The Basset Hound has such a distinct look—a short, low-to-the-ground body with big, hanging ears—it’s no wonder it has inspired several cartoon characters (including one named, you guessed it, Droopy). But its incredible hunting instinct and scenting abilities are what first earned this breed its popularity. As pets, Bassets are extremely patient (especially with young kids who tend to yank at their ears when not supervised) and easy to train, and despite their plodding pace, they do well at various dog sports.
- Personality: Patient and low-key; a bit stubborn but always charming
- Energy Level: Not Very Active; Bassets are not the most active breed but do need regular walks to stay healthy
- Good with Children: Yes
- Good with other Dogs: Yes
- Shedding: Seasonal
- Grooming: Weekly
- Trainability: Responds Well
- Height: up to 15 inches
- Weight: 40-65 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 12-13 years
- Barking Level: Barks When Necessary
Instantly recognizable due to its big, heavy body, short legs and long ears, the Basset Hound has proven itself to be a multi-purpose dog that excels in conformation, obedience, tracking, field trialing and pack hunting.Because of its gentle, non-confrontational nature, the Basset can be used for hunting in packs or alone.
The breed is known for its strong hunting instinct and, if given the opportunity, will chase or follow a scent willingly.The Basset can be any hound color, which includes combinations of black, tan, white, red and other colors.
The Basset Hound possesses in marked degree those characteristics which equip it admirably to follow a trail over and through difficult terrain. It is a short-legged dog, heavier in bone, size considered, than any other breed of dog, and while its movement is deliberate, it is in no sense clumsy. In temperament it is mild, never sharp or timid. It is capable of great endurance in the field and is extreme in its devotion.
Depending on the size of your dog as an adult you are going to want to feed them a formula that will cater to their unique digestive needs through the various phases of their life. Many dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large and giant breeds. The Basset Hound is a medium breed and has a lifespan of 10 to 12 years.
What you feed your dog is an individual choice, but working with your veterinarian and/or breeder will be the best way to determine frequency of meals as a puppy and the best adult diet to increase his longevity.
They need a nail trim with a trimmer or grinder on a regular basis to keep their nails from splitting and to keep feet healthy and in good condition. Be sure to give a good cleaning of the ear folds as the Basset hound has long ears that may harbor dampness and debris which may cause infections. A bath every so often will help keep their coats looking clean and shiny. Teeth should be brushed regularly.
Easygoing, laid-back, and even a bit lazy, Bassets are great family pets. They aim to please but prefer to work for food, so owners should keep treats on hand while training. Also, don’t be offended if your Basset ignores you—the breed’s high intelligence comes with a tendency to be stubborn. They’re happy to snooze the day (and night) away, but need regular exercise to prevent excessive weight gain. Long daily walks with lots of interesting new smells are on their wish list.
Some health issues include glaucoma; thrombopathia; von Willebrand’s disease; hypothyroidism; patellar luxation; hip dysplasia; and elbow dysplasia. Some dogs may be faced with these health challenges in their lives, but the majority of Basset hounds are healthy dogs.
Working with a responsible breeder, those wishing to own a Basset hound can gain the education they need to know about specific health concerns within the breed. Good breeders utilize genetic testing of their breeding stock to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.