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. 



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.


Size Medium
Colour Basset can be tri-colour (black, tan and white), bi-colour (lemon and white) and red and white.
Coat Length Short Medium 
Weight/Height Range Bassets, both dogs and bitches, measure 33 to 38cms at the withers and weigh between 18 to 27kgs.
Ailments 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.
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.

Feeding & Ownership


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 than one large one.


Food Cost $10 to $15



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.


Intelligence 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.
Energy Low
Suitability for Children High
Tendency to Bark High
Overall Exercise Requirement 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.
Suitability as a Guard Dog Medium
Ease of Transportation High
Level of Aggression Low
Other Animal Compatibility High



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.


Grooming Requirements Once A Week
Amount of Hair Shed Little

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