Basset Hound: Care & Characteristics of the Dog Breed

basset hound outside

A medium-sized French hound breed, the Basset Hound is distinguished by its floppy ears, small legs, large snout, wrinkled skin, and short hair. Bassets, one of the most well-known hound canines, are second only to Bloodhounds in terms of their keen sense of scent and capacity for tracking. This breed stands out for its distinctive color and endearing, individual personality in addition to being easily recognized because to its silky ears.

Basset Hounds are renowned for being obstinate, yet they are also incredibly devoted and loyal. For the correct owners, they make wonderful family dogs since they are often well-behaved and relaxed at home. Although training this breed is notoriously difficult, there is a good explanation for its passionate fan base. The Basset Hound is as affectionate at home as it is determined while pursuing a scent, and it is full of personality and energetic antics.


Height: Up to 15 inches

Weight: 40 to 65 pounds

Coat: Short, smooth fur

Coat Color: Combinations of black, brown, tan, white, lemon, mahogany, and red

Life Span: 12 to 13 years

Temperament: Loving, stubborn, playful, sweet-tempered, friendly

Hypoallergenic: No

Origin: France

Characteristics of the Basset Hound

Along with having a keen sense of smell, Basset Hounds are renowned for being incredibly friendly, lively, and dedicated to their families. As long as it is properly socialized, this breed gets along well with kids, other dogs, and even cats.

Since Basset Hounds were developed to function in packs, they will thrive when with other dogs. They may also be highly gregarious and fun, despite the fact that their dispositions are frequently subdued and quiet at home. Your Basset will be delighted to come relax inside after playing outdoors for any amount of time because they are known for their enjoyment of napping on the couch. Despite their great intelligence, Bassets prefer to utilize it for their own ends rather than complying with their masters' wishes. But with a lot of love and care, they may be trained to be obedient dogs for a committed family.

Affection Level High
Friendliness Medium
Kid-Friendly High
Pet-Friendly Medium
Exercise Needs Medium
Playfulness Medium
Energy Level Medium
Trainability Low
Intelligence High
Tendency to Bark High
Amount of Shedding Medium

History of the Basset Hound

It is said that Basset Hounds were initially produced in France and Belgium when friars of the Abbey of St. Hubert mixed ancestors of previous French canine breeds to produce a low-built scenthound. In truth, the French term "bas" means "low" and, on occasion, "dwarf." The idea was to create a dog that could hunt bunnies and deer while being trailed by a human hunting companion on foot across difficult terrain. Bassets were a preferred breed among French nobility who enjoyed hunting because of their precision in tracking.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized the Basset Hound for the first time in 1885, making it the organization's tenth created breed. George Washington is thought to have had Basset Hounds. After the American Revolutionary War, Lafayette, a French aristocrat and military commander who led American forces in numerous engagements, gave these dogs as presents. The Basset Hound Club of America was established in the US in 1935.

Basset Hound Care

While Bassets require less activity than many other hunting dogs, they still need their owners to devote a lot of time and care to training. These obstinate and strong-willed dogs are inclined to disregard instruction in favor of play, rewards, and other enjoyable diversionary activities. Your Basset may, however, learn positive habits at home if you are consistent and provide rewards. This short-coated breed merely requires basic maintenance in the grooming sector.


Even though Basset Hounds may not be the most athletic or the quickest canines, they still need to be physically active on a daily basis. The daily schedule for these hounds should involve 30 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise. Long walks are an excellent approach to keep this breed active because bassets are known for their tenacity. Running about in the backyard with toys and family members will probably become a favorite pastime for them because they are also quite lively. Exercise may help keep your Basset healthy and avoid weight gain, which is something that these food-motivated dogs are particularly prone to.


Despite having short hair, Basset Hounds need to be groomed frequently. They are also renowned for shedding a lot. Plan on giving your dog a once-weekly brushing with a soft brush or shedding tool to reduce shedding and maintain healthy skin. Additionally, it's crucial to incorporate periodic washes when your Basset's coat starts to seem noticeably dusty.

Like many dog breeds, Basset Hounds require routine tooth brushing and nail trimming. This breed also requires frequent cleaning of their ears to remove buildup and debris. Dogs with floppy ears are more likely to develop ear infections than other breeds, and the large ears of the Basset Hound make them particularly moisture-prone. Check for indications of infection including redness, irritation, swelling, strange odor, or dogs tossing their heads and scratching at their ears. once a week using an ear cleaner suitable for pets and a cotton ball. Consult your veterinarian as soon as possible to get a prescription for medicine if any of these symptoms are present.


Training Bassets isn't always simple because they are a breed that is regarded as being quite independent and obstinate. When pups are as young as eight weeks old, basic obedience training should start, and it has to be repeated numerous times daily.

Bassets and other scenthounds were developed throughout time to hunt independently, which required them to follow a trail without being sidetracked. They continue to be primarily focused in pursuing their own wants as a result. Training will take more time, patience, and persistence because Basset Hounds can look distant and uninterested in obeying their owners' directions. During training sessions, this breed will respond favorably to rewards (given in moderation) and encouraging remarks. Avoid using punishment-based training approaches since they might increase Bassets' resistance to it. They should be properly socialized from a young age, just like any dogs.

Common Health Problems

Although the Basset Hound is mostly a healthy breed, it is nonetheless prone to some genetic health problems like most purebreds. Prior to breeding, ethical breeders check the parent dogs for genetic disorders in an effort to uphold high standards. When adopting a puppy, always request the medical history of the litter from the breeder.

The following are common conditions associated with Basset Hounds:

  • and : Dysplasia is caused by a malformation in the joints, and severe cases may require surgery to help your dog live comfortably.
  • : Also known as underactive thyroid, this disease prevents the body from producing normal levels of important hormones. It can cause weight gain, lethargy, and skin and coat problems.
  • : This painful eye condition causes pressure to build inside the eye, and it requires care from a veterinarian as soon as possible.
  • : Similar to a "trick knee" in humans, this condition causes your dog's knee to pop in and out of place.
  • Bleeding disorders: Diseases like and platelet disorders can prevent the dog's blood from clotting normally, so owners need to be proactive by preventing injury.

Diet and Nutrition

High-quality commercial dog food or home-made dog food that is created with a veterinarian's approval should work well for Basset Hounds. Water that is both clean and fresh should always be accessible. Treats should be provided sparingly, as with other breeds, and their food should be restricted to prevent obesity- or weight-related problems. Given that Bassets are particularly prone to gaining weight, it is recommended to consult your veterinarian to come up with a balanced diet and portion plan depending on the age, weight, and amount of activity of your particular dog.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Basset Hound

When owners are unprepared for their particular care requirements, Basset Hounds, like many other hound breeds, may find themselves in shelters. These canines are notoriously obstinate and noisy, preferring to bay or howl rather than bark. Before adopting a Basset Hound, get information from trustworthy breeders, rescue organizations, and other owners. If you're confident the Basset is the breed for you, look for Basset Hounds in need of forever homes at your neighborhood shelter and breed-specific rescue organizations.

It's crucial to conduct your homework if you intend to adopt from a breeder. Find a competent breeder who easily shares the medical history of the litter with you, exposes you to the parent dogs, and demonstrates that the puppies were nurtured in a cozy, secure indoor environment. Breeders normally charge between $600 and $1,500 for Basset Hound puppies, however costs may be higher depending on lineage and supply.

The national breed club, breed-specific rescues, and the AKC can help you find your next best friend:

  • Basset Hound Club of America Rescue
  • Basset Hound Club of America Breeders
  • AKC Basset Hound Breeders

Basset Hound Overview

  • Mild-tempered and charming

  • Loyal and devoted

  • Great with children and other pets

  • Can be stubborn and difficult to train

  • High shedding coats

  • Prone to ear infections

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

If you love the Basset Hound, you may also like these similar hound breeds:

There's a whole world of out there that can join your family. With a little research, you can find your perfect match to bring home!

  • Is a Basset Hound a Good House Dog?

    Basset Hounds are well-liked family canines because of their amiable dispositions. Prospective owners should be aware of this breed's tendency for stubbornness, which can make training challenging.

  • Do Basset Hounds Cuddle?

    Basset Hounds are a cuddly canine breed that is very devoted to and kind to its people. Bassets get along nicely with kids and are often pleased to cuddle up with their owners inside the house.

  • Are Basset Hounds Good for First-Time Owners?

    For owners who can put up with a rebellious dog that goes after its own wants, Basset Hounds are a terrific breed. They can therefore be challenging for novice owners, but the correct household may find their placid nature to be the ideal fit.