Basset Hound

Basset Hound

Group: Hound Group

Origin: Great Britain

Height: 14 in (36 cm) at the shoulder.

Weight: Can weigh as much as 60-70 lbs (27-31.5 kg).

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Breed Profile

The Basset Hound originated in France in the 15th century. Bred as a scenting hound with a very keen nose, the Basset is one of the most easily recognized breed. With his short legs, the dwarfed-hound is slower in movement than his Bloodhound cousin and proved to be useful to hunters on foot in search of small game. Bassets hunted in packs using their long ears to help stir up the scent and then drive small prey into open terrain. The sport of pack hunting with Basset Hounds continues even today in France and England.

The Basset Hound is heavier in bone, size considered, than any other breed of dog, and while his movement is deliberate, he is in no way clumsy. He is capable of great endurance in the field and is extremely devoted to his family. He is mild mannered, never sharp or timid, laid back, sociable, and affectionate. The Basset is very intelligent but also has an independent nature so that his desire to please is not as strong as that found in other breeds. He is a great dog for children and adults of all ages, and generally gets along well with other dogs.

The Basset’s coat is thick and dense so that it repels water effectively and is either tri-coloured (combination of black, white and tan) or red and white. The coat colours are distributed over the body in no particular pattern.

Health Issues

The Basset Hound is generally a healthy breed. However, like all breeds, Bassets can be affected by certain genetic diseases. Some of the more common disorders found in the breed include:

  • Glaucoma
  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Patellar Luxation
  • von Willebrand’s Disease
  • Thrombopathia — This is a disorder of small blood cells called platelets. Under normal conditions and in response to an injury that causes bleeding, platelets clump at the site of injured blood vessels, they also facilitate blood clotting and release substances active in repairing tissue and inflammation. In Basset Hound Thrombopathia, the platelet “clumping” does not occur. Therefore, dogs with this condition are more susceptible to bruising and hemorrhage. This is thought to be common in the Basset Hound breed and is an autosomal recessive trait.

If you are considering the adoption of a Basset Hound puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the General Information page.)

Recommended Health Screening:

For the Basset Hound, the CHICNote 1 database includes health screenings for the following:

  • Eye Examination by a board Ophthalmologist and
  • Gonioscopy
  • Optional testing for Thrombopathia is also listed

Additional Health Resources:


Basset Hound
Ch. Soundtrack Up Up And Away

Photo: Soundtrack Basset Hounds

Grooming Information

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.


Training Resources

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.


Additional Information

  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit:

*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

Breed Listing

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