After the French Revolution, this smart-nosed, low-speed breed helped commoners—who often didn't own horses—track down rabbits and other small game on foot. Thus, the Basset Hound was originally a hunting dog for commoners.
The “basset” in Basset Hound means “dwarf” or “low thing” in French, and “low” accurately describes this dog's stature and energy-level. Their laid-back attitudes and patience with small, potentially ear-pulling children make Basset Hounds an ideal breed for families with young ones. However, as with any dog, it's best to supervise small children and discourage rough-play. Bassets are also known to speak their minds and were nominated by Vetstreet veterinarians as one of the 12 most talkative dog breeds.
Originally from France, this medium-sized breed can grow to between 40-60 pounds and lives an average of 12-15 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Hound group.
|Breed's original pastime||Hunting|
|Average lifespan||12-15 years|
|Date of origin||1500s|
|Original function||Trailing rabbits and hare|
|Today's function||Lure coursing|
|Average size of male||Height: <14 Weight: 40-60|
|Average size of female||Height: <14 Weight: 40-60|
|Energy level||Low energy|
|Playfullness||Not very playful|
|Affection level||Moderately affectionate|
|Friendliness toward other dogs||Friendly|
|Friendliness toward other pets||Friendly|
|Friendliness toward strangers||Friendly|
|Ease of training||Easy to train|
|Protection ability||Not very protective|
|Grooming needs||Low maintenance|
|Cold tolerance||Low tolerance|
|Heat tolerance||Medium tolerance|
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A BASSET HOUND'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Basset Hounds are devoted to their chosen people. This dog is smart, friendly, and easygoing, though not exuberantly affectionate. They are good with other dogs and pets, and either indifferent or friendly toward strangers.
WHAT IS BASSET HOUND BEHAVIOR LIKE?
With a Basset Hound in your home, you will always know when someone's at the door. Bassets can be barky and often bay loudly, which is great while you're hunting, but perhaps less than ideal for backyard barbecues. They're not especially protective.
Basset Hounds don't require strenuous workouts, but a daily walk (even if it's just around the block) is important to keep them happy, healthy, and abreast of neighborhood smells.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A BASSET HOUND?
Basset Hounds are very easy to train, though they can be stubborn. A methodical approach to training that uses food as rewards will work best with this breed. Their acute sense of smell makes them prone to following their noses, so be sure to work on recall early and often.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO BASSET HOUNDS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Basset Hounds' short coat is tight and thick. They are moderate, seasonal shedders with relatively few grooming needs. Their coats are short and relatively low maintenance — an occasional bath should keep them looking sharp. Check, clean, and dry their wrinkles and mouths often.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO BASSET HOUNDS HAVE?
This breed is generally healthy. Keep an eye out for signs of hip and elbow dysplasia or kneecap displacement. Some develop glaucoma, hypothyroidism, or blood-clotting disorders, but these are relatively uncommon.