About Dog Breeds: Basset Hound

Individuals in North Carolina favor the basset hound. Photo credit:

Basset Hound

Basset Hound Dog BreedAbout

Basset Hounds are typically short, stocky, and heavy. They are known for their large, floppy ears that hang almost to the ground. They have short, stubby legs and big paws. This breed has relatively large heads with sad, big, brown droopy eyes that will melt any dog lover’s heart. Their coats are short, shiny, and usually appear in some variation of black, white, tan, red, and chestnut.

Basset Hounds are typical slow-moving due to their little legs. They don’t have the fastest reflexes but they make up for it with their superior sense of smell. This breed’s long ears have been poetically described by Shakespeare as “Ears which sweep away the morning dew.”


The Basset Hound is an old breed and a direct descendent of the Bloodhound, with a nose that is almost as outstanding. Some sources suggest the Basset Hound may have originated from genetic dwarf dogs that were born in litters of different types of hunting hounds. The name “Basset Hound” comes from the French word “bas” meaning low.

The breed was first presented at a Paris dog show in 1863, and it was there the dog’s popularity began. Their popularity spread to England and feuds soon arose between those who wanted the Basset Hound to be more of a show dog, keeping the dog as more of a companion, and those who wanted to keep the dog as a hunting dog. The breed eventually spread to America where breeders started developing a dog which they felt had both hunting and companion traits.


Basset Hounds are naturally sweet, gentle, devoted, and well-behaved. They are friendly around children and make great family dogs. This breed may be a little stubborn during training. Housebreaking may be difficult, but they are very easily motivated by food! Basset Hounds have deep barks that help in warding off intruders. It may be difficult to get your Basset’s attention after they pick up a good scent. They like to follow a smell all the way back to it’s source and may not even hear you calling while they’re in such a focused state. Keep this in mind and only allow this breed off leash in safe areas.


  • Height: 11 – 15 inches
  • Weight: 45 – 65 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
  • Grooming: Wipe ears weekly and bathe as necessary

Care & Health

Basset Hounds make okay apartment dogs if given the opportunity to run and play outdoors daily. In addition to outdoor play they also need a long daily walk. Monitor food and exercise carefully! An overweight Basset Hound is very likely to have unnecessary strain on their spine and legs. Try to keep them from jumping too much, as that can also lead to problems in the front legs. This breed is also prone to bloating. It may be best to feed three smalls meals per day rather than two larger meals.

Your Love Match

The perfect pet parent of a Basset Hound:

  • Active
  • Attentive
  • Patient
  • Caring