If a Basset Hound has ever been a member of your family, you’ll recognize these 10 lovable quirks of the breed. Thinking of adopting a Basset? Consider yourself warned: there’s a lot of cute ahead.
10. Basset Hounds are not small dogs.
There is a big difference between small and short. Basset Hounds are vertically challenged, but can weigh up to 64 lbs. Their name comes from the French word “bas,” meaning low.
9. They love the sound of their own voice.
Bassets don’t bark as much as they sing the blues with their mournful baying and howling. You will learn to love this music because you will hear it often. Be warned: they do not like to be left alone for long periods of time. This can cause them to complain loudly to your neighbors and to the world.
8. Basset Hounds shed…a lot.
When considering bringing a Basset into your family and home, take its coloring into consideration. Its fur will be on every piece of clothing that you own for the next decade or longer. I suggest brown, black, tan and white as your wardrobe basics. (Daily brushing will keep Bassets’ coats healthy and help reduce shedding.)
7. Bassets rule the drool.
Never underestimate the distance a good headshake can send a Basset Hound’s drool. Many Basset parents keep drool towels within reach. Vinegar will work wonders to de-slobber your floors, walls, and other surfaces.
6. Basset Hounds are deep thinkers.
A Basset will consider all of its options before agreeing to any task. Is it worth the time and effort? Are there treats involved? Their serious and slow thought process could be mistaken for stubbornness.
It can be difficult to move a hound when they are “thinking.” High value treats are great because Bassets are very food-motivated. It is also important that they get regular exercise to avoid becoming overweight.
5. Basset Hound ears are human kryptonite.
Humans are incapable of resisting the feel of those long velvety ears. Bassets know this and use them to their full advantage. They won’t hesitate to tilt their head so one ear touches the ground and melts your heart. As cute as those ears are, they are prone to infections. Routine ear cleaning is a must.
4. Basset Hounds are not great guard dogs.
They are lovers, not fighters. Unless a burglar trips over your hound, they don’t pose a threat. You can rest assured your Basset will let out a warning howl if anyone approaches, though (see #9 above).
3. There’s a reason they are called “hounds.”
If a Basset wants something, they are relentless until they get it. This includes meals, treats, walks, hunting, belly rubs, and kisses. They will “hound” you with paw taps, talking, or staring until you give in to them. Basset parents can try to ignore them, but in the end, it is futile. (A daily routine is helpful and leads to a sense of security for your pup.)
2. Bassets are scent-sational!
The nose on a Basset is second only to the Bloodhound. They want to smell everything, and thanks to their ears sweeping up odors, there is not much they miss. This makes them excellent for scent trials and hunting. It can also make them prone to becoming lost as they follow a “hot” trail, so visible IDs are important. Microchipping your dog is one of the best ways to ensure a safe return.
1. Basset Hounds are addicting.
The Basset Hound puppy should come with a label that reads, “Caution: may be habit-forming.” From their big expressive eyes to the white tip of their tail, a Basset Hound will fill your heart with so much unconditional love that you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one…or two. Consider adopting one; there are many Bassets in shelters waiting for their forever homes.
M. K. Clinton is the author of The Returns book series and creator of Barking from the Bayou dog blog. She lives in Louisiana with her husband, a lovable Basset Hound, and a hilarious White West Highland Terrier.