All dogs require a certain level of obedience and basic training, and Basset Hound training should be no different. However, there is more you can teach your dog after he/she is familiar with the basics – sit – down- heel – come. Remember, Basset Hounds are incredibly intelligent canines and should be provided with as much mental stimulation as possible to keep them happy.
Basset Hounds excel at agility training and in the show ring. Standard Basset Hounds are also quite talented when it comes to tracking. Tracking is another form of dog training that can be taught as a hobby for fun, or as a sport for competition and earning titles.
What is tracking? Tracking is a type of Basset Hound training that involves having the dog follow a human scent trail and find the source of the scent. Unlike other forms of training, the trainer does not give the dog any signals or direction in tracking. The dog is simply connected to a long lead, and sniffs out the task that has been presented.
Where is it performed? Basic tracking usually occurs on a specific course that involves a large field. However, for the harder and advanced tracking competitions, the course is mapped out in a city-like area, involving gravel, concrete, roads, and asphalt. As you can see, tracking requires plenty of concentration from the dog, and can be quite a stressful, yet enjoyable experience for both the dog and trainer.
Do I need equipment for tracking? Yes, like other Basset Hound training, certain equipment is required. The following is a list of equipment needed for tracking:
- Tracking harness
- Long lead (25 inches or more)
- Items for tracking (I.E. old sock, glove, wallet, etc.)
- Brightly colored flags to mark start and turns
Tracking training needs to be conducted in an open grassy area or field. The open space doesn’t need to be any larger than a few acres of land to start, but as the dog becomes more advanced, 20 acres or more might be necessary in order to provide your dog with a sufficient challenge.
Finally, make sure you are healthy and physically fit before you engage in tracking Basset Hound training. Tracking involves plenty of walking over various forms of terrain. You might be required to jump over ditches, climb over fences and up steep hills. Moreover, if your dog makes it to the advanced stage, some competitions will require you to walk at least a mile over rough terrain.
If you are interested in tracking as part of your Basset Hound training, it’s a good idea to properly research the topic and seek the advice of experienced tracking trainers to effectively teach your dog.