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Basset Hound

Information and Pictures

Right Profile - Elwood the Basset Hound standing outside

Elwood the Basset Hound at 5 years old

Other Names


Hush Puppy



The Basset Hound is a short, relatively heavy dog. The head is large and well-proportioned with a rounded skull. The muzzle is deep and heavy with the length being greater than the width at the brow. The brown eyes have a soft, sad look to them and are slightly sunken with a prominent haw. The darkly pigmented lips have loose hanging flews and the dewlap is very pronounced. The skin hangs loose like elastic and falls in folds on the head. The velvety ears are set low and extremely long hanging toward the ground. The large teeth meet in either a scissors or even bite. The chest is very deep, extending in front of the front legs. The dog’s hindquarters are very full and round. The paws are big. The dewclaws may be removed. The coat is dense, short, hard and shiny. There are no rules concerning color, but it is usually black, tan, white, red, or white with chestnut or sand-colored markings.


The Basset Hound is sweet, gentle, devoted, peaceful and naturally well-behaved. It fits into family life well. Its temperament should always be friendly, and never vicious, moody or harsh, and would only become so if the owners lead the dog to believe he is pack leader over humans. It is mild but not timid; very affectionate with its master and friendly with children. It can be a bit stubborn with meek owners and needs a firm, confident, and consistent owner who displays natural authority over the dog. Dogs need to know the rules of the house and have the humans stick to them. Bassets like to do tricks for food. They have a deep musical bark. Housebreaking is difficult, but they do well with patient, gentle training. With proper training, they are obedient, but when they pick up an interesting smell, it's sometimes hard to get their attention, as they like to follow their noses and may not even hear you calling them back. Only allow your Basset off lead in safe areas.

Height, Weight

Height: Males 12 - 15 inches (30 – 38 cm) Females 11 - 14 inches (28 – 36 cm)

Weight: Males 50 - 65 pounds (23 – 29 kg) Females 45 - 60 pounds (20 – 27 kg)

Health Problems

Do not overfeed these dogs because extra weight places too great a load on the legs and spine. A problem area is possible lameness and eventual paralysis because of short legs and a heavy, long body. As they are prone to bloat, it is also wise to feed them two or three small meals a day instead of one large meal. If they do eat a large meal keep an eye on them for several hours for any signs of bloat.

Living Conditions

The Basset Hound will do okay in an apartment. They are very inactive indoors but outdoors they will run for hours in play if given the chance. They will do okay without a yard, but should be given plenty of opportunities to run and play to keep healthy and trim.


To keep the Basset Hound healthy, it should be given plenty of exercise, including a long daily walk to keep the dog mentally stable, but discourage it from jumping and stressing the front legs. This breed will run and play by the hour when given the chance. Because of their keen noses they tend to roam when they pick up a scent. Take care when off lead that the dog is in a safe area. When they pick up a scent they may not even hear you calling them back as their complete focus will be on finding the critter at the other end.

Life Expectancy

About 10-12 years

Litter Size

Average of 8 puppies, large litters are common; known to have 15 or more puppies in one litter


The smooth, shorthaired coat is easy to groom. Comb and brush with a firm bristle brush, and shampoo only when necessary. Wipe under the ears every week and trim toenails regularly. This breed is a constant shedder.


The Basset Hound is an old breed which is a direct descendent of the Bloodhound and has 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 Basset Hound’s long ears have been poetically described by Shakespeare as "Ears which sweep away the morning dew." The breed was first presented at a Paris dog show in 1863, and it was there the dog's popularity began. Its popularity spread to England and feuds soon arose between those who wanted the dog to be more of a show dog, keeping it more as a companion dog, and those who wanted to keep it as a hunting dog. The breed spread to America where breeders started developing a dog which they felt covered both hunting and companion / show traits. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885. Able to hunt in both packs or alone, the dog is good at hunting in the den and in the open. It is used to hunt fox, hare, opossum and pheasant. While the dog’s reflexes are slow, it has an excellent sense of smell. The fact that it is relatively slow on its feet means it can be more convenient for hunters who are on foot. It is also less likely to scare game out of reach. It is said that George Washington owned Basset Hounds that were given to him by Lafayette after the American Revolution.


Hound, AKC Hound


ACA = American Canine Association Inc.

ACR = American Canine Registry

AKC = American Kennel Club

ANKC = Australian National Kennel Club

APRI = American Pet Registry, Inc.

CKC = Canadian Kennel Club

CKC = Continental Kennel Club

DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.

FCI = Federation Cynologique Internationale

KCGB = Kennel Club of Great Britain

NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc.

NKC = National Kennel Club

NZKC = New Zealand Kennel Club

UKC = United Kennel Club

Daisy Duke and Rosce the Basset Hound puppies sitting side-by-side outside

DaisyDuke & Roscoe the Basset Hound puppies at 15 weeks old—"Our Bassetts are siblings and love to rough house all the time. They love to hike & love to use their noses. They spend their day watching our pet goats. We love Cesar Milan & watch him all the time!"

Daisy Duke and Rosce the Basset Hound puppies have there heads in between the porch railings

DaisyDuke & Roscoe the Basset Hound puppies at 7 weeks old

Bella the Basset Hound sitting in sand

Bella the Basset Hound at 2 1/2 years old—"Bella's my new Basset Hound. I am her 5th owner in two and a half years. I don't understand why, she's an excellent dog. I took a chance with her anyway, I really didn't need another dog. I love her very much. She is house trained. She has no bad habits. So don't let a history of a lot of previous homes make up your mind for you when adopting a dog. I took a chance and I love her."

Right Profile - Bandit the Basset Hound standing in sand

"This is Bandit. He is 2 years old and a purebred Basset. He loves to play and bark at the squirrels. He loves everyone and is very smart and puts my sandals by the door when he wants to go out. He is a very happy dog and I love him."

Close Up head shot - Molly May the purebred Basset Hound looking at the camera

Molly May the purebred Basset Hound at 2 years old—"True to her breed, Molly May of Best Buddy Bassets is a sweet, affectionate and loyal friend. She loves to go "bye-bye" and go on walks where her nose takes the lead."

Buckle the Basset Hound sitting in a kitchen with Bella the Basset hound puppy who is laying on a plush toy

Basset Hounds—Buckle at 3 years old and Bella the Basset puppy at 5 months old—"Buckle the male is strong and wise. He opens the sliding door by himself to come in to the house. Bella the female is still a pup and we are still waiting to see what she's going to be like."

Elwood the Basset Hound standing outside looking back

Elwood the Basset Hound at 5 years old

Right Profile - Elwood the Basset Hound

Elwood the Basset Hound at 5 years old

Elwood the Basset Hound sniffing his way down a sidewalk

Elwood the Basset Hound at 5 years old

Elwood the Basset Hound looking back at its owner with his tongue out

Elwood the Basset Hound at 5 years old

Baxter the Basset Hound wearing a blue harness running across a lawn

Baxter the Basset Hound at 2 years old

Baxter the Basset Hound trotting across the lawn

Baxter the Basset Hound at 2 years old

Baxter the Basset Hound wearing a blue harness sniffing around outside

Baxter the Basset Hound at 2 years old sniffing around

Baxter the Basset Hound rolling around outside

Baxter the Basset Hound at 2 years old rolling over

Baxter the Basset Hound with its mouth open

Baxter the Basset Hound at 2 years old

Close Up - Basset Hound face

"My wife and I did a LOT of research before we decided to adopt a dog—at least a year's worth. It seemed like every question we had was answered by your site—housetraining and training in general, feeding, walking, etc. We learned a lot from your site alone, and narrowed our list of compatible breeds down to a select half dozen or so. About a year after we started planning, we went to the local Humane Society and met all the dogs there. We settled on a young adult (approximately one year old) Basset Hound that was skinny and had been walking the streets of the city for a while before he was turned into the Humane Society by a Good Samaritan. He seemed to choose us, too—he sort of seamlessly settled into our lives like he had been there all along. Now, Walter is as happy as ever, and spends his days acting like a big dork and stepping on his own ears. He's always happy to meet another person or dog, and loves sitting on his rug in the living room with us and chewing on a bully stick for hours. He tries to play fetch but doesn't quite get that it requires him to actually get up and move!"

A Lady and a Basset Hound having a staring contest

"I urge everyone that reads your site to rescue and adopt dogs instead of buying puppies! The Humane Societies and shelters are all full of beautiful, loving dogs who want nothing more than to come into your home—and for many of them, adoption is the only escape from death. Walter has become a loving part of our family and is basically "the perfect dog" (as perfect as any dog can be!) and we didn't have to pay some shoddy pet store or irresponsible breeder hundreds of dollars or thousands of dollars for him."

Sophiee the Basset Hound standing outside

"Sophiee is a purebred Basset Hound shown here at 9 months old. She lives on a farm with 150 acres. She loves to run around and explore. She is very sweet and loves to show affection. Her favorite hobby is burying her treats and bones. Sophiee is a total comedian when you are in need of a good laugh. She loves to play soccer and she has become quite the athlete! :)"

Sophiee the Basset Hound as a puppy laying on the couch with her ears spread to the sides

Sophiee the purebred Basset Hound puppy at 3 months old

Bella Boo Galloway the Basset Hound laying outside on a blanket

Bella Boo Galloway the female Basset Hound at 9 months old—"I enjoy being in the sun, walking in the neighborhood with my mom, and playing with my brother Bruno. I also love checking out all the cute dogs on my block (hubba hubba). Oh, and I slobber a lot too - o.O"

Daisey Mae the Basset Hound puppy sitting outside in front of a house

"This is our new addition to our family. This is Daisey Mae, our full-blooded Basset Hound. Here she is 8 weeks old. Daisey Mae was born in June 2009. She loves the sun, long walks and will eat each meal like it's her last. :) We love her so much. We hope you do, too. :)"

A Basset Hound puppy sleeping next to an adult Basset Hound

Basset Hounds, Adonis (left) Tripper (right)

Droopy the Basset Hound sitting in front of a door

Droopy the black Basset Hound at about 1½ years old

Maggie the Basset Hound laying down in a garage

Maggie the Basset Hound

Ralph the Basset Hound sitting in sand with a towel wrapped around him

Three-year-old Basset named Ralph