Basset Hounds are a popular breed of dog known for their long floppy ears and droopy eyes. However, potential owners may wonder about the breed's overall health and well-being. In this article, we will explore the question, "Are Basset Hounds healthy?" by examining the breed's history, potential health issues, and ways to keep them healthy.

The Basset Hound originated in France, where they were bred by the Abbey of St. Hubert to hunt small game such as rabbits. French aristocrats also kept Basset Hounds as pets. The breed was later introduced to England and the United States, where they gained popularity as family pets. Despite their popularity, potential owners should be aware of the breed's potential health issues, which we will discuss in the following paragraphs.

Overall, Basset Hounds are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they are prone to certain health issues. By understanding these potential health issues and taking preventative measures, owners can help ensure their Basset Hounds live long and healthy lives.

Basset Hound Origins and History

The Basset Hound is a breed of dog that has a long and interesting history. In this section, we will explore the origins and history of this unique and beloved breed.

Breed Development

The Basset Hound is believed to have originated in France in the 16th century. The breed was developed from the Bloodhound, which was used for tracking games. The Basset Hound was bred specifically for hunting small game, such as rabbits, and was prized for its ability to track and corner prey.

Over time, the breed was refined and developed into the Basset Hound we know today. The breed was first introduced to England in the late 19th century, and quickly gained popularity as a hunting dog. Today, the Basset Hound is still used for hunting but is also a popular family pet.

Historical Roles

Throughout history, the Basset Hound has played an important role in hunting. The breed was originally developed for hunting small game, such as rabbits, and was prized for its ability to track and corner prey. The breed's long ears and droopy eyes helped it to track scent on the ground, and its short legs allowed it to move quickly through dense underbrush.

In addition to its hunting abilities, the Basset Hound has also been used in a variety of other roles throughout history. During World War I, the breed was used as a messenger dog and was also employed to help locate wounded soldiers on the battlefield. Today, the Basset Hound is primarily kept as a companion animal but is still used for hunting in some parts of the world.

In conclusion, the Basset Hound has a rich and fascinating history that spans centuries. From its origins in France to its role in hunting and beyond, the breed has played an important role in the lives of many people. Whether you are a hunter or a pet owner, the Basset Hound is a breed that is sure to capture your heart.

Physical Characteristics

Distinctive Features

Basset Hound is a breed of dog that is well-known for its unique physical characteristics. One of the most distinctive features of this breed is its short legs, which are quite disproportionate to the rest of its body. These short legs contribute to the breed's signature waddle when they walk.

Another notable feature of the Basset Hound is its long, droopy ears. These ears can be up to one-third the length of the dog's body and serve a practical purpose. The ears help trap scents as the dog sniffs the ground while hunting, making them excellent hunting companions.

Coat and Colors

The Basset Hound has a smooth coat that is short and dense, making it easy to maintain. The coat comes in a variety of colors, including tan, white, brown, lemon, and red. The most common color combinations are black, tan, and white.

It's important to note that Basset Hounds are prone to obesity, so it's essential to monitor their diet and exercise regularly. They typically weigh between 40 to 65 pounds and stand about 14 inches tall at the shoulder.

In summary, the Basset Hound's physical characteristics make them a unique and recognizable breed. Their short legs and long, droopy ears make them stand out, while their smooth coat and variety of colors make them visually appealing. However, it's crucial to keep their weight in check to ensure their overall health and well-being.

Temperament and Behavior

Personality Traits

Basset Hounds are known for their friendly and affectionate personalities. They are loyal and enjoy spending time with their owners. They have a calm temperament and are generally independent, but they can also be playful.

However, it is important to note that Basset Hounds can be stubborn at times. They tend to follow their nose and can become easily distracted by scents. This can make training a challenge, but with patience and consistency, they can learn and become well-behaved companions.

Behavioral Tendencies

Basset Hounds are generally laid-back and enjoy lounging around the house. They are not typically high-energy dogs, but they do require daily exercise to maintain their health. A daily walk or playtime in the yard can help keep them happy and healthy.

Basset Hounds are known for their loud baying and howling, which can be a concern for apartment or close-quarter living. They can also be prone to separation anxiety, so it is important to provide them with plenty of attention and mental stimulation.

Overall, Basset Hounds are friendly, affectionate, and loyal companions with a calm temperament. While they can be stubborn at times, they are generally easy-going and low-maintenance dogs.

Health and Wellness

Basset Hounds are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they are prone to some health problems. By understanding common health issues and practicing preventive care, owners can help their Basset Hounds live long and healthy lives.

Common Health Issues

Obesity is a common health problem in Basset Hounds. These dogs are prone to overeating and can quickly become overweight, which can lead to joint problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia. Owners should monitor their Basset Hound's diet and exercise to prevent obesity.

Bloat is another health problem that can affect Basset Hounds. This condition occurs when the stomach fills with air and twists on itself, which can be life-threatening. Owners should feed their Basset Hounds smaller meals throughout the day and avoid vigorous exercise after meals to prevent bloat.

Ear infections are also common in Basset Hounds due to their long, floppy ears. Owners should clean their Basset Hound's ears regularly and monitor for signs of infection, such as redness, discharge, or a foul odor.

Preventive Care

Preventive care is essential for maintaining a Basset Hound's health and wellness. Regular visits to the veterinarian can help detect and prevent health problems before they become serious.

Owners should also provide their Basset Hounds with a healthy diet and regular exercise to prevent obesity and joint problems. Basset Hounds should be walked on a leash to prevent them from running and jumping, which can be hard on their joints.

Regular grooming, including brushing and nail trimming, can also help maintain a Basset Hound's health and wellness.

In addition, owners should be aware of any signs of pain or discomfort in their Basset Hound and seek veterinary care if necessary. Basset Hounds are prone to bleeding disorders and glaucoma, so owners should monitor for any signs of these conditions.

Overall, with proper care and attention, Basset Hounds can live long and healthy lives.

Diet and Nutrition

Feeding Guidelines

Basset Hounds require a balanced diet to maintain their health and well-being. A high-quality commercial dog food that meets the nutritional requirements of the breed is recommended. It is important to choose a dog food that is appropriate for the age, size, and activity level of the Basset Hound.

Basset Hounds should be fed twice a day, with the amount of food divided equally between the two meals. The total amount of food should be based on the dog's weight, age, and activity level. Overfeeding can lead to obesity, which can cause health problems.

Obesity Prevention

Basset Hounds are prone to obesity, which can lead to a variety of health problems such as joint pain, heart disease, and diabetes. To prevent obesity, it is important to monitor the dog's weight and adjust the amount of food accordingly. Treats should be given in moderation and should not make up more than 10% of the dog's daily calorie intake.

Regular exercise is also important for maintaining a healthy weight. Basset Hounds enjoy leisurely walks and playtime, but it is important to avoid high-impact activities that can cause joint problems.

In conclusion, a high-quality, balanced diet and regular exercise are essential for maintaining the health of a Basset Hound. By following feeding guidelines and preventing obesity, owners can help ensure a long and healthy life for their furry friend.

Exercise and Activity Needs

Exercise Requirements

Basset Hounds are known for their laid-back personalities, but they still require regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight and prevent boredom. A daily walk of at least 30 minutes is recommended to meet their exercise needs. However, it's important to keep in mind that Basset Hounds have short legs and are not built for long-distance running or strenuous exercise.

Activity Suggestions

To keep your Basset Hound active and engaged, consider taking them to a dog park where they can socialize with other dogs and play in a safe, enclosed area. Basset Hounds are playful and enjoy activities such as chasing and playing fetch with their owners. Incorporating interactive toys and puzzle games into their daily routine can also provide mental stimulation and exercise.

It's important to note that Basset Hounds can be prone to obesity, so it's important to monitor their diet and exercise regularly. Providing them with a balanced diet and regular exercise will help keep them healthy and happy.

Grooming and Care

Coat Maintenance

Basset Hounds have a short, dense coat that sheds moderately year-round. Regular brushing with a bristle brush or a grooming glove can help to remove loose hair and prevent matting. A bath every three months or as needed can also help to keep their coat clean and healthy. However, over-bathing can strip their skin of natural oils, so it's important to not bathe them too often.

Ear and Eye Care

Basset Hounds have long, droopy ears that can trap moisture and debris, leading to ear infections. To prevent this, their ears should be checked and cleaned weekly with a cotton ball and a gentle ear cleaner. Their eyes should also be checked regularly for any signs of irritation or infection.

It's important to keep their skin healthy, as Basset Hounds are prone to dry skin and hot spots. A healthy diet and regular exercise can help to keep their skin in good condition. Additionally, their drool can cause skin irritation and staining, so wiping their mouth and chin with a clean towel after meals can help to prevent this.

Lastly, regular nail trimming is important for Basset Hounds. Long nails can cause discomfort and even affect their gait. It's recommended to trim their nails every 4-6 weeks or as needed. If you're not comfortable doing it yourself, a professional groomer or veterinarian can do it for you.

Training and Socialization

Basic Obedience

Basset Hounds are known for their stubbornness, which can make basic obedience training a challenge. However, with patience and consistency, they can be trained to follow commands. Positive reinforcement techniques, such as using treats and praise, can be effective in training a Basset Hound. It is important to start training at a young age and to keep training sessions short and engaging.

One of the most important commands to teach a Basset Hound is "come." This is because they have a strong sense of smell and may wander off if they catch an interesting scent. Teaching them to come when called can prevent them from getting lost or into dangerous situations. Other important commands include "sit," "stay," and "heel."

Social Skills

Basset Hounds are generally good-natured and enjoy socializing with people and other dogs. However, socialization is still important to ensure they are comfortable in different situations. Introducing them to new people, animals, and environments can help prevent anxiety and fearfulness.

It is important to supervise interactions with other dogs, especially larger breeds, as Basset Hounds can be prone to injury due to their short stature. Praise and treats can be used to reinforce good social behavior, such as playing nicely with other dogs and not jumping on people.

Overall, training and socialization are important aspects of raising a healthy and well-behaved Basset Hound. With patience and consistency, they can learn to follow commands and interact positively with others.

Adoption and Breeding

Choosing a Breeder

When looking for a basset hound puppy, it is important to choose a reputable breeder who prioritizes the health and well-being of their dogs. A good breeder will have their breeding dogs tested for any genetic health issues and will provide potential buyers with health clearances for the puppy's parents. They will also be willing to answer any questions about the breed and the specific puppy they are selling.

It is recommended to visit the breeder's facility and meet the puppy's parents and littermates before making a decision. This will give you an idea of the temperament and health of the dogs and help ensure that the puppy is being raised in a clean and safe environment.

Basset Hounds—A Breed In Trouble - Showsight

Rescue and Adoption

Adopting a basset hound from a rescue group or shelter is a great option for those who want to give a loving home to an adult dog in need. Many rescue groups have basset hounds of all ages available for adoption, and they often provide medical care and behavioral training to help the dogs find their forever homes.

When adopting a basset hound, it is important to ask the rescue group or shelter about the dog's history and any health or behavioral issues they may have. It is also recommended to meet the dog in person and spend time with them before making a decision.

Whether adopting or buying a basset hound, it is important to provide them with proper care and attention to ensure their health and happiness. Regular vet check-ups, a nutritious diet, and plenty of exercise and mental stimulation are essential for keeping a basset hound healthy and happy.


In conclusion, Basset Hounds are a unique and endearing breed with a rich history and distinctive physical characteristics. While they are generally healthy dogs, they are prone to certain health issues such as obesity, bloat, and ear infections, which can be managed with proper care and attention. Their laid-back personality and affectionate nature make them excellent family pets, but potential owners should be prepared for their stubbornness and the need for consistent training and socialization.

Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and routine grooming are essential to maintain their well-being. For those considering adding a Basset Hound to their family, it's important to choose a reputable breeder or consider adoption to give a loving home to a dog in need. With the right care and attention, Basset Hounds can be a joyful addition to any home, providing companionship and affection for many years.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the typical lifespan of a Basset Hound?
    • Basset Hounds typically live for 10-12 years. However, with proper care and nutrition, some Basset Hounds may live longer.
  • Do Basset Hounds require a lot of maintenance?
    • Basset Hounds have a short, smooth coat that requires minimal grooming. However, they do require regular exercise to maintain their health and prevent obesity.
  • What are the common health issues in Basset Hounds?
    • Basset Hounds are prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia, ear infections, and obesity. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian can help prevent and treat these issues.
  • How do Basset Hounds generally behave around other pets such as cats?
    • Basset Hounds are generally friendly and get along well with other pets, including cats. However, early socialization and training are important to ensure positive interactions.
  • Can Basset Hounds adapt well to different living environments?
    • Basset Hounds can adapt well to different living environments, including apartments, as long as they receive enough exercise and attention.
  • What are some considerations to keep in mind before getting a Basset Hound?
    • Prospective owners should consider the size and energy level of a Basset Hound, as well as their potential health issues and grooming needs. It is also important to ensure that the owner can provide enough exercise and attention for the dog.