Basset Hound

Breed History

three basset hounds

Basset Hound has a short, long, and sturdy body frame. Large bones with loose skin in the chest, arm, and neck area. Unique from other dogs because they are such big boned dogs.

Bas is French for low, or low-set, and is also a reference to them being a dwarf or small size. France had tall and short versions of Hound dog and are known to have various dog types of the Hound type.

Superior hunting dog with the ability to track scents from long distances. Scent tracking abilities are like the Bloodhound who is the best in the dog community.

Hunting foxes, rabbits, and hare are historically one of their specialties from their region. Pack of hounds were in use and attack these animals as a team.

Their services were in need because of the ability to hunt smaller animals that bigger dogs were unable to hunt. Hiding in smaller spaces was a strategy until these small dogs would flush them out and enable the owners to get a shot at killing them in the open.

French dog imports that were made in Britain were then bred and made the Basset hound close to what we see today. 6th century documents describing the physical characteristics of the Basset Hound are on record.

Recognition in the U.S.A. in 1885 and was the 9th dog in the history of the American Kennel Club.


All over the world the Basset Hound is easy to identify, and major Kennel Clubs have shown registration of the bloodline for decades lasting hundreds of years.

Many of these different Kennel Clubs around the world have them in some type of hound dog category.

Here are the Kennel Clubs that recognition this breed.


Male Height: 15 inches

Female Height: 15 inches

Male Weight: 40-65 pounds

Female Weight: 40-65 pounds

Boys and girls are similar in size and it is hard to determine which gender the dog is on first look.

Litter Size

Litter size of a Basset Hound is 6 to 7 puppies. There are no known birth issues for the mother of these litters and regular birth is expected.


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

Combinations of these colors are almost always with some form of white on them. The colors can be mostly white or white as a secondary color. Some of the dogs have three colors like black, brown and white on one dog.


Average price for this breed is $1,000-$8,000 with an average of $4,000. Prices vary depending on region, supply, currency type, demand and other factors that will change the price of the dog.


  1. Brushing
  2. Combing
  3. Bathing
  4. Ears
  5. Nails
  6. Professional Help

Brushing the dog should happen at least once per week. Although the coat is short and there is no reason to brush it multiple times per week unless it is shedding season and you are looking to get rid of excess fur.

You don’t need to comb the coat at all. Too short for that to be a serious task.

Bathe the dog when dirty or smelly. Other owners may want to operate on a set schedule like on Sunday. Either way it is up to the owner to make this decision.

Ears a big part of grooming and you should be cleaning the ears at least once a week to reduce the potential of getting an ear infection. Dry desert climates will present a more proactive approach to the ear cleaning process.

Nails should be trim when the dog is exercising. Whenever the dog owner chooses to not use the exercise program, we have they will have to trim the nails with a set of clippers.

Professional help is not a strong recommendation of this breed due to the low maintenance and no potential of matting or tangling of the coat creating a painful grooming experience.

Life Span

10- 12 years is the average lifespan. That is a long time to own a dog from puppy, adulthood and finally senior citizen. It is important to understand when the dog may be entering their final years of life.

Health Issues

Health issues are a part of life and dogs will have them in their lifetime if you have them long enough. Some of these health problems will be specific to the breed. Knowing the symptom and behaviors can assist in getting them medical attention earlier. Other items here are simply going to tell you to get a precautionary exam or be on the look out during the exam for this breed.

Ears – lack of air circulation in the ears causes too much moisture and leads to infections. Symptoms will show irritation with favoring the area. Scratching, itching, and shaking will show you what kind of situation the ears may be in outside of checks at the vet.

Hips – all dog owners should get a check on the hips. Their Kennel Club gives a recommendation to get an examination. X-rays will show if the bones and hips are in a proper alignment. Adjustments will need to be made if the x-ray comes back positive.

Elbow – growth on the elbow could cause discomfort to exercise. Another condition the doctors can tell early in the dog’s life. Kennel Club also recommends getting this examination.

Glaucoma – and other eye related issues can cause a continuously declining issue.

Luxating Patella – Smaller dogs have a serious issue with slipped kneecaps. Although you can’t detect until you go to the vet you will notice the dogs limping around or favoring a certain knee. Showing the inability to walk will be a first notification to take your dog to the vet. Surgery may be a requirement.

Breed Group

Proud members of the Hound Group. This group has a specialty in common of hunting for different types of animals. Some of the bigger dogs in this group hunt large size animals in packs or prey closer to their size.

Smaller dogs like the Basset Hound hunts smaller animals that the bigger dogs are too big to find and chase down.

Here are some of the dogs that are in that dog group

Exercise Needs

Exercise needs are always given an opinion on false premises. There is no size that makes a dog exercise less than the other. No random guessing can determine the exercise needs. You must look at your dog’s behavior.

Bad behavior is the first indication that you’re falling short of their daily requirement. Barking excessively, whining, chewing up items, digging, and many more undesirable activities. Whatever you are doing now is not enough and you need to supply more exercise.

Good behavior is an indication that you are meeting the dog’s exercise requirements. Calm demeanor and stopping behavior when asked are great signs. When you are meeting or exceeding the exercise needs people will always comment on how well your dog is acting on leash.

Now that we know how to figure out how much exercise to give the dog.

Here are some basic guidelines to starting off your exercise program

Morning: Run, walk or treadmill

Evening: Run, walk or treadmill

Two sessions are good for younger dogs and will end up being the best-case scenario. Dogs need a lot of exercise around this time in their lives and owners should provide.

Three to five years old you will notice a strong decline in energy and ability to recover from longer exercise sessions. Changes will range from sometimes you need a few sessions, other times the dog needs one session, and other times no exercise at all.

Senior dogs need a lower amount. Watching them sleep from exhaustion after a walk around the block will show you strong signs of decline in energy. Although at this age exercising is still important it will not be as useful.


  1. Exercise program
  2. Commands
  3. Socialization
  4. Corrections

Exercising is the most time-consuming activity and you should know this will make or break how behaved the dog becomes. Many people skip this step but that is why most training programs fail dog owners consistently. Homeless dog owners have the most behaved dogs that walk off leash and aren’t jumping on anybody. They also listen to their owner and the difference is the exercise.

Commands are a small part of the process and receive too much attention in my opinion. Once we apply some repetition these commands are done without any issue for most of the dog’s life. You will have issues with behavior and energy levels not whether the dog will sit, stay, and lay.

Socializing is done on a weekly basis. Take the dog to some type of park or friends house where the dog can socialize with other dogs and humans. Taking care of the exercise portion will enable you to take a calm and relaxed dog to the dog park. Slower movements, more sniffing, and better natural skills will come into play. Too much energy at the park will your dog susceptible to a dog fight, but more like a correction.

Corrections are a big part of the program at the beginning. Once you stay consistent you don’t have to correct your dog at all. Several stages will go thru phases of correcting all the time, some of the time, and then none of the time. A few months of corrections will establish consistency and rules until the dog listens without you having to tell them.

Are Basset Hounds Good Dogs?

Yes, Basset Hounds are great dogs. The problem owners will have been providing them with a job and daily outlet to keep them busy while younger into adulthood. No amount of love and petting can change the fact that they need daily exercise for one to two hours on average.  

Family, kids, other dogs, and trainability are all something this breed can be very good at. Taking the time to train and socialize them will benefit the owners and people who are living in the house from day one.

A dog is only as good as their trainer and a trainer is only as good as their dedication.

Additional Resources