Despite their soulful eyes and perpetually sad expression, Basset Hounds are loving and easygoing dogs who make friends with everyone they meet. These calm, relaxed dogs make great family pets and adapt well to most environments. They’re cheerful and happy to be around people and other dogs.
Most Basset Hounds are kept as pets these days, but their hound genetics mean that they’re excellent at following a scent. These long, low-slung dogs get close to the ground to better track down their prey. However, the most that many Basset Hounds will track down is some food, as they love to eat. They enjoy being lap dogs, or at least try to be, as they can be very heavy for their height.
TemperamentBasset Hounds tend to be sweet, gentle, and peaceful animals. Their laid-back demeanor means they readily accept outsiders into their ranks, whether two- or four-legged. However, they don’t often get outwardly excited or worked up about new friends. They simply carry on giving everyone the same low-key affection and admiration that they always give. The temperament of the Basset Hound is almost never moody or dour, and a majority of them will be friendly and outgoing. While they are mild-mannered and well-behaved, they are also not timid or shy. When it comes to their owner and their family, they are exceedingly devoted and loving. They get along well with children and other pets, including cats. They dislike being alone, and will stick to their owners or human family members like glue. Despite this, they are independent thinkers and need a confident, calm owner to teach them proper boundaries.
The Ultimate Guide to Basset Hound
The history of the Basset Hound begins in France, where the name Basset specifically refers to a particular type of hound by height. The French word “bas” means “low”, so the breed was specifically bred to be close to the ground. It is theorized that the Basset Hound can trace its roots back to the St. Hubert Hound, the same ancestor of the Bloodhound. The St. Hubert Hound likely produced some short-legged dogs that were then developed into the Basset Hound. While they may not have been used as working dogs at first, evidence suggests that their talents for flushing out small game in thick brush made them desirable as hunting dogs. The first mention of the Basset Hound can be found in a hunting book from the late 16th century. They became popular with both the French aristocracy and common folk, who valued a dog that could be followed on foot and did not require a horse to hunt. Eventually the Basset Hound was brought over to Brian by the mid-19th century, and the breed gained popularity when Alexandra, Princess of Wales, kept some in the royal kennels. Basset Hounds were imported into America in the early 20th century, but did not gain much traction until the 1960s, when the breed became the face of Hush Puppy shoes. Their popularity soared, and to this day they remain one of the more popular breeds throughout the country.
Key Characteristics of Basset Hound
Basset Hounds tend to be sweet, gentle, and peaceful animals. Their laid-back demeanor means they readily accept outsiders into their ranks, whether two- or four-legged. However, they don’t often get outwardly excited or worked up about new friends. They simply carry on giving everyone the same low-key affection and admiration that they always give.
The temperament of the Basset Hound is almost never moody or dour, and a majority of them will be friendly and outgoing. While they are mild-mannered and well-behaved, they are also not timid or shy.
When it comes to their owner and their family, they are exceedingly devoted and loving. They get along well with children and other pets, including cats. They dislike being alone, and will stick to their owners or human family members like glue. Despite this, they are independent thinkers and need a confident, calm owner to teach them proper boundaries.
If there could be one word to describe the Basset Hound, it would be “relaxed”, and that’s exactly the kind word to describe their exercise needs. As a result, they only require minimal exercise, around 20 to 30 minutes per day of low-intensity walking. Having your Basset Hound jump or run excessively may be harmful to their long back and short legs.
However, despite their low exercise needs, don’t let your Basset Hound become a complete couch potato. Those 20 to 30 minutes each day are important for the dog’s health. Even though they may not need much physical activity, they do need a lot of mental stimulation.
Consider letting your Basset Hound off-leash in a secure fenced yard so that they can sniff around to their heart’s content. Nosework is also an option, as are puzzle feeders and low-impact dog games. They won’t do well with any kind of activity where they need to run or jump, but let them follow their nose and they’ll surprise you with how adept they are at sniffing out their prey.
|Basset Hound Grooming||
Basset Hounds have a short, smooth single coat that sheds constantly throughout the year. They do have moderate grooming requirements, as all the loose fur and folds on their face and body need to be cleaned regularly.
Brushing your Basset Hound weekly with a soft-bristled brush will help keep their moderate shedding under control, and keep their coat shiny and soft. This weekly maintenance can also go along with a regular wipe down of the dog’s face and ears. A Basset Hound owner should wipe between the folds of the skin as well as along the outside of the ear canal. This will help prevent infections and irritation caused by dirt and debris that may be hiding in these areas.
The Basset Hound’s coat is good at shedding dirt and water, so most Basset Hounds don’t need to be bathed very often. Once a month or every other month is enough for most Basset Hounds, assuming they don’t get very dirty from splashing around in a mud puddle outdoors.
Nail trimming may be done once or twice a month. Tooth brushing should be done daily, as Basset Hounds may be prone to tooth and gum diseases. You may also have their teeth professionally cleaned once a month by a groomer.
|Basset Hound Training||
Like most other hounds, Basset Hounds have a bit of an independent streak that may make it more difficult to train them. They are smart, it’s just that they’re smart enough to think that their way of doing things is the best way. They can also get easily distracted by various smells and sights that they encounter, making it difficult for them to focus on the task at hand.
While both of these traits are challenges, training a Basset Hound is possible to do even for novice owners. The key is going to be positive reinforcement to get your Basset Hound to listen to your commands. Reward your Basset Hound for paying attention, and they’ll be much more motivated to learn.
Keep your training sessions short and fun, and your Basset Hound is much less likely to get bored. Shorter, more frequent training sessions will pay off in the long run. Also try to keep the training sessions varied, as hounds do not appreciate repetitive tasks.
|Basset Hound Lifespan And Health Issues||
Basset Hounds are generally healthy animals and can live up to 12 to 13 years. Basset Hounds may be prone to:
|Basset Hound Size And Space Requirements||
While Basset Hounds are not very large, they are built very solidly for their size. While they only stand less than 15 inches at the shoulder, they can weigh between 40 to 65 pounds when fully grown.
They are adaptable and easygoing dogs, so they should be able to fit into most urban or rural households, regardless of size. The only specific features to watch out for are stairs and drops, as the Basset Hound may be prone to joint problems due to their heavy weight and long backs.
They enjoy having outdoor spaces where they can play and exercise their noses, but this can be fulfilled by shared spaces such as dog parks. Just ensure you keep your Basset Hound on a leash, as they may take off running after smaller animals if their prey drive kicks in – though it’s not too hard to catch up to them.
Because they enjoy family activities and being around people, they aren’t suited to living outdoors. Most Basset Hounds will want to sleep where their owner sleeps.
- Basset Hounds aren’t lazy, their interests are just different from other dogs – once they pick up a smell that ignites their curiosity, they will search for it with tenacity and drive.
- Basset Hounds drool and pass gas frequently, making them unsuitable for owners who are particular about cleanliness.
- Basset Hounds have a tendency for weight gain since they are often food-oriented.
How can I take good care of my Basset Hound or Puppy?
Basset Hound puppies need early socialization to learn the rules and boundaries of the household. It is also necessary so that your Basset Hound puppy develops confidence and learns how to interact with other people and dogs. This can be done as soon as your puppy is brought home, as most breeders will release puppies to their new owners at 8 weeks old. This 8 to 12 week period is when puppies are most open to learning from new experiences.
Basset Hound puppies should get high-quality, premium dog food so that they develop properly. Any treats should be given in moderation, as most treats, while flavorful, are full of fats and carbohydrates. If you have any concerns about your Basset Hound puppy’s weight, diet, or appetite, your veterinarian may have more specific dietary recommendations.
Your Basset Hound puppy will have to receive numerous vaccinations in the first couple of weeks they are with you. Contact your veterinarian and they will be able to give you more specific advice regarding the puppy’s vaccination schedule. Follow the schedule your veterinarian gives you to ensure that your Basset Hound is adequately protected from common transmissible diseases and bacteria.
Most Asked Basset Hound Questions
+How Much do Basset Hound Puppies Cost
Most Basset Hound puppies for sale will cost between $500 and $1500. There are various inheritable conditions associated with the Basset Hound, and reputable breeders have both parents checked for these conditions before breeding. Even after the puppies are born, they need to pass a number of health checks before being released to new owners. Only get Basset Hound puppies from ethical breeders to ensure that your Basset Hound puppy is healthy and free from genetic issues.