38 Interesting Facts About Basset Hounds

Basset Hounds are friendly, easygoing dogs. They are people-oriented and especially get along well with kids. Also, there’s much more behind that sulky face.


1. Meaning of The Name

The word ‘Bas’ is French for low, befitting the dog’s stature.

2. Their Origin

Bassets probably descended from the St. Hubert Hound, an ancestor of the present-day Bloodhound. They came about when a mutation in the St. Hubert strain produced a dwarfed or short-legged hound.

3. Were Used To Hunt Rabbits

bh hunt-compressed

The Basset Hounds come from as far back as the 1500s when the pre-revolutionary French used low slung and heavy-bodied hounds to trail and hunt rabbits.

4. Were Officially Recognized In 1916

The American Kennel Club (AKC) began registering this variety in 1885-the first one was a dog named Bouncer. But it wasn’t until 1916 that the AKC officially recognized the breed.

5. Was Featured In Time Magazine

In the year 1928, Time magazine featured a Basset Hound on the front cover, accompanied by the story of the 52nd annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden.  It was written as if it was through the eyes of a Basset Hound puppy.

6. Reason Behind That Sad Look

bh sad

The variety has a round skull with a deep muzzle and plenty of loose skin on the face, which in turn is heavily wrinkled. This causes Bassets to have a sad look, which most people find charming.

7. Found In Various Color Patterns

bh colour-compressed

Basset Hounds have smooth and hard-textured coats. Most of them come in the tri-color pattern of black, white, and tan but some are also patterned open red and white (with red spots on a white coat), closed red and white (with solid red and white feet and tail), or white and lemon.

8. Their Height and Weight

bh height-compressed

Basset Hounds stand at a maximum of 14 inches at the shoulder and have a weight ranging from 50 to 65 pounds.

9. Can Easily Detect Scents

Bassets were selected for hunting because of their outstanding scenting skills and because hunters could keep up with their slow-pace.

10. Are the Second-Best Sniffers Among Dogs

Second, only to the Bloodhounds, these dogs have a great sense of smell with over 220 million smell receptors. The portion of their brains responsible for the olfactory sense is 40 times that of a human’s (five million scent receptors). They can take in a big range of smells simultaneously!

11. They Participate In Tracking Events

Lots of Basset owners channel their pets’ scent-trailing skills in organized tracking events called basseting. These events take place primarily in Virginia, New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

12. Purpose Behind Those Long Ears

bh ears

When a Basset Hound trots across the ground, its large and floppy ears help bring smells directly to its face. Moreover, its dewlap (loose skin underneath the chin) helps trap these smells.

13. Has Appeared In a Comic Strip

The breed was familiarized to the public by the comic strip about a male Basset Hound-‘Fred Basset’-created by the Scottish cartoonist Alex Graham and was first published in the Daily Mail on 8 July 1963.

14. Also Appeared In Commercials

The variety has also appeared in the commercials of Hush Puppies shoes.

15. Get Along Well With Other Dogs

bh with other dog-compressed

Since they used to essentially hunt in packs, they tend to get along well with other dogs and pets in general.

16. Once a Hunter, Always a Hunter

Their urge for hunting is quite strong. If not safely confined, chances are that they will wander off hunting on their own.

17. They Are Smart, Yet Stubborn

They are smart dogs, yet stubborn. And that is why Bassets are not easy to train.

18. Loud Barkers

Bassets can be loud barkers. Also, with their sturdy feet and nails, they tend to be fond of digging.

19. Tendency To Become Obese

bh fat-compressed

Basset Hounds need a master who takes charge of feeding them as they have a definite tendency to become obese; this can further cause critical problems with their long backs.

20. Their Recommended Diet

It is recommended that a daily amount of 1.5 to 2.5 cups of high-quality dog food, divided into two meals, be given to them.

21. Have a Unique Whine

They have a unique whine wherein they murmur asking for attention or begging for food.

22. Good Average Lifespan

Basset Hounds have a decent lifespan and live up to 13 years.

23. Not High-Powered Athletes

bh athlete

These dogs are not high-powered athletes who need to go for a run every day. But they need to be taken out for a good long walk at least once daily.

24. Prone To Health Problems

bh ill-compressed

Though they are generally healthy, like all breeds, they are prone to certain health conditions like gastric dilatation, volvulus (GDV), Von Willebrand’s Disease, panosteitis, and glaucoma.

25. Are Loyal Dogs

They are loyal to their families and have a friendly disposition. Around the house, these dogs are calm, in fact, rather lazy.

26. They Are Family Dogs

bh with family

Pack animals as they are, they feel a need for company and are happiest with their families around.

27. Not Good Watchdogs

Although they usually bark, they then greet all strangers happily. No wonder they aren’t good watchdogs.

28. They Drool a Lot

bh drool-compressed

Their loose lips lead to a great amount of drooling. Thus it is suggested that owners strategically place towels around the house for cleaning up.

29. Not Easy To Train

Bassets are very intelligent dogs but are not easy to train. Owners must start training them while they are still puppies. Plenty of patience and positive training keeps them interested.

30. Their Grooming Procedure

bh grooming-compressed

Their grooming is fairly quick and easy and involves swiping with a brush, once or twice in a week. Bassets usually bring in a great deal of mud into the house as they have a low stature and big feet. So they need to be bathed regularly.

31. Their Eyes Need Extra Care

Moreover, their eyes need to be frequently wiped to prevent infections. Also, as their large ears don’t circulate air very well, they need to be cleaned at least once every seven days.

32. How the Short Legs Benefit Them

By keeping them close to the ground, the short legs keep them closer to the scents they are tracking. Since they don’t have to crane their necks like other dogs, they don’t tire out as quickly while running through bushes.

33. One Basset Hound Was Elected Co-Mayor

Victoria the Basset Hound was elected as the co-mayor of Concord, Ontario, in 2011. She held the office with a Great Dane called Nelson. Victoria traveled to neighboring towns, made appearances in parades, and raised over 1000 dollars for animals at the Concord Merrimack-County SPCA.

34. Have Trouble Swimming

bh swimming-compressed

Due to their stubby legs and thick bodies, these dogs have trouble swimming. Involve them in outdoor activities but keep them away from large water bodies.

35. Are Sensitive Sulkers

These hounds hate to be left alone and have a tendency to become destructive and howl if left alone for long periods of time.

36. Enjoy Long Walks

They have a great deal of endurance and so enjoy taking long walks.

37. Have Appeared On Famous Television Series

From Flash on an American comedy series, The Dukes of Hazard, to Sam on That’s So Raven, plenty of Basset Hounds have made it to the television.

38. Droopy Is a Basset Hound

But most notably, the variety inspired Droopy, the slow-talking cartoon character created by Tex Avery.

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