as well, I have holes in a lot of my jeans and coats from her. She tormented my cats even though they ignored her. We tried really hard to train her but by 6 months she was no better so the breeder had her back.

We are still keen to have a dog but just don't want to choose the wrong breed again. Bassets do sound really gentle which is what we are looking for. I have contacted basset rescue as we would prefer an adult but they are like gold dust! I have seen a few adults on pets4homes but I am very cautious of getting an adult one privately as I would worry that there was something the owners weren't saying about the dogs.

zaphod Sun 24-Jul-11 20:53:02

We have always had Bassets, at home before I married, and dh and I are on our second. They are great with kids, and in my experience good with cats. BUT they are beyond stubborn, and do need to be trained properly, they are greedy. (to the extent of climbing bookshelves to get easter eggs). My current dog is great, she's almost an exception to the basset rule, she's fussy about food, won't climb the counter, and rarely attacks the bin. I have spent a long time teaching her she is not human, so she does not get on beds or furniture (except when we're out and she thinks she's pun9ishing us) and it's worked for us. I would never get a different breed. I think they are great. But they ARE hard to train, so you have to be consistent. It has taken me 4 bassets to understand this but feel I've cracked it now.

wildfig Sun 24-Jul-11 22:09:24

I'd be worried about any rehomed Bassets on pets4homes too - poor things - because any decent breeder would want them back, whatever the age or reason for rehoming, rather than have them advertised in small ads. Do get in touch with the breed club, though; as well as rescue bassets, they might know of older dogs who've been run on by breeders to show but which haven't quite made the cut for some minor (and unimportant for a pet home) reason.

zaphod grin I've given up teaching my older dog she's not human. Sometimes when the puppy is playing up, she gives me a despairing look as if to say, 'Why did you have to get a dog?'

DogsBestFriend Sun 24-Jul-11 22:37:05

Isecond going via the breed club, definitely. Certainly not Pets4Homes which is notorious for advertising puppy farmers and backyard breeders.

However, in the light of what you say about your ex Doodle, I'd question whether a pup is ideal for you at all, at least unless Ds is now significantly older and you're prepared for more of the same wrt jumping and mouthing and generally being batty. It's what pups do, any breed, and you have to accept that. You may get an angelic pup - GSD2 was pretty much so but that's th exception, not the rule.

Remember too that as has been said Bassets are lad sized with short legs - they're muscular, solid beggars and can know a person flying just as much as a Doodle can (reference my friend's mad Basset!). And, dunno what Wildfig thinks to this, but those I know can howl rather than bark, being hounds, and may not be the easiest of dogs in the home from that respect.

Might an older dog from the breed club be a better choice? One who is already trained and who has passed the puppy stage, a little more sane steady and easier to handle? As you know, there are often older dogs in the care of breed clubs (less so in general, all breed rescue, I've only known of a couple come through that way and though Many Tears has them occasionally they are often ex breeding dogs and bitches. It's worth a look on their website if you're interested in an older dog but MT require their ex breeding dogs to go to homes who already have a dog in residenc so the breed club would probably be the more likely place to find one.

DogsBestFriend Sun 24-Jul-11 22:44:44

Dammit - sotty for the typos. Since when have bassets been lad sized? hmm


DogsBestFriend Sun 24-Jul-11 22:45:27

ARGH! "Sotty"???

I blame the ruddy squeaking cat who is making the noise purely for attention and addling my brain!

Spamspamspam Mon 25-Jul-11 08:31:46

My sister got her Basset on Friday and she is so so adorable. Her skin is so big for her body and so soft (I have a wire haired terrier!) you just want to cuddle her the whole time! Housetraining is completely hit and miss and she has had far more accidents than I had with mine but it is very early days. She is far more confident than my pup was at that age and is very happy to see people smile

henryhsmum Mon 25-Jul-11 09:07:15

I would prefer not to get a puppy to be honest, I would rather go for an adult dog of about 2 to 4 years old. I just worry that the majority that are out there may be being rehomed because there is something 'wrong' with them temperament wise, probably through no fault of their own I know but too big a risk for me with a 5 year old DS. What is Many Tears?

I know all pups do play bite and are lively. I just felt that with our Labradoodle it was extreme relative to other dogs. When she bit she would really sink her teeth in hard and rip clothes. Looking back I think the Poodle in our labradoodle especially was too much of a high energy breed for us. I do want a dog that enjoys being walked but I would like one that is a bit more laid back in the house rather than being hyper 24/7. Is really hard play biting normal or is it normally more mouthing and nipping?

With a basset, would it manage on its own for 5 hours or so 4 days a week (as an adult not a puppy I mean). I don't work at the moment but I am hoping to become a teaching assistant in the next year in which case I would be out for short working days. What do you all do with your Bassets in the day?

wildfig Mon 25-Jul-11 10:04:04

Many Tears is a rescue centre near Llanelli which mainly rehomes dogs saved from puppy farmers. It's a sobering read: they prefer to rehome ex-breeding dogs where there's an existing dog, because the ex-breeding dogs have no idea how to interact with humans or live in a home, as they've had little or no contact with kindness or pet routines, and need another dog to teach them. sad

Not all adult dogs are given up for rehoming because of temperament issues. Many - especially those in Basset Welfare - are given up because of divorces, house moves, job changes, the arrival of kids, or illness, and if the owner is responsible enough to hand the dog in to a breed rescue, rather than just put them in the small ads, hopefully they've been cared for and well-trained. Bassets are often surrendered because the owners didn't realise they needed so much exercise, or that they'd grow so big, or be so loud or so 'houndy' - none of which are the dog's fault. And some 'temperament issues' - bounciness, attention-seeking, separation anxiety, etc - can be sorted out with regular walks or consistent training. So don't be put off!

But, to be honest, five hours is too long to leave a Basset on its own - it's too long for any dog, really, but Bassets need company. Would that time include your travelling to and from the school? I work from home, so am around most of the day with my dogs; we do a long walk at lunchtime, and if I have to go out, they're happy to be left together for a maximum of 3.5-4 hours, with the television on and a Kong to chew. If I have to be out longer, I leave them with the dog sitter. Could you get a dog walker to come in and break up the five hours? Or a neighbour? Or a dog owning friend?

henryhsmum Mon 25-Jul-11 10:15:33

I had a look on Many Tears and it did have a couple of bassets on there but neither were suitable as they were ex breeding dogs. I am not too keen on an ex puppy farm dog. This is the dilemma really for me, an adult would be easier but with a puppy I guess you can mould it more and I would make sure it was from a reputable breeder to try and minimise risk of inbred health and temperament issues.

If I was out for 5 hours that would not include travel time . I would consider a dog walker definitely. It seems a lot of people have two bassets but does that mean double trouble or does it make it easier as they have each other? I don't mind the howling at all and our house is some distance from our neighbours so it wouldn't be a problem. I actually like animals that make unusual noises, I have a Siamese who chatters away all the time.

I think I will need to give this some careful thought and see how things pan out work wise. Do you think two bassets are better than one?

henryhsmum Mon 25-Jul-11 16:29:58

Just a quick question, do you think Doggy Daycare would be a solution if I had to be out for more than a few hours

beatofthedrum Mon 25-Jul-11 22:37:32

But surely the issue of the dog howling alone during the day would not be solved by the fact you don't mind the noise, as the problem remains that the poor dog would be howling with loneliness.

beatofthedrum Mon 25-Jul-11 22:38:56

Sorry, misread, you were talking about them howling at each other!

DogsBestFriend Mon 25-Jul-11 22:49:54

I wouldn't recommend two until you with the first tbh. Without trying to be rude the combination of a young DC and the problems you experienced with your first dog suggests to me that you need to get a bit of confidence and experience under your belt first or you could be biting off more than you can chew.

I don't see why Doggy Daycare shoulldn't be a solution though I've no personal experience of it. If not, then a dog walker/dog sitter - there are plenty out there who are experienced and insured etc, best choose one on personal recommendation and with the right background if you don't know anyone personally who can help out. Besides, tbh, if you're paying a professional it's on your terms and you're unlikely, barring them being poorly or agreed holidays, to have them letting you down, having a professional similar arrangement to the one you'd have with a childminder.

wildfig Tue 26-Jul-11 15:32:24

My dogs' breeder also has a Siamese cat - I think the personalities must match!

Having two Bassets is much the same as having two of any dog; double the hair, double the vet bills, double the food, double the hassle of walking them, bigger boot needed for transport. They're hard enough to train at the best of times, so two at once isn't a great idea, unless they're an adult bonded pair from rescue.

In their defence, I should probably add that Basset hounds aren't really a noisy breed - they don't yap or bark for no reason, and I've only ever heard mine howl once or twice. Maybe I've just been lucky (neither of mine are slobberers, either, though some are). The best thing you can do is go and meet some real life hounds; the breed club will be able to put you in touch with some local breeders who'll be happy to unleash the houuunds! chat about what the reality of owning one is like.

Joolyjoolyjoo Tue 26-Jul-11 15:45:54

I would bear in mind that as abreed bassets do have quite a few known breed problems, mainly to do with that very heavy solid frame and long back on relatively short legs. Breeding dogs should be elbow-scored, as they suffer from elbow dysplasia. They also commonly suffer from neck and back problems, which can cause £thousands to fix via specialist surgery, so insurance is an absolute MUST with them. A few I have known have also suffered from jaw dislocation. Arthritis is common as they get older, again due to their conformation.

I have hounds (although beagles rather than bassets) and they need a LOT of time and attention. I do think that 5 hours is a bit long to leave them. I would never recommend a new owner get 2 dogs at once, as you really need to focus on each dog individually for training/ building rapport etc.

In my experience of bassets, they do tend to be pretty stubborn, and yes, they are hounds so not always the most obedient! Given your experience with your labradoodle, I do wonder whether another dog is a good idea at the moment, sorry.

henryhsmum Wed 27-Jul-11 09:42:43

I think I probably will put on hold getting one for now. I would be very careful to get a basset from a reputable breeder who health tests etc. I have always insured all my animals as in my experience anything involving an anaesthetic and you are £300 out of pocket straight away at least without any complex ops. I was charged that just to put my Siamese under so they could put a tube in her throat to do an internal x ray.

There is a possibility I may be starting a home based business (a cattery!) but it is all subject to a complex scheme to finance it so it may not go ahead. If I do the cattery I probably would get a basset as I would be here all day.

The training stubbornness and house training doesn't bother me so much. With the Labradoodle it was more that she was excessively boisterous and very jumpy upey. What I really hated was the biting as it was really hard sinking her teeth in not just mouthing or play biting. It may have been her breed as I know labs and poodles are more known for this. How much have you all found your pups play bited and how easy was it to get them to stop it?

multipoodles Wed 27-Jul-11 11:16:25

All puppies play bite, it's up to you the owner and trainer to put in the time and training to control this and having owned poodles all my life I have found them no different to other breeds and in many cases easier. Our current pup likes to take my hand and a lot of poodles do that, but it is a very gentle gesture, not biting. With regards to cross breeds you can't generalise at all as they are each and everyone different as they are cross breeds and true to neither breed.

Have you read this?;wap2 highly recommending reading for any puppy owner.

My father owned Bassets when he was younger and loved each and every one of them for they have huge characters. Sounds like you are doing your research right and waiting until the time is right.

JinxAndFluff Wed 27-Jul-11 11:36:41

We got 2 bassets as puppies together. Nightmare for toilet training as they are quite slow to mature being big dogs so slow to learn. Plus we never knew who was having the accidents to try to 'discipline' them. The male had real pack domination issues in our house (we already had 3 Maine Coon cats) and although I was clear I was pack leader (v typical Hound issue) he was not so he asserted his authority over me by eating several pairs of specs, mobile phones, a Gucci handbag, my TV controls etc etc. We did end up having to get a dog psychologist out to develop some technoques to deal with him. This was despite my also hiring a dog walker to give them tons of walking on top of me and my now ex-DH.

Cats all ended sleeping in various beds on top of them tho, no probs there at all. My DD adored them but they did actually scare some of her friends at the beginning when the kids were 5ish as they really are exuberant, FAST and enthusiastic dogs but HEAVY with it. Knocked numerous children over!!

Both their backs went very suddenly. Treated but costs a fortune. They had to go and live with the dog walker when I seperated from DH for various reasons, still see them from time to time but I look back and think although I had looked into it a hell of a lot they were too much for us as a household at the time given other commitments. I still remember that they did give us some fantastic laughs though, Archie used to chase horses, I think he thought he was one, anywhere from up and down beaches to police horses in the street. Freaked the horses out no end. They are terribly tenacious, determined, self centred swines..... But gorgeous.

DooinMeCleanin Wed 27-Jul-11 11:48:02

Does it have to be a Basset? Greyhounds and Whippets are often (but not always) very quiet in the home and generally laid back and happy to lounge around on the sofa. I have met only one who does not fit this description.

Plus there are hundreds and hundreds of adult Greys, Lurchers and Whippets in rescue centers around the country, so finding an assessed and quiet adult won't be a problem. Cat friendly sight hounds do exist. I have two of them. As does my Dad.

I'm also going to put in a word for an older Staffordshire Bull Terrier, once they are past the whirlwind of destruction puppy phase they make wonderful dogs to have around children. Very gentle and cuddly and again there are hundreds and hundreds of adult Staffies in rescues.

I wouldn't recommend a puppy at all. You have no guarantees on a puppies behaviour, any breed can be boisterous and nippy, even the most laid back ones. I have never met a pup so bouncy as my Dad's Whippet, a breed that is famed for how laid back and quiet they are. She was bought as a puppy by somone looking for a quiet breed of dog. When they realised she was anything but, she spent many months locked in a crate before they admitted their mistake and handed her over to rescue.

BluddyMoFo Wed 27-Jul-11 11:52:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JinxAndFluff Wed 27-Jul-11 11:59:36

...and the logistical difficulties of getting an animal that heavy and that LONG into a bath of any discription beggers belief...or indeed getting them into the boot of your estate when they are mud covered but have decided to go on a go slow and not jump up even they are perfectly capable of doing so....

JinxAndFluff Wed 27-Jul-11 12:02:25

There is a children's book called 'The Last Basselope' which is gorgeous and my now teenage DD still reads with me affectionately. Can't recommend it highly enough if you do become an owner.....

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