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Basset Hound Dog Breed Profile

Basset Hound

Other Names
Dog Group Kennel Club
Breed Classification
The Basset Hound belongs to the hound group and are today used for hunting and as companions. They are also seen in the show-ring. 
Cost of Ownership
Average Food Cost
< £4 per week
Feeding Requirements
Prospective owners must check with the breeder that the puppy's feeding has been supplemented, especially because of the large size of their litters. Guard against overfeeding and obesity and do not feed supplements as in calcium or bone development nutrients without discussing this with your vet, as skeletal abnormalities may be the result. The breed is very susceptible to bloat therefore it is advisable to feed 2 or 3 smaller meals a day rather tha 
Other Expenses
The price of a puppy will vary depending on what part of the country you live in. In Scotland expect to pay around £475 to £525 while in the South of England you could pay as much as £700 plus. If you wanted a good show dog, these prices could double. 
9 - 15 years
Basset Hounds live for around 12 years. 
Average Litter Size
Bassets in general have large litters of puppies, 15 or more is not uncommon. The average is around 8 puppies. 
General Physical Description
Basset Hounds are big dogs on short legs! With their exaggerated length of ears, wrinkly skins and droopy eyelids these dogs are easily recognised. They are heavy, long and low dogs, who have a smooth, free action. They have charm and their expressions are intelligent and aristocratic.

Height Min Max
Bitch 33cm (13") 38cm (15")
Dog 33cm (13") 38cm (15")
Weight Min Max
Bitch 18kg (40lbs) 27kg (60lbs)
Dog 18kg (40lbs) 27kg (60lbs)
Size Category
Weight Height Range
Bassets, both dogs and bitches, measure 33 to 38cms at the withers and weigh between 18 to 27kgs. 
Bassets' conformation predisposes them to many bone and joint disorders, mainly shoulder and foreleg lameness. Bow-leggedness and joint deformities are also found. Wobbler Syndrome can strike before six months of age. Overeating and underexercise can cause back problems and bloat in later life. 
Common Ailments

Some cancers
Ear infections, Back problems  
Susceptibility To Illness
Bassets originated in France in the 1500's. Basset comes from the French word 'bas', meaning 'low'. The Basset was bred by medieval monks to hunt in heavy cover. From their physical appearance they appear to be a mix of three breeds: the head, sense of smell, and bone of a Bloodhound, the colouring of a Foxhound and the legs of a Dachshund. However it was in the British Isles in the latter half of the 19th century that the breed fully blossomed. A pair of hounds of the Marquis de Tournon were imported to Lord Galway of England in 1866 and then a litter bred from them went to Lord Onslow who proceeded to develop an exceptional pack by crossing with further imports from the Coultreux pack from Normandy. Soon this importation was stopped and the English version of the Basset was developed in its own right. The first of these dogs appeared at the Wolverhampton Dog Show in 1875 and in 1883 The Basset Hound Club was formed. Queen Alexandra, wife of Edward V11 was a regular exhibitor and in 1909, one of her dogs won at Cruft's. 
These dogs have a mind of their own, therefore training can be difficult. Always remember that because of their scenting natures, Bassets will ignore the recall if on the trail of an appealing smell. Consistency and patience is the key to success.< 
Show Characteristics
The head should be domed with some stop and a prominent occiput. There should be enough loose skin on the head to wrinkle noticably when the head is drawn forward or lowered. The jaws should be strong with a complete scissor bite. The eyes are lozenger-shaped, mid-brown to dark depending on the colour of the dog, with a calm and serious expression. The red of the lower eye should not be excessive. The ears should be set on low, reaching well beyond the end of the muzzle. They should also be narrow and curve inwards, being very supple with a fine and velvety texture. The neck should be fairly long and muscular with a pronounced dewlap. The shoulders should not be heavy. The body should be long and deep with a prominent breast bone. The coat should be smooth, short and coarse and free from feathering. The back should be level and rather broad. The front legs should be short and powerful and with great bone, the upper forearm turning slightly inwards. Wrinkles of skin should be present on lower legs. The hind legs should be well-muscled with well-bent stifles. More wrinkles of skin may appear between the foot and the hock. The feet are massive well-knuckled up and padded. The tail should be well set on and rather long with a moderate amou 
Country Of Origin
Famous Examples
Fred Basset, cartoon character 
Records Held
Overall Exercise
60 - 80 minutes per day.
Basset Hounds can tend to be lazy if given half a chance but they do need exercise to ensure they do not put on too much weight which can cause back problems in later life. During the rapid growth periods, however, exercise must be limited as joint complications may occur. Ensure your garden is well-fenced as Bassets are great escapees and, if on the scent of something, will be off at a moment's notice. Because of the length of their bodies, Bassets should not be allowed to go up and down stairs until they are 18 months old. 
Distress if Left Alone
Personal Protection
Guard Dog Suitability
Risk of Sheep Worrying
Tendency to Bark
Level of Aggression
Compatibility With Other Animals
Suitable For Children


General Character And Temperament
Despite looking morose and serious, these dogs are sociable, calm, playful and have a sense of humour. They love children and get on well with other dogs and household animals. They are friendly towards strangers, but if they sense danger will bark loudly. They must have company and if they are to be left it is better to have two Basset Hounds. They are as happy indoors as they are outdoors. 
Coat Length
Grooming Requirement
Once a week 
Requires Professional Groomer
There is little grooming required for Basset Hounds. During moulting remove loose or dead hairs. They do however like to paddle through the wet and mud but they clean up easily due to their short close coat. Check the ears regularly for infection and clean them out once a week. Keep the claws short and clean the folds of the skin when necessary. 
Basset can be tri-colour (black, tan and white), bi-colour (lemon and white) and red and white. 
Suffers From Allergies

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