With large domed heads, floppy ears, sad eyes, and a long body, Basset Hounds are truly one of a kind and instantly recognizable! These dogs are part of the hound breed ground, as you might have guessed, and despite their awkward framing, they’re powerful and able to move in a deliberate and effortless manner. They’re also stubborn at times but they’re fiercely loyal to their people.
These dogs are medium in size, as they’re generally 11-15 inches tall and 45-65 pounds. They have long, floppy ears that often drag on the ground and a droopy face. Despite their short and heavy look, these dogs are actually very strong and able to usually move in a very graceful way.
- DID YOU KNOW? ‘Basset’ comes from the French adjective ‘bas’, which means ‘low’ or ‘dwarf’, which means that their name is an apt description of these hounds!
This breed initially comes from France and Belgium and some say that the friars of the Abbey of St. Hubert were responsible for the development. The Basset has an incredibly accurate and persistent nose, which made them popular among French aristocrats who used them in hunting. In fact, Basset Hounds are only second to Bloodhounds when it comes to scent accuracy on the hunting trail.
Compared to other dogs, like golden retrievers, Basset Hounds don’t seem that affectionate or happy but they’re still a great family dog and wonderful companions. Their floppy ears and droopy face make them seem perpetually sad but they’re actually very friendly to their family, kids, dogs, and strangers! However, it is important to remember that this breed was bred to be hunting dogs so many will have a strong prey drive and wanderlust potential.
According to DogTime, this breed can easily adapt to apartment living, in part because they’re low energy, polite dogs. However, they do have a tendency to bark and howl at times and tend to drool and shed quite a bit! Additionally, these dogs feel better in a pack so being left alone for long periods of time can make them unhappy or anxious. If you work from home or have another dog, a basset hound would be an amazing companion! Basset hounds should also live inside with their families, as they’re not suited for extreme heat or cold.
As mentioned, bassets can be stubborn and independent at times, especially when there is something more exciting to pay attention to than you! Training should include consistency, patience, and positive reinforcements with treats and praise. The Dog Training Club has a few recommendations for training these hounds. For example, train inside, as the outside has so many distracting smells and these dogs will probably want to sniff something than listen to you. Additionally, be patient and make the training fun for you and the dog! Interesting training sessions can help keep your basset hound’s attention on you.
For grooming and general care, Bassets can be fairly easy to take care of! They rarely need baths (unless they rolled in something gross…), as their short, dense coats protect them and repel any dirt or water. However, they do shed year round so weekly brushing will be key. And because of their long ears that drag on the ground, cleaning their ears one a week with a vet recommended solution will help keep their ears clean and free from ear infections.
These dogs, like many others, can develop health problems so it’s important to keep an eye out for any symptoms (to treat things early) and keep your basset healthy with good food and exercise. Bassets will happily become couch potatoes and will beg for scraps at the dinner table. However, keeping them at a healthy weight is vital because weight gain can cause problems for their long backs. Other potential issues include ear infections (as mentioned), hip dysplasia, cherry eye, eyelid/eyelash problems, glaucoma, and more. Regular vet checks with a great veterinarian team and care like a good diet and exercise can really help this breed!
If you’re looking for a family dog or a dog to fit in with other pets or even kids, a basset hound could be an amazing addition. With proper care (including daily walks) and regular, consistent training, these dogs are wonderful additions to most homes. Like with any breed, getting a Basset Hound is a big decision and can be a 10+ year commitment.