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Dumb dog, smart dog...dealing with frustration

5853 Views 23 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  ThoseWordsAtBest
I'm having a difficult time dealing with my frustration with training more than anything. I have two dogs. One is a 1.5 yr old cocker spaniel. He's a very sharp dog, eager to please, motivated by food and affection and learns very quickly. I can usually teach him a simple trick in just 5-6 repetitions and can get it down very solid in just a session or two. He's fun to train because he learns so quickly. My other dog is a 10 year old basset hound. I swear he's as dumb as a box of rocks. He's motivated only by food and even then, he's very easily distracted. I can be holding a hot dog and he's distracted and wondering what's on my counters or what's in the trash or what's behind the refrigerator or whatever. I'm still working on getting him to sit on a regular basis. He will sometimes do it on command to get something from me but other times he looks at me like he has no idea what is expected of him. Getting him to sit and getting him to sit calmly are a completely different thing. The latter seems to rarely happen. At one point I thought I had trained him to not jump on the counters. He never did this when I was around at least. Now he doesn't seem to care and seems to have forgotten all the training.

How do you deal with frustration in training two dogs with such different learning speeds and capacities? I'm afraid I'm getting really frustrated with the hound and it's not helping the training process.
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I really LOVE Pampered Pups responses here. I think they will work if you can out persist the dog. Out persisting will take great patience and 100% consistancy on your part but not allowing the incorrect behavior to ever happen. How you do that is your call.

Hounds are not used for obedience work for a reason. It is not that they cannot learn.. they can. It is that they are bred to do a job independent of human commands. Their link to their nose is hard wired.

I have heard all kinds of negative things regarding Bassett hounds from 'impossible to House break' (I loaned a crate to a neighbor with a Bassett he was trying to house train Their Bassett puppuy and it was returned 14 years later when the dog died.. never Could house break him..) to 'impossible to train.' I suspect the skill of the trainer coupled with the breed of dog.

Bassetts are not Poodles or Cockers or GSD's.. they are who they are! :D
When I foxhunted (back in the mid 70's) I can tell you there were hounds that responded to the Huntsman and there were those who did not. To train hounds they would "couple" the newbie to the experienced and reliable hound for the purpose of learning to respond to the Huntsman. The huntsman handled, trained and worked with the hounds at the kennel. Some huntsman (not on the hunt I was in) carried a Jack Russel Terrier or Fox Terrier ON THEIR HORSE for getting the fox shoud he "go to Ground." BTW in all the years of Fox hunting we NEVER caught a fox.... And it is OK because I, like Auntie Mame, would have likely rescued him and ridden off. :)

Some hounds NEVER learned. Often they left the pack and went missing. Most were found and NOT returned to the pack for hunting OR used for breeding. They were rehomed or PTS (in early years they were PTS). Some were never found and/or never returned.

As a member of Pony Club and (eventually) a member of the Hunt it was requested that we take Fox Hound puppies and train them in basic obedience to be returned to the Huntsman when they were about 6-8 months old. My parents would not allow me to do this....

When Beagling the training was similar. Again, this was a pack of foot beagles with a Huntsman working the hedgerows and thickets for rabbits.

Having had hound experience I would not mind the challenge of training one, but I am not up to the challenge or owning one. I have had Bassett questions.. and I have always been tempted to respond, "Well, you WANTED a Bassett hound..." :p
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