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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:15 am 
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I want a rabbit dog. One that I can foot hunt with. One that I can trust with small children. One that can do double duty as a family pet. I live in a two story house and have read that Bassets can't climb stairs--is that true?
I live in California and will also hunt big mean desert Jackrabbits. I'm planning to move to Missouri in a year or two, maybe three--I have family there. I don't want a dog that will take off on a trail and never come back.
I'm totally new to rabbit hunting, but want a mellow easy to handle rabbit dog. Previous dog experience included an uncontrollable lab, a great American Bulldog pighunter, various bull breeds. Also considering a beagle but they don't seem to meet the easy to handle or not take off and never come back criteria.
Am I on the right track?


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:13 am 
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Location: Washington State, US
I don't hunt with my Basset, but that's what they were bread for...hunting rabbits. I'm sure others can help you out better in regards to that.

As for the stairs, mine can climb them with no problems. He is slow with fewer steps and likes to go as fast as possible up a large flight of stairs.

Bassets are great with kids. I don't have any children yet, but he has been around them a couple of times. With anyone else he loves to run up to them and try to maul them, but the first time he saw a small child (about 2 years old) he ran up to him and stopped short just wagging his tail and absolutely loved when the little boy gave him attention. He never licked, bit, or tried to jump on him.

They are great house pets as well but stubborn as heck as I'm sure you will learn if you read some posts on this site. They are unlike any bread you will ever own...you can't help but love them.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:53 am 
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Nick, my opinion on Bassets and Kids -- I'll let the pictures tell the story:

Going up stairs? They had no problem jumping up on the hotel bed to sleep with my son.

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In the Field - My 8 year old son handles these 2 bassets himself (he was 6 in these pics):

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A Basset can be both hunter and family pet.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:51 pm 
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Either a beagle or basset will meet the criteria. Bassets are slower and will usually allow you to keep up with them.. Their disposition is less about trying to please their master than other dogs and more about getting attention.

Beagles will not stay with you in the field, but they are not suppose to. they are bred to chase rabbits ahead. Rabbits will circle and a properly trained beagle will circle them back to you. Beagles also have a much better sense of direction than a basset and most will be able to find their way back to where ever you parked or started from if they get separated and cannot hear you call. My dad and I hunted rabbits with beagles the whole time I was growing up. If any of his dogs got lost my dad would throw his hunting jacket on the ground near where we parked and we would go home, they were always there sleeping on his jacket the next morning.

From the basset I had I would not expect a basset to have any clue where they were once they could no longer hear me call. Personally I now prefer bassets, but beagles are very cool dogs too, and if I was to start hunting again I would still stick with bassets.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 4:01 pm 
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Location: Wiltshire UK
hi Nick, welcome to the forum.

Bassets and Beagles are very similar for hunting apart from a beagle is alot faster and agile than a basset but the basset will have a better nose than a beagle. I have both....not one of them has ever caught a rabbit..in fact by my avatar....mine love rabbits :roll:

As for stairs....a puppy basset, i would never let a puppy climb up or down stairs or even jump on the sofa because of there developing bone structure....but an adult basset because the growing stage has settled we let ours up and down.

hope this helps a little

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