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Discover the charm of the Basset Hound breed: A complete guide for dog lovers

Updated: Jul 8

Basset hound
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Basset Hounds are famous for their long ears and sad, adorable look. But there is much more behind that sweet and fun appearance. In this guide, I take you through everything you need to know about Basset Hounds. From its origin to its personality, through its care, training and prices. If you are a dog lover and are looking for a unique breed, this guide is for you.


Origins and characteristics of the Basset Hound breed

The Basset Hound is a breed of hunting dog native to France and Belgium. It is believed that they were bred from larger hunting dogs to create a smaller hunting dog, with short legs for tracking animals at ground level. Over time, Basset Hounds became popular companion dogs due to their loving and friendly personalities.

Basset Hounds were originally bred for hunting, specifically for tracking game like rabbits and hares. Their development as a breed can be traced back to France, where they were used by aristocrats and commoners alike for their excellent scent-tracking abilities. Here are some key points about what Basset Hounds were bred for:

  1. Scent Tracking: Basset Hounds have an extraordinary sense of smell, second only to the Bloodhound. They were bred to follow ground scents over long distances, making them exceptional trackers.

  2. Hunting Small Game: Their primary role in hunting was to track small game such as rabbits and hares. Their slow, methodical tracking pace allowed hunters to follow them on foot.

  3. Durability in Rough Terrain: Basset Hounds were bred to navigate rough and dense terrains. Their short legs and sturdy bodies made them well-suited for moving through thick underbrush.

  4. Persistence and Endurance: Basset Hounds were selected for their persistence and endurance in tracking. They could follow a scent trail for hours without losing focus.

  5. Cooperation with Hunters: Basset Hounds were bred to work closely with hunters, providing vocal cues (baying) to indicate the presence of game. Their loud, deep baying helped hunters locate them even in dense cover.

  6. Pack Hunting: Often, Basset Hounds were used in packs to cover more ground and increase the efficiency of the hunt. Their social nature and cooperative behavior made them excellent pack hunters.

The physical characteristics of Basset Hounds, such as their long ears, which help sweep scent towards their nose, and their loose skin, which helps capture scent particles, are all traits that were selectively bred to enhance their tracking abilities. Today, while many Basset Hounds are kept as companion animals, their hunting instincts and capabilities remain a defining feature of the breed.

Basset Hounds are medium-sized dogs, with short legs and an elongated body. Basset Hounds have a soft, short coat that can be various colors, such as brown, white, and black, and may have spots.

  • Height: Basset Hounds typically stand between 11 to 15 inches (28 to 38 cm) tall at the shoulder.

  • Weight: They generally weigh between 40 to 65 pounds (18 to 29 kg).

Basset Hounds often appear to have a sad or melancholy expression due to a combination of their distinctive physical features. Here are the main reasons why Basset Hounds look sad:

  1. Droopy Eyes: Basset Hounds have naturally droopy lower eyelids, a condition known as ectropion. This gives their eyes a sorrowful, downcast look.

  2. Long, Droopy Ears: Their large, floppy ears hang down on either side of their face, enhancing their sad-eyed appearance.

  3. Loose Skin: The breed has loose, wrinkled skin around their face and neck, contributing to their "sad" expression. The wrinkles, particularly around their eyes and mouth, can make them look perpetually forlorn.

  4. Muzzle and Mouth Shape: Basset Hounds have a long muzzle with a slightly turned-down mouth, which can create the illusion of a frown.

  5. Eyebrows: Their prominent brow ridges and the shape of their eyes give the impression of raised eyebrows, which can look like a worried or sad expression.

While Basset Hounds may look sad, their appearance doesn't necessarily reflect their mood. Their "sad" look is simply a result of the unique combination of physical traits that have been bred into the breed for their specific hunting and tracking purposes.

Basset Hound Personality and Temperament

Basset Hounds are friendly and affectionate dogs, they are typically affectionate, gentle, and playful dogs with a friendly and sociable nature. They enjoy the company of their family. They are known for being relaxed and happy companion dogs, and they get along well with children and other pets. However, they can also be stubborn and stubborn, which can make them difficult to train.


Basset Hound Care and Training

Basset Hounds are low-maintenance dogs when it comes to their coat, but they require proper grooming to stay healthy. They should be brushed regularly to keep their coat soft and shiny, and it is also important to keep their ears clean and dry to avoid infections.

Basset Hounds are prone to having a distinct odor due to their oily skin, long ears, and skin folds which can harbor bacteria and yeast.

Tips to Avoid the Smell:

  1. Regular Bathing: Bathe your Basset Hound once a month using a dog-specific shampoo.

  2. Ear Cleaning: Clean their ears weekly to prevent infections.

  3. Wrinkle Care: Clean and dry skin folds regularly.

  4. Dental Hygiene: Brush their teeth to avoid bad breath.

  5. Diet and Health: Ensure a healthy diet and check for any underlying health issues.. Essential steps include brushing 2-3 times weekly, weekly ear cleaning to prevent infections, and managing their oily skin with monthly baths. Wrinkle maintenance prevents infections, while regular nail trims, dental care, and eye cleaning maintain overall health.

Training Basset Hounds can be challenging due to their stubbornness, but with patience and consistency, they can learn basic commands and appropriate behaviors.

It is also important to ensure that Basset Hounds get enough exercise to avoid health problems such as obesity.

Basset Hounds are a charming and unique breed of dog that is suitable for both hunting and family life. If you are looking for a loving and calm companion dog, Basset Hounds may be the perfect breed for you. With proper attention and care, Basset Hounds can be your faithful and fun companions for many years.

Cute Basset hound
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I present some more links so you can continue exploring and learning about Basset Hounds:

  1. American Kennel Club - Basset Hound: This American Kennel Club (AKC) article provides detailed information about the breed, including its history, physical characteristics, temperament, and care: hound/

  2. Basset Hound Club of America: This website is the place to go if you are interested in learning more about the Basset Hound breed. Provides information on the breed standard, breeders, events and activities related to Basset Hounds in the United States:

  3. PetMD - Basset Hound: This PetMD article provides an overview of the breed, including information on its history, physical characteristics, personality and health:

sad basset hound
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Initial Vaccinations

$75 - $150


Cost Range (USD)

Initial Costs

Adoption Fee

$50 - $300

Breeder Price

$500 - $1,500

Initial Veterinary Visit

$75 - $200


$150 - $400


$25 - $50

Initial Supplies

Dog Bed

$30 - $100


$50 - $150

Leash and Collar

$20 - $50


$20 - $50

Food and Water Bowls

$10 - $30

Monthly Maintenance Costs


$30 - $60

Flea and Tick Prevention

$10 - $20

Heartworm Prevention

$5 - $15

Grooming Supplies (Brush, Shampoo, etc.)

$10 - $20

Regular Veterinary Visits

$25 - $75

Additional Occasional Costs

Professional Grooming

$30 - $60 per session

Emergency Vet Visits

$100 - $1,000+

Pet Insurance

$20 - $50 per month

Total Monthly Maintenance

$80 - $190


  • Adoption Fee vs. Breeder Price: Adoption from a shelter or rescue is generally less expensive compared to purchasing from a breeder. However, breeders may provide more information about the dog's lineage and health.

  • Initial Veterinary Costs: These can include spaying/neutering, vaccinations, and microchipping. These costs are often covered by adoption fees from shelters.

  • Monthly Maintenance Costs: These include food, routine vet care, grooming supplies, and preventative medications. Some of these costs can vary significantly based on the dog's health and specific needs.

  • Additional Occasional Costs: These are not monthly but can occur periodically. Pet insurance can help mitigate emergency veterinary costs.

By considering these costs, potential Basset Hound owners can get a clearer picture of the financial commitment involved in caring for this breed.

I loved taking the photos of the basset hounds that I came into contact with here in Paraguay! Do you have a basset and would you like a session? Contact me so I can schedule you.

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I have a present for you! This is an e-book (It´s in spanish though) that I have for free download, in which I have the article about the dogs that often people confuse them as "Hush Puppies". Download now at THIS LINK

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