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Thread: Basset Hound walking

  1. #1

    Default Basset Hound walking

    A friend of mine has gone away on holiday and has asked me to walk her Basset Hound for her while she is away.
    I went over there for the first time today and was a bit disappointed to see that all he had was a check chain. He has been fairly over excitable whenever I have been around him so I prepared myself for a tough job walking him but he was actually quite well behaved. Obviously to use a check chain correctly the dog needs to walk on one side which is what I did find difficult as he crossed over in front of me following scents.

    What would be a better way to walk a Basset? Even though he was quite well-behaved for me, he seems to be a bit uncontrollable when he is excited in public so I'm not sure giving him the strength that comes with a regular harness would be best? And then...what kind of harness fits a Basset well? Is just a collar and leash acceptable?

  2. #2
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    try a gental leader.

  3. #3
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    I'd try a collar and leash.

    But if I could get a front attach harness - one that has a ring that sits on the dog's chest, I'd try that.

    The ones that you clip the lead on the back between the shoulder blades like car harness - just give you a sled dog. Might as well hook a cart up and enjoy the ride.

    If you google "front attach harness" there's a few different sorts come up. Some of the big pet shop chains might stock the Ezy Walk harness which is made by Premier Pet (I think). I've got the softouch concepts harness for my dog, it works well and black dog in Victoria make one too.

    Balance Harness (Large)

    The black dog one has two loops (front and back) which you can hook a double ended lead to and get even more control.

    Try to get him sniffing only with permission. Say "go sniff" when it's ok and say "heel" and put your hand under his nose and lift up when it's not. If he gives you any attention at this point - reward with a treat - with his nose up high off the ground. If you go this option, make sure you do give him permission to sniff from time to time, so he knows when he's doing right. Use it as a reward too. Eg nice sit and heel across road then "go sniff" for a bit.

  4. #4

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    I've seen those front attach ones around, I think they are called Halti Harnesses over here. They are quite easy to fit as well. I will see how he goes on one of them.

  5. #5
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    If the dog has been walked with a check chain before he might respond well to a check.

    One of my dogs will drag you along if you don't use the chain.....if i walk him he knows he'll get checked so he walks fine for me.

    Give it a go.....you might be pleasently surprised what happens if you show him who's boss. If he knows how to walk on the chain properly it'll only take a few checks and he'll start walking how you want him to. Just make sure the chain is on correctly ...try it over your wrist...one way will loosen when not pulled tight...the incorrect way will stay tight around your wrist even when not pulled.

    If he hasn't been trained with the check chain then harnesses the above posts mentioned will be your best bet for sure.


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  6. #6

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    He doesn't seem to have been trained with it. If he catches a scent or gets wind of another dog he just pulls against it. I can hardly loosen it enough to give him a sharp tug.

  7. #7
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    Cor i read this with interest. As Basset Hound is something my dog can morph into when out, nose down, lets go this way, then that way, zig zagging in front.
    I got miffed off, i used the check correction. As sean says, a few quick 'corrections' at the start of walk, kind of simmers his pull a lot. Not all, we're still learning, but enough to save my shoulder for another day.

  8. #8

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    I wouldn't use a face harness on a basset as it could be very uncomfortable pulling at the loose skin around their eyes and mouth. Bassets have large and delicate olfactory organs inside their muzzle and I wouldn't be wrapping straps around it.

    Likewise I would avoid a chest harness which would apply pressure to their prominent pro-sternum which is not designed to take a lot of weight.

    Bassets are large and heavy dogs. Don't let their height fool you. If the dog lunges suddenly a harness on face or forechest can bear a large amount of pressure.
    If you don't like the check chain you can try other collars. A half-chain martingale like the Rogz ones may be suitable.

    But the dog doesn't belong to you, and may well be walked in a check chain for very good reasons. I know I would be pretty unimpressed if someone thought they could second guess me and do better for my dogs than me... It's a delicate subject area sometimes!

  9. #9
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    Halti Harnesses are like horse halters around the dog's head with an attach point near the chin - not the same as a front attach harness that goes around the dog's middle - over the back and under the tummy, behind the armpits and has a strap that goes across the front of the chest between the front of the shoulder (like where a human's collar bones would be).

    The actions of the two are entirely different and should not be confused. I don't think a head halter is a good idea for a basset. I did use one briefly with my dog, but I also had a lead on her chest - so if she did lunge after something I could use that to stop her instead of breaking her nose with the head halter.

    Head halters work a whole lot better if you spend some time teaching the dog at home - that they're fun to wear eg lots of treats for putting nose through the loop and having it done up behind the ears... Most dogs don't get this and try to rub the thing off, and some owners don't understand - as with choke chains - all the learning comes with the reward of releasing the pressure. If they're always pulling, the dog never learns what it is supposed to be doing and just pulls more because that - despite being uncomfortable or even painful - gets it closer to where it wants to go.

    So day one might be tediuous but every step you the handler takes in the direction the dog wants to go when it's pulling - rewards and encourages the pulling. I stop and wait for my dog to notice we're not going anywhere... she tried sitting at the end of the lead but she worked out fairly quickly she had to come back towards me to loosen up the lead before I'd go anywhere. I did help her in figuring that out by encouraging her back to me (no treats tho - otherwise she'd pull and return to get treats - aka back chaining).

    Some people actually turn and walk briskly the other way if their dog gets to the end of the lead... this can be hard on dog and handler with the momentum and physics of turning 180 degrees abruptly.

  10. #10

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    The front attach harnesses are actually called Halti harnesses in the shops around here, I am aware of the face haltis, they have those as well.

    Like I said, he has not been trained with it. I did correct and he did not respond at all. In her words 'The dog walks me'. My friend is always asking me for advice with her pets because I have worked in a pet store and am going to school for animal care, I definitely don't know everything yet but she knows I won't give advice without reason.

    We both grew up in the country and out there you grow up without learning of a lot of options. People think check chains are the cheap 'solution' to dogs pulling, only not a lot of people around here know how to actually use them. In fact they are actually banned in most large pet stores around here. She jumped at the suggestion of me buying him an alternative.

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