Updated 09-07-2023

Basset Hound Characteristics, Facts & Traits

Some sections of the United States still employ the Basset Hound dog breed for hunting small animals like rabbits, which it was originally bred for. When they're not on the hunt for a rabbit, they're easy going family buddies that enjoy spending time with children.

These canines are great for first-time dog owners since they are easy to train, friendly, and laid back. However, if you want your dog to maintain a healthy weight and avoid weight-related health problems, you'll need to put in some effort and offer him nutritious food. If you can keep your Basset active, no matter how much they resist, you'll have a loyal companion for many years to come.

The following section contains detailed information on the Basset Hound breed.


  • As with any breed of hound, Basset Hounds are known for their stubbornness and inability to be housebroken. Recommendation: Crate training.
  • It doesn't matter how much risk Basset Hounds face in pursuit of an attractive smell. If you're not in an enclosed yard, make sure your Basset is always on a leash. Make sure he reacts effectively to the "Come" order by enrolling him in an obedience class. Train him with kindness and gentleness. Harsh training methods don't work well with hounds of any kind because they tend to think for themselves.
  • Many Basset Hounds are euthanized because they "drool too much," according to animal welfare organisations. While drinking, they tend to make a mess because of the loose skin surrounding their mouths. A Basset Hound isn't the dog for you if you're a meticulous housekeeper who can't stand slobber.
  • Flatulence is common in Basset Hounds. Ask your veterinarian whether this is a frequent occurrence. Changing one's diet may be beneficial..
  • As a breed, Basset Hounds are particularly susceptible to obesity. In the event that they are given the opportunity, they are prone to overindulging in their favourite foods. They can develop joint and back problems if they gain too much weight. Your Basset's condition should dictate how much food you give it, not the label on the bag or can.
  • As a precaution against bloat, which can be fatal in Basset Hounds, it's best to feed them in little portions throughout the day rather than one huge one. You should keep an eye on your Basset Hound for approximately an hour after eating to make sure he's not overexerting himself.
  • Every week, you should inspect and clean your Basset's long ears in order to prevent ear infections. Depending on how much dirt they gather up while dragging on the ground, you may find yourself washing your ears even more frequently.
  • Basset Hounds can howl loudly, especially if they are left alone for long periods of time.
  • Your Basset Hound is strong and surprisingly agile for its little legs, but it's important to dissuade him from doing things like jumping out of a car. Ensure his safety by picking him up and supporting his back.
  • As puppies, basset hounds might have joint issues. Don't let your puppy play too rough, and don't let him jump on your furniture if you don't want him to.
  • Basset Hounds can't swim well because they carry two-thirds of their weight in the front of their bodies. Swimming pools are dangerous places for your Basset Hound, so don't let him fall in.
  • Never buy a puppy from a backyard breeder, puppy mill, or pet store if you want a healthy dog. If you're looking for a puppy that's free of hereditary illnesses and has a healthy disposition, you should look for a respected breeder.


Social Appearance 


A little dog isn't inherently better for an apartment than a larger one, contrary to popular opinion. Many tiny dogs have too much energy and are too yappy to live in an apartment building. An apartment dog's best attributes include being quiet, low energy, somewhat peaceful indoors, and respectful to the other inhabitants. You may also get a great dog kennel here to give your pet a little more privacy in your home.

Sensitivity Level

The faintest whiff of filth is enough to make some dogs flee, but this isn't true for all canines. When it comes to handling loud noises, an aggressive owner, and an unpredictability in their routine, "easy-going," "tolerant," and "resilient" dogs are more equipped. When it comes to your personal life, do you host a lot of parties, have small children, or otherwise lead a frantic existence? It's best to go with an animal that isn't too delicate.


As long as you don't instruct them not to strain on the leash, you'll find that vigorous dogs conduct all of their activities with tremendous vigour: they eat and drink with large mouthfuls, and even strain on the leash (unless you teach them not to). When it comes to manners, these dynamos require extensive training and may not be the greatest choice for a family with children or someone who is older or feeble. On the other hand, a dog with poor vitality adopts a more reserved demeanor.

Potential for Playfulness

There are certain dogs that are always looking for a game, while there are others that are more stoic and reserved. Think about how many games of fetch or tag your dog will need to play each day, as well as if you have children or other canines who can act as playmates for it.

Personality Appearance


Sheep herder dogs, for example, need to exercise their bodies in the same way that working dogs, such as those trained for jobs requiring judgement and intellect, such as police dogs, need. If they do not receive enough cerebral stimulation, they may resort to self-employment such as digging and chewing. It's a great way to give a dog a cerebral workout through activities like agility and search and rescue.

Energy Level

High-energy dogs are always ready to take action. Because they were initially bred for a specific purpose, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding animals, they have the stamina to put in a long day's work. Animals like this need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation, and they're more likely to run around, leap, and investigate any new sights or smells they come across.

If your dog isn't very energetic, resting is their favourite mode of entertainment. You should consider your own level of activity and lifestyle before deciding on a dog, and if you find a playful, energetic dog exhilarating or frustrating.

Easy To Train

Easy-to-teach dogs are more competent at learning fast and easy how to associate a stimulus (such the phrase "sit") with an action (such as sitting) and a reward (such as a treat). Other dogs require more time, patience, and repetition to learn.

You'll need to utilize incentives and games to get your dog excited about training because many breeds are intelligent but have a "What's in it for me?" training mentality.

Family Affection Level

Affectionate With Family

There are certain breeds that remain distant and independent, while others form deep bonds with one individual and are uninterested in others; while still others demonstrate their love for the entire family. There are several factors that contribute to a dog's ability to create a close link with a human, not only the type of breed.


Having a blasé attitude about screaming, running youngsters, and being gentle with children are all characteristics of a dog that is good with children. Some of the names on the list may come as a shock to you: Fierce-looking Both Boxers and American Staffordshire Terriers are regarded as family dogs (which are considered Pit Bulls). Chihuahuas, being little, sensitive, and prone to snapping, aren't always the most family-friendly of dogs.

Dog Friendly

Dog friendship and human friendship are two completely different things. People-friendly dogs can be aggressive or domineering against their canine counterparts. Some dogs would rather play than fight, and yet others would flee in terror. It's not just a genetic issue. Puppies who were raised in close proximity to their littermates and mother for at least the first six to eight weeks of their lives are more likely to develop good social skills.

Physical Appearance

Amount of Shedding

In order to keep a dog in the house, you'll have to cope with dog hair all over your clothes and in your house. However, the amount of shedding varies greatly among dog breeds. It's possible for dogs to shed all year long or only a few times a year, and it's also possible for certain dogs to shed both ways or very little. If you're a neat freak, go for a breed that doesn't shed much, or adjust your standards. Keeping your home a little cleaner is easy with the help of a good deshedding device.

Drooling Potential

Drool-prone dogs may leave large, wet slobber stains on your clothing and slobber ropes down your arm when they come over to say hello to you. As long as you don't mind a bit of drool, go for it; but if you're more concerned about cleanliness, you may want to look for a dog with an acceptable grade for the amount of saliva it produces.

Easy To Groom

Some dogs may be brushed and go, while others need to be bathed, clipped, and otherwise groomed on a regular basis in order to maintain their health and cleanliness. Grooming a dog that requires a lot of time and patience may not be in your best interest if you do not have the time or the money to do so.

Exercise Needs

Certain types of dogs can get plenty of exercise just by going for a walk in their neighbourhood. Herdsmen and hunters, in particular, must engage in frequent, strenuous activity as part of their training regimens.

If these breeds don't get enough exercise, their pent-up energy may manifest itself in undesired behaviours like barking, chewing, and digging. People who enjoy spending time outside or who want to train their dog for a high-intensity canine sport like agility should consider getting a dog that needs a lot of exercise.

Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed


50 to 65 pounds


10 to 12 years


Up to 14 inches tall at the shoulder


Basset Hounds are thought to have descended from a mix between an older French dog breed and an older Belgian dog breed by the friars of the Abbey of St. Hubert. Indeed, the word "bas" translates in French to "low" and even "dwarf" in some cases. The idea was to create a dog that could handle tough terrain while being trailed by a human hunter on foot as they pursued bunnies and deer in the wilderness. Aristocrats in France who enjoyed hunting favoured Bassets for their tracking abilities, which made them a popular option for the breed.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognised the Basset Hound for the first time in 1885, making it the organization's 10th officially recognised breed. According to legend, George Washington was an owner of a Basset Hound. Several of Lafayette's dogs were given to the United States after the American Revolutionary War as a token of gratitude from the French aristocrat and military officer. The Basset Hound Club of America was founded in the United States in 1935.

Personality and temperament

The basset hound is a sociable and easy-going breed of canine. It's not uncommon for them to get along well with other dogs and other pets, as they were originally bred to hunt together. People-oriented Basset Hounds have a good rapport with children. It is difficult to train basset hounds because of their stubbornness. To bring out the best in them, you'll need a firm, patient hand and a lot of inventiveness. Bassets have a reputation for being barkers and diggers due to their thick claws and strong feet. The desire to hunt is still strong, and if they are not kept in a secure location, they will go out on their own.

Basset hounds were bred for endurance and stamina on the trail, despite their diminutive appearance. Small-game hunters preferred them because of their ability to track a smell for long periods of time. Today's basset hounds are just as happy taking a long walk and spending the rest of the day relaxing around the house as they are being employed as pack hunting dogs. They're only looking for a cosy location to cuddle up next to you, their best friend. Scent games are a fun way to keep your basset hound cognitively and physically engaged if you like to be more active.

Types of Basset Hound

  • Classic Basset Hounds
  • Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen
  • Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen
  • Basset Artesien Normand
  • Basset Bleu De Gascogne
  • Basset Fauve De Bretagne


They require less physical activity than many other hunting dogs, but Bassets require a lot of time and patience from their owners when it comes to training. These stubborn and strong-willed dogs are more prone to give in to the temptations of play, treats, and other pleasurable distractions than they are to listen to instruction. However, if you are consistent and reinforce your Basset's good behaviour, he or she can learn new skills at home. The grooming demands of this short-coated dog are minimal.


As with any breed, Basset Hounds can be susceptible to certain health issues. These disorders may not affect every Basset Hound, but they are worth being aware of if you're contemplating this breed.

Look for a reputable breeder that can provide you with health clearances for the puppy's parents if you're considering purchasing one. In order for a dog to receive a medical clearance, it must be tested and cleared of a specific condition.

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV)

Gastric torsion is another name for bloat. Deep-chested dogs, like Basset Hounds, are at risk for this life-threatening illness if they are served one substantial meal a day, eat swiftly, drink huge amounts of water after eating, and engage in strong post-meal activity, such as running. Some speculate that bloat may be caused by elevated feeding dishes and the sort of food consumed. It's more prevalent in older dogs, although it can happen to any dog at any age, regardless of breed. It occurs when the stomach is inflated by gas or air and then twists. GDV is the result (torsion).

Inability to belch or vomit prevents the dog from releasing excess gas from its stomach, preventing a regular flow of blood to the heart. As a result of the reduction in blood pressure, the dog is now in a state of shock. The dog could die if it doesn't receive prompt medical assistance. If your dog has a bloated tummy, profuse drooling, and retching without vomiting, you should be on the lookout for bloat. Also, he may feel agitated and depressed, and he may be weak and lethargic, and his heart rate may be accelerated. As soon as your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, you should take him to the vet. If a dog has a tendency to get GDV, it's recommended that he or she be sterilised or neutered.

Panosteitis (also called Wandering or Transient Lameness)

Occasionally, young Basset Hounds will suffer from this mysterious illness. When puppies are two years old, they normally outgrow the condition with no long-term consequences. There are many degrees of lameness.

As a result, many veterinarians are unaware of this issue and may misdiagnose it as something more serious, such as elbow or hip dysplasia or patellar luxation. If the vet misdiagnosis your dog, he or she may wish to perform unnecessary surgery on your pet. Before allowing surgery to be conducted, seek a second opinion from an orthopaedic specialist if symptoms are present.


In Basset Hounds, glaucoma, a disorder in which pressure builds up in the eye, is more prevalent than in other breeds. If not caught and treated in time, it can result in blindness. Your Basset Hound should be sent to the vet if you observe him squinting, tearing, or rubbing at his eyeballs, or if the eye or eyes appear red or bulging. An emergency trip to the ER may be needed if glaucoma damages the retina or optic nerve in a matter of hours.

Von Willebrand's Disease

This is a genetic condition that can cause mild to moderately severe bleeding and a lengthy period of bleeding. It's best to get a blood test from your vet to rule out von Willebrand's disease before undergoing any surgical procedures on your Basset.


Dogs who suffer from allergies are not uncommon. When a dog has an allergy to a particular food, the cause can be found and treated by removing the offending item from the dog's diet for a while. If your dog develops a contact allergy, it is because of an allergic reaction to a substance that comes into contact with them.

Allergies can be treated by identifying and eliminating the source of the problem. Allergens in the air, such as pollen, dust, and mildew, induce inhalant allergies. The level of severity of an allergy to an inhalant determines the best course of treatment. Inhalant allergies frequently cause ear infections.

Patellar Luxation

Stifle slips, also called "slipped stifles," occur frequently in tiny dogs. This occurs when the patella, which consists of the femur (thigh bone), the patella (knee cap), and the tibia (calf) — all three elements of the patella are not properly aligned. This results in lameness or an irregular gait, such a skip or a hop, in the animal's leg. Misalignment or luxation does not always develop until much later in life, however the problem itself is present from birth.

Patellar luxation can develop arthritis, a degenerative joint disease, as a result of the constant rubbing. It is possible to have four stages of patella luxation, starting with grade I, which is an infrequent luxation that causes transient lameness and progresses to grade IV, in which the patella cannot be manually realigned. As a result, the dog has a sloping back and looks bowlegged. Patellar luxation that is too severe may necessitate surgery.

Ear Infections

Infections can develop in the ear canals of Basset Hounds due to poor air circulation caused by their long ears. Clean your Basset's ears on a weekly basis to keep them free of parasites, and consult your veterinarian if your dog's ears begin to smell or feel inflamed.


The obesity of long-backed breeds like Bassets is a severe problem. Determine how much food you need to feed your Basset Hound in order to keep him healthy, and stay with it.

Hip Dysplasia

Basset Hounds are prone to hip dysplasia. Deformity of the hip joint is thought to be caused by a combination of environmental and hereditary causes. However, it is possible that some of these Bassets will require surgery in order to function normally. The thigh bone does not fit securely into the hip joint in this hereditary disease.

When a dog has hip dysplasia, it may or may not show any signs of pain or disability in the back legs. Arthritis can develop in dogs as they get older. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program provide X-ray screenings for hip dysplasia (PennHIP). The breeding of dogs with hip dysplasia is strictly prohibited. Ask the breeder for documentation that the parents of the puppy have been checked for hip dysplasia and are free of any issues before purchasing one. It is possible to develop hip dysplasia as a result of environmental factors, such as rapid development from a high-calorie diet or injuries sustained while jumping or falling on slick floors.


Another blood platelet issue that is common in Basset Hounds is thrombocytopenic purpura (TP). Thrombopathia, like von Willebrand's, affects the blood's capacity to clot.

Eyelid and Eyelash Problems

Ectropion (turning out of the eyelids) and entropion (turning in of the eyelids) are common in basset hounds, which causes dry corneas. If your Basset has either of these issues, your veterinarian should be able to diagnose it and perform surgical treatment if necessary.

Intervertebral Disc Disease

Unfortunately, back problems are a common ailment among Basset Hounds. Genetics, the improper technique of moving, or tripping over or bouncing off of furniture are all possible causes. The inability to elevate one's back legs, paralysis, and even loss of control over one's bowels and bladder are all symptoms of a back condition. Your Basset Hound should always be supported in his back and rear when you're holding him.

Treatment options range from crate confinement and anti-inflammatory medicine to surgery to remove the discs that are causing the problem or even confinement to a doggie wheelchair if the condition persists. Chiropractors with experience working with dogs may be able to assist owners prevent problems with their Basset Hounds.

Cherry Eye

Here, the gland under the third eyelid sticks out like a cherry, and it's a painful condition. Remove the gland if necessary.

Recommended Health Test

  1. Elbow dysplasia screening (BVA/KC)
  2. Eye testing - PLA (gonioscopy) (BVA/KC/ISDS)
  3. Eye screening (BVA/KC/ISDS)


Commercially or home-prepared (with veterinary supervision) dog food should be fine for the Basset Hound. At all times, clean, fresh water should be available. To avoid weight gain or obesity-related health issues, it is important to limit rewards and keep a close eye on a dog's nutrition. You should consult with your veterinarian to determine the optimal diet and portion size for your Basset Hound based on your dog's age, weight, and activity level.


Basset Hounds, despite their short coats, need frequent maintenance. In addition to being prolific shedders, they're also noted for their intelligence. Plan to brush your dog once a week with a soft brush or shedding tool to reduce shedding and maintain healthy skin. When your Basset's coat becomes visibly soiled, give him a bath every now and then.

Basset Hounds, like all dog breeds, require regular nail trimming and teeth brushing. This breed's ears need to be checked for debris and accumulation on a regular basis. Ear infections are more common in floppy-eared dogs, and the Basset Hound's large ears trap a lot of moisture. Check your dog's ears for signs of infection, such as redness, irritation, swelling, strange odour, or canines tossing their heads and scratching their ears, once a week with a pet-safe ear cleanser and a cotton ball. Consult your veterinarian right once if any of these symptoms are present so that prescription treatment can be obtained.


That doesn't imply that your Basset Hound won't need to be exercised on a regular basis. As long as they get at least 30 minutes to an hour of moderate daily exercise, these hounds will be happy and healthy. If you want to keep your Basset Hound active, consider taking it on long walks. In the backyard, playing with toys and other members of the family is likely to become a favourite pastime for them. In addition to keeping your Basset healthy, regular exercise will help prevent weight gain, which these food-motivated canines are particularly susceptible to.


Training a Basset Hound might be challenging because of the breed's reputation as an independent and headstrong one. When pups are just eight weeks old, they should begin learning basic obedience and should be reinforced numerous times a day.

Since they were developed to hunt on their own, Bassets and other scenthounds had to keep track of a trail without becoming distracted. So, they're still primarily concerned with pursuing their own interests. To train a Basset Hound, you'll need to be patient and consistent, as the dog may seem aloof and uninterested in following your orders. Treats (given in moderation) and positive reinforcement are effective training methods for this breed. Avoid using tactics that involve punishment, as this might lead to additional resistance from Basset hounds. Their socialisation should begin at an early age, like with all dogs.

Children and Other Pets

When it comes to children, basset hounds have a soft spot for them. You'll have to take extra precautions to keep your Basset safe from them.

Always teach youngsters how to approach and touch dogs, and supervise any interactions between dogs and small children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Never approach any dog while it is sleeping or eating, and never try to take the dog's food away from it. A dog should never be left alone with a child, no matter how old they are.

Basset hounds are naturally pack animals, so they enjoy spending time with other dogs and can even get along with cats if they are introduced early on.


Puppies of the Basset breed are friendly and active. Basset hounds are susceptible to health issues as they age, therefore it is important to keep your youngster active. As a general rule, begin educating your dog as early as possible so that when he or she does decide to exhibit their individuality, you'll be prepared.

Dog breeds related to Basset Hounds

These canines are hunting dogs with outgoing personalities. Bloodhounds, American foxhounds, and beagles are all closely related to basset hounds.


With a drooping face and copper fur, the bloodhound is a traditional hunting dog. As a result, bloodhounds are better suited to an active lifestyle than bassets.

American Foxhounds

This patriotic hunting dog, which was bred by George Washington, has short hair, long legs, and stunningly sparkling eyes.


Despite their diminutive stature, these canines have a vibrant personality and an abundance of activity. Because of their superior health and higher life expectancy, beagles are preferred over basset hounds.