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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Basset Hound


Basset Hound Facts

  • Group
  • Hound
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • No taller than 14" (35.5cm)
  • Weight
  • 40 - 65lbs (18 - 29.5kg)
  • Lifespan
  • 12 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • Low - This breed requires little daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Difficult to Train
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Easy
  • Colors
    • Tri-color (white/tan/black)
    • White / Fawn
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Adapted to city living
    • Good with children
    • Hunting heritage
    • Should sleep indoors

True Cost Of Ownership

  • Monthly Food Costs
  • $40.00 | 1 responses - Add yours

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  • Grooming Costs (?)
  • $36.00 | from 1 responses - Add yours

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  • Annual Vet Cost (?)
  • $200.00 | from 1 responses - Add yours

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  • Average Annual Cost
  • $701.00
  • TCO Index (?)
  • 58.42

Alternate Names

The Basset Hound is also known simply as Basset. The name Basset is derived from the French word bas, meaning "low", with the attenuating suffix -et, together meaning "rather low".


The Basset Hound breed originated in France.

Date Of Origin

The Basset Hound originated in the late 1500's.


The Basset Hound was developed in 16th century France, by friars of the French Abby of Saint Hubert, from a dwarf version of the St. Hubert Hound, currently known as the Bloodhound and was developed to hunt small game. The breed was mostly kept by nobility, but rose in popularity among commoners after the French Revolution.

Once the Basset Hound began to gain popularity, they gathered many admirers from King Edwards VII to Shakespeare. Shakespeare described the Basset Hound as "So flew'd, so sanded; and their heads are hung with ears that sweep away the morning dew; Crook-knee'd and dew-lapp'd like Thessalian bulls; Slow in pursuit, but match'd in mouth like bells...". However, the true fame of the Basset Hound began in 1863, when it was presented at the Paris Dog Show. It's popularity spread to England, where it was recognized by the Kennel Club in 1883. Marquis de Lafayette brought Basset Hounds to the United States as a gift to President George Washington to use in his hunting expeditions.

After the French Revolution, the common man took up hunting with guns, and needed dogs that could be easily followed on foot. This dog also needed great scenting ability and heavy bones for endurance in the field creating a great need for the Basset Hound.

The slower movement and low-set body of the Basset Hound proved useful for these hunters when in search of small game. Packs of Basset Hounds were used to drive small prey, such as rabbit and hare, from dense undercover into open terrain where hunters could move in for the kill with spears, nets, clubs, or guns (depending on the period of history). The Basset Hound's slow speed and low-set body allowed the game a greater distance in the chase and provided hunters with an easier target, with much less risk of accidentally shooting the dogs.

A lively dispute began in England between breeders who wanted to keep the Basset Hound solely a hunting dog and those who wanted to transform them into a companion dog. During this time, the American breeders proceeded to develop a pleasing companion dog without sacrificing it's qualities as a hunter. The sport of pack hunting with Basset Hounds continues to this day in France and England.

The Basset Hound was recognized by the AKC in 1885 and by the UKC in 1928.


The Basset Hound is a medium sized, short-legged, and heave boned dog. It has a large wide head that is covered with lose wrinkled skin. The very long broad ears are set low and the dark eyes have drooping lower lids. It has a deep muzzle and a dark nose with large nostrils. The coat is short and smooth in any hound color.


The Basset Hound is a tenacious hunting hound of ancient lineage, while still friendly, affectionate, and easy going. It hunts by scent, and has a pack instinct, and a deep, melodious voice. Never aggressive or timid, the Basset Hound gets along with most everyone, including other dogs.

The Basset Hound is known for its strong hunting instinct and, if given the opportunity, will chase or follow a scent willingly, possibly roaming off-property. Basset Hounds are known to be stubborn and will not give up on a scent (or other things) easily.

Basset Hounds are very vocal and have a loud bark and bay, which may cause problems in a suburban neighborhood if their orchestra is taking place outdoors. Training and housebreaking can be difficult.

The Basset Hound is prone to obesity, and while young pups will have plenty of energy for walks or to play, adults tend to live more sedentary lives - leading into obesity. Food must be measured and controlled and extra care must be taken to avoid all table scraps which speed the process of obesity dogs, especially adult Basset Hounds.

Basset Hounds need daily exercise to remain a healthy weight. Daily walks or mid-day play will help keep your dog in top condition - effectively reducing the chance for problems and disease related to obesity.


The Basset hound is used as a hunter and a companion. As a hunter, the Basset Hound is capable of great endurance and has proven itself to be a multi-purpose dog that excels in obedience, tracking, and pack hunting. It's short legs and tight, dense coat make them particularly useful in dense cover. This breed was used for centuries to track and hunt rabbits, hare, deer, and any other game that can be tracked on foot.

In sports, the Basset Hound excels in conformation, obedience, and field trials. As a companion, the Basset Hound gets along well with people, other dogs and pets, and is good with children.

Health Concerns

Potential health concerns for the Basset hound include bloat, hip and elbow dysplasia, glaucoma, thrombopathia, thyroid problems, Von Willebrands disease.

Additional Information

Until they are a year old, Basset hound puppies should not go up and down long flights of stairs or be allowed to jump on and off elevated objects such as couches, beds, or porches. The joints of this heavy-boned breed are still forming and excessive stress or strain may cause permanent injury. After a year of age, these activities are usually not harmful to your Basset hound.

The Basset hound was bred to trail game. His keen nose can lead him into dangerous situations such as the path of a speeding car or an unfenced swimming pool. The Basset is safest in a secure, enclosed area.

Grooming a Basset hound is easy and requires brushing with a soft bristle brush twice per week. The ears should also be cleaned at least once a week as they can harbor dirt and bacteria that can lead to infection. The Basset Hound's droopy eyes should also be kept clean of debris and nails trimmed once or twice monthly.

Show Sources & Contributors +


Jennifer Krom

Jennifer Krom

Jennifer Krom


Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

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