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Ask Alecia: My Basset Hound Barks SO Loudly!

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Hi, I adopted a basset hound–he is a 3-year-old male–and brought him into a home with a 5-year-old male Cocker Spaniel, and 10-Year-old male indoor-only cat. He is a good, albeit goofy dog—and usually gets along with the others. (All have been neutered.)

Anyway, he barks sooooo loudly–at ANYTHING: a leaf blowing in the yard, a cat walking across the street…when he gets barking, the cocker will begin to chime in–he was always pretty quiet—so, the cocker will start barking, even though he doesn’t know what he is barking at–my daughter gets upset at the noise, and YELLS for him to stop.

As you can see, it sometimes becomes a circus—I tell my daughter not to yell, but rather keep a calm voice, because her yelling just adds to the excitement–any suggestions on me not having to get noise cancelling headphones? The basset (75 pounds) also tends to jump. –Stephanie

Dear Stephanie,

I love Basset Hounds, I have one myself. They are very smart dogs and learn quickly. And I completely understand where your daughter is coming from as they can have a very loud bark.

Whenever I have a client who has a rescue dog, I recommend doing retraining with the dog. I suggest this because most dogs given up have a little left over trauma not to mention some undesirable behaviors as is often why they are given up.

While most adoptees have huge hearts and want to make up in human love for the dogs past trauma what a rescue dog needs most is clear boundaries and to learn its place in the pack as soon as possible. The reason I stress retraining is more about the bonding process and the dog learning its place and how to integrate into the pack which will calm the dog quicker than anything.

I suggest working with sits, stays, comes, downs and calm walking on the leash. Do five minutes of training 2-3x a day letting the dog know what you expect from him and that learning is fun and a good thing. Your daughter can have a lot of fun with this as you teach her to work with the dogs and become his calm confident leader. A treat can be give for each correct response to a command.

I suggest the retraining as well because a barking dog is usually a stressed dog, learning commands and how to redirect energy teaches your dog how to harness his energy, making for a calmer dog. A calmer dog that does not need to be in charge because the humans are in charge will bark less.

You may want to enroll in a local dog training class that teaches you to teach your dog the basic commands in a kind and positive manner and this will also assist in helping your dog to be OK in situations that are now exciting him.

Paws Up! Alecia

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Alecia Evans is the inventor of The Walk In Sync™ Humane Dog Walking and Training System with her exclusive 5 Minute Manners Makeovers using the Walk In Sync™ Harness and Accu-Grip Leash, along with her Walk In Sync™ 3 Easy Steps to teach any human/dog duos to Walk In Sync in just minutes.

The former host of the award-winning GrassRoots Aspen TV Series, The Whole Animal-An Alternative Approach to Animal Care, Alecia takes a natural approach to dog training and health care. Her work has been featured on Fox and Friends, The Sandra Glosser Show, NY 1, and in Aspen Magazine,, The New York Daily News and Woof Report.

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