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Basset Hounds: Everything You Need to Know

Mira Gibson

Known for being calm, low-key, and curious, the Basset Hound is one of the best dog breeds for families with small children or people who want a friendly, non-territorial dog. Out of all the “hound” dogs, the Basset Hound is the most patient and mild-mannered at home. But if you’re out on the trail, then watch out! If this breed picks up an interesting scent, it will not be deterred from its investigation!

With a low-slung carriage, short legs, and sad, expressive eyes, the Basset Hound will melt your heart and be your faithful companion for life. Let’s take a look at this distinctive breed’s personality and characteristics, and go over what you can expect when you take home your Basset Hound puppy.

PHYSICAL TRAITS

Whether male or female, adult Basset Hounds stand at no more than 14 inches tall. They have a sturdy, heavy frame, and so can weigh up to 75 lbs (adult males) or 65 lbs (adult females). This means that this breed will not move too quickly. Basset Hounds don’t need sprinting exercise and though they might enjoy a game of fetch, they probably won’t play for too long. 

That being said, the Basset Hound is very strong and determined. So, if you go out for a walk, expect that your Basset will be the one calling the shots. The nose knows, and your Basset will likely follow his nose to gather as much information as possible. What he’ll do with that info is anyone’s guess!

In terms of the Basset’s purely physical attributes, this breed has short hair and sheds very lightly. For this reason, the breed doesn’t require a lot of grooming. Brushing once a week and a good shower twice a month ought to do it, and you could get away with only taking your Basset into the professional groomers twice a year, if that. 

One caveat with Basset Hounds that many people aren’t aware of is that this breed does in fact drool. Thanks to their loose, droopy lips, the Basset Hound just can’t help it. Pet parents of these hounds are generally in the habit of keeping drool towels placed strategically around the house!

PERSONALITY CHARACTERISTICS

Yes, the Basset Hound is patient, quiet, and low-key. But this breed is also stubborn. In order to ensure that your Basset Hound knows his place within your household, it’s important to thoroughly, carefully, and watchfully train him throughout puppyhood. As you do, you will probably be met with quite a bit of resistance from your Basset Hound puppy, but remain firm. Once he learns that going against you really isn’t an option, he’ll stay in line and be a very enjoyable companion for all his years!

One thing that’s really crucial to note is that while your Basset Hound will certainly be the Sherlock Holmes of canines in terms of his curiosity and tenacity with investigating new things, he will make a terrible watchdog and protector of the home. Basset Hounds are extremely friendly. Should a thief break into your home, your hound might let out one bark, but he’ll definitely follow it up with licking the intruder with friendly enthusiasm. This is great news if you’re looking for a breed that’s friendly with strangers and who will be great with your houseguests. 

ENERGY LEVEL

Basset Hounds are moderately playful, and since they have low energy, this breed is perfect for anyone who wants a dog that’s low-maintenance and needs no more than an hour of daily exercise. That being said, Basset Hounds need a fair amount of mental stimulation every day and this need is lifelong, not just during puppyhood. Providing your hound with “puppy puzzles” and “dog games” will do the trick. And your Basset will also love the occasional game of “hide and seek” in your home. You don’t even have to hide yourself. Instead, hide a treat or your pup’s favorite toy to sniff out!

DIET & NUTRITION

Because of the low-to-the-ground physical stature of the Basset Hound, and the fact that they’re low-energy, slow movers, it’s critical to maintaining your Basset’s health that you do not overfeed him. These hounds are quick to gain unhealthy weight if they’re given too much food. And Bassets that have become overweight have a very hard time losing the weight. Feed your Basset Hound high-quality, protein rich foods, and give special care to feed him nutrient-rich puppy food until he’s as old as a full year. 

HEALTH CARE CONSIDERATIONS

Basset Hounds have unusual legs and posture. They tend to be slightly “bow” legged and so if they become overweight, this could put too much pressure on their knee joints. If you notice your Basset limping, examine him right away and schedule a vet appointment. Considerations should also be made regarding your Basset’s hips. As Bassets get older, they become at risk for hip dysplasia and other issues. By keeping annual vet check ups, your dog’s vet can keep an eye on things. 

Due to the Basset Hound’s long, droopy ears, owners of this breed need to pay special attention to their pup’s ear health. Gently cleaning the tips of your Basset’s soft ears every day is a good idea if his ears tend to brush against the floor. In addition, if you notice your Basset scratching inside his ears or shaking his head a lot, it could be a sign of an ear infection. Bring him to the vet right away if you notice these warning signs. Your vet may show you how to properly clean inside your hound’s ears to prevent future infections. 

Well, there you have it! Everything you need to know about Basset Hounds! If this article has caused you to fall in love with Basset Hounds and you’re dying to take one home, visit our adorable Basset Hound puppies online or stop by PuppyBuddy in Boca Raton, Florida!