Basset Hound

The Basset Hound is a large scent hound with a long body, short legs and dangling long ears and trademark wrinkled brow.

Basset Hound breed group


Size of the Basset Hound

The Basset is not large in terms of height, standing at just over a foot tall. However, it’s a long dog, solid in build, and can weigh up to 34kgs, so large, in terms of weight, body mass and length.

Country of origin


Time of original development

Middle Ages. The Basset Hound was developed by monks in France. It descends from French Bassets, and its name, translated from French, means ‘rather low’ which sums up perfectly the characteristic short legs associated with the breed. The Basset since arriving in the UK, has developed into the dog we love and recognise today.

The Basset Hound’s uses through history

The Basset Hound may not be the quickest dog to cover the ground, but its impressive stamina and powerful nose meant these cumbersome looking dogs were capable of hunting rabbits and even hares for long periods of time.

Basset Hound breed introduction and overview

The Basset Hound has one of the finest senses of smell of almost any other dog breed. The Basset is perfectly built for tracking scent, being so close to the ground.The excessive skin fold around the neck, known as the dewflap traps scent, as do the long draping ears.

The Basset is a long-bodied, short-legged and well built dog. The dog has long flat pendulous ears that extend beyond the jaw line. The tail is held high.

The Basset is covered in loose-fitting, excessive folds of skin, that hang and fall creating the numerous creases of the breeds, including the head, with wrinkled brow and sagging jowl area, The long pendulous velvet like ears are set low on the head

The Basset breed is reported to be one of the best dogs for their sense of smell, and scenting skills. Unfortunately, walks on the lead can be frustrating, as Bassets like to stop to smell everything.

The Basset Hound, unlike many dogs is not a strong or natural swimmer due to its short legs and heavy body mass not being the ideal attributes for buoyancy. Always be vigilent around water with your Basset Hound and never leave your dog unattended around water.

Built for scenting, and not for swimming! The short limbs are not equipped to provide the strength needed for prolonged buoyancy so take extreme care with your Basset Hound around water.

The Basset is generally not a vocal dog, and a quiet dog to own around the home. However, the dog has an extremely deep, powerful bark that travels, and can take unsuspecting people by surprise if they’ve not heard the bark before!

Basset Hound temperament

The affable, placid, laid-back temperament of the Basset make it a good family dog. It is gentle, affectionate and ideal around the home as It moves more slowly and controlled than many popular breeds.

The Basset is adaptable, and has proved to be compatible with cats and in some cases even smaller pets.Care should always be taken with your Basset and smaller other pets.

Basset pups can develop a habit of chewing their ear leathers, which can increase the risk of nasty infections and sores. Ensure basset hound puppies are discouraged from chewing their ears!


Colour varieties of the Basset Hound

The Basset Hound comes in 4 colour varieties and combinations which include:

  • Lemon and White
  • Red and White
  • Tan and White
  • Tricolour

Size and weight of the Basset Hound

Height bitch 28-36cms

Height dog 30-38cms

Weight (kilos) bitch 20-29kgs

Weight (kilos) dog 25-34kgs

Exercise requirements of the Basset Hound

The Basset requires a good hour of exercise daily, preferably off the lead. Care should be taken to find safe and secure areas for Bassets due to their wandering and hunting instinct.

Is the Basset Hound a good dog for a first time dog owner?

Yes, but potential owners should be aware of the powerful nose and hunting instinct of this breed and the potential problems it creates in the breed, such as running off and roaming.

New owners should be aware of the health issues that sadly affect this breed. Also owners should prevent puppies or older Bassets jumping up and down to prevent risk of serious injury.

Basset Hound coat length

Short. The no-fuss, close and protective coat makes the Basset a good dog to walk in muddy and wet conditions.

Grooming requirements of the Basset Hound

Low. The short coat of this breed is very low maintenance, but the wrinkles, skin folds and creases require frequent attention. The facial creases need to be kept clean, dry and saliva free. The folds of skin should be gently wiped with warm water and patted dry.


No. The Basset sheds hair steadily throughout the year, making it an unsuitable choice of dog for allergy sufferers.

Health Issues in the Basset Hound

The Basset is prone to various health problems and issues. Consult your breeder about the following conditions that have been found in the Basset:

  • Hip Dysplasia - A malformation of the hip joint, has been found in the breed, so ensure your puppy has been hip scored.
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Von Willebands Disease
  • Ears problems - The long pendant ears should be checked on a daily basis for any signs of infection, wax build up, ear mites, ticks, grass seeds, dried food deposits. Ears should be cleaned with a specialised dog ear cleaner on a regular basis.
  • Eye problems - creases around the eye socket can collect dirt, eye mucus and bacteria. Eyes should be gently wiped with a clean cloth and warm water until clean, and area dried completely.
  • Mouth problems including infections - the drooling nature of this breed, makes areas warm, moist and an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Skin Allergies - Being low to the ground can increase allergies from grass pollen and especially household products used on floors and carpets.

As with all pedigree dogs, it is very important to obtain a puppy from a reputable source, where you can be guaranteed that it has been bred with a view to avoiding the inherent physical and psychological diseases of the breed. Make sure to see both mum and dad when looking at a litter of puppies.

Average lifespan of the Basset Hound

A healthy Basset should enjoy an expected lifespan of around 11-12 years.

Approximate Basset Hound pedigree puppy price

Expect to pay around £600-£750 for a puppy, and litters are normally available. There were 580 puppies registered with the Kennel Club in 2015. There are normally between 6-8 puppies in an average litter.

Estimating how much a Basset Hound would need to be fed each day

A bitch weighing 25kgs requires 330gms of complete dry food daily.

A dog weighing 30kgs requires 365gms of complete dry food daily.

The cost of feeding a 25kgs bitch is around £8.00 per week.

The cost of feeding a 30kgs dog is around £9.00 per week.

Our figures are based on feeding an above average quality, popular complete dry food bought from a leading supermarket. on the high street. A good quality feed is suggested for the energetic dogs in the hound group.

Other financial costs to consider when owning any dog breed

Remember to budget for essential routine pet treatments and procedures that are not covered by pet insurance policies including:

  • Worming and fleas preparations
  • Annual Vaccination boosters
  • Neutering or spaying
  • Microchipping
  • Dental treatment