By Macy Gen Veterinary AssistantMacy Gen Last updated: 21st March 2024

Basset Hound


Macy Gen Veterinary Assistant Macy Gen
Last updated: 21st March 2024

Short-legged dogs belonging to the family of hounds, these scent hounds were primarily bred for hunting hares. “Bas” in French means low while the prefix “et”, when added to it, translates its meaning to rather low.  Unique in appearance, this sturdy, agile breed always bears a sad expression on its face all because of its loose wrinkled skin, long, hanging ears and droopy eyes.  However, beneath this mournful demeanor lies a high-spirited dog that would amuse one with its clownish antics.

Basset Hound Pictures

Quick Information

CoatShort-haired; smooth; dense; soft; weatherproof
ColorBicolor (tan and white; lemon and white; black and white; red and white; mahogany and white; tan and white ); Tricolor (white, tan and black; white, brown and black; white, red and black; blue, tan and white; black, red and white)
Breed typePurebred
GroupHound, Scent hound, Companion
Average lifespan/ life expectancy10 to 13 years
Size (How big do they get)Large
Height Male: 12 to 15 inches
Female: 11 to 14 inches
WeightMale: 50 to 75 pounds
Female: 40 to 65 pounds
Litter size6 to 8 puppies
Behavioral CharacteristicsMild-mannered, good-natured, relaxed, affectionate, independent and stubborn at times
Good with childrenYes
Climate CompatibilityAdapts well to all climates
Do they barkModerate (howling noise to be heard from a long distance)
Shedding (Does it shed)Excessive
Competitive Registration Qualification/ InformationAKC, FCI, ANKC, CKC, KC (UK), NZKC, UKC

26 Day Old Basset Hound Puppies Video

Physical Features of a Basset Hound

Head: Large and dome shaped

Muzzle: Deep and heavy

Ears: Large, long, velvety, low set, folded to the end of its nose when drawn forward and hanging loosely. Their pendulous ears prevent circulation of air.

Eyes:  Brown, soft, slightly sunken, giving a sad look.

Legs: Heavy boned, short in structure, which is primarily because of a kind of dwarfism.

Tail: Coarse-haired and slightly curved, held at a considerable height over its back, having shades of white at its tip.


The Bassets have a long history, with the earliest depictions of these short-legged breeds found in Egyptian paintings. Their mummified remains have also been found in Saqqara, Egypt’s ancient burial ground. Going by a more concrete data, their origination dates back to the 6th century, with these Basset Hounds being descendants of the hounds that were possessed by St. Hubert, an abbot living in Belgium. St. Hubert’s hound had the Laconian Hound as its ancestor which were known to be famous scent hounds having short-legged breeds with a straight nose and deep mouth.  The mention of a basset for the first time appeared in 1585, in a hunting text by Jacques du Fouilloux which were said to have the Norman Staghounds as their parents. These dogs were again crossed back to St. Herbert’s hounds. This breed also gained popularity during Napoleon III’s reigns with their bronze sculptor, displayed at an exhibition at Paris Salon. Their fame spread outside France too and reached the U.S. during the 19th century, with the AKC registering it in 1885 and gave it formal recognition in 1916. The Basset Hound Club of America had been set up in 1935.

Temperament and Personality

Good natured, laid-back and entertaining, Bassets are perfect clowns, charming you with its appealing gaze, especially when it wants to convince you for a treat or to get away from you angry glance on making mischief.

Being closely bonded with their family members, these dogs suit well for homes where someone of the other is present to give them company, lest they would suffer from separation anxiety and even resort to destructive behavior like howling or digging.

These good-natured dogs may display streaks of stubbornness at times, doing what they feel to be the best.

The Basset Hound does let out a shrill and sharp bark when they sense any impending danger or see any unknown person entering into their domain. However, once they are sure that the person at the door would not harm, they would greet the stranger in a friendly way. They also make a whining tone that sounds like as if they are crying to express their desire or discontent about something.

They have an increasingly sharp nose and would readily go after any scent the moment they track it down. However, these dogs do not have a high level of intelligence. In the pursuit of doing so, they could be entirely oblivious of their surrounding which might increase risks of any accident.

They are a delight to have in homes with children and would even get along well with other dogs and even cats.

These dogs have a dislike towards swimming since they have a thick body as well as stubby legs.

Click here for the list of popular Basset Hound mixes



In comparison to other big dog breeds, their exercise requirements are moderately less. A daily walk at a moderate pace along with sufficient playtime would be enough for your Basset Hound. Avoid any physical exertion after he has had his meals as this breed is prone to bloating and too much exercise post eating could make him sick. They are laidback dogs, and after an exhaustive play or exercise session they would lazily lie down and fall asleep.


Though it has a short and smooth coat, the Basset Hound needs to be combed at least two times in a week using a bush with soft bristles. They tend to drool a lot due to their loose skin especially after a drink of water or even when they are letting out a howl out of warning or because of their loneliness. You would need to wipe the folds of its skins on a regular basis, particularly post mealtime to lessen chances of a yeast infection that is likely to happen because of excessive drooling. The long ears of the pet do not allow the air to circulate well and must be checked as well as cleaned on a weekly basis to keep any infections at bay. Brushing its teeth and trimming its nails are the other grooming measures to be followed on a routine basis.

Health Problems

All Basset Hounds are known to have osteochondrodysplasia (abnormal bone and cartilage growth), which is a genetic condition that has resulted in their short stature. Their pendulous ears could increase chances of mites and other infections, while their droopy eyes might cause dirt to accumulate resulting in clogged mucus. Other health issues that the Basset might suffer from include elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, luxating patella, hypothyroidism, lymphoma, bleeding disorders, gastric torsion, glaucoma, and allergies.


Their strong-willed and independent nature makes training the Basset Hound a tedious task.

Obedience training: Stubborn dogs should be command trained at the earliest, and there should be no exception to this rule for your Basset Hound. Acquaint him with the command “No” or “Stop” since the time he is a puppy so that the moment he is up to something undesirable, a harsh “no” from your end would stop him right away.

Potty training: An obedient dog would always be easy to train. Once your dog is adept at following commands, you can teach him how to eliminate outside the house on a regular basis. Take it out in a span of 2 or 3 hours and also post naps as well as meals. You can go for clicker training, and each time it eliminates in the right place make a click and shower it with treats and praises.

Crate training: Since the Basset is prone to separation anxiety, keeping it in a crate for certain span of time would give it a sense of independence. Start with a small span and then increase the time gradually to get it accustomed. Initially keep the crate door opened and be around, gradually close the door or go out of your dog’s sight. Keep a lot of your pet’s favorite toys and belongings inside to give it the comfort level.

Leash training: This is of utmost importance so that your pet does not wander about the moment it traces any scent.


High-quality dry dog food is necessary for your Basset Hound in measured amounts. Basset Hounds are incredibly fond of picking up anything you eat, but it tends to get obese, so you need to keep a proper check on its diet.

Interesting Facts

  • Jason, a Basset Hound, features in the logo of the famous American footwear brand, “Hush Puppies”.
  • Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Priestly are some of the celebrities who are owners of Basset Hounds.
  • The Great Mouse Detective, a 1986 Disney movie features Toby who is a Basset Hound and owned by Sherlock Holmes.

4 responses to “Basset Hound”

  1. Suzanne Churchill says:

    I LOVED this description of bassets. they are very funny. I have recently adopted a basset so it was very useful-he fits your description exactly. he is a quarter spaniel and jet black, but has all the charecteristics of a basset.

  2. Helene Morowski says:

    I would live to own a basset hound start him from a puppy they are beautiful dogs and good with kids it would be perfect for my husband & I anyway I will keep looking ! ????

  3. Em says:

    Where can I purchase booties for our 70 lb, 12 year old Basset. Her front paws are continually infected, inflamed. She, of course, doesn’t walk much, but would like her a little more comfortable if she had shoes to protect and soften her feet. She has been on multiple doses of antibiotics and Chlorhex foot baths (sometimes twice a day) and nothing helps, especially after she returns from a nail trim at vet. (We cannot trim and think they are too harsh in holding foot!)

    • Sergey Uhanov (Certified Veterinarian) admin says:

      Hi Em,
      Dog booties, available in many styles and made from different materials, are designed for protecting their feet from weather extremities and injuries. You can buy these shoes for your Basset either online or from the shoe stores in your locality.

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