Written by Vet Tech

Basset Hound – Food Driven Dog Breed

Amber LaRock
Written by: Amber LaRock, Vet Tech
Basset Hound is a hunting breed, and as such, they are highly energetic. You may know Basset's like the 'dogs with sad eyes,' but there is so much more to the breed. Read on to discover more.

The Basset Hound is one of the most well known “slow-paced” pup out there. Their signature appearance has captured the hearts of dog lovers everywhere and has helped them become a popular breed in many countries.

In this article, we’ll dive into the breed info of the Basset Hound and the qualities that make them special!

History of the Basset Hound

The Basset hound is a breed that originates from France, where they refer to them as the “jolie” breed.

Jolie refers to someone or something that is unconventionally attractive, making it a perfect description for the Basset Hounds’ unique appearance.

Dog experts believe that the Basset is a result of a mutation in the genes of the St. Hubert Hound.

They believe at some point a dwarf St.Hubert Hound made their way into the mating pool, creating what we know to be the Basset Hound now.

The first mention of a Basset Hound was in an illustrated French book about hunting, La Venerie, written by Jacques du Fouilloux.

Basset Hounds were first made popular by the French aristocracy but were soon found to be impressive hunters due to them being easily followed on foot.

The Basset Hound eventually made their way to the US in the late 1800s, and eventually got their big break when a photo of a Basset Hound was featured in a Time magazine article in 1928.

It was then that the Basset’s popularity blossomed, and they were soon found in homes across the world.

Appearance of the Basset Hound

The Basset Hound’s appearance is the main reason as to why this breed has gained so much popularity among dog lovers everywhere. They can weigh up to 60 pounds, but don’t generally stand any taller than 14 inches of height.

With their combination of weight and height, the Basset Hound appears shockingly short and stout.

The Basset Hound has short, muscular legs that keep them low to the ground. Their long sagging ears make for an adorable sight, and their loose skin around their muzzle only adds to their list of endearing qualities.

Many feel that their wrinkles give them a sad appearance, adding to their signature dopey personality.

Personality of the Basset Hound

The Basset Hound is known for being extremely mild-mannered. They are known for being one of the most easy-going pups out there and are not often trouble starters.

They usually along with everyone, are often incredible family pets with getting along well with children and other animals. They are calm and well-natured and love a day well spent on the sofa.

Like many Hounds, they’re known to bark quite often. Whether they are alerting to a sound outside or catching a scent on the trail, they will likely make sure everyone in the area is aware of their loud bellowing.

Basset Hounds do need early socialization to prevent them from barking at every sight and sound that crosses their path, so it’s important to socialize them from the moment they enter your home. Otherwise, they will hate alone moments at home.

Overall Health of the Basset Hound

While the Basset Hound can lead a generally healthy life of up to 12 years, there are some medical conditions they are more prone to.

Some common conditions that Basset Hound’s face include:

1. Gastric bloat (GDV)

Bloat (GDV) is a life-threatening condition that affects deep-chested dogs. Any time you have a deep-chested dog, GDV will be a condition to be aware of.

During gastric bloat the stomach will flip on itself, trapping the stomach contents and cutting off blood circulation.

Symptoms of bloat include wretching with no vomit produced, distended abdomen, weakness, and even collapse. When not treated immediately, this condition will always be fatal.

2. Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a disease of the eye that refers to high pressure in the eye. This condition can lead to pain and can vary in severity depending on the cause of the condition. Luckily this condition can be treated with the use of daily eye drops or surgical repair.

This is considered a serious eye condition, as it can result in vision loss if left untreated.

3. Allergies & Ear infections

Some dogs can experience allergies due to a number of factors. Dogs can experience contact allergies, environmental allergies, or food allergies.

Allergies can cause skin redness, itching, hair loss, vomiting, diarrhea, skin infections, ear infections, and other symptoms depending on the type of allergy.

Since allergies are also tied to ear infections, these dogs will also have difficulty with chronic ear infections. This is also due to having long hanging ears that promote bacteria growth in the ea due to damp ear conditions.

4. Luxating patellas

Luxating patella refers to the dislocation of the knee joint. This condition refers to the sliding of the knee joint, which often results in pain and possible lameness.

While most dogs can lead generally normal lives with this condition, it can lead to severe pain and lameness in some dogs.

Due to the possibility of this condition, it’s important to keep your Basset Hound at a healthy weight.

5. Intervertebral Disc Disease

Intervertebral disc (IVDD) refers to when the gelatinous inner layer of the spinal disc protrudes into the spinal canal and pushes against the spinal cord.

Spinal compression can vary in severity but can result in pain, lameness, and even paralysis if not addressed. Dogs often experience stiffness, pain, crying out when picked up, limb weakness, and even dragging the back end in complicated cases.

6. Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition that refers to the improper alignment of the hip joint.

Since this condition is a result of breeding, there is no set time that a dog will begin to display symptoms. Dogs with hip dysplasia can have pain, limping, difficulty getting up and down, slow down with time, experience lameness, and other pain-related symptoms.

Since this is hereditary, it’s important to have medical records on each parent when purchasing a Basset Hound puppy.

Exercise and Your Basset Hound

When it comes to exercise and your Basset Hound friend, they are about as low key as it comes. The Basset Hound is the perfect companion for a laid back family as they won’t’ often be bouncing off the walls with energy.

Due to them being so mellow, you will need to be aware of the possibility of obesity in your Basset Hound.

Obesity can cause a number of complications for your Basset Hound due to their short stumpy legs. Extra weight can seriously irritate your dog’s joints, so it’s important to make sure that your Basset Hound engages in some sort of daily play.

This can be 15-30 minutes of playing fetch, going on a short walk, or any other light activity you can participate in together each day.

Training Your Basset Hound

Basset Hounds are usually well mannered, often meaning their training process is fairly easy going. Though they are not likely to challenge your stance during their obedience training, the biggest trouble you may have may be simply getting them to participate.

The Basset Hound is independent along with having laid back demeanor, meaning they may not always want to get up and play a part in your training process.

Due to this, you may have a few moments of frustration during their training.

Since the Basset Hound is often a noisy pup, it’s important to socialize them from a young age.

The Basset Hound is known to bark at new sights and sounds, so by introducing them to new things, they are less likely to bark their head off at each person that crosses their path.

Important Tips For Owning A Basset Hound

Now that we’ve covered the basics on the Basset Hound breed, let’s cover the important tips to remember when bringing a Basset Hound into your home.

  • They are great family dogs as they usually get along well with children and other pets.
  • Obesity is a huge threat to their joint comfort, so it’s important to keep them at a healthy weight.
  • Though they may be short, they can be quite stout. If you think this will be a tiny pup, it’s time to do a bit more research.
  • They are extremely easy going and laid back.
  • They are known to bark and howl often, so try your best to socialize them and introduce them to new things to prevent this.
  • Since they can struggle with back issues, it’s best to avoid any vigorous activity if possible.
  • They are prone to hip dysplasia, so try your best to get a clean bill of health from each of your puppy’s parents.


The Basset Hound is a treasured canine that has a special place in many dog lover’s hearts. If you are looking for a laid back pup to add to your family, the Basset Hound may be the one for you!