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AKC Meet the Breeds: Basset Hound

American Kennel Club, Inc. (c) 2011

Instantly recognizable due to its big, heavy body, short legs and long ears, the Basset Hound has proven itself to be a multipurpose dog that excels in conformation, obedience, tracking, field trialing, and pack hunting. The breed is known for its strong hunting instinct and, if given the opportunity, will chase or follow a scent willingly. Because of its gentle, nonconfrontational nature, the Basset can be used for hunting in packs or alone. The Basset can be any hound color, which includes combinations of black, tan, white, red, and other colors.

A Look Back
The Basset Hound was originally developed in France as a trailer of small game that hunters could follow on foot. Bassets continued to achieve very notable popularity during the reign of Emperor Napoleon, and in 1880 Queen Alexandra kept Basset Hounds in the royal kennels. Marquis de Lafayette brought Basset Hounds, known for their impeccable sense of smell, to the United States as a gift to President George Washington to use in his hunting expeditions.

Right Breed for You?
The Basset's sweet, gentle disposition makes him a great companion, and his short coat requires minimal grooming. New owners should be prepared for a dog that actively follows scent while outside or on walks.

  • Hound Group; AKC recognized in 1885.
  • Height should not exceed 14 inches tall at the shoulder.
  • Hunting dog; trailing dog.

AKC Meet the Breeds is a registered trademark of the American Kennel Club, Inc.

Comments (3)

  • MegDarling 17 Aug, 2012

    First let me say that I adore bassets. I've had my guy for 9 years and I got him as a full grown rescue. I know he was still young when we found him but do not know his exact age. He has slowed down very little, even with age. He's a huge teddy bear lap dog wanna be that never meets a stranger. However, I strongly disagree with how grooming was addressed in this article. Basset coats shed. Like crazy. Year round. Daily brushing or daily vacuuming is a must when you have a basset.

  • Pamwith2bassets 3 Feb, 2012

    We have three bassets and they all have very different personalities. The one thing they have in common is their sweetness and patience. Young bassets can be very rambunctous and are NOT lazy as people are led to believe. Make sure (if you get a puppy) you have ways for it to get exercise and play-as with any other breed they can be destructive when they will chew as teeth erupt.

    I am a basset fan and hightly recommend a basset for anyone who wants a loyal, dedicated companion.

  • karenelc 16 Sep, 2011

    Bassets are the most loveable and loyal dogs ever set on the face of the Earth. Unfortunately I've had experiences where they attach to only ONE person and that can be dangerous. My first basset snapped at everyone but me. I could do anything with him but I wouldn't want him around children. The basset I have now is harmless as a kitten. In fact, she raised a kitten we found at 7 weeks old and they're best friends. My advice; get either a puppy or a dog who has been temperament tested!!