The Basset Hound was first bred in France as a companion when hunting small games. They have a keen and powerful sense of smell that is second only to the Bloodhound. Their body structure helps retain the smell they got for a longer time. Basset Hounds may look gloomy all the time due to their droopy skin, but they are among the most affectionate and friendly pets around.
Basset Hound Physical Characteristics
Hounds are easy to spot; Their long bodies with short legs; With skin is loose and saggy, especially on the face and neck; Their large and well-proportioned head with long noses and ears that hang lowly in the side of their heads. No need to guess what kind of dog you’re dealing with; the Basset hound has a look all its own.
Basset Hound Size
On average, this breed’s height is around 30 to 38 cm tall, while the females may vary between 28 and 36 cm. Their weight can range from 20 to 29 kilograms.
Despite their short legs and small appearance, Basset Hounds have a long body that, when they lean upward, can easily reach places that even some large breed dogs couldn’t.
The head of the Basset Hound has an overall medium appearance. With a domed skull, and sides that are flat and without cheek bumps. Their head features a long muzzle. Their skin is so saggy and loose that it creates several wrinkles over the brows and the neck.
Basset Hounds have an elongated torso and bolster big bone structures despite their appearance. They have long and curved tails that stand upright, so it’s always easy to spot them.
Basset Hound Personality
When talking about Basset Hound’s personality, they are pleasant and friendly despite them being originally hunting dogs. These dogs easily get along with other pets and people. They are naturally well-behaved, but due to their intelligence, some may be stubborn during training.
These canine companions are sweet and devoted to their owners. They are highly energetic. Their hunting origin is deep in their personality that even with training, you’ll find them exploring or following a scent.
One of the things to take note of is that Basset Hounds are loud barkers and zealous diggers. Even so, these dogs are well-behaved inside the house and would usually nap beside you.
Basset Hound Exercise
This breed doesn’t require activities as much as other dogs. Daily long walks are perfect for them as they aren’t built for running around too much. Basset Hounds like to explore the surroundings and be lost in the smell that catches their attention. Their daily walk is important as they are prone to being overweight.
Basset Hound Training
Basset Hounds are highly intelligent and intuitive. This makes them a bit stubborn and hard to manage when undergoing training. It takes a patient owner to bring the best out of them. Fun side note, Basset Hounds are food-motivated dogs, so creatively training with a treat or two as a reward is most effective.
Train them early to get used to their leash and minimize their barking. Also, even though they are naturally friendly, it helps train them to socialize better with other dogs and pets. This will ensure that they won’t get stressed easily when faced with an unfamiliar situation or environment.
Bassets perform well with short and constant training sessions. You have to stand your ground and be consistent for them to get the lessons better. Overall, they need positive reinforcement and love from their owners, and they will surely shine with joy and pride.
Basset Hound History
Basset Hounds’ history is long. They were originally bred in France to help hunt small game animals like hares. Their name came from the French word “bas,” which means low and when combined with the suffix “-et,” resulting in “rather low,” which is fitting to the dog’s body stature.
They are an old breed that is a direct descendant of the Bloodhound and smell almost as good as them. They are usually compared to St. Hubert’s Hounds’ appearance.
Their breed dates back to the 1500s, and they first appeared in a Paris dog show in 1863. French nobilities would often raise Basset Hounds though they were hunting partners for the common person as well.
In the 1870s, their popularity grew in England, and a breeding program began for them. The American Kennel Club first recognized the Basset Hound breed in 1885, and the Basset Hound Club of America was established in 1935. Their history is long, with generations celebrating this breed.
Basset Hound Health Problems
As with any breed, your dog may be prone to certain types of health problems due to their build. Here are some of the common health issues that a Basset Hound can get:
Canine Thrombopathia is an intrinsic platelet disorder passed through genes. It’s common with Spitz and Basset Hound breeds. The symptoms are prolonged and excessive bleeding from minor cuts, bruised skin, iron deficiency, and visible blood in stool or urine. The best way to prevent this health issue is to not breed a basset hound that carries the RASGRP1 gene. There isn’t any known cure or treatment for this disorder other than careful monitoring and supervision.
Seborrhea is a skin disease from severe keratinization or cornification of the epidermis, which results in heightened scale formation and sebum production. There are two types of seborrhea: The primary is the inherited skin disease, and the other is secondary seborrhea, wherein it’s a symptom or a result of an underlying or a different disease.
When diagnosing a dog with seborrhea, some of the important things to check are whether they have abnormal estrous cycles, heat-seeking behavior, excessive urination, extreme thirst, and if there’s a visible skin infection. Treatment for seborrhea aims to make your dog more comfortable, and if they have secondary seborrhea, it’s best to treat the underlying disease first for the dog to fully recover.
Intervertebral Disc Disease
Intervertebral Disc Disease is common to old dogs as it’s a degenerative disorder. However, certain breeds are prone to having it despite their young age. One of them is the Basset Hound. IVDD happens when the disc that is supposed to cushion the spinal cord and its movements deteriorate. It creates friction and reduces the shock-absorbing capacity of the disc that leads to several spinal cord concerns. If that happens, the results are immobility and pain.
Diagnosis consists of a neurological examination, and the treatment for IVDD depends on the severity of the dog’s current condition. It can be therapy, medication, or surgery.
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Wobbler syndrome is a neck disease common to larger breeds, but even smaller dogs like Basset Hounds may get it. Clinical signs of this syndrome are lumbering rear legs, which can also affect the front legs if left untreated, weakness, neck pain, loss of muscle mass in the rear legs and shoulders, difficulty getting up, and scuffed toenails due to the uncoordinated gait.
Diagnosis consists of standard tests, visualization, x-rays, CT scan, MRIs, and myelography. Treatment can be medical or surgical, depending on the assessment results.
Glaucoma is an eye disease causing severe pain or even blindness. More so, this condition causes the buildup of fluids in the eye that produces immense pressure. There are two types of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma and closed-angle glaucoma. The first one is the gradual development of blind spots and is usually painless. Closed-angle glaucoma causes sudden and severe pain. Symptoms of glaucoma are redness in the eyes, excessive tears, cloudy cornea, light sensitivity, fluttering eyelids, swollen eyes, and vision problems.
Early detection is crucial for dogs who have glaucoma. The veterinarian will perform tests and treatments through medication, cyclocryotherapy, or surgery.
Ectropion and Entropion
This is a condition where the eyelids roll inward, which causes friction or abrasion towards the cornea. It’s painful and may affect the dog’s vision severely. If you notice that your dog is producing tears excessively, squinting, and holding its eyes shut most of the time, consult your vet immediately. Treatment for ectropion and entropion is surgical correction.
Elbow dysplasia is a disease that causes growth abnormalities on the elbow joints. It happens when the bones do not fit together perfectly, resulting in extreme pain, frailty, and the development of joint issues. Symptoms appear at a young age, and there are several treatments available to help dogs with elbow dysplasia.
Panosteitis, also called “Growing Pains” is an inflammation of the shaft of one or more long legs bones that normally occurs in young and fast-growing dogs. It causes extreme pain and lameness. It may happen several times until they reach two years of age in which it usually just resolves on its own. The cause of this disease is still unknown.
The diagnosis is mainly through X-rays and standard examination. Treatment includes pain and inflammation medications.
Obesity is when your dog gains and retails too much fat in his body. This condition can affect any dog breed. Obesity makes dogs prone to getting diseases and can shorten their lifespan. Although it’s not a life-threatening disease on its own, it can bring upon one if obesity is left untreated.
To know if your Basset Hound is overweight, perform the rib test and the standing test. You can also have your scheduled check-up and consult your vet about the ideal weight of your pet.
How to Take Care of a Basset Hound
Basset hounds as pretty low maintenance. They don’t need much exercise or activities, and when they are left inside the house, you’ll find them chilling beside someone. Bassets have the characteristics of a hunter and a laid-back family pet. So depending on their environment and how you trained them, you’ll find two sides of this dog amusing.
It’s best to keep food out of their reach if it’s not their mealtime. Basset Hounds are the happiest when surrounded by family and receiving lots of affection from them.
Basset Hounds Nutrition and Feeding
If you want to make sure that your Basset Hound is in its best condition, it’s advised to prioritize its nutrition. They are prone to obesity, so ensuring that they have healthy and balanced meals all the time is a must.
In general, it is recommended to give 1.5 to 3 cups of high-quality dog food a day, depending on the size and age of your Basset Hound. You can divide it and either feed them twice or thrice a day. These hounds are food lovers, so it’s important to be strict when feeding them. Don’t let their sad faces fool you.
Basset Hound Coat Color and Grooming
Similar to Beagles, Basset Hounds have a smooth, short coat that’s usually bi-colors or tri-colors. The available colors are black, tan, and white. Of course, other colors are rare too.
Their coats are easy to groom, and they don’t require daily bathing. Brushing their coat now and then will keep their shedding at a minimum. This breed is a drooler, so it’s advised to wipe them clean. Their long ears and droopy skin can also be a ground for bacterial growth, so checking and cleaning them twice or three times a week is recommended.
Children and Other Pets
You’ll find no issues with having a Basset Hound around children or other pets. They are naturally friendly and sociable, that they would even prefer that they have a familiar presence that surrounds them.
If you’re planning on getting your own Basset Hound, consider adopting from the rescue groups near your area. Although they are purebred dogs, there are still a lot of them who need a home.
Basset Hound Club of America is an organization founded to preserve and promote the Basset Hound dog breed. They have a list of recognized rescue groups that you can check out.
American Kennel Club and Basset Hound Club of America are two known breed organizations that have all the information and support for this breed.
More about Basset Hound Dog Breed
Here are some fun facts about Basset Hounds:
- Marilyn Monroe owned a Basset Hound named Hugo.
- Basset hounds are famous for being commercial dogs.
- Jason, a Basset Hound, was used to logo the shoe brand “Hush Puppies.”
- In 2011, Victoria, a Basset Hound, was voted as Concord, Ontario co-mayor.
- They are not good swimmers due to their long bodies and short legs.
Whether you’re looking for an easy-going and low-maintenance family dog or a powerful scent hunting companion, consider taking home a Basset Hound. Their sad and innocent-looking faces, together with their wonderful personality, will immediately capture your heart. That’s probably the reason why many celebrities got them.