Basset Hounds are great at Tracking Games

Tracking, or outdoor scent games, are a bit different from the indoors stuff. Indoors your dog learns air scent games. He raises his head, takes a good sniff and can locate an object. Tracking, also known as trailing, is following the path of a person. It can also mean following animal tracks.

In tracking, the dog sniffs the ground instead of air. Basset Hounds are able to follow a trail for miles, tracking being one of the most useful skills a dog can have. Police use scent hounds to track down fleeing criminals. Search and rescue teams use dogs trailing abilities to find lost people.

Of course, this kind of activity takes special training and most of us don’t have that well-trained dog. But that doesn’t stop us from having some fun tracking. Before you start make sure your puppy is at least 3 months old. There’s no need to rush, you’ll keep playing tracking games well into his senior years. You have all the time in the world.

What do you need to play tracking games with your Basset Hound?

Treats and a small field are no-brainers. You need treats to lure him into playing, and you need some place to play without lots of small rocks around that could hurt his nose. Try to find a place without any high grass; dogs don’t have an instinct to close their eyes if they encounter something pointy.

Besides, you don’t want to take the chance so just find a plain field. It doesn’t even have to be long. Aside from food and fields you’re going to need a harness. A normal leash collar is not a good idea. In tracking the dog will lead you, if he pulls on the leash he will start to choke on the collar.

Getting a harness is not complicated; find one with soft materials such as cotton. Make sure the harness fits him well and is secure on his chest. It’s beneficial to get an adjustable harness. Also, you might want to have a longer leash than normal.

Finally, you need a glove with lots of treats at the supposed end of the trail. Also, keep a mind out for what kind of treats you bring to the table. At first you won’t have any problems because you’ll only lay a short track for him to follow.

However, as you make the tracks lengthier you’ll find that other creatures start taking an interest in your little game. Birds, rodents and bugs are all fun-breakers. One thing that seems to keep other animals away yet, is still attractive to dogs, are dehydrated lamb lung pieces.

Laying the track for your Basset Hound

Away from traffic, pick an area with small grass and have your dog held by another person, ready in his harness. If you don’t have a friend with you, you can just tie him securely.

Place one foot on the ground, and a treat right at the tip of your toe. Take a small step with your other foot and place another treat at that foots tip. After a mighty 10 baby steps have the big glove with lots of treats in it. Be generous.

Get back to your dog, grab the leash and give the command. “Track”, “Trail” and “Find” work nicely. If he doesn’t get started point the first treat to him. Once he’s rolling go along with him until he reaches the glove. There praise him for the jackpot, he’s a hero.

Now you can start spacing the area he has to go. The longer version is to make every other treat 2 baby steps apart instead of one. Eventually you’ll have him going through corners and whatnot.

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