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  • Basset Hounds’ height, ears, and wrinkles all contribute to their excellent sense of smell.
  • The dense Basset can pack up to 70 pounds into its low-slung frame.
  • This breed is prone to health problems, so an experienced owner is recommended.

With their trailing ears and adorably drooping faces, Basset Hounds are beloved pups—but did you know the breed originated in sixth-century France, as hunting cousins to the longer-legged Bloodhound? Here’s everything else you need to know about these jowly jewels of dogs:

1. Basset Hounds are great at Scent Work.

The Basset Hound’s powerful sense of smell is second only to the Bloodhound’s, and not just the nose doing the work. Those long ears help to stir smells up toward the nose, and the droopy skin on the face holds the smell close, for maximum olfactory impact. This is why Basset Hounds consistently perform so well in AKC Scent Work and Tracking, not to mention the dedicated sport of Basset Hound Field Trials.

2. Basset Hounds are intelligent and independent, even bordering on stubborn.

Bassets were bred to follow a scent single-mindedly, blocking out all distractions. This has made them highly alert and independent, if sometimes reluctant to take instruction. But fear not! Bassets can be trained, it’s just important to buy a properly socialized puppy from a reputable breeder, and train them well and early.

Basset hound running through the grass
3. Basset Hounds have loud voices.

At home, Basset Hounds are mild-mannered, gentle dogs. Outside of the house, they aren’t afraid to assert themselves—perhaps because they were bred to track a scent. And when they do speak up, you’ll know about it: they have a deep, resonant bark. 

4. Basset Hounds have more bone per pound than any other dog.

The standard height for a Basset is below 15 inches, but don’t be fooled by their low-slung stature: these are surprisingly hefty dogs, weighing up to 70 pounds. Most people struggle to carry a full-grown adult Basset.

5. Basset Hounds can be prone to glaucoma, thrombopathia, and bloat.

All breeds have particular health tendencies, and the major ones for Bassets include glaucoma, some blood disorders including thrombopathia, and bloat. Many health disorders can be avoided by buying your Basset from a reputable breeder, who should be able to show you genetic test results from the puppy’s parents.

6. Basset Hounds are highly social.

Bassets make wonderful family dogs, since they get along well with just about everybody: children, adults, dogs, and even other animals. In fact, they’re so pack-oriented that they can suffer from loneliness. If you’re considering one Basset Hound, you might want to think about acquiring two.

7. Basset Hounds’ droopy ears and eyes should be cleaned regularly.

It ain’t easy being beautiful. The Basset’s lustrous ears can trap air, leading to infection, so owners should clean them thoroughly once a week, in addition to keeping a close eye on the droopy skin below the eyes, which can get infected without proper care.

Basset Hound lying down8. Basset Hounds should be kept in a fenced, secure area.

Bassets were bred to hunt, so if they catch an interesting scent, they’ll follow it. They should always be kept in a well-fenced area to avoid roaming.

9. Basset Hounds don’t make good guard dogs.

If you’re looking for a ferocious protector, the friendly Basset is likely not the best choice for you. They’re more likely to make friends with unexpected guests than chase them off.

10. Basset Hounds’ spines are prone to damage.

The Basset’s substantial weight and long body can put strain on the spine. Owners can help keep their dog fit and healthy by avoiding overfeeding—since extra weight adds extra stress—and not allowing the Basset to jump into or out of cars or other heights, especially during puppyhood, when their joints are still forming.

Purchasing and Registering your Basset Hound

Think the friendly, intelligent Basset Hound is the breed for you? Check out Basset Hound puppies on the AKC Marketplace.

After becoming the owner of a Basset Hound, it is important to register your dog. Why? The AKC is the only purebred dog registry in the United States that maintains an investigation and inspection effort. The AKC conducts thousands of inspections each year to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of dogs and the environments in which they live.

You can register your dog here, and you will receive your official AKC certificate in the mail. There are many other benefits, including a complimentary first vet visit, 30 days of pet insurance, and eligibility to compete in AKC events and sports.

Basset Hound Products You May Like:

Basset Hound Wrap Ring

Accessorize any outfit with these stylish Basset Hound rings. Wear Felicity’s copper rings are available in a gold, silver, or black-plated design to go with every personality. Price: $20


Basset Case Canvas Tote

This punny tote has several things going for it – it’s generously sized and fully lined, it’s stylish and, best of all, it’s adorned with Teddy the Dog and his cool Basset Hound buds. Price: $32



Learn About Other Scent Hounds:
Basset Fauve de Bretagne
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