Breeds, Hound Group

Basset Hound

Beginning the adventure of getting to know the Basset Hound opens up a universe brimming with allure, faithfulness, and unique characteristics that distinguish this breed. This guide delves into the essence of Basset Hounds, showcasing their unmistakable appearance, gentle demeanor, and the nuances of their personality.

It aims to equip potential owners with insights and practical advice, ensuring a harmonious relationship between them and these lovable canines. From their sonorous bark to their amiable nature, Basset Hounds offer a unique blend of companionship and tranquility. With each section, readers will discover how to nurture their bond with these dogs, understand their needs, and appreciate the joy they bring to every home.

Basset Hound – Size & Life Expectancy

Basset Hound Height

15 inches

Basset Hound Weight

40-65 pounds

Basset Hound Life Expectancy
Life Expectancy

12-13 years

About the Basset Hound

The tale of the Basset Hound begins in the lush landscapes of France, a story woven through the centuries that brings us to the affectionate, languid-eyed dog known and loved today. Originally bred as hunting dogs, their history is steeped in the pursuit of small game. Their name, derived from the French word “bas,” meaning “low,” aptly describes their short-legged stature, designed to trace scents over long distances without tiring. This exceptional skill made them indispensable companions to hunters on foot, allowing them to follow the hound’s melodious bark through dense underbrush, tracking prey with relentless precision.

From Fields to Families

Transitioning from the open fields of France to the hearts of families worldwide, the Basset Hound’s role has seen a remarkable evolution. Their hunting prowess, though less called upon in modern times, has given way to a new identity as beloved pets. Their calm demeanor, combined with a friendly and outgoing nature, makes them excellent companions for various households. Despite their somewhat solemn appearance, Basset Hounds possess a playful spirit and a loving heart, qualities that endear them to children and adults alike.

The Modern Basset Hound: Popularity and Lifestyle

Today, the Basset Hound enjoys a status as one of the most recognizable and popular breeds across the globe. Their distinctive look, characterized by long, droopy ears, a wrinkled brow, and a sturdy body, has not only made them favorites in families but also icons in popular culture and media. This surge in popularity has fostered a diverse community of Basset Hound enthusiasts and owners, ranging from those who appreciate their laid-back companionship to active participants in dog sports and scent work competitions, showcasing the breed’s innate abilities.

Typical Owners and the Bond They Share

The typical Basset Hound owner is someone who appreciates the breed’s easygoing nature and is willing to accommodate their unique needs. These dogs thrive on affection and require regular, gentle exercise to maintain their health. Their grooming needs, while not overly demanding, do require attention, particularly around their ears and eyes to prevent infections. The bond between a Basset Hound and its owner is built on mutual respect and understanding, a testament to the breed’s loyalty and their owner’s dedication.


In the journey from skilled hunters to cherished family members, Basset Hounds have captured the hearts of many with their unparalleled charm and distinctive traits. Their adaptability to various living conditions, combined with their affectionate nature, makes them an excellent choice for many potential dog owners. As they continue to make their mark in homes around the world, the legacy of the Basset Hound as a beloved companion is sure to grow, enriching the lives of those who choose to welcome these gentle souls into their hearts and homes.

Traits & Characteristics of the Basset Hound

  • Long, droopy ears: Their distinctive ears help to trap scents close to the nose, aiding in their remarkable sense of smell.
  • Short-legged, but sturdy build: Despite their short stature, they are quite strong and durable dogs.
  • Gentle and friendly demeanor: Basset Hounds are known for their calm and amiable nature, making them great family pets.
  • Exceptional sense of smell: Second only to the Bloodhound, their sense of smell is very keen, making them excellent tracking dogs.
  • Low-energy but stubborn: They can be quite laid-back, preferring leisure over vigorous activity, yet they can also show a stubborn streak.
  • Vocal: They have a deep, sonorous bark, and are not shy about using it, especially if they pick up an interesting scent.

Owning a Basset Hound

Welcoming a Basset Hound into your life introduces a blend of gentle companionship and unique challenges that enrich the journey of pet ownership. Renowned for their distinctive appearance and amiable nature, Basset Hounds bring joy and a serene presence to their homes. Understanding their specific needs is crucial for fostering a healthy, happy relationship. This guide highlights essential aspects of Basset Hound care, from health to training, ensuring potential owners are well-prepared for the responsibilities ahead.


Basset Hounds possess a sturdy frame, yet they’re prone to certain health conditions that require attentive care. Their long ears can lead to ear infections if not regularly cleaned, while their short legs and heavy body predispose them to joint issues, including hip dysplasia. Obesity is another concern, significantly impacting their health and agility. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian, maintaining a healthy weight, and monitoring for signs of joint distress are vital steps in safeguarding their well-being. Early detection and management of these conditions can lead to a more comfortable, active life for your Basset Hound.


Contrary to their laid-back demeanor, Basset Hounds benefit from regular, moderate exercise to maintain their health and manage weight. Their exercise regimen should include daily walks and play sessions tailored to their energy levels and physical capabilities. Due to their strong sense of smell, activities that engage their tracking instincts, such as scent games, provide mental stimulation and physical activity. However, owners should monitor their Basset Hounds for signs of overexertion, especially in hot weather, to prevent overheating and joint strain.


The Basset Hound’s short, dense coat is relatively low-maintenance but does require regular care to stay clean and healthy. Weekly brushing helps to remove loose fur and distribute skin oils, reducing shedding and keeping the coat shiny. Their distinctive long ears need special attention to prevent infections; cleaning them weekly with a vet-recommended solution can keep ear problems at bay. Regular nail trimming and dental care are also essential to prevent overgrowth and dental disease, ensuring your Basset Hound remains groomed and graceful.


A balanced diet is crucial for a Basset Hound’s health. Given their propensity for obesity, it’s important to feed them high-quality dog food tailored to their size, age, and energy level. Avoid overfeeding and limit treats to maintain a healthy weight. Be wary of foods that can be harmful to dogs, such as chocolate, onions, and grapes. Consultation with a veterinarian can provide personalized nutritional advice, ensuring your Basset Hound’s diet supports their overall health and vitality.


Training a Basset Hound can be a test of patience due to their independent streak and sensitive nature. Positive reinforcement methods, such as treats and praise, are effective in teaching them commands and desired behaviors. Puppy training classes and early socialization are recommended to develop obedience and a well-rounded temperament. Consistency and patience in training not only strengthen the bond between owner and dog but also ensure a well-behaved companion capable of navigating social situations with ease.

The Basset Hound Standard

The Basset Hound, a breed celebrated for its remarkable physique and gentle disposition, embodies a set of characteristics defined by breed standards, serving as the epitome against which these dogs are judged in shows and recognized by official bodies. This breed presents a distinct appearance: a long, noble head with deep, soulful eyes set under soft, drooping ears, creating an expression of serene wisdom. The skin forms loose folds, especially around the head, enhancing their thoughtful appearance.

A Basset Hound’s body is notable for its elongated structure, supported by short, sturdy legs, allowing for a dignified, somewhat ambling gait. Despite their low stature, they exhibit considerable strength and stamina, with a broad chest and a well-muscled back. The tail, carried in a slight curve, demonstrates the breed’s alertness and balance.

The coat, short yet dense, protects the Basset Hound across various climates, featuring a wide range of colors from classic tri-color patterns to striking bi-color combinations, always maintaining a clean, well-groomed appearance.

Temperamentally, the ideal Basset Hound combines a serene disposition with a keen sense of smell and an inherent desire to track. This breed displays patience, affability, and a gentle nature, making them excellent companions. Yet, they also possess a quiet determination and an intelligent, independent streak, traits that demand respect and understanding.

Judges at shows look for these physical and temperamental traits, assessing each dog’s adherence to the breed standard, which symbolizes the ideal Basset Hound. This standard ensures the preservation of the breed’s distinguished characteristics, promoting health, functionality, and the inherent beauty that makes the Basset Hound a cherished companion and a distinguished participant in the canine world.

Basset Hound – FAQ

Dive into the world of the Basset Hound with this comprehensive FAQ, designed to shed light on the most common queries about this distinctive and beloved breed. Whether you’re a prospective owner or simply a fan, this guide will unveil the essentials of their care, traits, and what makes them such exceptional companions.

Alternatives to a Basset Hound

In the diverse world of canines, certain breeds share a resemblance to the Basset Hound in size, demeanor, and physical traits, painting a picture of variety within similarity. The Beagle, with its compact frame and remarkable sense of smell, mirrors the Basset Hound’s tracking prowess and friendly nature, making it a delightful family pet. 

Similarly, the Dachshund, with its distinctive long body and short legs, shares not only physical attributes but also a stubborn streak and a keen nose for scent work. 

The Bloodhound, larger yet kin to the Basset through its droopy ears and unparalleled scenting ability, showcases a gentle temperament alongside its impressive tracking skills. 

The Bulldog, with its sturdy build and amiable personality, although not as tall, resonates with the Basset Hound’s laid-back approach to life and loyalty to family. 

Lastly, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, a breed that shares a part of its name, offers a spirited outlook, robust build, and a coat that demands regular grooming, echoing the maintenance and energy levels of the Basset Hound. 

Each of these breeds, while unique in their own right, offers a glimpse into the shared traits that make them akin to the beloved Basset Hound.