Basset Hound

Basset Hound

Basset Hound

Basset Hound
Today's Function: 

trailing rabbits and hare, field trials, basset field trials



Date of Origin: 


Area of Origin: 


Other Name: 


Original Function: 

trailing rabbits and hare


The French word "bas" is thought to have been the origin of the word "basset," because "bas" means "low thing" or "dwarf." History suggests that the first time the word "basset" was used in reference to a dog breed was in a 1585 hunting text written by Fouilloux.

Basset Hound Breed Health


8 - 12 years

Minor concerns: 

Foot cysts and infection

Occasionally seen: 

Patellar luxation

Suggested tests: 

Eye, Blood

Major concerns: 

Foreleg lameness, OCD, entropion, ectropion, otitis externa, intervertebral disc disease, glaucoma, vWD, CTP, gastric torsion

Average Size of Male: 

Height: less than 14 inches, Weight: 40 - 60 pounds

Average Size of Female: 

Height: less than 14 inches, Weight: 40 - 60 pounds


Obesity is a problem in the breed, especially because it contributes to intervertebral disk disease.

Basset Hound Breed History

It is said that the Friars of the French Abbey of St. Hubert were responsible for the development of the basset hound breed because they created a low set, slow-moving dog that one could follow while on foot. The French were said to have used a short-legged, slower moving hunting dog, but unfortunately the fate of that breed was mostly undocumented, and the dogs disappeared during the French Revolution. However, after the revolution, the history of the basset hound becomes more documented. It was at this time that many commoners began to hunt with guns, and they needed to have a dog that they could follow on foot. The dog, however, must have a strong scenting ability. These dogs were able to hunt for many different types of mammals, but they were specifically talented at pursuing rabbits and hares. It is believed that the basset hound can be traced to the crossing of the basset d'Artois and the basset Normand, and that four types of hounds featuring short legs were created. It is thought that the basset Artesien Normand was the one that most closely resembles the basset hound as we know it today. Experts believe that in the late 1800s, and once again in 1930, that the dog was crossed with a bloodhound in order to increase its size. Most agree that the popularity of the basset hound can be traced back to its presentation at the Paris Dog Show in 1863. The breed was exported to England in 1866, and it was shown at an English dog show in 1875. The first of the breed was presented at the Westminster Kennel Club show in 1884. In 1935, the Basset Hound Club of America was formed.

Basset Hound Breed Appearance

The front legs of this breed are short, but powerful, and heavy in bone. The massive, rounded paw is very heavy and features tough pads. The full, well-rounded hindquarters are parallel with the hind feet pointing straight ahead. The powerful shoulders of the basset hound are well laid back. The powerful, well-arched neck is of considerable length. Large but well-proportioned, the head features a deep, heavy muzzle with a darkly pigmented nose and large wide-open nostrils. The large teeth meet in either a scissors or an even bite. The brown eyes offer a soft, sad expression, and the very long ears are like velvet in texture. The ears hang in loose folds, and the ends curl slightly inward. The tail of the basset hound should not be docked, and it is carried merrily in true hound fashion. The gait of this breed is best described as smooth, powerful, and effortless. Because it is a scenting dog, the nose is held close to the ground. The smooth, hard coat is short and dense to protect the dog in all kinds of weather. The coat comes true hound colors.

Basset Hound Breed Temperament

A truly friendly, good-natured dog, the basset hound gets along well with other dogs, non-canine pets, and children. This breed is generally quite calm inside, but regular exercise is needed to help keep it in shape. The basset hound loves to investigate, sniff, and trail at a slow pace. Because of its tendency and talent to track, it may follow a trail and become lost. This breed can be stubborn at times, and its loud bay may be disturbing to some. Gentle, consistent training is best for this breed, as the basset hound may not be as intelligent as other breeds. Therefore, housebreaking may be difficult.

Basset Hound Breed Maintenance

The short, hard coat only requires minimal grooming, such as regular brushing with a firm bristle brush. Be sure to clean the face on a regular basis, particularly around the mouth and wrinkles, as basset hounds tend to drool. Bathing should only be done when necessary. Take care to wipe under the ears on a weekly basis, and be sure to trim the toenails regularly. This breed is considered to be a constant shedder. While the basset hound can do well in both houses and apartments, it is important that they are provided with daily exercise. This breed is not very active when inside, but outside it will run and play for hours. Discourage this dog from jumping, as it can cause stress on the front legs.

Basset Hound Ratings & Reviews

Bassett hounds - December 08, 2016




Love this breed would really like one but am worried about finding a good breeder for a healthy happy puppy

Review Basset Hound