The Easy-Going Basset Hound

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Dog breed info

Basset Hound
Weight: 40 — 55 lbs
Height: 13” — 14”
AKC Rank 2008 #33
Lifespan: 8—12 yrs
Group Hound 3/8
Origin France

ABOVE - Rudy, a Basset
Puppy from Glendale, Ca
sent in by his master.
Thanks, Don.

Dog breed info -- The Basset Hound

Ummm - I don't wanna walk very far, okay?
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Breed Overview

Basset Information for fun or research: The name “Basset Hound” comes from the word "bas" which means “low thing” or “dwarf.”

In the late 1800’s and again in 1930, crosses with Bloodhounds were made to increase size; the results were then tempered with subsequent crosses to the Artesian Normand. The first Bassets were brought to England and America in the late 1800’s. The American Kennel Club registered the Basset Hound in 1885.


Has a stubborn streak. Hunting, yes. But standard obedience training, not really. The Basset Hound kind of does his own thing. Since he’s not aggressive and is slow moving (when not chasing prey) this dog is not much of a problem if left untrained. (I've never met a trained Basset!)

Nutty Basset Hound
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Crate Training

Want to crate train your Basset Hound? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

Basset Hound puppies can be difficult to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.

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Basset Hound's are among the most good natured and easy going of all the breeds. They are generally comfortable with other dogs, people and children. Basset Hounds are calm inside but require regular exercise to stay out of trouble and maintain their health.

The dog will track scents, which it is best known for, and take his time doing it. This is a talented and determined tracking dog, second only to the Bloodhound. Bassets are known for getting on scent trails and following them so far out that they become lost.

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Gets along fairly well with other dogs. The Basset Hound is not aggressive so there is not much reaction in the field where other dogs are present.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

Seldom a problem with household pets.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Generally likes strangers.


Somewhat. Not the most playful, but does get along with kids and will fun and chase with them.


Basset Hounds are quiet, calm dogs that bond fairly well with their family. However, in spite of their affection for their humans, they must be watched because they are first and foremost hunters and if they see a squirrel or rabbit, they can lose track of everything and chase it to the end.

Good with children

Yes. The Bassets are quite tolerant and laid back so the antics of kids don't bother them too much.

Children must be cautioned NOT TO PUT STRAIN ON THE BASSET’S BACK. The spine is long and delicate, subject to damage from downward pressure.

Good with Seniors over 65?

Yes. All the Basset needs is some walking and quiet play time. He's affectionate enough and loves his family so a bond with a senior should work just fine and he's a good watch dog too.

Living environment

Home with a small, fenced yard, or a farm. The Basset will dig his way under a fence to chase a ground hog or whatever, so you have to keep them secured in some fashion.

Energy level

Low energy dog. On a scale of 10, the Basset is about a 4.

Exercise needs, daily


Needs only a walk a day or some play in the yard.


Pretty good. Will bark up a storm (some bay like crazy) and make a lot of noise.

Hey! Who says high chairs
aren't for us Bassets?

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Guard dog

Not really. However, they can make so much noise an intruder might want to leave.




Brush out the dead hair several times a week.

The face needs constant cleaning around the mouth and wrinkles. Bassets DROOL.


Suggested Reading - The Basset Hound

The book on the right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog illness, emergencies and injuries. It's a valuable;er reference manual for all dog owners.


Basset Hound Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Basset Hound puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they're doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training. It's not often that Bassets turn up in dog pounds and shelters but you might check anyway.
Basset Hound Breeders with puppies for sale.

Basset Hound Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of a Basset and are looking for a Basset Hound Rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Dog Rescue - (Nationwide) Double check for dog health issues in the past of any dog you adopt.
Adopt A Pet You may have some luck with this site. If not, surf the web and check your local dog pound and SPCA and look for Basset Hound Rescue groups.

Dog Health Issues For Basset Hounds
Below: Important Basset Hound information: The dog illness / illnesses or medical problems as listed by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog illness / medical issues this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Osteochondritis dissecans—A common type of elbow dysplasia except it can occur in any joint. Flaps of cartilage rub against tissue causing irritation, pain, lameness and in time, joint degeneration disease. Pieces can break loose and float around limiting movement, or getting lodged or wedged inside the joint itself in the Basset Hound. Look for lameness, pain and swelling in joints. Treatments include Non-steroid anti-inflammatory meds, weight loss, confinement to rest the joints, and dietary supplements for joint health. Surgery is the last option for very severe cases.

  • Elbow Dysplasia—This, as with hip dysplasia, is something the Basset Hound is born with. Wear and time in the front legs (elbow joints) cause lameness by the time the dog is roughly a year old. If you have a dog prone to this disease, have an early x-ray to see if surgery to the joints will stave off further damage to the joints. Typically, there has been no cure, but recently doctors have come up with some ideas. 1) Keep the weight of your dog down. 2) Use anti-inflammatory medication. 3) Look into injections of stem-cells to help regenerate bone-covering cartilage to cause the bones to line up properly again. (This is new research and some vets may not know about it so ask around.)

  • Thrombopathy—Hereditary in Basset Hounds. A bleeding disorder something like von Willebrand"s Disease where the dog does not properly utilize blood-platelets for clotting due to inherited factors. This is actually the breeder's problem.

  • Chonodrodysplasiia—A hereditary, genetic growth deficiency with shortening, bowing of the legs, a myriad of eye problems, skin problems, abnormal skulls and trachea, hearing loss, patellar luxation, and even abnormalities with the heart, liver and kidneys in some cases. Some Basset Hounds have one or two of these problems, others have many. Some corrective orthopedic surgery may be performed by the time the dog is 1 year old. This affects the Corgis, Havanese, Dachshunds, and Basset Hounds mostly

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy—An inherited, untreatable disease of the retina affecting both eyes causing blindness. It’s in the genes of the dog and is not painful. Starts with night blindness and progresses as the retina gradually deteriorates.

  • Entropion—Eye irritation caused by the eyelids and lashes rolling inward. The problem is usually inherited and found in young, adult dogs. It can come from an eyelid spasm. Affected eyes will be held partially shut and tear excessively. Both eyes will usually be affected the same. Treatment for the condition requires eye surgery.

  • Ectropion—A hereditary medical problem. The lower eyelid grows outward leaving a gap between the eye and the eyelid. Excessive tearing and conjunctivitis are common signs of the disease but some dogs will have no symptoms. Blunt trauma and/or nerve damage can also cause the problem. If the cornea becomes damaged or if the conjunctivitis becomes chronic, surgery will be necessary.

  • Ventricular septal defect — Is a hole, or defect in the muscular wall of the heart (the septum) that separates the right and left ventricles. Occurs at birth and not a great idea. Common to English Bulldogs.

  • Otitis externa—Infection and inflammation of the outer ear canal. Dogs with floppy ears or long floppy ear canals are prone to this because of the soil and moisture that builds in the ear canal. This creates a tempting environment for yeast and bacteria infections. It is treatable and is sometimes called “stinky ear syndrome” due to the odor produced so you end up with a stinky Basset Hound.

  • Interdigital dermatitis - An infection occurs between the "toes" of the dog and small "sacs" fill with pus which bothers the dog. She licks and bites at the bothersome infections and after a few days, they break open and drain, giving relief to the dog. Al;l you will see is the dog limping around. Clean and cleanse the infected feet well, see a vet for medication to prevent returning infections and that should do it.

  • Glaucoma - Painful pressure in the eye leading to blindness.

  • Von Willebrand"s Disease—A deficiency in clotting factor in the blood. The affected dog does not properly utilize the blood-platelets for blood-clotting. Thus, the dog is prone to excessive bleeding if in an accident or surgery.

  • Seborrhea—Hereditary. Skin disease. Itching and scratching. Usually dry, flaky coat with the familiar “dog” odor. Sebaceous glands will produce a waxy, oily substance in the armpits, in the ears, under the dog and around the elbow joints. Secondary ear and skin infections are common too. There are many, many causes and IF the vet can identify one and treat it, you’re lucky. It’s a tough disorder to pinpoint. Springer and Cocker Spaniels, Westies and Retrievers are among the most susceptible

  • Gastric Torsion—Sometimes called Dog Bloat or “Twisted stomach.” Mainly in larger, deep-cheated dogs. Here's a brief description of the problem:
    Symptoms include excessive drooling, nervous pacing, agitation, weakness, attempt to vomit, bulging stomach area, heavy breathing, retching and gagging, shock or total collapse.

  • Malassezia dermatitis—A highly itchy skin infection, usually around the ears, muzzle, inner thighs, eyes or feet. The dog may become frantic, chewing and scratching the ears and feet. If an ear infection, there might be a waxy discharge and smelly odor. The dog will be rubbing and pawing at the ear. Look for Malassezia in the summer, humidity and allergy seasons. Your vet will treat this with appropriate medications and bathing after a diagnosis.

  • Hip dysplasia - Back leg problems. Hind end limping, back leg acts lame. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing great pain and difficulty walking. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. This might "appear" as leg abnormalities. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test. The solution requires surgery and is expensive.

  • Patellar luxation—Back leg problems. Limping, Hind Leg Held Up, Can’t straighten back leg. Caused by an unusually shallow spot on the femur, weak ligaments and misalignment of tendons and muscles that align the knee joint and allow the knee cap (patella) to float sideways in and out of position. What you have is a lame Basset. This can be caused by injury or be present at birth and can affect either rear leg. If your dog has trouble straightening the leg, is limping, or is walking on three legs and holding one hind leg up, look for patellar luxation. Several of my dogs have had the problem and all I’ve done is reach down, massage the knee a little until they drop their leg, and we’re good to go for another 3 or 4 months. Severe cases require surgery for a fully lame leg.

  • Intervertebral disc disease—Biochemical changes in a young dog of certain breeds like the Basset Hound can cause at least one diseased or mineralized disc in the spine. A disc that is not functioning properly will cause pain, problems and abnormal walking, stumbling, back leg problems, severe neck pain and even paralysis. The Dachshund has an 80% chance of having this problem. Treatments can go from non-invasive doses of anti-inflammatory steroids, muscle relaxants and bed-rest to surgery. Pain meds are also given as needed. Mess with the spine and you have a serious situation and it’s tough on the dog!

  • Tracheal collapse—The tracheal (air pipe) rings, made of cartilage, can become weak and “collapse” as a dog ages, reducing the air supply to the lungs by failing to keep the trachea open wide. This is most likely to be a problem during excitement or exercise when more air is needed in the lungs. This only affects small dogs, and particularly small, obese dogs. Treatment depends on the severity and ranges from diet to medicine to surgery.

  • Cervical Vertebral Instability—Wobblers Syndrome. A narrowing of the cervical vertebrae, also known as Wobblers Syndrome and found in large dogs linked to heredity and possibly nutrition. The dog will have trouble standing, as the rear legs will be affected first with lack of coordination. Then the front legs will weaken, spread a bit and the dog’s walk will be “wobbly.” The disease is noticed at about 3 to 5 years of age in the Dobie,. Treatment comes by medicine and as a last resort for severe cases, specialized surgery. This is found in long spine dogs such as the Basset Hound and Dachshund.

  • Temporomandibular Luxation - A dislocated jaw joint.

Other health problems could occur with your dpg. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. The Basset Hound information on this website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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