- Activity Level: low
- Grooming Level: moderate
- Trainability: moderate
- Adaptability: high
- Kid/Pet Friendly: often
- Average Size: Medium
- Average Lifespan: 10-12 years
- Prey Drive: high
- Watchdog: aware
- Registered?: aca, akc
Basset Hound Breed Profile
Did You Know?
The Basset Hound is a short-legged hound dog with an unbelievably advanced sense of smell. The Basset Hound generally comes in two colors, Tri-color or Tan and White.
The AKC originally recognized this dog breed in 1935 as a member of the hound class. It is widely thought that, as a hunting dog, the Basset Hound takes only a backseat to the Bloodhound regarding a sense of smell and tracking ability.
While the modern Basset Hound is French in origin, it is thought that short leg hunting dogs go back as far as ancient Egypt. It is also well known that scent hunting dogs were used as far back as the Roman Empire.
In pop culture, the Basset Hound is featured as the logo for Hush Puppies brand shoes and also appears as a cartoon dog named Droopy. A Basset Hound also appeared in the popular show Lassie as the Collie’s best friend named Pokey early in the series.
The temperament of the Basset Hound is one of a sweet-natured, droopy-eared, and playful best friend. Basset Hounds tolerate other dogs very well and are excellent with children in most cases. They may be a little less fond of rabbits, but other family pets should do well with this dog breed.
Basset Hounds are very adaptable to apartment living as long as there is plenty of human attention. They don’t mind some alone time, but extended periods without human contact could lead to destructiveness and misbehavior. This breed does not do particularly well in extremely hot or cold temperatures so outdoor living is not recommended.
With proper genetic screening, the Basset Hound can be a healthy breed. However, some of the illnesses that are known to affect this breed, in particular, are GDV (also known as bloat or gastric torsion), hip dysplasia, glaucoma, or ear infections because of their long droopy years.
Because they tend to be longer than they are tall, they are prone to back problems in older age. If their weight becomes an issue, they can develop joint-related issues as well.
The Basset Hound can be a good dog for novice owners, but are somewhat difficult to train. They can sometimes be stubborn and do possess a high prey drive and like to chase wildlife.
This means they have a higher tendency to wander off, so if you are in a suburban area you may want to consider fencing then and to avoid them getting injured. It is highly recommended that novice to moderate owners do obedience training with this breed.
Basset Hounds have a smooth and short coat and a droopy hound dog look. The main grooming concerns you will have with this breed is keeping their ears clean and making sure that they do not get too dirty in between their facial wrinkles.
They shed year-round, but are not heavy shedders and it can be controlled easily with weekly brushing. It is recommended by most veterinarians that you inspect and clean, if needed, the inside of your Basset Hound’s ears at least once per week to help prevent ear infections.
The Basset Hound does not have an overly high energy level and requires less exercise than many dogs like it. The main reason why you want to make sure your Basset Hound does get a fair amount of activity is because this breed is prone to weight gain. They are a jovial and playful breed, but you need to always be aware of overexertion in hot weather.
The Basset Hound will stand between 13 and 15 inches in height and weigh between 40 and 65 pounds.
If you are a fan of the Dukes of Hazard television show, you would probably know that Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane’s dog flash was also this breed of dog. Also, an animated version of a Basset appeared as “Pops” in the hit movie The Secret Life of Pets.