The Basset Hound

Built long and low to the ground, the sweet, gentle Basset Hound is a very old breed. They are great hunters, able to follow a scent for miles and they are often used for tracking. Because of their gentle disposition, the Basset Hound gets along with other dogs very well and they can hunt in packs or alone.

Basset Hound Information and Facts

The Basset Hound is not a tall breed. They typically only stand about 14 inches tall at the shoulder. However, they are rather heavy-set, with heavy bone, and very sturdy. Males can weigh between 55 and 75 pounds. Females can weigh between 45 and 65 pounds.

The Basset is part of the Hound group and he is a scent hound. He has a coat that is similar in texture and coloring to many other members of this group. His coat is short, dense, and smooth. It is dense enough to protect him if he’s out hunting in bad weather. His skin is loose and will let him slide through brambles and underbrush. The Basset Hound can be of any known hound color. Dogs that are tan and white and tri-color are commonly seen. The Basset is also known for his long ears which are said to stir brush and things on the ground and waft scent up toward his nose.

He is a deliberate worker but never clumsy.

If you intend to get a Basset Hound you should know that whenever this dog finds an interesting scent he will want to follow it. The Basset Hound’s nose is said to be second only to the Bloodhound in trailing ability and accuracy.


The Basset Hound originated in France but the breed has been used all over Europe for centuries, particularly to hunt rabbits and hare, but also to hunt deer. The breed is first mentioned in 1585. It’s believed that the Basset is descended from the St. Hubert hounds that were kept by the Benedictine monks of St. Hubert in France. The Marquis de Lafayette is believed to have given Basset Hounds to George Washington as a gift to use with his hunting dogs.

The dogs began to be exported to Britain in 1866 and they were first shown at dog shows in England in 1875. Later, dogs from Britain were exported to the U.S. The Basset was first exhibited at the Westminster Kennel Club show in 1884. Since that time the Basset Hound has become a multi-use dog. Today people and their Basset Hounds take part in obedience events, tracking, pack hunting, field trialing, as well as dog shows. Basset Hounds are used most often today for hunting rabbits at which they excel.

Caring for Basset Hounds

Basset Hounds do tend to drool a lot so if you get a Basset you should expect this trait. It is normal for the breed because of their deep flews (lips). Because of their short legs, long backs, and heavy weight, Bassets do not usually make good swimmers so you should always closely supervise your Basset Hound if he goes near the water.

Bassets are also known for shedding a great deal. Although they have a short coat, they can shed a lot of hair so you need to brush your dog regularly to keep the hair from piling up in the house.

Bassets are usually good with children and they have a good temperament. They get along well with other dogs and pets, although you should not leave them unattended around pet rabbits or other animals that they might consider prey. They have a very strong hunting instinct and they should be on a leash when you take them for walks. Otherwise they may take off running after a rabbit if it should cross your path. Although they may seem like lazy dogs, they still require regular daily exercise.

Like many hound breeds, the Basset Hound is very vocal. They do not make very good apartment dogs for this reason. They will bark and even howl if they think something is wrong of if they want something.

Because of their long ears, Bassets are also prone to ear infections. Make sure that you clean your dog’s ears each week to avoid ear infections. You should also clean the areas around your Basset’s eyes and the folds of skin on the face regularly. These are also places where bacteria can grow if the skin is not kept clean.

Basset Hounds can be prone to obesity so you need to be careful not to overfeed your Basset and make sure he gets plenty of exercise.

The Basset Hound typically lives between 11 and 12 years, though they have been reported to live up to 16 years.


The Basset Hound makes a wonderful family pet. They are sweet, gentle dogs who get along well with children and other dogs. They need regular daily exercise. Be sure you clean your dog’s ears each week to avoid infections. Wipe around your dog’s eyes and the skin folds around his mouth. Be careful not to overfeed your Basset Hound as they are prone to obesity.

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