Basset Hound Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Overview and more

Basset Hound Dog Breed Information and Pictures

Breed Overview

The Basset Hound is a low to the ground dog with a keen sense of smell, originally bred for hunting rabbits and other small game due to their strong scenting skills and relentless tracking ability. Known for their distinct appearance with long, droopy ears, wrinkled face, and short legs, they are gentle, social, and friendly companions, making them great family pets. Despite their laid-back demeanor, they are surprisingly stubborn and independent at times, requiring consistent training and firm leadership. Their love for food can lead to obesity if their diet and exercise are not carefully monitored.


Known for their affectionate nature and gentle demeanor, these dogs are mild-mannered and friendly companions. Basset Hounds possess a laid-back attitude but can exhibit stubbornness at times, making consistent training essential. Their amiable personality makes them great with children and other pets, showcasing loyalty and devotion to their family. While they have a reputation for being a bit lazy, they do enjoy daily walks to satisfy their moderate exercise needs. Overall, their endearing temperament, coupled with their soulful expression and charming droopy ears, makes them a beloved choice for families seeking a lovable and loyal canine companion.

Size and Appearance

With their iconic long ears, droopy skin, and short legs, these dogs are known for their distinctive appearance. They have a medium to large-sized body with a sturdy build, weighing between 40-65 pounds and standing about 12-15 inches tall at the shoulder. Their coat is short, smooth, and dense, coming in a variety of colors including tri-color (black, white, and tan), red and white, or lemon and white. The basset hound's eyes are typically large, soulful, and expressive, conveying their gentle and affectionate nature.

Health and Lifespan

Health and Lifespan: Basset hounds are generally a healthy breed, but they are prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia, ear infections, and obesity. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and routine veterinary check-ups are essential in maintaining their overall health. With proper care, basset hounds typically live between 10 to 12 years, although some can reach up to 13 years or more. It is crucial to monitor their weight and provide adequate exercise to prevent obesity-related health problems and ensure a longer, healthier lifespan for these beloved canine companions.

Family Compatibility

Basset hounds are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, making them excellent family companions. They are patient and gentle with children, often forming strong bonds with them. Bassets thrive on human interaction and enjoy being part of family activities. Their laid-back demeanor and loyalty make them well-suited for families of all sizes. It's important for families to provide regular exercise and mental stimulation for these scent-driven dogs to prevent boredom and potential destructive behavior. Overall, basset hounds are loving, social dogs that can bring joy and laughter to any household.

Exercise Needs

Basset hounds have low to moderate exercise needs due to their propensity to being sedentary. Daily walks are essential to maintain their overall health and prevent obesity, with the goal of keeping them lean and fit. Engaging in a variety of activities such as scent work or hide-and-seek games can provide mental stimulation and keep them active. It's important to avoid excessively strenuous exercise, especially for their long backs, as it can lead to back and joint issues. Monitoring their weight and adjusting exercise routines accordingly is key to ensuring their well-being.

Diet and Feeding

Bassets hounds benefit from a balanced diet to maintain their overall health and weight. With their propensity for obesity, it's crucial to monitor portion sizes and avoid excessive treats. High-quality, protein-rich dog food is recommended, tailored to their age, size, and activity level. Regular meals spread throughout the day can help with digestion and prevent bloating, a common issue in the breed. Providing fresh water constantly is essential to prevent dehydration, especially after exercise. Consulting with a veterinarian for specific dietary advice can ensure the well-being and longevity of these lovable, droopy-eared dogs.
Basset Hound Dog Breed Information and Pictures

Living Environment

Basset hounds are well-suited to various living environments as they adapt easily to apartment living, but also enjoy having a yard to roam in. Due to their calm demeanor, they can thrive in both urban and rural settings. It is essential to note that they are prone to barking, so a living environment where this won't be a bother to neighbors is ideal. Providing them with regular exercise and mental stimulation is crucial, regardless of the size of the living space, to keep them healthy and happy. Ultimately, a loving and attentive household is key to a basset hound's contentment.


Grooming a basset hound requires regular maintenance, especially focusing on their long, droopy ears prone to infections; weekly cleaning with a damp cloth can help prevent issues. Their loose skin and wrinkles need attention to prevent irritation and infections. Brushing their short coat weekly helps minimize shedding, especially during shedding seasons. Keeping their nails trimmed is essential, as their low-hanging stature may cause them discomfort if nails are too long. Regular dental care is crucial to prevent periodontal diseases. Overall, consistent grooming practices ensure a happy and healthy canine companion.

Training and Intelligence

Bred as scent hounds, these dogs have a reputation for being independent thinkers, which can present training challenges. Begin training early with positive reinforcement methods to make learning more engaging for their sensitive nature. Keep sessions short and engaging to prevent boredom. While intelligent, their stubborn streak may require patience and consistency. Use treats and praise to motivate them, as they respond well to rewards. Avoid harsh training methods, as these can result in a shut-down or resistance from the dog. With a kind and consistent approach, this breed can excel in obedience training and other canine activities.

Exercise and Activity Requirements

Basset hounds have low to moderate exercise needs, requiring daily walks to keep them healthy and mentally stimulated. While they enjoy sniffing and exploring, they are prone to obesity, so portion control is important. Engaging in activities like scent work or short play sessions can help fulfill their exercise requirements. However, they are not built for intense physical activities, so high-impact exercises should be avoided. It's essential to monitor their weight and adjust their exercise routine accordingly to prevent joint issues and maintain their overall well-being.


Socialization is crucial for these affectionate and amiable dogs to thrive. From an early age, expose them to various people, animals, environments, and experiences to ensure they develop into well-rounded companions. Positive interactions form the foundation for their sociable nature, helping them feel comfortable and confident in diverse situations. Regular socialization aids in preventing shyness or fearfulness, fostering a friendly demeanor towards strangers, other pets, and new surroundings. Structured socialization activities, including puppy classes, visits to dog parks, and obedience training, contribute to a well-adjusted and sociable canine companion.


Basset hounds typically have a lifespan of 10 to 12 years. To ensure a long and healthy life for these dogs, regular exercise, a balanced diet, and routine veterinary check-ups are essential. Additionally, maintaining proper dental hygiene, providing mental stimulation, and monitoring their weight can contribute to extending their lifespan. Genetic factors can also play a role in determining how long a basset hound may live, so choosing a reputable breeder who prioritizes health and longevity in their breeding program is crucial for potential owners.

Common Behavioral Issues

Common behavioral issues in this breed include stubbornness, which can make training a challenge. Basset hounds are also known to be very food-motivated, which can lead to overeating and potential weight issues if not monitored closely. Their strong sense of smell can sometimes lead them to follow scents without paying attention to commands, making recall training essential. Additionally, barking and howling tendencies are common in basset hounds, especially if they are bored or left alone for long periods. Early socialization and consistent, positive reinforcement training are key to addressing these behavioral issues in this breed.
Basset Hound Dog Breed Information and Pictures

Special Considerations

Special Considerations:
Basset hounds are prone to obesity due to their love for food and laid-back nature, so their diet must be strictly monitored. Their long, droopy ears require regular cleaning and checking for potential infections. They have a tendency to develop joint issues, so it's important to manage their weight and provide moderate exercise to prevent strain. Additionally, their loose skin and wrinkles need to be cleaned regularly to avoid skin infections. Their strong hunting instincts may lead them to follow scents without caution, making it essential to keep them in a secure, enclosed area or on a leash when outside.

Guardian Instincts

Basset hounds possess strong guardian instincts despite their gentle nature, making them attentive and protective companions. They are known to alert their owners to potential dangers with their deep bay and keen sense of smell, acting as reliable watchdogs. While they may not be aggressive, their loyalty and watchful demeanor make them natural guard dogs that will do their best to protect their family and territory. Basset hounds’ inherent protective instincts, paired with their laid-back demeanor, create a unique blend of traits that define them as both loving pets and vigilant guardians.

Allergies and Shedding

Basset hounds are known to be moderate shedders, requiring regular brushing to minimize loose hair around the home. While shedding can vary with individual dogs, maintaining a consistent grooming routine can help manage this issue effectively. When it comes to allergies, some individuals may be sensitive to dander or saliva produced by dogs, including basset hounds. Investing in high-quality grooming tools and keeping the living environment clean can help reduce allergens present in the home. Regular veterinary check-ups can also address potential skin issues that may exacerbate allergies in both the dog and their owners.

Cost of Ownership

The cost of owning a basset hound can vary depending on factors such as breeder reputation, location, and individual dog's health. Initial expenses may include the cost of purchasing from a reputable breeder, which can range from $500 to $2000. Annual costs for food, supplies, and veterinary care can total around $500 to $1000. Additional expenses to consider are grooming, training classes, and pet insurance. Unexpected medical emergencies or specialized care, like ear infections common in the breed, can increase overall ownership costs. Owners should budget for regular expenses and be prepared for potential unforeseen costs.

Availability and Adoption

Basset Hounds are readily available for adoption through breed-specific rescue organizations, animal shelters, and online platforms. They can often be found in these settings due to factors like moving, financial constraints, or lack of time to care for the breed's needs. Potential adopters should carefully consider their ability to meet a Basset Hound's exercise, grooming, and veterinary requirements before adoption. Additionally, adopting an adult Basset Hound may offer a clearer picture of the dog's temperament and behavior compared to adopting a puppy, as their personalities are more established. Overall, adopting a Basset Hound can be a rewarding experience for the right family.

Famous Examples

Some famous examples of this distinctive breed include Flash, the beloved basset hound who starred in "The Dukes of Hazzard" TV series, and Droopy, the iconic cartoon character recognized for his laid-back demeanor and characteristic droopy face. Additionally, Sherlock Holmes' loyal companion in various adaptations, the bumbling but lovable basset hound, adds to the breed's popularity and recognition in popular culture. These famous basset hounds showcase the breed's endearing qualities and unique appearance, further solidifying their charm in the hearts of admirers worldwide.
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