Breed Highlight: Basset Hounds

Basset Hounds

The Basset is a good-natured hound with a pleading gaze which can come in handy when he wants a treat or knows he has broken the rules. This breed has a reputation for being slow and lazy. However, these hunting dogs enjoy long, rambling walks. We will discuss this breed to help you determine if it is ideal for you and your family.

The Basset Hound

Vital Stats of Basset Hounds

  • Dog breed group: Hound
  • Height: No more than 14 inches
  • Weight: 50 to 65 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12 to 15 years

Physical Characteristics of Basset Hounds

Basset Hounds have a heavy, bony structure, which makes them larger-proportioned than other breeds. The breed’s short legs and long, heavy body help it run smoothly and powerfully, even in places with thick cover. He moves with his nose pointing to the ground. You can find the tight and thick coat in various colors. The coat also protects the dog from brambles during a hunt.

The wrinkles and the long ears help this breed in trapping scent. His muzzle is spacious to accommodate its complicated olfactory apparatus — an apparatus that makes the large and strong Basset Hound stand out among other dogs, even with its short legs.

Care for Basset Hounds

Basset Hounds

Daily mild exercise, such as playing the yard or walking on a leash, is good enough to satisfy the Basset.

The dog’s face, especially the wrinkles and around the mouth require regular cleaning. However, the coat does not need much grooming. The Basset Hound also has a tendency to drool and he functions best indoors as a house pet.

Health of Basset Hounds

Similar to any other breed, the Basset Hound is prone to specific health problems. He is prone to the following major health conditions:

  • Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD)
  • gastric torsion
  • elbow dysplasia
  • thrombopathy
  • entropion
  • otitis externa
  • ectropion
  • glaucoma
  • von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD)
  • canine hip dysplasia

Obesity is another common problem in this breed, which can lead to back problems. He may also suffer from patellar luxation.

History of Basset Hounds

Basset Hounds

The Basset descends from dogs developed at the 7th-century abbey of St. Hubert in the Ardennes forest. This forest is where Abbot Hubert — now the patron saint of hunters, archers and forest rangers — was fond of hunting. Much of his time was spent developing a new strain of hound with powerful scenting ability. These hounds became known as St. Hubert hounds and were prized throughout France and England. One line of the St. Hubert hounds became the Bloodhounds of today. However, another line produced short-legged, slow-moving dogs that became the preferred dog of hunters on foot in search of small game. The would drive rabbits and hare from the dense brush into open ground, where they could visibly by the hunters.

Bassets first came to the U.S. in the early 19th century. The American Kennel Club began registering the breed in 1885. This breed became well known in the 1960s after starring in an ad for Hush Puppy shoes, and their popularity increased dramatically.


For more information on the Basset Hound or other dog breeds, don’t hesitate to contact us here at All Pets Veterinary Medical Center with the link below!

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