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Adopting a 5 yr old Basset Hound - advice?

(17 Posts)
MindReader Sun 21-Dec-14 14:47:56

I may - only may - have the chance of this.

I have kept Spaniels before (good natured, greedy, clingy) but not Hounds.

Can anyone advise of characteristics pls?
I have some small furries - are BH's 'hunters'?

<she is not neutered, could I get this done as I wouldn't want to breed. Don't yet know if she's been bred from>

livegoldrings Sun 21-Dec-14 16:46:02

My neighbour keeps Bassetts they are lovely, but prone to health problems. You need to keep them in tip top condition. Don't let them gain weight! They need plenty of exercise despite the little legs. They like to scent so follow their noses. My neighbours Bassett was fine with her small furries but like to track things when out walking.

fatherpeeweestairmaster Sun 21-Dec-14 20:30:08

Bassets are lovely dogs! They're scent hounds, not hunters, so you might find she spends most of her walk with her head in the bushes/around a tree/in your shopping bag, but they don't chase things once they get the smell. It's more like window-shopping. Beware fox poo.

They do need at least an hour's walk a day - don't let the short legs deceive you, bassets can really shift when they get going - and they'll happily do more if you want. Keep an eye on her weight, so as not to exacerbate joint issues; mine does best on a lower protein working dog food. Ears, you'll already know about from spaniels. The breed club have a good website with lots of info and links.

But it's hard to think of a gentler, more loving, funny breed than a basset hound. They genuinely have their own personalities, and will warm up your sofa like nothing else. Love my big dog and his huuuuuge biscuity paws!

MindReader Mon 22-Dec-14 09:54:09

Thanks livegoldrings
Thanks fartherpeeweestairmaster (is that a ref to your Basset?)

This is all very encouraging.

Can they manage stairs, or do they need carrying?

(thinks of 4 storey house...)

fatherpeeweestairmaster Mon 22-Dec-14 13:15:02

No, my basset's called Hartley - Father PeeWee Stairmaster is one of Mrs Doyle's inspired guesses for the mystery priest's name in the Christmas special...

Basset hounds don't really do stairs, no. It's not great for their backs, and because they're quite front-loaded, if they slip coming down they can hurt themselves. Mine doesn't come upstairs - it's good to have one area of the house hair-free - but he doesn't mind. Just keep all her stuff on the ground floor and put a stairgate at the bottom.

As for carrying them... My big lad comes from a line of quite big bassets, and weighs about 34kg - he's not fat, that's just how he's put together. Imagine a Labrador, but on shorter legs. You don't carry bassets unless you're competing in some kind of World's Strongest Man Endurance Carrying Event. He's fine to lift in and out of the car, but ramps are available if necessary.

Here are some links if you haven't seen them already

comprehensive and realistic owner's guide

South East Owners Club

UK Breed Club

There are regional owners' clubs throughout the country - it's a very friendly breed with plenty of organised walks, advice, etc!

ADishBestEatenCold Mon 22-Dec-14 21:50:58

Just popped in to say, what lovely descriptions, fatherpeewee. I have never really known a Basset, but in a couple of posts you have made me feel that I sort of know one! grin

MindReader Tue 30-Dec-14 20:40:47

Going to meet the dog at the weekend.

If she takes to me / me to her, she is mine, apparently.

What do I need to ask the family she has been with, do you think?

also, can you change a dog's name, if it is 5? (has a pretty dopey name).
(hardly the most important thing I know, but thought I'd ask as my previous dog experience is with Cocker Spaniels, who all simply ignored their names anyway...) hmm grin

scrivette Sun 04-Jan-15 15:14:47

How did you get on?

They are a lovely breed but very very stubborn! We adopted my brothers 7 year old Bassett and he wasn't very well trained. However he is a lovely family dog and his favourite thing to do is cuddle up under a blanket with DH.

MindReader Mon 05-Jan-15 12:45:29

Well, I went to see her.
She was with 2 other dogs in a small living space with 3 children too.

My initial reaction was: 'NO' as she was much bigger than I'd expected - tank like in fact.
But I felt sorry for her and said we would take her for a weeks trial.
I appreciate this seems irresponsible, but I felt so sorry for her.

she is good on the lead and very gentle with the children and a cheerful dog. Apart from one puddle in the hall, and some howling when we shut the bedroom door on her on night one, she has not put a paw wrong!
She seems very clingy, but that is natural, poor thing must wonder what is going on. Have not left her yet, and suspect she will howl place down if I try. This could be overly limiting... I do need to be able to pop out for an hour or two (max) and have her be able to cope with that.

I have taken her for a week on the understanding she can go back if needed (which I would be loath to do as it is unfair on the dog) but I suspect they wont honour that.

I am taking her to the vet tonight as one of her eyes is weepy and she seems very very overweight to me. I was told she is five and has had no litters but she is not spayed and she looks like she has to me. The 'papers' she was to come with have mysteriously 'gone lost'.

Suspect I have been stupid about this but we'll hang onto her as I would feel guilty sending her back... but will see what Vet says about her (potential) long term health conditions?

Floralnomad Mon 05-Jan-15 13:24:21

Good luck with her , all the Bassets I have known (about 6/7) have been howlers when left .

MindReader Mon 05-Jan-15 13:40:36

Oh heck.... she certainly progressed from a polite cough to a pretty deep bark on night one. I can imagine her 'baying' for Europe...
Not her fault if that is breed and temperament but I have a very grumpy neighbour who WILL complain (glared at me this am when walking and said: 'I hate dogs, keep it away from me'. (this person lives the other side of a lane from me, but finds cause to grump about all sorts...).

Any tips on how to make her less clingy?

I am not 'fussing' her at all, just patting her head every so often and speaking to her to make her feel safe and loved. I have firmly shut the bathroom door behind me etc and got H and kids to walk her a few times and feed her too.

but, if I move from one side of the kitchen to the other (and it aint big!) she comes with me which is tiring for both of us.

Floralnomad Mon 05-Jan-15 13:47:56

Being clingy indoors is not necessarily related to how she will behave when left . My patterdale x follows me around all day , if I go upstairs he waits at the bottom , he opens the door of the downstairs loo to join me , we are literally joined by a piece of invisible string - when he is left home alone ,which is a few times a week , he goes to his bed and doesn't move ,he doesn't even come to the door when we get back he waits until he sees me before he gets up .

MindReader Mon 05-Jan-15 13:51:10

Floral - here's hoping!

She is like a sweet natured Tank, I do like her, so do the children so I very much hope we can all 'work around each other' and she can stay.
She deserves a permanent loving home and that's what I want to offer her.

MindReader Mon 05-Jan-15 19:10:53

Hmm.
Back from Vets.

She has a good going ear infection, with mites too.
But Vet thinks 'just neglect' not ear damage, so that is good.
Eye infections in both eyes and 1 eye has 'third eyelid' protrusion'.
She thinks she might have ongoing eye issues (dry eyes at least) and recommends we contact her previous vet for advice. If, like the ears, it has been ignored, it might respond well to treatment. If it has been treated and is still like that then it is more of an issue.

She thinks she hasn't been bred from and is still entire and her age is about right. Her teeth, skin, heart and skin are all good, so that is all very good news. H is less keen to keep her now re the eyes, and our budget is such we couldn't really keep up with lots of ongoing expensive treatment so I hope it can be fixed and we can keep her. Also for her too of course, for her comfort and happiness.

I was right about the 'tank' bit - she is 38.5kg or 6.3 stones....

I will wait to hear about the eyes I think.
got a 'hope you are enjoying her' email from previous owner tonight.
After seeing the black gunk that came out of her ears I feel like tearing him off a strip, or at least asking for some £ towards the cost, but I bet that is on a hiding to nothing.

She was a darling at the Vets and they were very taken with her sweet nature.
She has just come home and woofed her first 'proper' dinner since Sat teatime when we brought her home (she had mouthfuls but seemed a bit sad yesterday). She also had an excellent poo earlier. Mind, I stepped outside to put the bins out and left her shut in and she woofed the place down so that is not encouraging...

MindReader Mon 05-Jan-15 19:18:42

Just read back my post and it seems a bit hmm about money etc.
Obv we have enough to feed and insure her and take care of standard needs I am just worried about potentially expensive eye ops.

I hope all can be well as, clingy tank or not, I am already very very fond of her. She is a lovely dog and deserves the best.

fatherpeeweestairmaster Tue 06-Jan-15 17:52:08

Poor little huge Tank. Bassets are pack dogs, and like to 'belong' to people/with other dogs - she's probably unsettled and is a bit anxious about being left again. Hartley was 3 when I rehomed him, and he did cry for a few nights when I made him sleep in the kitchen on his own, but he soon settled in. He never, ever howls (and I've recorded him while I'm out to make certain!) I'm sure once she's found her feet in your set up, she won't be quite so clingy. Unfortunately, they do have quite loud barks - designed to be heard over fields - but they're not a barky breed, generally. You might have to do the 'go out for 5 seconds/come back before she starts barking. Go out for 10 seconds, come back before she starts barking' thing, just to teach her you're not leaving. Was that one of the reasons they were keen to rehome her, by any chance?!

It's good that her teeth are OK - that can be expensive - and it's best to get some weight off her, to help with her joints. Ignore the begging sadface as much as it's humanly possible. Try her on low protein working dog food, like Skinners Salmon/Rice - my dog scoffs it, and it's relatively cheap. Has she had much outdoor exercise? Bassets might look like couch potatoes, but they love a walk, and should be able to cover a fair few miles quite happily.

Eyes and ear issues are a common Basset thing - ears aren't too hard to keep on top of, but you need to be quite diligent about it, as hounds are pretty stoic and won't tell you there's a problem till it's very bad. They're like cocker ears, basically, but bigger. A quick wipe round the outside with a baby wipe a couple of times a week is usually enough to keep the basic gunk in check; you can get ear cleaner off the internet for about £8, and a squirt of that, rubbed in for a minute or so (get the vet to show you how to massage it down the ear canal) keeps the bacterial levels right.

Eyes can sometimes look worse than they really are. Was the '3rd eyelid protrusion' cherry eye? It's not uncommon and can be fixed with a straightforward op. Hopefully - if that's the right way of putting it sad - the dry eye hasn't been treated, and your vet can sort it out once and for all. Again, maybe worth emailing the breed club? I had some really excellent long-term-owner reassurance about medical issues that one vet had really put the frighteners on me about, and turned out to be fine in the end.

Sorry for the essay, this is probably very biased because you sound like a thoughtful, caring dog owner and I want Tank to have a loving new home! Of all the breeds, Bassets have the biggest hearts and so much gentle devotion to give - when she's curled up on your lap, snoring happily, you'll be amazed at how small she can make herself seem...

MindReader Tue 06-Jan-15 19:50:18

Oh, fatherpeewee I was hoping you'd come back smile

In order of 'issues' grin

She is sticking to me like glue. Huffy barks when I shut her out of the toilet (not room for her anyway!). Scampers from room to room. She refused a walk with H and dd earlier, and then refused another with him just now. This is a prob as I am mobile during the day, but less so in the evening and she wont wee until she has about a 1/2m walk, it would seem (now 2 puddles in hall through my misjudgement). I am getting the others to feed and pet her and not fussing her too much myself as I don't want suffocating clinginess like I had with my lovely old Spaniel.

Weight - Yy, 6.3 stones is hefty, I think. Thanks for the tip re Skinners salmon and rice (where do you buy it PLEASE?).

Ears are filthy but vet says drums intact and healthy looking so that should be okay, just a case of getting on top of them and keeping them clean.

Eyes, yes, it would seem that she has had a 'cherry eye' op on her left eye and needs one on the right? Are these very expensive? <dreads it>

Our Vets will have the prev eye history from her old vets tomorrow so will try to check in tomorrow night to post the info....

I want Tank to have a loving new home too - OURS. And I will do all I can to help her, even if she goes back it will be with ears and eyes fixed (I don't think I could let her go now though even though its only been 2/3 days). She is so gentle and sweet and the children adore her.

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