Basset Hound Breed - Dog & Puppy Information & Characteristics

Basset Hound Breed

The Basset Hound is a unique breed in the doggy world that is both endearing and instantly recognisable. Originally bred in France for hunting hares, this short-legged breed has a sense of smell and ground-scenting ability second only to the Bloodhound. Bassets are low-slung but mighty, boasting heavy bone structure, powerful legs, and massive paws. And if you are wondering about their personality, they are laid-back and mild at home. Though these furry companions can be a tad stubborn on the trail, they remain steadfastly loyal. Basset Hounds, with their gentle, affectionate nature, make great family pets. And this article will help you understand if a Basset Hound puppy would be a suitable addition to your family.

Key Specifications of a Basset Hound

If you're considering bringing a Basset Hound into your home, it's important to know about their key characteristics, such as a Basset Hound's height, weight, and coat. Here's all the information you need to know about the key specifications of this breed:


18-27 kg


Up to 15 inches


12-13 years 


Short and smooth

Physical appearance of Basset Hound

Basset Hounds generally have a short and smooth coat. They also tend to have hanging skin that lend distinctive charm to their overall appearance. Basset Hounds can be found with tricolour or bicolour coats in a number of colour combinations, namely:

  • Black and white
  • Black, brown, and white
  • Black, tan, and white
  • Black, white, and brown
  • Black, white, and tan
  • Brown, black, and white 
  • Lemon and white
  • Mahogany and white
  • Red and white

Fun Fact: The original Basset Hound was crossed with the Bloodhound in 1886 to give the Basset Hound we see today – heavier-bodied version of the predecessor.

Here are some of the identifiable features of Basset Hound dogs:

  • Medium sized, heavy-set body
  • Large, domed head with long velvety ears and mournful eyes
  • Short, powerful, bowed legs
  • Deep, full chest with long and smooth back

Basset Hound personality traits

The Basset Hound, with its seemingly serious look, is an unexpectedly sociable, calm, and friendly dog breed. Known for their affectionate nature, Basset Hounds are fond of people they know, while being reserved with strangers. They adore children and get along well with other dogs, making them a fantastic choice for families with other pets. One of the key aspects of the Basset Hound temperament is their need for company. These dogs are extremely companionable and do not like to be left alone. Therefore, they are happiest in an environment where they have human or canine companionship.

Do Basset Hounds need training?

Much like any dog breed, a Basset Hound also requires training. This is particularly important as Basset Hounds are known for their independent nature and can often be a little aloof when it comes to following commands. However, with time, consistency, and lots of patience, this dog can certainly be trained.

Effective training is crucial for a Basset Hound puppy, shaping them into confident and intelligent dogs. In addition to shaping their behaviour, training also serves as a great way to stimulate a Basset's mental health. Always keep your Basset's favourite dog treats handy to reward good behaviour.

How to care for a Basset Hound?

Bringing a Basset Hound puppy home means committing to being a caring companion for the rest of its life. Here's everything you need to know about taking good care of a Basset:

  • Health issues

Despite their charming and robust appearance, Basset Hounds can be prone to certain health conditions. Their long and droopy ears require frequent monitoring to prevent infections. Indicators like head shaking or ear scratching may signal the need for a vet visit. Bassets are also susceptible to hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, glaucoma, hypothyroidism, bleeding disorders, and luxating patella. They may also be prone to spinal disorders and joint development issues due to their unique body shape, and obesity can worsen these conditions. Hence, proper nutrition and regular exercise becomes indispensable for this breed.

  • Grooming

Contrary to what one might think, Basset Hounds require regular grooming. Despite their short hair, they can shed profusely. Regular brushing at least once a week can help manage shedding and provide a healthy skin massage. Their nails need trimming regularly, and an occasional bath can keep their coat clean and shiny. Special attention should be given to their skin folds, eyes, and long ears to prevent potential infections.

  • Physical activity

Basset Hounds may not be the most active breed, but they need regular, moderate exercise. A daily walk at a moderate pace will keep them healthy and prevent obesity. As pack animals, Bassets enjoy canine company during their outings and can be quite playful. Limiting their stair climbing until they are 18 months old can prevent potential joint complications.

  • Nutritional requirement

Your Basset Hound's diet should consist of high-quality dog food, either commercially manufactured or home-prepared as per your veterinarian's supervision. It's crucial to monitor your pet's calorie intake as it is prone to obesity. While treats can be useful for training, no more than 10% of a daily calorie intake is advisable. Always ensure that clean, fresh water is available for your Basset Hound. If you notice any concerns regarding your dog's weight or diet, consult with your vet immediately.

A brief history of Basset Hounds

The Basset Hound, with its low stature and keen sense of smell, originated in France and Belgium in the 16th century. The name 'basset' is derived from the French word 'bas', meaning low, a fitting description for this distinctively short breed. Basset Hounds were initially bred for hunting small game, particularly rabbits and hares. 

To learn more about different dog breeds, head over to our breeds category page for more information.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the average Basset Hound lifespan?

The average Basset Hound lifespan is anywhere between 10 to 13 years.

What is the Basset Hound dog temperament like?

Are Basset Hounds good family dogs?

Are Basset Hound puppies easy to train?

How much should I feed my Basset Hound puppy?

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