CARE AND MAINTENANCE
The Petit Basset's constitution is hardy and this should be true for most hunting breeds. Since his introduction into the show and pet scene, conscientious breeders have taken on the responsibility of screening for a variety of genetic problems which affect not only the PBGV, but the canine population as a whole. Whether the cause is genetic or environmental, no breed is free of all health problems. All our breeding stock is tested for any known disease(s) reported to have affected the breed. Our stock is screened for hip dysplasia, heart disease, eye anomalies and autoimmune disorders. Although this does not guarantee against any of these problems, we hope it will serve to significantly reduce or eliminate any occurrences in future generations.
For practicality’s sake this little hunting hound
maintenance. He has a double coat. This means he possesses a soft
undercoat covered by a harsh top-coat. A combing and brushing once
every couple of weeks is enough to keep it in good order. I have found
that these double coats are often a
problem for people suffering from dog related allergies. As with all
dogs, their nails should be kept clipped, their ears should be checked
regularly for any dirt/wax build-up or infection, and their teeth kept
free of tartar buildup. Often a PBGV will have excess hair growth in
his ear canal. This can be easily plucked out to aid in air circulation
within the ear. If you are unable to perform any of these tasks
yourself, a visit to a groomer will be necessary. If your hound is used
for hunting, there is a higher risk of his contracting a variety of
parasites, both internal and external. To maintain his good health, he
should be checked regularly for both. A regular visit to your
veterinarian at least once a year for vaccinations and a physical
check-up is mandatory.
If you are showing your
PBGV, you need only to
ensure his coat is
neat and clean. A Petit with a correct harsh coat will need
minimal grooming. A general rule is that the harsher the coat the
shorter it naturally grows, therefore, if the dog has a softer coat
texture the coat will grow to an impractical length and texture so more
grooming is required in order to keep the coat manageable.
The nail of the Petit grow quite quickly and need
cutting often, at least once a month. Start teaching your puppy
to lay quietly for a minute, then two minutes and eventually he will
also lay quietly and calmly on his side while you clip his nails.
Start with one foot one day and the other feet subsequent days.
As an adult dog you should be able to cut all the nails on all feet
quickly with little fuss.
The correct length & texture is seen in the tri-colored puppy on the right. This naturally coarse and short coat is designed for working in rough bush and repelling the elements of brambles, rain or snow.
The puppy to the left has a coat that is too soft and therefore this puppy will not be used for breeding purposes. This type of coat will absorb water and the dog will be unable to maintain his body heat if working in wet winter weather.
It is our goal to produce low-maintenance coats for our future breeding stock and for ease of care for puppy buyers.
In the winter a combination of mild weather and snow will inevitably cause snowballs to accumulate on your Petit's legs. During your walk you can pull off the larger ones with your hand but when you return home what can you do??
I use a rubber curry brush purchased at a agricultural supply store and just rub the snowballs briskly. The soft pointed rubber teeth will break apart the snowballs. I prefer the brush that is designed as a glove so my own gloved hand can fit into it. Of course, clipping the length of the leg hair also helps. By the Springtime the hair will have grown back.
For more information on health issues and PBGV care visit our Breed Information page.
TRAINING AND MANAGEMENT
Our puppies are
raised in our home and integrated with our stable pack
of adult dogs at the age of 4-5 weeks old. Until that time the
and their mother are raised with the care of respecting what Mother
dictates. The puppies are always being managed by their mother,
by the other dogs and then by us. From the time they are born
being taught limitations and boundaries. We have watched and
how our mothers raise their
and the reactions of the pups in their environment as they grow.
Our puppies are kept warm
and fed by their mother in a quiet area of our home for the first 3
weeks. They are handled daily but very minimally to respect the
natural bond of the mother and puppy. Their bedding
large whelping box is cleaned daily and at 4 weeks of age they are
moved to a large pen in the centre of our busy household. This is
our pack of dogs and ourselves become a bigger impact on the puppy's
management. At the
time, 4-5 weeks old, they are given the option of going out of
the adult dogs. By 5.5 weeks of age the puppies naturally go to
to go outside with the other dogs.
Bringing Your Puppy Home
You will receive your puppy no earlier than eight weeks of age. I feel nine to ten weeks of age is an ideal age for the puppy to leave his/her mother and littermates and start life with his new family. The puppies benefit a great deal from spending time with their mother as well as with our whole pack. At 4 weeks of age they are fully integrated into the Chaparral pack and learning how to be a well-mannered dog. We have started their house-training and their day and nighttime rituals to help make their transition to their new families easy for everyone.
No matter what
the age, it will take two to three weeks for your puppy to
learn to adjust to his new owners. You must observe
your puppy and determine his character and temperament and, if
necessary, modify certain traits. During these weeks
the puppy is learning to adapt to the sights, sounds and smells of his
surroundings--a new house, a new yard, a new environment outside of the
property lines and sometimes new pets that he is also expected to live
with. Besides his new environment he is also learning and
adapting to his new human family and the odd and confusing
ways we humans run our lives. On top of all these changes to his
young life he is also
expected to learn to sleep by himself instead of cuddled up with his
littermates, learning to go to the bathroom in a new outdoor area, and
learning some basic
good manners to be an accepted member of the family. All these
new experiences are a lot of work for a
baby puppy, or an adult dog. A Pyr Shep puppy is very aware of
environment and very affected by his environment so it is important to
keep his life simple and calm until he has adjusted and started to bond
with his new owners. Your new puppy has a lot of work to do so don't
add to his workload by pushing the limits of his endurance. Make
the first three weeks of
his life as
uncomplicated as possible. There are many, many years ahead of your
puppy to start training tricks, etc. Teach him/her new
name, the toys
can play with, the command "no bite", "off", his housetraining
training. As much as it is tempting to show off
your new puppy to your friends and start taking the puppy out and
about try to limit such new experiences to the home, property and
surrounding area where the puppy is
already becoming comfortable with his surroundings. Once the
puppy exhibits signs that he is comfortable with his new
environment and people you can start to introduce him into new
If you feel
your puppy is going to be overwhelmed in a situation, like a large
family gathering, it is sometimes best to just put the puppy away in a
place where he feels safe. Dog crates, plastic or wire, are
excellent training tools. If he can hear the goings-on or
them from a distance it is enough information to digest. If you
do not have time to be with the puppy and show him the behavior your
expect from him in any given situation then it is best if the puppy is
not left to his own devices and to put the puppy in quiet area of the
house until you have time to deal with him. Like babies, you
shouldn't let a puppy become overly tired and expect him to put on a
good performance for everyone. They too will become cranky and
irritable. Despite all the puppy's efforts to be alert and stay
with you it is up to you to know when he should be resting.
Puppies sleep a lot, if allowed.
At 10 Weeks
Now that the puppy is confidently following you along you can start to challenge him. You've been bonding with your puppy for a couple of weeks now and he is getting accustomed to your body language so now you can start to challenge his senses a little. Follow the same program as at nine weeks, but make it a bit more challenging. Occasionally hide from the puppy when it is distracted in the woods. Watch the puppy - does it notice that you are missing? If it does and starts looking for you, come out from hiding and praise it profusely. If the puppy does not look for you, toss a pebble to make it notice you are missing, then call from your hiding place. When the puppy starts to look for you, come out and praise it. This will teach the puppy, it is repeated time and time again, to watch you when you are out in the woods instead of you constantly watching the puppy. Play this game with the puppy over and over again until you find it nearly impossible to hide because it is always watching you. Don't spend your entire walk calling the puppy's name. Being able to rely on your dog taking the responsibility of staying with you and keeping his focus on you is an attribute you will appreciate when he is older and is one that he must learn as he is growing. Please note that this only works effectively if the puppy is trained at an early age.
strangers on your outings we hope
they will first ask
to pet your puppy. But, in most cases, they do not ask but just
assume it is appropriate. This is
unfortunate because a large strange hand coming directly towards the
puppy's head will usually make him shy away. It is best to hold
your puppy while you carry on a conversation with the people (usually
explaining what breed the puppy is) and ask the people to just
wait a few minutes before they touch the puppy. While standing
conversing your puppy is starting to adjust to the stranger and gaining
his confidence through your casual air. When you feel the puppy
is relaxed, or he gives you a signal such as struggling to come out of
your arms, put the puppy on the ground. The new person may then
bend over and offer a friendly hand. The puppy will usually,
quite happily, greet the stranger. You can encourage the greeting
or just allow the puppy to be part of the group thus it learns that
other people (and sometimes their dogs) pose no threat. Try to
keep the encounter brief so the puppy happily trots away with you and
has experienced a positive encounter. Always leave with the puppy
For the first two
weeks it is best to keep a low profile with the puppy. Although
the desire is to show off your new family member to all your friends is
strong, it is a good idea to first earn the trust of your puppy.
If you take the puppy to stressful venues and it has not had enough
time to start bonding with you then you are letting your puppy down and
the puppy feels that it has nobody that it is by itself and has nobody
it can rely on. If you watch your puppy carefully and learn how
the puppy communicates it will show you when it is ready to explore the
world further. It only takes time and patience to build a solid
foundation of trust and respect--be patient!
Socializing your pyr
shep puppy does not need to
involve handling by
strange people. This can all be done in good time. What the
Pyr Shep puppy needs to experience are the sights and sounds of our
world and his
world. It is enough for him to see people, see other dogs, see
traffic and other strange people activities. He doesn't need to
be thrown into the thick of things. Let him stand on the
sidelines, assess the situation and become relaxed being there.
Remember, the Pyr Shep is very sensitive to his environment--you are
his environment! If you worry how he will react, he will
react worried!! Don't worry, relax, feel confident knowing that
not put your puppy in harms way and the puppy will feed off of your
Meeting children should be a privilege
for your puppy or dog. The dog should not be allowed to go up to
a child unless you tell the dog it is OK to do so. Your dog
should show his respect with his head and ears lowered and a calm
Take a trip to the farm. Let the puppy see cows, horses, chickens and whatever else you can find. This time you can keep it on leash. Make sure the puppy is safe from the animals and can get close enough to sniff them. Be sure to have a positive attitude and act nonchalantly, as if this is what every 12 week old puppy does. All dogs should be respect for other animals and should never be allowed to harass them.
socialized puppy is far more likely to
treat a new
experience or object with curiosity and will want to discover and
explore it. If the puppy is fearful then do not belabour the
point. Do not praise fearful behavior such as barking or lunging
but show the puppy that you are in control of the situation and in
control of him and make it seem to him that you have decided to end the
confrontation (or end his barking) by distancing yourselves to a point
where the puppy feels more secure and there you can ask him to sit down
and be quiet. If your puppy is off-leash and wishes to place
itself quietly off in the distance then allow the puppy to do so.
The more you try to coax him and focus on him the more suspicious he
will become and then he will start to worry, you will start to worry
and nobody is happy.
At 13 Weeks
Take the puppy into town on a leash. This should be a short outing - perhaps 10-15 minutes as this outing is an exercise for his mind moreso than his body. Walk on a main street with light to moderate foot traffic. The puppy should see and hear people walking, bicycles, delivery people, etc. Praise the puppy with a "Good Dog" for positive behavior but if he is showing nervousness try to keep the puppy walking forward and not allow him to dwell on what it was that made him nervous in the first place. When you get back into the car pile on the praise for the puppy's remarkable feats of courage. Try to be aware of what the puppy is seeing and smelling from his point of view. Often what we take for granted is missed by our suppressed senses but is very blatant for a puppy. Don't forget to take the puppy on his regular romp as well as this daily romp should also be a great place where he can relax and enjoy an outing with his most favorite person in the world--YOU!
At 14 Weeks
Take a trip to the
beach or some other place the
puppy has never
seen. Perhaps the local grade school front lawn just when all the
pouring out. Let the puppy stand and watch all the activity without
contact with all the children. It is important for the puppy to
and assess the situation before experiencing any negativity from a
of children. Walk the puppy away from the activity with an air of
then praise the puppy when you return to the car. This exercise
can be repeated, not too often, and eventually the puppy will become
accustomed the all this flurry of activity. Do not allow a
puppy to bark at children as that is being very rude on his part.
Pyr Sheps have
remarkable memories and each new
retained for many weeks so it is not necessary to expose a puppy daily.
This is a bad time to subject your puppy to stress such as airplane trips, a visit with the veterinarian, a boarding kennel or any other threatening situation. Many puppies are very fearful at this age and this should be a quiet time in their lives.
In general, Pyr
Sheps do not enjoy the company of
often not under the control of their owners. I recommend exposing
puppy to the presence of other dogs without direct
Until the puppy has learned to react to the presence of other dogs in a
positive manner, his first reaction is often one of fear which will
only grow into aggression if left to his own devices. Your puppy
needs to know he can
trust your good sense. Teach your puppy to sit calmly by your
ignore the other dog(s). Discourage the other dogs from
approaching your puppy unless you are absolutely sure that the other
dog will behave quietly around your puppy. Once your puppy
realizes that you are in control of his surroundings and that there is
option available to him he will not feel the need to react in a
negative manner like snapping and barking at the other dog. As
grows up and matures he will learn he can count on your good sense to
protect him and will eventually learn that strange dogs are not the
threat he once perceived them to be when he was a
wee little thing. He will then be comfortable in meeting strange
or better yet, ignoring them completely and allowing you both to
continue on your walks without any fuss. He may even want to have
a little play with another dog.
At 20 Weeks >
NOT FORGET THAT A TIRED PUPPY IS MORE
LIKELY TO BE A
WELL BEHAVED PUPPY! THESE LITTLE
AT LEAST ONE HOUR
WALK EACH DAY TO BURN OFF EXCESS
left with a dog with manageable energy! Many behavior problems
result of inadequate exercise for
this active breed.
When I am walking our
dogs and we see another pedestrian or dog walker coming towards us I
call our dogs over to one side and ask them to "sit" or
down" and "stay" & "leave it" so my dogs will ignore the
walker & his dog. We
wait for the other person to walk by then continue on our walk.
If I have a very young puppy, <3months, I will often just pick the
puppy up and hold him in my arms.
These actions show
your dog what good manners are expected in any given situation.
not bothering people that do not have a dog, and he is learning to
listen to you, to be patient while awaiting further instruction as well
as developing confidence in your ability to take
care of his well-being while looking out for his best interests.
is also learning that strange people and dogs are not to be feared and
that you do not need his protection, but instead, you
will protect him. Never allow your puppy to try to figure
out how he should react to a person, another dog, or any new
situation. You should always show him how you want him to
behave. Practice makes perfect. If you having your puppy or
adult dog continually practice behavior that demonstrates good manners
then the dog will eventually perfect this behavior and it will become
the norm for him. If you allow your puppy or dog to continually
demonstrate fearful and aggressive behavior then you are allowing your
dog to practice this undesirable behavior and unfortunately, he will
only get good at this as well!!
If we haven't answered your questions on this webpage
then do not hesitate to email us or visit our Facebook Page
and make an inquiry. We are happy to share our expertise.
DO YOU NEED TO KEEP YOUR PETIT PHYSICALLY FIT and YOURSELF COMFORTABLE?
In the U.S.A. http://www.muckbootcompany.com/
A handy little boot for
the wet grass.
A walking partner, especially one with a well-mannered dog, will be an excellent socialization exercise for a puppy, as well as make the time fly by chit-chatting!
Either of these types of metal combs will keep his coat in order if you comb on a weekly basis.<> Search for "curry brush" or "gel scrubbie curry comb" for the winter snowball removal. Or they are also wonderful for massaging your best friend.