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Basset Hound Breed

Sara Ochoa

By Dr. Sara Ochoa


Looking for a chill family dog that is good with kids?

Say hello to the Basset Hound!

He may look small but is actually considered a large breed.

Known for his distinctive wrinkles and droopy eyes, the basset will win your heart.

He is part of the hound group and has the distinctive bay of a scent-dog.

Historically bred for hunting, the basset is more than happy to cuddle up and relax all day.

You might find him digging with his strong paws or following the trail of an errant squirrel.

This breed is generally considered good for first-time puppy parents.

 

So, what does a basset hound need?

Does he live well in an apartment or does he need more room?

How does this breed interact with other dogs and people?

Are there any health concerns to be worried about with bassets?

What kind of daily exercise is expected for this breed?

Does he require a lot of gooming?

This article will cover all the questions above and more.

Come along with me and get to know this adorable and engaging breed!

 

Appearance

 

The basset hound is one of the most easily recognizable dogs in existence.

Only about 15 inches tall, this pup is still considered a large dog.

Don’t let his short stature fool you; the basset weighs between 40-65 pounds!

He has big bones and a stocky build.

Long ears that droop to the ground accentuate his baggy skin which wrinkles all over.

Completing the look, the basset has incredibly sad eyes.

Do not underestimate the power held within his gaze when your basset looks beseechingly at you!

And don’t be fooled.

He may look sad, but the basset is known for being a clown!

 

Happy dog with floppy ears

The basset can come in several different colors.

Standard colors for the breed are white, black, brown, tan, and mahogany.

These can also be augmented by the colors red and lemon.

Basset pups often exhibit a combination of two or three of the above color options.

Because he loves hanging out and sleeping, this breed is prone to obesity.

As stated above, the basset’s ideal weight is 40-65 pounds so make a point to get your pup up and moving at least once a day.

Not only will your dog be happier, but he will be healthier and have fewer joint problems in the future!

 

Personality

One of the basset’s biggest selling points is his personality.

This dog wants to be everyone’s friend.

It doesn’t matter if he just met you.

He will love you and want to be with you for the duration of your time together.

In public, this breed is very comfortable and friendly with other dogs.

This makes it easy to ensure he is well socialized.

The basset hound is also great with children.

It helps that he is close to the ground and can’t easily bowl small children over.

Because of the basset hound’s size, it is important to teach your children to be considerate of him.

Children often think that they can ride a basset like a horse.

This can cause physical issues for this breed.

Be sure to talk to your children about how to play with your pup without hurting him.

If you have kids, your basset will adore them and provide constant companionship!

 

This breed can be stubborn.

He has a mind of his own and doesn’t always want to do what you want.

This makes it imperative that you start training your basset young.

Training should continue throughout your pup’s life.

Be firm but loving in your training.

Praise and positive reinforcement will be a much greater encouragement to your dog than harsh words.

Just be careful not to use treats as a reinforcement too often.

This breed is already predisposed to obesity, so try to reinforce training with praise and toys rather than food.

Be firm and loving and your basset will follow you to the ends of the earth!

 

Exercise

For a hound breed, the basset does not have a lot of energy.

His exercise needs will be easily filled with a moderately paced walk every day.

He has incredible powers to scent out other creatures.

Expect your walk to turn into a rambling meander as he discovers new smells to smell.

This daily walk will help prevent the obesity to which the basset hound is prone.

Your pup is also incredibly social.

The basset is a pack hound, which means he loves being with other dogs.

If you have a nearby dog-park where your pup can socialize with other dogs, take advantage of it!

And after your dog has run off his energy, he will be more than content to hang out and sleep the rest of the day away!

 

Pup admiring blooming trees

If you are unable to take your pup on a walk, you should have an outdoor space where he can get some exercise.

Don’t just leave him outside by himself.

The basset is incredibly social and will not receive the exercise he needs if left to his own devices.

Do yourself and your pup a favor and make sure he receives the daily exercise he needs!

 

Grooming

The basset hound’s coat is short and smooth, but still requires regular grooming.

This breed can shed a decent amount, so a thorough weekly brushing is imperative.

Not only will this help remove dead hair and skin cells, but it will help improve the overall health of your pup’s skin.

In addition, you will want to give your basset an occasional bath.

This will help his coat to stay beautiful and silky.

 

Since the basset tends to be rather inactive, it is incredibly important to keep his nails trimmed.

Without a regular trimming, your pup’s nails will get too long and be painful.

In addition, they can also damage your floors if too long.

So do both yourself and your dog a favor and keep his nails trimmed!

While the basset does require regular grooming, it is simple and straightforward!

 

Training

As with any breed, it is imperative to start training your pup as young as possible.

As a pack hound, your basset has an innate sociability.

Enhance this with socialization training and your pup will be one of the friendliest that other people and dogs will ever meet.

In general, training a basset hound can be a challenge because of his independent nature.

The most important things to remember are consistency, time, and persistence.

If you stick with your pup’s training, you will see results.

 

Offer plenty of verbal praise and encouragement.

This breed flourishes under positive reinforcement, so try to keep the negative or harsh comments to a minimum.

In addition, try to avoid treats as a means of reward.

The basset hound is predisposed to obesity.

Avoiding food as a training reward will help your pup’s overall weight and health.

 

As your dog matures, don’t stop working on his training!

Continued training is one of the most fulfilling parts of your dog’s life!

It will keep him occupied and happy and continue to reinforce what he has learned in the past.

You, your family, your pup, and anyone else who interacts with him, will all benefit from continued training!

Cute puppy

 

Health

The basset hound is generally a healthy dog.

However, like most breeds, this specific pup can be prone to certain medical conditions.

It is imperative to ask your breeder for medical clearances for both of your pup’s parents.

This isn’t an absolute fail-safe, but it will help in giving you an idea of what to expect for your pup’s future.

Keep an eye on your basset’s ears.

Because of how long they are, they can become infected.

Gently clean your pup’s ears regularly and pay attention to any irritation your dog may express by scratching them.

 

Basset hounds are prone to eye problems called ectropion and entropion.

These two issues involve the eyelid being turned outwards or inwards, specifically.

Both conditions cause irritation to your pup’s eyes.

Take note of any weeping you see in your basset’s eyes and any obvious irritation.

 

Obesity is a huge problem for any short-legged dog.

Thankfully, this is one issue that is relatively easily remedied.

Make sure you only give your pup the prescribed amount of food for his size and age.

In addition, ensure that your dog is receiving the recommended amount of daily exercise.

These preventative measures will help keep your pup healthy and spry!

If you have any questions or concerns about your basset’s health, do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian.

 

History

This sweet dog has his origins in France.

It is believed the Basset is the result of an accidental mutation in the breeding of the Bloodhound in the 16th century.

The dwarf hound was recognized for his ability to track small game independently.

This enabled him to work in tandem with a human following on foot.

The dwarf strain was selectively bred to produce the Basset Hound we know and love today.

Popular with the French aristocracy, the Basset Hound was an elite hunting dog for years!

 

Eventually, the breed became accessible to the common man.

These pups made their way to the United States sometime during the Colonial Period.

The American Kennel Club made the Basset Hound their 10th breed in 1885.

With the advent of Hush Puppy shoes in the 1960’s, bassets once again shot into the limelight.

He is now in the top 50 most popular breeds in the U.S.

The Basset Hound is a loving and clownish fixture in the canine world.

 

Where Can I Find Basset Hounds?

As always, only trust reputable breeders.

The last thing you want to do is fall prey to a puppy mill or internet scam.

Check your breeder’s credentials.

Ask lots of questions.

Any breeder worth their salt will be more than happy to provide documentation for you.

Confirm your pup’s medical history on both his mom and dad’s side.

Also check if your breeder has had their puppies screened for any preexisting conditions.

For your own sake as well as your puppy’s, don’t hesitate to ask questions!

 

When looking at puppies, personality is a big factor.

Even within breed stereotypes, there can be a wide range of personality.

You can ask your breeder for a personality run down of each puppy.

Some breeders even provide a personality quiz so they can recommend a match for you.

In addition, it is always a good idea to meet your puppy at least once in person before taking him home.

This will allow you to get a feeling for your puppy’s personality and how he will fit in with your family.

This is also a good experience for any children you might have.

They can start preparing to have a puppy in their lives.

Take your time to find the puppy who is right for you!

 

FAQ

Q: Is the Basset Hound good with children?

A: Yes, he is! Your basset will love your kids to death and will be a fun and sweet companion for them!

Q: Does the Basset Hound typically have a lot of health issues?

A: This breed is generally healthy, but is prone to a handful of conditions tied to his eyes, ears, and bone structure.

Q: Is this a good breed for apartment living?

A: Yes, as long as you are able to take your pup out for daily exercise. Basset’s don’t need a lot of exercise, but it is necessary for their health.

Q: Does this breed require a lot of grooming?

A: Generally, no. A weekly brushing, an occasional bath, and regular nail clippings and cleaning of the ears is the most you should plan for.

 

In Closing

He will win your heart with his sad eyes and droopy ears.

He will charm your children with his goofy spirit.

The Basset Hound is truly a loving and loyal companion for both adults and kids.

Is this breed right for you?

If so, you can take a look at Basset Hound Puppies for sale here!

Thank you for learning more about the Basset Hound with me!

See you next time!

 

References

American Kennel Club. (2022, 1 31). Basset Hound. Retrieved from American Kennel Club: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/basset-hound/

Daily Paws. (2022, 1 31). Basset Hound. Retrieved from Daily Paws: https://www.dailypaws.com/dogs-puppies/dog-breeds/basset-hound

Dogtime. (2022, 1 31). Basset Hound. Retrieved from Dogtime: https://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/basset-hound#/slide/3

Hillspet. (2022, 1 31). Basset Hound. Retrieved from Hillspet: https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/dog-breeds/basset-hound

Vetstreet. (2022, 1 31). Basset Hound. Retrieved from Vetstreet: http://www.vetstreet.com/dogs/basset-hound#history

Picture of author Dr. Sara Ochoa in her scrubs with a cute dogSara Ochoa, DVM is an expert veterinarian ready to help you give your dog an amazing life. Stationed in East Texas, Dr. Ochoa specializes in small and/or exotic animals. She’s currently loving life alongside her husband Greg and their three fur babies: Ruby the Schnoodle, Monkey the tortoise, and Oliver James (affectionately dubbed “OJ”) the cat.

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