A Basset Hound can make a wonderful family pet with their tolerant attitudes. They are good with children and have low energy levels. It’s quite funny when they try it on your lap, as they think they are a lapdog.
Basset Hound Origin
The Basset Hound originated in France. In French, the name Basset comes from the word “bas” which means low and the suffix “et” meaning small, together meaning rather low. With it’s short legs, it is definitely low to the ground.
The Basset Hound is a member of the American Kennel Club’s hound group. It is a scent hound bred to hunt rabbits and follow their prey by scent.
The Bassets long ears direct the scent towards the dog’s nose. Their faces and chest have wrinkles, which allows the folds of the skin to trap the scent to amplify the scent.
If they catch a scent, they can wander away following the scent. It is not easy to get their attention when they catch a scent and Bassets are known to not respond when their owners are calling them and they are trailing a scent. You must be careful.
The Basset Hound is a large dog with short legs and they can weigh 50 to 65 pounds. They are no more than 14 inches high at the shoulder and they have long ears which trail the ground when they are trailing a scent.
With most of their weigh being in the front of their bodies, they are not good swimmers. It doesn’t take long for a Basset Hound to be in trouble in water. If you are going to be around water with a Basset Hound, be sure to place a life jacket on them.
Most Basset Hounds are tri-colored, meaning black, white, and tan. Some of them are red and white, and there is also a lemon and white. A Basset Hound is considered tri-colored if they have any amount of black, white, and tan, even if it is just a few hairs.
Basset Hounds are gentle and docile dogs with an easy going attitude, and are very tolerant. They are good with other dogs and cats.
They are sturdy dogs with lots of patience and get along well with children. Bassets are affectionate, friendly, and make good family pets.
Being lazy dogs, they are a low energy dog and perfect for a leisurely stroll. They like to sniff everything they can, and they are not in a hurry unless they see a rabbit or other small animal.
They are lazy inside and prefer to sleep away the day. When you take them for a walk, you will see that they are not lazy outside. They will move slow, sniffing everything, but they will have endurance to go a long way.
Use a 6 foot leash when walking your Basset Hound because when they catch a scent they will follow it, no matter where it leads them which could be into a road.
Be sure to take water and a collapsible bowl along when you are walking your Basset Hound, especially in the warmer months.
Basset Hounds are generally healthy dogs, but some dogs can develop certain health problems including hip and elbow dysplasia.
They can be lazy inside, so it is important to take long walks with your dog to prevent obesity which can lead to back and joint problems. The exercise is good for both of you!
Their lifespan is an average of 10 to 12 years. My Basset Hound, Freckles, will be 11 years old in April 2017. She is in good health and her veterinarian says her heart is strong. She is enjoying her senior years and she still has a lot of endurance.
Basset Hounds are not the easiest to train as they are prey driven and tend to wander wherever the scent takes them. Always use positive reinforcement when training with a reward, whether a small treat or praise.
For training commands, you must get their attention and look them in the eye. At that point when you have their full attention, teach them the command. Small treats work well with Basset Hounds, as food can keep their attention.
They are intelligent dogs and they may try to trick you into what they want. They have funny personalities and are playful dogs.
The Basset Hound has a short coat, but being a daily shedder, they will need to be brushed often to remove the loose hair.
I was talking to a friend on day and she told me about the Furminator. The Furminator is a de-shedding tool that removes loose hair from your dog’s coat, reaching down into the dog’s undercoat.
I think it’s a wonderful tool to use and it will cut down on your house cleaning time, plus Freckles loves it. She sits perfectly still when I use it on her.
Basset Hounds will drool quite often, especially when it’s warm. With their long ears, they will need a weekly cleaning of the ears. You can talk to your veterinarian about cleaning your dog’s ears.
You will also need to clean the bottoms of their ears where dirt will collect when their ears drag the ground when they are following a scent.
Separation anxiety may be a problem as Basset Hounds do not like to be alone. If you leave them for a long period of time, they can become destructive and howl. They do better with another dog, as they are pack animals.
My Basset Hound, Freckles, does not like to be alone at all. She will follow me around the house and she has to be in the same room with me. Since I got her a Thundershirt, she is better with being alone although I don’t leave her alone for long periods of time.
If I have to leave for a long period of time, I will take her to a family member’s home where she loves to be. I also have a wonderful dog sitter, who gives her lots of attention.
If a Basset Hound is the dog for you, consider adoption. There are many bred specific rescues with purebred dogs available for adoption.
For more information on Basset Hound rescue groups, enter “Basset Hound Rescues” into a search engine such as Google.
What do you think of the Basset Hound? Leave a comment below or share a story about your dog. The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian, dog trainer, or dog behavioral specialist.