Originally bred as scent hound for areas with heavy cover, the Basset Hound is a "big" dog with short legs, huge ears, wrinkly skin, massive paws and droopy eyelids. They are well known for having a very keen sense of smell second only to the Bloodhound.
This is not a watchdog, but he will bark at the approach of strangers if taught to do so. The Basset is a great family dog. He is gentle with children and very tolerant of their activities. He loves everybody equally and gets along with most other pets. The Basset is extremely strong and heavy for his height and should not be considered by owners who want a small dog. He is gentle in disposition and devoted to master and family. Bassets have a deep, baritone musical voice that is loved by hunters but not always by neighbors in an urban setting. Although normally placid, he has surprising agility and energy on the hunt. Being an independent dog by nature he needs discipline training in order to be an ideal house pet. He also needs a lot of exercise to avoid obesity.
Basset Hound Breed Outline
Country of Origin: Great Britain
Utilization: Scent Hound
FCI Classification: Group 6: Scent hounds and related breeds; small-sized hounds (with working trial); AKC Classification: Hound Group
Size: Medium: 13-15 inches at shoulders (FCI), 14 inches maximum (AKC)
Colors: The AKC Standard: "any recognized hound color is acceptable and the distribution of color and markings is of no importance. The FCI Standard: "generally black, white and tan (tri-color); lemon and white (bi-color); but any recognized hound color acceptable." The FCI standard is based on the standard of the member club of the country of origin or patronage.
Litter Size: 8-10
Life Span: 12 years
Grooming Requirements: Medium. Brush once a week. Check ears for infection and clean them regularly.
Shedding: Basset Hounds shed much more than you might think. Their short coarse hairs come off on your hands when you pet them.
Personality: With an almost clown like face, the Basset Hound is charming, calm and playful. Very friendly towards strangers, they hate to be left home alone.
Social skills: Gets along well with other pets.
Suitability for Children: Very good with children
Exercise Needs: High. Basset Hounds need exercise more than they want it. Over eating without exercising may cause back problems.
Train Ability: Can be very stubborn. Consistency and patience are the keys to successful training.
Health & Behavioral Issues: Basset hounds are notorious droolers and this is the number one reason for them being given up for rescue or adoption. Can be very greedy. Basset hounds are vociferous howlers when left alone or ignored. May wander from home to follow a scent and unfortunately, they are not very good at remembering from whence they came. Health problems inlude: Bone and joint disorders; ear infections; back problems.