Weight: 45 – 65 pounds
Height: 11 – 15 inches
Life Expectancy: About 10 – 12 years
Size of Litters: Average 8 puppies, although this can vary widely from litter to litter
History William Shakespeare once wrote that the Basset Hound has “ears which sweep away the morning dew.” Beloved for many, many years this breed derives its name from the French word “bas,” which means low. It is a direct descendent of the Bloodhound. In fact, its sweeping ears that Shakespeare described so beautifully are designed to brush scents off the ground and into the Basset Hound’s nostrils. Although kept mostly for companion purposes today, the Basset originated as a true hunting hound. It has remained a quite popular breed in America for quite some time, gaining its AKC recognition in 1885.
The Basset Hound is a very low to the ground dog, with a long, sturdy frame and short legs. The ears of the Basset are quite long, sometimes even dragging the ground, and have a soft, velvety texture. He is perhaps best known for his sad, hangdog expression. Its coat is quite short and shiny. The Basset Hound sports a thick, long tail.
Ever the gentleman, the Basset Hound has a loving, calm, sweet demeanor. They do well around children due to their tolerant nature and make great overall family pets. The Basset Hound does have a stubborn streak, but is generally willing to please. Perhaps the only concern most owners have is the Basset’s deep, resonating bark. This breed makes a wonderful companion, thought not a silent one. It gets along well with other dogs, but the Basset Hound is usually happiest when cuddled up next to its owner.
Care should be taken to make sure the Basset Hound does not jump. Such action could put undue stress on this dog’s elongated frame. Take your Basset Hound on long, daily walks and he won’t be prone to jumping up and down for attention. The short coat of the Basset does not require special grooming, other than regular brushing. This breed does shed year-round and brushing helps remove excess hairs that would otherwise end up on your clothes or furniture. Like other hounds, the Basset does tend to have a strong doggy odor. Frequent bathing can cut down on any unpleasant smells. Pay careful attention to your Basset’s long, swinging ears. They can trap moisture inside and cause recurrent ear infections. Wipe them out with a warm, damp cloth and then dry on a regular basis to avoid such problems. The Basset Hound also has a tendency to drool, males more so than females. For more detailed info, take a look at the Basset Hound Grooming page.
Basset Hounds are sometimes unfairly judged as less intelligent than other breeds. This is absolutely untrue as the Basset is quite a smart dog. The problem lies in its stubborn temperament. Many Basset Hounds do like to perform tricks, however. They are quiet food driven, so positive training techniques with treats as rewards tend to work best with this breed.