Professional Guide on How to Discipline a Basset Hound

by Lisa

Disciplining a Basset Hound can be a challenging yet essential aspect of dog ownership. These adorable and charming dogs have a unique temperament that requires a specific approach to discipline. Basset Hounds are known for their stubbornness, but with the right techniques and consistent training, you can ensure a well-behaved and happy companion. In this professional guide, we will delve into the world of Basset Hound discipline, covering various aspects from understanding their temperament to implementing effective training methods.

Understanding the Basset Hound Temperament

Before diving into the discipline methods, it’s crucial to grasp the Basset Hound’s temperament thoroughly. These dogs are known for their gentle, affectionate, and sometimes even comical nature. They are social animals that love being around people and other dogs, making them excellent family pets. However, their stubborn streak can pose challenges when it comes to discipline.


Basset Hound Temperament Traits: Basset Hounds are known for their loyalty, but they can also be quite independent. This independence can manifest as stubbornness, making them less responsive to traditional training methods. They are also known to have a keen sense of smell, which can lead to distraction during training sessions. Understanding these traits is the first step in effective discipline.


Establishing a Consistent Routine

Discipline begins with establishing a consistent routine for your Basset Hound. These dogs thrive on predictability and structure, so providing them with a clear daily routine will set the foundation for effective discipline.


Regular Feeding Schedule: Start by setting specific times for feeding your Basset Hound. Consistency in mealtime helps them understand when they can expect food, reducing the likelihood of begging or whining.


Scheduled Bathroom Breaks: Basset Hounds can be a bit lazy when it comes to housebreaking. Create a routine for regular bathroom breaks, especially after meals and before bedtime, to minimize accidents in the house.

Exercise and Playtime: Incorporate daily exercise and playtime into your Basset Hound’s schedule. These dogs have a lot of energy to burn, and a tired dog is generally a well-behaved dog.

Bedtime and Rest: Ensure your Basset Hound has a designated sleeping area with a comfortable bed. Consistent bedtime routines help them settle down at night and reduce nighttime disruptions.

Positive Reinforcement Training

Positive reinforcement training is a highly effective method for disciplining Basset Hounds. These dogs respond well to rewards and praise, and it helps build a strong bond between you and your pet.

Use Treats Wisely: When your Basset Hound exhibits good behavior, such as following commands or refraining from unwanted behavior, reward them with small, healthy treats. Be consistent with the treats you use to avoid confusion.

Verbal Praise: Along with treats, use verbal praise and an enthusiastic tone of voice to let your Basset Hound know they’ve done well. These dogs thrive on human approval and will work hard to earn your praise.

Clicker Training: Clicker training is a useful technique for Basset Hounds. It involves using a clicker to mark desired behavior, followed by a treat. This clear and immediate feedback helps them understand what you expect.

Keep Training Sessions Short: Basset Hounds have shorter attention spans, so keep training sessions brief and focused. Aim for several short sessions throughout the day rather than one long session.

Setting Clear Boundaries

Establishing boundaries is essential when disciplining your Basset Hound. These boundaries create a sense of order and help prevent undesirable behavior.

Define Restricted Areas: Use baby gates or closed doors to limit access to certain areas of your home. This prevents your Basset Hound from getting into trouble or making a mess.

Teach Basic Commands: Teach basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” These commands not only enhance discipline but also ensure safety in various situations.

No Begging at the Table: Basset Hounds are notorious beggars due to their love of food. Teach them to stay away from the dining area during mealtimes and discourage begging with consistent commands and rewards for compliance.

Leash Training: Proper leash training is essential, as Basset Hounds are known to follow their noses without regard for your commands. Use a short leash to maintain control during walks and reinforce proper walking behavior.

Correcting Undesirable Behavior

While positive reinforcement is the foundation of Basset Hound discipline, there will be times when you need to correct undesirable behavior. It’s crucial to do this with care and consistency, avoiding harsh punishments that can harm the bond between you and your dog.

Firm Voice: Use a firm but not aggressive tone of voice when correcting your Basset Hound. They are sensitive dogs and can become fearful if yelled at.

Time-Outs: Implement time-outs as a method of discipline. If your Basset Hound engages in undesirable behavior, remove them from the situation for a brief period to help them calm down and understand that their behavior is unacceptable.

Ignore Attention-Seeking Behavior: Basset Hounds may exhibit attention-seeking behavior such as whining or barking. Instead of giving in to their demands, ignore them until they stop. Reward them with attention and praise when they are quiet.

Consistency is Key: Consistency in your response to undesirable behavior is vital. Ensure that all family members follow the same rules and respond consistently to maintain clarity for your Basset Hound.

Socialization and Exposure

Basset Hounds are naturally social dogs, but proper socialization is still essential to ensure they are well-behaved around other dogs and people.

Early Socialization: Start socializing your Basset Hound from a young age. Expose them to various environments, people, and dogs to build their confidence and reduce anxiety.

Positive Interactions: Encourage positive interactions with other dogs and people by arranging playdates or visits to the dog park. Always monitor their interactions to ensure they are comfortable and safe.

Controlled Experiences: Gradually expose your Basset Hound to different situations and experiences. This helps them adapt to new environments and reduces fear-based behavior.

Handling Separation Anxiety

Basset Hounds are known for their attachment to their owners, which can sometimes lead to separation anxiety. Addressing this issue is crucial for their well-being and discipline.

Gradual Departures and Arrivals: When leaving or returning home, do so gradually without making a fuss. This helps prevent your Basset Hound from associating departures with anxiety.

Desensitization: Desensitize your dog to your departure cues. Pick up keys or put on your coat without actually leaving, so your Basset Hound doesn’t become anxious when they see these signs.

Create a Safe Space: Designate a safe and comfortable space for your Basset Hound when you are away. Provide toys and treats to keep them occupied and alleviate anxiety.


Disciplining a Basset Hound requires patience, consistency, and a deep understanding of their unique temperament. By establishing a consistent routine, using positive reinforcement training, setting clear boundaries, and correcting undesirable behavior with care, you can ensure that your Basset Hound becomes a well-behaved and happy companion.


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