Basset hound owners know only too well how stubborn their dogs can be. It’s part of their nature and even in their breeding to be that way.
If they don’t want to do something they tend not to do it regardless of how much you plea with them. They often want you to fit into their schedule not the other way around!
So are Basset hounds hard to potty train?
Basset hounds can be harder to potty train than other dogs because they have two qualities that endear them to some and annoy others – Firstly, they are stubborn and secondly they can get easily distracted by scents and smells that suddenly seem more interesting to them than peeing.
So you could be wondering why Bassets are this way and if there are any factors that can influence them to potty train more easily. Let’s start with some basic questions.
How Long Does It Take To Potty Train A Basset Hound Puppy?
This one is a little like “how long is a piece of string?” It’s going to take as long as it takes before your individual puppy gets the hang of the potty routine we’re going to talk about in a minute. Some dogs will pick it up quicker than others.
As we’ve already mentioned they will probably take longer due to their stubborn nature. Staying consistent and supportive as they learn what you want them to do is the best approach.
How Do You Potty Train A Basset Hound?
With great patience and understanding. Start with a routine that you and your Basset can stick with.
Reward them when they do the right thing but try to refrain from scolding them if they do the wrong thing. Instead try to talk to them using encouragement. Eventually, if you persist, your pup will start to understand.
What To Do If Your Basset Hound Keeps Peeing In The House
The first thing to do in this situation is to clean and sanitize the affected areas as soon as possible. You need to get rid of the urine smells that are so easily detectable for Basset hound noses.
The next thing to do is create a potty spot somewhere in the backyard or an area of the apartment if you don’t have a yard.
A good tip is to get a sample of the pee from a previous area and place it around the new potty area that you want to encourage your dog to use.
If you’ve done a good job of cleaning all of the other affected areas this potty spot will be the only area of the house or yard with those smells.
It’s more likely your Basset will want to return there to pee again – especially if you offer treats for doing so.
Do Basset Hounds Pee a Lot?
There could be a few reasons why your Basset may urinate more often than normal:
1. Activity – Whenever dogs are really active it tends to trigger them to pee more often than normal. So a Basset puppy who has just been playing will want to go every few minutes.
2. Water – More activity can lead to more panting which is a dog’s way of sweating…and the more they pant the more water they drink. This can result in more peeing.
3. Just Being a Puppy – Puppies tend to urinate more than older dogs so make allowances for that.
4. Underlying Health Problems – There may be a health issue that hasn’t been detected yet. Urinary tract infections are common in dogs and Bassets are no exception. Keep a look out for signs of any health issues such as blood in the urine or trouble peeing.
How To Look For Signs Your Basset Needs To Go Potty
Spotting the signs that your Basset needs to go potty isn’t very hard. They will often stop whatever it is they are doing and start sniffing around, sometimes in circles, looking for somewhere to pee.
What they are doing here is using their strong sense of smell to find a spot that they have used previously.
Yet another reason why you have to clean accident spots as thoroughly as possible otherwise they will smell it and pee there again.
Once you get to know your Basset puppy you’ll know their individual “I need to pee” signs very well.
Once you see those signals you need to take them out to their designated potty spot as quickly as possible.
Why You Should Clean Up After Accidents
Bassets were bred to track scents so they are very, very good at finding them. If there’s even the hint of a spot in your house where they have previously urinated they will pee there again until they are trained not to.
You cannot for any reason use a cleaning product with ammonia in it. Ammonia is something that’s present in urine so if they smell a spot that’s smells of ammonia they will go potty right there again.
Always use an enzyme based cleaner to clean up any accidents from your Basset puppy or indeed any other animal you have in your house.
Enzyme based cleaners are used for stains that are biological in nature – in other words something that comes from humans, animal or plants.
Conventional cleaners often contain ammonia and other toxic chemicals and are best used for inorganic materials – ie non-living material.
Cleaning an organic stain with an inorganic cleanser won’t get rid of the stain and will leave scents that Basset hounds will pick up. This will encourage them to pee in that spot again.
Creating a Potty Area
This will be an area of your house or yard that is set aside for potty only.
It’s really important that you remain consistent with this so select the right area from the start – somewhere that is convenient for both you and your Basset, easy to access and to clean.
A good tip is to take your Basset out to the potty area on a lead. This will help to keep them focused and less likely to get distracted by chasing after the latest scent they’ve just discovered.
It may take longer than you hope but eventually your Basset Hound will learn what to do and often will start taking themselves there without you.
Don’t forget the treats though as these will make it an enjoyable experience for your pup. They will want to repeat that experience again and again.
Do Basset Hounds Lift Their Leg To Pee?
Basset hounds are like any other dog when it comes to lifting their leg to pee. They obviously don’t want to pee on themselves so they lift their leg so they can pee more horizontally away from bodies.
Not only that but peeing on objects that are more vertical make it easier for the smell to last longer making it easier to find that spot again next time they come past. Think lampposts, fire hydrants, plants etc
This why it’s a good idea to have some sort of vertical object in their regular potty area.
Using Commands to Help Train Your Basset to Potty
Commands are a great way to train your Basset to go potty. By using a set command each time you want them to go they will quickly learn what you want them to do.
Use something like “Go Potty” and then lead them to your designated potty area. If you use the same command consistently they will learn to associate it with going to the toilet.
Using a Crate to Help Potty Training
Crate training is important for many reasons but one of the main ones is to help your Basset control their bladder.
Dogs tend not to defecate wherever they sleep so they will learn to hold on for longer and will also get your attention so you can take them out to their potty area outside.
Remember to buy a crate that fits the size of your Basset puppy. If it’s too big then they will sometimes use one end as a potty area and one end as a sleeping area.
If it’s too small they won’t have the room to turn around or be comfortable and as they are growing rapidly the problem will get worse and worse over the coming months.
A good tip is to buy a crate with a divider so it can grow along with the puppy.
A divider will temporarily reduce the inner size of the crate until your puppy grows a little more – once that happens you can remove the divider from the crate.
This means you won’t have to buy a new crate each time your puppy has a growth spurt.
Using A Bell To Teach Your Basset To Go Potty
Another method you can try is using a bell on your door which your Basset can ring either with their nose or their paw each time they need to go out to potty.
This is something you can start teaching them straight away by ringing the bell each time they go potty.
Your Basset will soon associate the ringing of the bell with potty time and will let you know each time it needs to go potty.
Here’s a video showing how Basset potty training with a bell works:
Using Rewards To Train Your Basset To Go Potty
Rewards based training is always the best method to use with Bassets or indeed any dog.
Bassets are especially stubborn and if they think they will be punished for doing something wrong they will more likely not do what you want them to do.
Rewarding good behavior means whenever your Basset puppy does the right thing, give them love and affection and maybe even a treat or two.
Your dog will begin to associate doing the right things with positive rewards from you.
Bassets love their owners and are happiest when their owners are happy so this method of rewarding good behavior is beneficial to both of you.
As stubborn as they are, Basset Hounds are extremely loyal and loving dogs who love to please their owners. As the alpha in the household you must show your Basset the right behaviors from the start.
You are in charge not your Basset.
Once they understand that, they will want to follow your lead. There’s no doubt though that potty training is definitely one of the hardest leads for Bassets to follow.
So patience and persistence is the key here. It will take time for your puppy to learn what you expect from them but the rewards will be that your Basset will love you even more for providing clear direction to them.
Confused puppies can never be trained properly.
The question of whether they are hard to potty train is more about whether you are willing to be a consistent, caring owner who rewards their pup for doing the good things, not scolding them for doing the bad things.
Trust from your dog has to be earned. Scolding and disciplining your Basset will never be an effective training strategy for this reason.
Yes, there are things you can do to make the house training process go much faster as we’ve discussed but it’s important not to rush the process.
Give your Basset love and attention and help them through the potty training process and you’ll both be happy.
For more information on Basset Hounds check out these articles:
How Much Should A Basset Hound Puppy Eat?
How Much Do Basset Hounds Sleep?