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Basset Hound Facts
General Facts & Stats About Basset Hounds


Facts about Basset Hound dogsThe Basset Hound originated in France; however mummified remains of very short legged dogs have been found in the canine catacombs of Egypt.

They were originally bred to hunt wild rabbits and hares.

Out of all of the purebred dogs that exist, they are #2 in regard to scent ability (The Bloodhound is #1).

Basset is French, meaning "rather low".

The shape of this breed is unique and unmistakable….They have very long heavy bodies, and very big floppy ears.

They are a medium sized dog in the AKC Hound group and were accepted in the AKC in 1885.

Average height is between 14 and 15 inches (35 to 38 cm) from floor to shoulder.
Life span is 12 years on average, with a range of 11 t o 15 years in the normal, expected range. 

Average sized litter is 8, with 3 to 12 puppies being in the normal, expected range.

Weight for females will range from 20 to 55 pounds (9-24 kg).

Weight for males will range from 30 to 65 pounds (13-29 kg).

Color and Appearance

The most common colors are black, red, mahogany, lemon, tan and white.

There are no solid colored purebreds.

Most are bi-colored, meaning that there are 2 coat colors. The most common combinations are:

•    Black & White
•    Lemon & White
•    Mahogany & White
•    Red & White
•    Black & Brown
•    Blue & White
•    Brown & White
•    Tan & White

Some are tri-colored, meaning that the coat has a combination of 3 distinct colors. Common are:

•    Black, white, tan
•    Black, white, brown
•    Black, white, red

There is a rare color that while interesting, is not yet recognized by the AKC.  It is called Bleu de Gascogne and is a blue and black spotted hue.

The skin on the head is hangs loose and will have folds and wrinkles.

The eyes are dark and sunken in, often giving what is said to be a sad appearance, even though this is a playful, happy breed.

Eye color is generally brown or black.

The tail is long and slightly curved, sometimes carried over the back.

Behavior and Temperament

This breed is known for having a very gentle, loving personality.  They are calm, patient and affectionate.

They are gentle and sweet, making them an excellent choice for a family pet.

They generally get along very well with children of all ages and with other pets. However, do to their hunting instinct one should take care when introducing a cat into the mix.

They have very strong hunting instincts and tend to chase after scents whenever allowed to.  For this reason, an owner is encourage to always keep their Basset Hound on leash when outside or to have them play in a safe, enclosed area.

Basset Hound BehaviorIt is a clear Basset Hound fact that they will tend to want to follow scents that they pick up and for this reason should not be allowed to be outside without being on a leash.  While they do not run fast, an owner will not want to encourage the dog to follow scents and have to be chased after and brought home.

They can be a bit stubborn in regard to training. For house training it is recommended to choose an outside designated area that is not far from the home.  One will find success if they leash the dog and stand in the middle of the area, allowing the Basset Hound to choose just the right spot. In most cases, he or she will want to retreat right back inside when done.

Most are not shy and will happily socialize with other people that you introduce them to.

An interesting Basset Hound fact is that many are known for pretending to not hear commands if they are scolded!  For this reason, training works best when a dog is given positive reinforcement for doing a good job and they are not scolded for doing something wrong….And one must be careful, as they can read the tone of your voice and your body language.


Due to their very short coat, grooming is relatively easy.

Brushing only needs to be done 1 time per week.

Baths should be given every 5-6 weeks using a canine hypo-allergenic shampoo.


This short coat dog does shed….it depends on the bloodline and genetics as some will shed minimally and some will shed moderately.

Basset Hound Facts Regarding Care

It is important to keep the inner ears clean.  Due to their massive size in comparison to the body, they tend to keep moisture and debris trapped underneath.   One should lift each ear and swipe them clean and dry with cotton swabs or a thin, absorbent cloth.    It is especially important to ensure that the area is dry after baths or any time that the dog gets wet.

All folds and wrinkles (most notable on the head) should be cleaned on a regular basis….If not yeast infection and other skin conditions can develop. 

The shape of their bodies is not optimal for swimming and if put into water they will not be able to stay above water for very long. 

The exercise requirements of the Basset Hound are minimal; they only need a daily 20 minute walk per day.  It is best to not over exercise this breed.   Even if it seems as if the dog will do just fine without the walk, it is vital to take them out as weight gain can become a problem if the dog is inactive.

Basset Hound Facts Regarding Health

This breed is prone to eye disorders such as Cherry eye, bloat and bleeding disorders.  Bloat can be prevented in many cases by spreading daily food intake into smaller scheduled meals throughout the day and by using a bowl that promotes slower eating - it will have safe projections that distribute food all around the bowl and cause the dog to eat at a slower pace.

Hip Dysplasia is sometimes seen with growing puppies….It is a condition in which the hip joint is not properly connected to the socket.  Treatment will vary from bed rest to surgery in the most severe cases.

In the News

A Basset Hound named George was home alone and somehow had gotten his head dangerous tanlged in a phone cord. By a miracle, his flailing paws dialed the UK 999 emergency line. The operator could only hear gasps and sent out an ambulance. A neighbor who had
a spare key to the residence let the crew inside, who found the Basset Hound, freed his neck and saved his life.

A man was reunited with his Basset Hound, named Ginger, after 13 years apart. When he divorced, his ex-wife was given custody of the dog. Unbeknownst to him, she had later surrendered her to a shelter. The Basset Hound had then since been adopted by an elderly couple who also surrendered her when they were no longer able to care for her. Jamie Carpentier, the original owner came across her photo and ended up adopting back his long long pet. 


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