Known for their very short legs and very long ears, the gentle Basset Hound has an outstanding sense of smell, second only to the Bloodhound. Its name is derived from bas, the French word for “low thing.”
Originating in medieval France to trail rabbits for hunters, Basset Hounds became very popular during Napoleon’s time. They were brought to America as a gift for President George Washington. After hundreds of years, Bassets still have a very strong hunting instinct.
A Basset Hound appears on the logo for Hush Puppies shoes, and the breed is also referred to by that name.
- Sweet and gentle
- Like to howl and bark when they want something
- Very loyal to their pet parents
- 50-65 pounds
- Up to 14 inches at the withers (shoulder)
- A fenced yard is essential to prevent them from wandering off to investigate interesting scents
- Get along well with other dogs since they were bred to hunt in packs
- May become lonely and destructive if left alone for long amounts of time
- Can be very stubborn and pretend not to hear your commands
- It is best to use a positive approach and offer plenty of rewards
- They love sleeping almost as much as scent tracking, so daily exercise is necessary to prevent them from becoming overweight couch potatoes
- Because of their hunting instinct, they have a strong desire to follow their noses, so they may wander away and become lost if allowed off leash
- They may tire quickly while swimming since they are heavy boned and most of their weight is in the front of their bodies.
- Smooth, short and dense
- Bi-colored or tri-colored; may be black and white; brown and white; red and white; black, tan and white; or several other combinations of these colors
- Easy to care for, but should be brushed weekly
- Moderate shedders
- Prone to thrombopathia, an inherited disorder that prevents their blood from clotting, causing excessive bleeding
- May also suffer from bloat; cherry eye; ear problems; elbow dysplasia; hip dysplasia; glaucoma; intervertebral disc disease; luxating patella; and panosteitis, a painful bone disease.
- Tend to become overweight as they age, so exercise and proper nutrition is important
- 10-14 years
- Visit Basset Hound Rescue Organizations to find an adoptable Basset Hound near you