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Basset Hound… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

The Basset Hound is one dog of those dogs that, if you don’t immediately fall in love with them, you better watch out because they’ll certainly “grow on you” if you give them a chance. What, with their…

Long ears, mournful gaze, and pleading look, the Basset Hound reminds you of a child who has done something naughty and puts up a gloomy face on purpose so that you don’t get mad at him! It’s like they’re asking you…

“How can you not love me?”

But be warned that the Basset Hound has a reputation for being a bit slow and lazy, too. And while he is a hunting dog that likes to go on long walks, he won’t break any land speed records. And while on these walks, he’s also likely to take his own sweet time regardless of what you have planned for the rest of the afternoon. You see, Basset Hounds enjoy smelling the roses (after all, they are scent hounds) and aren’t hurrying to get anywhere!

The Good news is…

This “hang dog” lifestyle is what will eventually start to grow on you if you aren’t already “hooked.” You almost feel sorry for him and will look beyond minor transgressions. But what makes most Basset Hound owners, owners for life, is their inherent sense of humor that, combined with their “clownish” appearance, makes it challenging not to love them and… nearly impossible to stay mad at one despite how FRUSTRATING them can be at times!

But it is a Basset Hound…

Are you going to be right for you? Who knows? Only you can make that kind of decision. But this is why we here at IndulgeYourPet have taken the time to write this brief article about the Basset Hound breed so that you might better understand the species and determine if a Basset Hound is a good choice for you.

Basset Hound Fast Facts

Country of Origin:  France

Original Purpose: Companionship, trailing small game

Height:  12-14 inches tall

Weight:  50 to 65 pounds

Life Span: 10 to 12 years

Dog Breed Classification:  Hound Dogs

Origin of the Basset Hound Breed

The Basset Hound can trace its ancestry back to France, where the St. Hubert Hound and close cousin of the Bloodhound were very popular. At some point in time, right around the 15th or 16th century, a portion of the breed developed a “mutated gene” that caused some of the offspring to become dwarfed or become “short-legged.”

And like today…

Folks who initially saw these “peculiar” little dogs fell in love and decided to continue to breed them for the sole purpose of having very short legs. At first, the Basset Hound breed was nothing more than curiosity enjoyed by the wealthy aristocracy in France. And it wasn’t until the French Revolution that these little dogs found their “true” calling when the “commoners” discovered they are also great trackers, hunters, and companion animals!

Then in 1874…

The Basset Hound was first brought to the UK by Sir Everett Millais. He started developing the breed in England and exhibited it in many dog shows, producing the species for the world. Then, in 1882, the Kennel Club in England accepted the Basset Hound as its own “official” dog breed and started the English Basset Hound Club two years later, which still exists today!

Three years later, the first Basset Hound (Bouncer) was brought to the United States, which got the ball rolling toward its ultimate acceptance by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1916. Today, the Basset Hound is one of the most popular dog breeds in the country. But this still doesn’t tell us much about whether a Basset Hound will be right for you, so let’s now take a moment and describe what it will be like to own a Basset Hound.

Personality and Temperament

The Basset Hound is a funny, almost clownish dog. He will have a bit of “selective hearing” – he listens to you when he wants to and pretends not to hear when he is not in the mood. This is why he can also be frustrating to deal with (at times), but the truth is most of them are such sweethearts; you’re not going to be able to stay mad at them even when they are making you CRAZY! It also doesn’t hurt that he will probably have a solid attachment to his human family and will likely be a loyal dog.

For those familiar with the “hound family” of dogs…

It might interest you that the Basset Hound is often compared to his cousin, Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, except that he (the Basset Hound) is more adaptive to a new environment and responds better to commands. This is also something you might want to remind yourself of when your Basset is driving you crazy… It could be worse; you could have chosen to have adopted a Petit Gasset Griffon Vendeen!


Despite what you might think, the Basset Hound is a dog that will prefer to live indoors. In general, they don’t like to be kept in the backyard. He wants to be in the house as much as possible. He is also a big howler. His howling can get to you after a point of time.

And guess what?

If that howling (or baying) bothers you occasionally, imagine what your neighbors might be thinking. This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet don’t frequently recommend this breed to anyone living in an apartment or to someone who has close neighbors because sometimes, even the occasional “bays” or “howling” can put you in a tough spot with your landlord or HOA.

Still, how can one not like a Basset Hound?

He is such a cute dog! And while some may call him names or even UGLY, we here at IndulgeYourPet find the Basset Hound extremely distinguished! And dare we say it, quite HANDSOME! However, you should know a few things about the Basset Hound besides the fact that they will have a long body, short legs, and long ears.

Which is…

These dogs tend to drool; if you’re not careful, they can get “chubby” when their owners don’t monitor how much they eat daily.

Oh, and one other thing…

Basset Hounds tend to snore, too! But that’s not something that bothers a TRUE Basset Hound owner; in fact, we here at IndulgeYourPet feel it just adds to their character!

The good news…

Overall, the Basset hound is a petty, easy dog to care for. They won’t require much exercise and won’t be begging you to play with them. And when it comes to grooming, the Basset Hound isn’t going to need much, which is a good thing, particularly when you consider just how much loose skin they have, so if you can get around the “drooling” and “snoring, “you’re are pretty much home-free when it comes to owning a Basset Hound.

Basset Hounds and kids

Because the Basset Hound has one of the most pleasant temperaments you can expect in a dog, they are fantastic pets to introduce to a family with children. They are also reasonably well-behaved with cats and other dogs as well.

Basset Hound Training.

As we’ve mentioned before, Basset Hounds do have a bit of a stubborn streak. The good news is that if Basset Hound decides not to listen to you, it’s not like he will run all over the place and create havoc throughout the house. What’s more likely to happen is that you’ll ask your Basset Hound to do something, and they will sit down or just stare at you with a silly face and make you laugh!

Now, we’ve found that small healthy treats can often be a great “motivator” for these little guys, so rather than go INSANE yelling, begin your obedience training early, use plenty of positive enforcement, and always have a few treats in your pocket!

Potential Health Concerns

Now that Basset Hound has a longish back, they will always be vulnerable to back injuries. And you’ll want to watch out for the intervertebral disc disease. He is also susceptible to obesity, which can exacerbate these risks and worsen the symptoms associated with these conditions, so don’t spoil him by offering him a treat every so often.


As the Basset Hound gets older, he can also get much heavier – up to 70 pounds. He might be unable to climb a long flight of stairs at an advanced age. He may also be susceptible to:

  • A variety of different eye problems, including glaucoma.
  • Ear infections,
  • Bloat,
  • Von Willebrand’s disease,
  • And hip dysplasia.

For this reason, you should ask the breeder for a certification from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) and Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) for these conditions before buying the puppy from them. You should also avoid purchasing a puppy from any breeder that:

  • Won’t guarantee the health of your puppy,
  • Allow you to see the parents of the puppy,
  • It offers various dog breeds, as this might be a clue that your breeder is not a responsible dog breeder and is instead one of a growing group of “puppy mill’ breeders.

Now we say all of this…

Not to scare you or try to “convince” you not to purchase a Basset Hound puppy (or better yet, adopt a Basset Hound rescue dog). Instead, we mention it to inform you what could happen if you make a Basset Hound your next family member.

We also say this so that you might be encouraged to take a moment and explore what it might cost to purchase a pet insurance policy; just in case something does go wrong, you won’t be fully responsible for paying for the vet bill when it arrives.

For more information about who we feel offers the “best” pet insurance policies on the market right now, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Joanne January 23, 2020, 7:29 am

    If you can get through the first six months with your Basset the rest will be smooth sailing. They will push every button you have, stay with it, in the end you will experience a love like never before.

    • indulgeyourpet June 23, 2020, 9:35 am


      You’re experience seems to be a common one. It’s sort of one of those things that you either “get it” or you don’t. For those who do, there really isn’t any other dog breed out there for them.

      Thanks for sharing,


  • Craig November 3, 2020, 7:24 pm

    I’ve had Bassets my whole life ever since I went on a school trip to a tv studio in Burlington VT. when I was 10 There was one there for a hush puppie commercial it was the first time I’d ever seen one but it was love at first sight. A couple years later after moving back to Jersey I got one for Xmas she was a direct descendant of the Tukesberry sp?foot basset and she was the most beautiful pup I’d ever seen. I now have my 5th basset Baxter and couldn’t recommend a better dog for companionship or anything especially naps. They can be very trying at times but that’s all part of their charm.

    • indulgeyourpet November 3, 2020, 8:20 pm


      Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with this awesome dog breed. One thing we here at IndulgeYourPet can say is that while none of us have actually owned a Basset Hound before, we all do seem to have very fond stories centering around those Bassets that we’ve had the good fortune to meet!



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