Basset Hound Photo

Basset Hound Dog Breed Info & Pictures

Floppy ears, a laid-back attitude, and a heart of gold. Bassett Hounds are just as comfortable lounging around the house as they are out on the hunting trail, which makes them an ideal choice for hunters and families alike. They are perhaps most famous as the mascot for shoe company Hush Puppies and the cartoon Droopy Dog, but their appeal goes far beyond that.

Bassett Hound dogs are natural hunters, but they are more easygoing than their excitable cousin the Beagle. Their short legs also mean they move a little more slowly than other types of hounds and are not great swimmers. That’s okay, though — they don’t seem to mind lounging around the couch.

Physically, Basset Hounds are about a foot tall and weigh between 50 and 65 pounds. They are known for long, floppy ears and short legs. They have excess skin around their face, which helped earned the “droopy” nickname. That skin can have some care implications — more on that later.

Basset Hound Fast Facts

Hound
9 - 12 years
France
16th century
45 - 60 lb
40 - 55 lb
13 - 15"
<14"
Bassett Hound, Baset Hound, Bassit Hound or Basut Hound.
None

Temperament

Calling all children: the Basset Hound is the dog for you....

Thanks to a calm demeanor and friendly disposition, the Basset is consistently named one of the best dogs for children. They are extremely gentle, even around the littlest babies. This sense of calm applies to their interactions with other animals. They are just as happy to chill out as they are to be out on the hunting trail.

The Zen-like attitude of a Basset means that they are not very good guard dogs. They do not bark or howl when they encounter someone unfamiliar and are just as likely to be friendly to a stranger as they are to someone they know.

Because Basset Hounds are such social dogs, they can get upset if they are left alone for long periods of time. They will let you know this by howling or whining incessantly if they feel they are not getting enough attention. They may also act out in a destructive way by wrecking things around the house.

They can also be pretty single-minded when it comes to hunting. If they are hot on a trail, theyll follow it wherever it goes, even if thats into traffic or onto a neighbors property where they shouldnt be. Getting them to divert from the pursuit can be difficult because hunting is such a fundamental part of their DNA. Be prepared to be firm and persistent, and dont let your Basset roam in an unsecure area without a leash.

Caring For a Basset Hound

Bassets love to eat and will do so every chance they get!...

Obesity is a serious problem for this breed, so be mindful of their food intake and make sure to balance it with as much exercise as you can. Too much weight can lead to joint problems from excessive stress on their legs. Those big, floppy ears also require regular cleaning to keep dirt and wax at bay and help prevent ear infections.

Speaking of clean, if you are a clean freak, a Basset might not be your cup of tea. These guys love to drool and do so pretty much constantly, no matter where they are. Its not really something that you can train way in Basset Hound puppies, so be prepared for lots of slobbery love if you decide to bring a Basset into your home. The loose skin around their mouths can also get messy when they drink from a water bowl.

Like their cousin the Beagle, Basset Hounds can be difficult to housetrain. Crate training is recommended for Basset Hound puppies to help them fight the urge to chase every scent that they catch a whiff of. Even with early training, the urge to follow the trail of a scent is likely going to be a lifelong battle for you and your Basset.

Basset Hound History

Breed History

Basset Hounds originated in France, where their name translates to low....

They were bred to hunt rabbits and are still used for hunting in Europe. Their most direct ancestor is the St. Hubert Hound, which belonged to St. Hubert of Belgium in the 6th century. The first-known reference to a Basset Hound was in the hunting book La Venerie in 1585.

Basset Hounds continued to be popular with French aristocrats and made their way to England in the mid-1800s, where they also caught on with royals. Princess Alexandra of Wales kept Basset Hounds in the royal kennels, which lead to the formation of the English Bassett Hound Club in 1884 an organization that still exists today.

Bassets came to the US in the late 1800s and were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1916. They hit their stride in the 1950s thanks to Hush Puppies ad campaigns and Droopy Dog cartoons, and today they are ranked 28th of 155 in popularity by the AKC.