How do you motivate a lazy basset hound?

Our question this week was:

I have a very lazy basset hound and he loves the couch and only moves for the words walk and food so how should I get him active?


Brooke DiMaggio


Hi – thanks for your email. Basset Hounds are generally considered low energy dogs (in my experience). You said he is motivated for walks so the easiest way to get him more active sounds like it would be walks – that is to go on longer walks or more frequent walks.

Another thing to consider is "what motivates your dog?" Most dogs have play and toy preferences. An article that might help you is Dog Toys – How to figure out what your dog likes best. Once you figure out what toys or games best motivate your dog, get a couple and encourage play time. If your dog is "motivated" by treats, you can also offer low calorie treats as a positive reward for playing.

You can also consider another dog that could be a play mate or organizing some "play dates". An article that might be helpful is Play Dates – are they right for your dog?

Make sure he is otherwise healthy, that is making sure he is eating well, drinking well and seems to feel okay. If you have any concerns about his health, I'd recommend that you see your veterinarian.

An article that might be helpful to you is Get in Shape with your Dog – Take the PetPlace Challenge

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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