With their short legs, long bodies, wrinkles, and impressive droopy ears, Basset Hounds are one of the most popular and easily recognized dog breeds. These dogs originate from France, where they were developed to track game for hunters. Like other hounds bred for the same purpose, the Basset is not a quiet breed, so you can expect them to howl and bark more than other dogs.
Keep reading to learn why the Basset Hound howls so much and what, if anything, you can do to quiet the noise.
Basset Hounds: Born to Howl
Yes, Basset Hounds howl (and bark) a lot more than many other breeds, but you can’t really blame them. The dog was initially bred to be loud enough for hunters to hear it from several yards away.
In France, the Basset Hound was developed to track game across rough terrain for hunters on foot. These short-legged hounds aren’t the fastest, but they can still move quicker than the humans trailing after them. As they chased the game, Basset Hounds barked, bayed, and howled, giving the hunters a sound to follow all the way to their prey.
Although modern Basset Hounds are more often kept as pets, they maintain the instinct to express their feelings through sound. These deep-chested dogs are capable of impressive vocal efforts for their size. Whether they’re excited, bored, or chasing prey like squirrels and the family cat, Basset Hounds will tell you all about it.
The Sound of Silence: Can You Quiet the Basset Hound’s Howl?
Because of their tracking and hunting heritage, hounds of all types, including Bassets are always are among the noisier dog breeds. You may not be able to completely stop the Basset from howling, but there are a few things you can try to decrease the noise.
Identify the Cause
The first step is to try and figure out what is triggering your Basset Hound to howl. For example, are your neighbors complaining that your dog howls while left home alone? Does your Basset howl when they get excited? If you’re able to identify situations where your Basset Hound is howling, you can specifically address those issues.
For example, a dog that howls when home alone may be bored and lonely. Make sure your Basset Hound has toys, safe chew objects, and other enrichments while you’re away. You can also consider hiring a pet sitter to stop by and play with your dog during the day or enroll your pup in doggy daycare. If your Basset Hound howls when they’re excited, work on helping them calm down. Provide basic obedience training so your dog responds to commands. You can even teach your dog the “quiet” command.
Motivate With Food
Basset Hounds can be stubborn, but they also really love food. Try distracting your howling dog with a tasty treat. If your dog howls for attention, make sure you’re not unintentionally reinforcing the behavior. For example, if the only time you interact with your dog is when they’re noisy or misbehaving, your Basset may view that as a positive incentive to keep doing it. Give your dog plenty of attention when they’re quiet instead.
Basset Hounds are not the most active dogs, but daily exercise not only helps them stay fit but wears them out mentally and physically. Tired dogs have less energy to howl!
Basset Hounds howl (and bark and bay) more than many other breeds. While these dogs generally make wonderful family pets, you need to be aware of their potential for noisy disruptions. Basset Hounds may not be the best option for crowded city living, but as you learned in this article, there are steps you can take to decrease their tendency to howl.
Featured Image Credit: Sidra Monreal Photography,