Basset Hound

It would take a hard-hearted person to resist the beguiling eyes of a Basset Hound. A long-bodied, long-eared, short-legged scent hound, this affectionate and placid-natured dog is equally happy in either a domestic or hunting environment.


The Basset breeds originated in France and were mentioned in canine books as early as 1585. The short-legged Basset was a result of inbreeding dwarf hounds. Imported into England in 1866 by Lord Galway, it was developed further by the artist Sir Everett Millais who added Bloodhound to the mix. creating an exceptional scent hound which was capable of penetrating the thickest cover yet slow enough for hunters to follow on foot.

This is an excellent pet dog. fond of children, benign and friendly.


However, it tends to be a little lazy unless it is stimulated by people to play games, go out for a walk or go hunting. Being pack dogs, Basset Hounds do not like to be left alone: their natural place is with their family (human) or at least with a canine companion. Like many other hounds, they are not the easiest breed to train, and only those owners who recognize the need for sensitive understanding will be successful. If you are thinking of owning one of these handsome dogs, make sure that your garden is escape proof, as once a Basset makes up his mind to go hunting he is oblivious to everything else.

must know

There some genetic anomalies to guard against: entropion, eye gonioscopy, paneosteitis (transitory lameness), some back problems (due to length) elbow dysplasia and skin problems. Always consult the breeder.


This middle-weight hound (about 551b) has a long body with short muscular leas. Like a Bloodhound, it has some loose head skin with long ears. The tail (stem) is carried vertically with a sabre curve when moving. Any hound colour is recognized. The ideal height is 33-38cm (13-15in) at the withers.

Strangers 3/5

Not unfriendly

Temperament 4/5

Friendly, playful

Exercise 5/5

Plenty including walks and free running

Grooming 1/5

Only once a week

Other dogs 4/5

Generally friendly


Benign but a bit lazy, needs stimulation

General care

The Basset's easy-care coat only needs combing and rubbing over with a hound glove once a week. The ears need special attention, as they must be kept clean, dry and free from parasites. The breed can be greedy, so take care that your dog does not run to fat. Remember he is a hunting breed, has enormous stamina and needs to be active; plenty of exercise is vitally important for adult dogs. Hunting is now banned in the UK but even a pet benefits by being kept in hard hunting condition. Puppies up to 10-12 months should not be over-exercised and should avoid stairs and steep climbs.

Gallery of Basset Hound