Breed Spotlight: Basset Hound

4 min read
Dec 01, 2022

Basset Hound Quick Stats


12 – 13 years


40 – 65 lbs


14 – 15 inches




Lovey-dovey, loyal, even-tempered, moderate energy

Common Health Problems:

Skin and ear infections, allergies, hip and elbow dysplasia

Basset Hound: How Do I Look?

Basset hounds are a type of short-legged hound dog. The breed is known for its long, droopy ears that drag along the ground. They also have a long droopy jowls and a curved tail that stands tall.3

Coat type and colors

Basset hounds have short and smooth fur. Their coats are usually a bicolor or tricolor mix of white, tan, and black. But they can also have red, lemon white, or blue gray fur mixed in instead of the standard colors.4


Because basset hound ears are so long and drag on the ground, dog owners need to give them some extra care. Their ears are more prone to infections, parasites, yeast infections, and sores than other breeds. They also may get food and water on their ears by accidentally dipping them in bowls. It’s important to clean and care for your basset’s ears on a regular basis to keep them healthy.4

Shedding and Grooming

The basset hound has a short coat. Their fur is dense enough to protect them against all types of weather. Their coat does not require extensive grooming. Your basset should be brushed on a weekly basis to maintain healthy skin and coat. They also rarely need baths but you should wash them if you begin to smell a foul odor.

The basset hound does shed throughout the year but, with weekly brushing you can keep the amount of fur around the house down.

Drooling Level

Basset hounds have large jowls that make them prone to drooling. Add this to the fact that they produce more saliva than they can swallow, and you’ve got a drooly pup on your hands.

Basset Hound: Personality Traits

What My Adoption Bio Might Say:

A self-proclaimed lap-dog and explorer, I’m the best combination of a hunting dog and a family friend. Let me go on adventures and follow my nose, but know my loyalty means I’ll always come back to you. Have a little patience with my stubborn personality during training because I’ll do my best to make you proud.


The basset hound’s temperament is extremely laid back and friendly. They get along well with everyone whether they’re people or other animals. They don’t become excited often but may get up if they detect a scent they like. This breed is extremely calm, so they don’t make the best watchdogs.

Exercise Needs

In comparison to other dog breeds, the basset hound does not require a significant amount of exercise and actually prefers not to exercise. However, they are prone to obesity. Thus, a daily walk is essential in keeping them healthy. Plus, they love to explore and follow scents, so you should give them the opportunity to do so.

Are basset hounds good with other pets?

This breed tends to be sociable and easygoing. They’re known for their gentleness with other household pets.


Basset hound puppies are known to be stubborn and challenging throughout their training. Housetraining a basset may also prove to be difficult. Positive reinforcement training methods like treats and encouragement are crucial.

Are basset hounds good with kids?

The basset hound is typically laid back and good with children. Between their sociability and gentle demeanor, they’re one of the best dog breeds for families.

Barking Level

Basset hounds are traditionally a vocal breed. They love to communicate with howls and barks, especially when they’re left alone for a time. However, they can be trained to bark less.

Basset Hound: A History

Basset hounds are the result of a mutation in the St. Hubert hound bloodline that introduced the dwarf version we’ve come to know and love. This new hound was characterized by their dwarfism, but quickly recognized for their ability to hunt rabbits through thick brush.4

Basset hounds were bred to hunt in France and Belgium, even being named “basset,” the French word for “rather low.” The first record of basset hounds dates back to 1585, where they appeared in an illustrated hunting book.4

The American Kennel Society (AKC) formally recognized the breed in 1916. But they leapt to popularity in 1920 when Time Magazine ran a cover story about these cuties. Since then, bassets have become an American staple, inspiring basset hound picnics and waddles all over the country.4

Common Basset Hound Mixes

While this purebred breed can be a joy, there are also a ton of well-loved breed mixes. Here are a few beloved mixes, but this list is by no means exhaustive.

  • Bagel hound: This is a beagle and basset hound mix.
  • Bassador: This is a Labrador retriever and basset hound mix.
  • Basschshund: This is a dachshund and basset hound mix.
  • Corgi basset: This is a corgi and basset hound mix.
  • Basset retriever: This is a golden retriever and basset hound mix.
  • Bassugg: This is a pug and basset hound mix.
  • Boxer basset: This is a boxer and basset hound mix.
  • Hush basset: This is a cocker spaniel and basset hound mix.
  • Basselier: This is a cavalier King Charles spaniel and basset hound mix.

Basset Hound Health Issues

Basset hounds are prone to a handful of complex health issues over their lifespan, including:

  • Obesity
  • Allergies
  • Bloat: This is a life-threatening condition which is often caused by drinking or eating too quickly.
  • Panostenosis: This is a bone disease in puppies.
  • Thrombopathia: This is a platelet disorder which affects the ability of the blood to clot.
  • Otitis: This is typically known as a middle ear infection.
  • Dermatitis: This is inflammation of the skin.
  • Periodontal Disease: This is infection of the structures around the teeth, which include the gums, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone

Protect your Pets

Even the healthiest of pups can come with unexpected vet costs. Pet insurance can help keep your dog and your bank account happy.

How Pet Insurance Can Help Basset Hounds

Basset hounds are low-set, purebred, and have ears that drag on the ground. Each of these factors lends to different health problems over your basset hound’s lifespan. Caring for your basset hound means covering their medical bills, which can get expensive. This is where a dog insurance policy can help.


Basset hounds are prone to glaucoma. This condition is caused by inadequate drainage or excessive fluid around the eye. This results in pain and high pressure in and around your dog’s eyes. Glaucoma can lead to blindness if not caught and treated in its early stages.

Treatment includes a combination of prescription medications to reduce pain and pressure, as well as decrease fluid production. However, in advanced cases, your basset hound may also need surgery.

Hip and elbow dysplasia

Hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia are often painful conditions. These are where your basset hound’s ball joints and sockets don’t fit together the way they should, causing them to rub together or even pop out.

While your vet may prescribe anti inflammatory prescription medications, the only real treatment for dysplasia is surgery. However, the diagnosis, surgery, and recovery process can be painful to your basset and costly to your wallet.

Ear infections

Basset hounds are especially prone to ear infections, irritations, and swelling because they drag them all over the ground. While a minor ear infection isn’t life threatening, if they progress, they can cause fevers, swelling, or become chronic infections. So it’s good to catch and treat them as soon as they pop up.5

Your vet may prescribe a medicated ear cleanser or oral antibiotics to help the infection clear up.5 Dog insurance may help cover any prescription medications for your pup.2 Be diligent in keeping your basset hound’s ears clean to prevent or treat infection.

Basset hounds make some of the best companions and excellent family dogs. No one wants a member of the family to be in pain, especially one with such a sad howl and puppy eyes. Take care of your basset hound by enrolling in dog insurance. This way you’re ready and able to treat any conditions or injuries that come their way. Get started with a MetLife Insurance policy and get a quote today.1

Protect your Bassett Hound

Enroll in 3 Easy Steps

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal, or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2  Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.

3 “Basset Hound,” American Kennel Club

4 “Basset Hound,”

5 “Dog Ear Infections: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Prevention,” American Kennel Club

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