Aren’t the flappy ears and sleepy gaze of Bassets adorable? These scent hounds are loveable and low-key canines that can be perfect as a family pet. Their appearance shares a big similarity with that of Beagles, but they have stockier bodies and a deep-chested gait.
One of the pleasant-natured dogs, they are AKC’s 40th most popular breed and a favorite among Basset Hound Breeders. Bassets are polite even to strangers. They are aloof but not distant, laid-back but not couch potatoes. Kids, owners, strangers, and other dogs will enjoy their company with their wagging, white-tipped tails.
But why is it that Basset Hound Breeders take great care to avoid inbreeding? It is because of the desire of breeders to ensure the maintenance of the strong, distinct characteristics of the hounds. Here is a look at some of the more important traits of the breed.
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An Overview On Basset Hounds
Basset Hounds originated in Northern France in the 1500s. They were part of a selective breeding to produce dogs that are low in height and slow in movement. This is so their owners can follow them on foot instead of riding a horse.
Soon after, they became a favorite pet of French aristocrats until the French Revolution. After that, they became companions of commoners who want a slow dog that they won’t have to run after. In the middle of the 19th century, they were brought to England and were re-bred to produce the Bassets we know today.
These Bassets were introduced to the public in 1875 but was only recognized by the AKC in the early 20th century. Nevertheless, AKC registration was allowed in 1885.
The AKC recognized Basset Hound breeders in the year 1885 when Bassets gained popularity in the U.S. In 1928, Time Magazine published an issue with the image of a Basset Hound pup on its cover. It was the turning point for this breed as people learned of their charm and adorable personality triggering a huge demand among pet owners.
Basset Hounds Are Perfect Family Dogs?
Basset Hounds are low-key, calm, and require relatively lesser maintenance among pets. Unlike Beagles, they do not require much physical and mental stimulation to stay happy. They are contented with long and slow walks or strides on backyards.
Although they aren’t into yapping and jumping, a basic level of physical stimulation helps to prevent obesity. By virtue of being pack animals, it fits in perfectly with families. They love to stick close to creatures they consider as families and do not desire to remain aloof.
They are easy to groom with just the required amount of care necessary to ensure that their low low chests are free from collecting dirt easily. Bassets are great with kids too. Good-natured and calm, they tolerate kids more easily and will not snap unless provoked beyond limits.
While they are not known to be aggressive, they can put up a good show if provoked repeatedly. This breed that has relatively limited health issues stemming from their body type, are worthy pets for all ages. Care needs to be taken to ensure that the pups are picked up from reputable Basset Hound Breeders.
Personality and Temperament
Are you ok to take on the tenacious Basset Hound temperament and bring a baby into your family? With their droopy ears and sleepy eyes, Basset Hounds may sometimes appear as the saddest dogs, fooling individuals by their appearance.
These dogs are affectionate and loyal. They can be stubborn, but with proper training, they can adapt easily to any household. They play naturally with kids but they are not to be expected to be lively all the time. Small kids at home would love the company of this breed.
They will just lay on laps when it’s time to rest or relax. Unlike large breeds, Bassets won’t jump and knock off babies. Their low stature is also beneficial for kids and families who have limited space at home.
Many pet owners call them “clown dogs”. They have their own timing with things that result in funny situations. Bassets are never aggressive and it is very rare to actually see one snarling angrily. It is because of this good-natured, loving temperament that Basset Hound breeders quote a high price for these pets.
Like all dogs, these pets have certain behavioral issues. For instance, they have an affinity to howling and baying. They are known to howl incessantly if left alone. This is one of the common reasons why animal rescue centers have quite a few of these pets turned in.
They have a very high sense of smell. Their powerful sense of smell always grabs their attention. Once hooked on a scent, they will be oblivious to everything else and will chase the scent even if it means crossing the street recklessly. Basset Hounds are like most of the dogs in a park.
They have good as well as not very good qualities. They drool a lot, making them the last option for families allergic to dog saliva. They tend to slobber too which isn’t good for kids who have a history of skin and respiratory complications.
Bassets also snort, fart, and bear the distinct doggy odor. Basset hound baying loudly which can be annoying to neighbors. Even if Bassets can thrive on small apartments and houses, their noisy habit can landowners in a heated exchange with neighbors.
These are typical traits and may not be seen in all pets. This information is intended to be of use to prospective pet owners to help in understanding possible conditions in the future. It helps to be informed about all qualities before paying the price quoted by Basset Hound breeders.
Intelligence and Trainability
Bassets are reasonably intelligent, but they aren’t one of the smartest breeds either. As their noses are always on the ground, they are perceived to be less intelligent than other breeds. They are the second strongest sniffer next to the Bloodhounds.
Generally, Bassets takes longer to learn, especially in terms of housebreaking. It’s challenging to train them since their sense of smell will always prevail. Individuals intending to get them as family dogs, would do well to get a pup and train early.
Distractions during training are to be avoided with a significant quantity of snacks. As far as Bassets are concerned, training will reap results only with a reward-based system. Basset hounds love to eat. However, they are also prone to gastric torsion as a result of overfeeding, too much water, and air volume in their small stomach.
Grooming and Maintenance
Basset Hounds have thin coats which are easy to groom. They also shed less so bathing them a few times per quarter is adequate. However, brushing their coat regularly will keep excess fur off furniture. Their coats, although thin, are dense enough to shield their skin from water, dirt, and various weathers.
A Basset hound dog has flappy ears and can be a location where dirt and parasites collect. Similarly the loose skin which is also elastic, creates multiple folds on their bodies and this needs to be checked to prevent the accumulation of dirt.
When it comes to their physical needs, Bassets aren’t the rompy type. They don’t require too much physical exercise. Their legs are short and their chests are deep which are prone to joint problems and digestive issues. It is necessary to prevent them from becoming couch potatoes and avoid obesity.
Basset Hounds are to be prevented from jumping from atop elevated spaces or running for long distances. This will create stress on their front legs that can cause toe and joint pain. A ramp or steps will help the dogs climb heights easily.
Climate and Environment Requirement
Due to their excellent adaptability, Basset Hounds can thrive in almost any climate. This makes them worth it despite the high costs quoted by Basset Hound breeders. However, they have a moderate tolerance to heat and are not to be left out in the sun for too long.
It is advisable to have a bowl of fresh water available if they are left outdoors. The same goes for their tolerance to cold temperatures. Bassets can thrive on snowy locations, but they aren’t the most suited for playing in the snow unless they are clad in dog jackets.
Keeping them warm during winter will prevent any health issues. Bassets have short legs and are therefore not to be let out of the house if the snow is too thick. They can get buried in deep snow. Not being the greatest jumpers makes it hard for them to get out of deep snow.
Common Health Issues
Ear infections are the most common health concern, and reputed Basset Hound breeders take great care to keep the ears free from infection before selling one. The flappy ears do not permit proper air circulation and many owners often do not pay enough attention to grooming this part.
It is important to clean Bassets’ ears weekly even if they are not bathed. Due to their low gait, Basset Hounds are prone to joint and bone problems. As they grow old, they are more likely to develop hip dysplasia when the thighbone doesn’t fit perfectly to the joint.
This condition can both be developed and inherited hence it is important to ensure that pups are sourced from reputed Basset Hound Breeders who will offer all information about lineage and pedigree. The best option is to seek a health certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for this condition.
Bassets are also prone to inherit Von Willebrand’s Disease from their parents. This is a case of bleeding that can range from moderate to life-threatening. Surgery might be needed to treat this disorder, but to avoid hefty vet expenses, simple examination/certification from the OFA will help. It is important to remember that von Willebrand’s Disease is often mistaken with Thrombopathia, which is another bleeding disorder.
Although Bassets aren’t flat-nosed breeds, they are prone to glaucoma. The pressure can build up behind their eyes. If the dog squints, tears, and rubs their eyes frequently, it is necessary to have them checked.
Typical Pricing Range
The verage price for low-quality Basset breeds can be between $500-$600. But pups with champion bloodlines, have a price range between $800 – $1,600. Available only from the top Basset Hound Breeders, these pups are also certified by AKC.
Basset Hound breeders quote prices that may differ depending on the health, bloodline, and location of the breeder. However, it is important to note that pups that are priced below $300 may actually be carrying diseases and the parents may have had poor health and temperament.
Wrap Up On Basset Hound Puppies
Basset Hounds are excellent family dogs. They do well with kids and with minimum physical activities – everything that a typical household in the city will find comfortable. Although Bassets have the potential to be playful and active, it is necessary to keep this activity within limits.
The dogs aren’t bred to be runners. Bassets will not pose problems in families having babies or toddlers. They are patient and unlikely to be aggressive. However, it is best to train them first before letting them roam free in homes.
Do you want to know more about Basset Hounds? Here’s an informative video from Animal Planet: