The Basset Hound is a short-legged breed of dog in the hound family. They are heavier in bone, size considered, than any other breed of dog. Basset Hounds have large pendulous ears, known as leathers, that do not allow air to circulate inside them. In temperament they are mild, never sharp or timid. They are capable of great endurance in the field and is extreme in its devotion.
Country of Origin: France
AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 39 of 196
AKC Classification: Hound group
UKC Classification: Scent hounds
Exercise Requirements: Daily walk
Height: Female: 13 inches; Male: 14 inches
Weight: Female: 40-60 lbs; Male: 40-60 lbs
Physical traits: Short-legged, Heavy, Bulky
Coat: Length: Short
Colors: Any recognized hound color
Overall Grooming Needs: Low
Personality traits/Temperament: Charming, Patient, Low-Key
Energy Level: Laid back
Tendency to Drool: High
Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: Low
Tendency to Dig: Low
Social/Attention Needs: Moderate
Basset hounds are plagued with health issues throughout their lives. Their life expectency is 12 to 13 years. The Basset Hound’s short stature is due to the genetic condition osteo-chondrodysplasia. In addition to ear problems, basset hounds may be susceptible to eye issues. Because of their droopy eyes the area under the eyeball can collect dirt and become clogged with a mucus. Because of the Basset’s ears are long and droopy, it’s important to check them frequently to ensure that air circulation hasn’t led to an infection. Shaking the head or scratching at the ears may indicate the need for a vet visit. Some dogs can develop itchy skin conditions where baths with a high quality dog shampoo and conditioner is recommended. Flea control is also essential.
The Basset hound needs high-quality dog food, whether manufactured commercially or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate according to the dog’s stage (puppy, adult, or senior). Add a high quality multivitamin to complete the nutritional circle. Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, which needs to be checked. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.
Basset Hounds are very independent, and training the breed can be a challenge. Over the centuries, scent hounds of this type were developed to hunt on their own and to follow a track without distraction. Because of this, they can seem aloof and not interested in following your commands. However, a Basset definitely can be trained—it will just take time, consistency, and persistence. Using treats and early socialization in puppyhood is crucial, and as the Basset matures he and his owner can benefit from continued positive obedience training.
Basset Hounds are not as active as some breeds, but they do require regular, moderate exercise. Usually a daily walk at a moderate pace will fill the bill. Use paw balm daily to protect their feet. Exercise will help to keep the Basset healthy and prevent him from becoming overweight. Since the breed was developed to work in a pack with other dogs, Bassets enjoy canine company on their outings, and the breed can be quite playful. After a walk or play session they’ll typically settle down for a comfortable sleep.
They are the second-best sniffers in the canine kingdom.
Victoria the basset hound was elected co-mayor of Concord, Ontario, in 2011.
1. American Kennel Club. [accessed 2020 Nov 28]. https://www.akc.org/
2. Dog Breeds | Hill’s Pet. [accessed 2020 Nov 28]. https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/breeds
3. List of Dog Breeds | Petfinder. [accessed 2020 Nov 28]. https://www.petfinder.com/dog-breeds/
4. All Dog Breeds - Complete List of Dog Profiles. [accessed 2020 Nov 28]. https://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/profiles
5. Dog Breeds | Types of Dogs | Purina. [accessed 2020 Nov 28]. https://www.purina.com/dogs/dog-breeds