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Basset Hound Colors: 7 Stunning Variations with Pictures

Written by: Ejay Camposano
A college graduate with a degree in Electrical Engineering, Ejay has a diverse background that combines technical expertise with a passion for pets and is now one of the content writers at IHD. Read more
| Published on May 9, 2024

Basset Hounds are one of the most recognizable dog breeds, known for their long ears, droopy eyes, and short legs. Originally bred for hunting due to their keen sense of smell, Basset Hounds have become beloved companions in many homes around the world. These charming dogs not only capture hearts with their unique appearance and friendly nature but also boast a variety of coat colors that enhance their appeal. Each color variation of a Basset Hound carries its own distinct charm, contributing to the breed’s overall diversity and aesthetic allure. This article will delve into seven stunning color variations of the Basset Hound, exploring how each shade influences the look and visibility of these endearing dogs.

1. Tri-color

Tri-color Basset Hounds are perhaps the most common and popular coloration within the breed. This classic pattern consists of black, white, and brown markings distributed throughout the coat. Typically, the black covers the back and the top of the tail, while brown adorns the head, ears, and around the eyes, accentuating their mournful expression. The white can be found on the dog’s chest, paws, and tip of the tail, offering a sharp contrast that highlights the distinct color blocks. This color combination not only makes them highly photogenic but also reflects the breed’s traditional hunting attire, blending seamlessly into outdoor environments.

2. Lemon and White

Lemon and white Basset Hounds have a charming pale yellow or light tan coloring paired with white. This lighter shade is subtle and gives the dog a softer appearance compared to the more dramatic tri-color. Lemon markings may darken as the dog matures but generally remain quite muted, making these Basset Hounds stand out for their understated elegance. The lemon and white coloring is less common than other variations, making it a unique choice for potential owners looking for a distinctive pet.

3. Mahogany and White

The mahogany and white Basset Hounds boast a rich, deep red color contrasted with white. This striking variation exudes warmth and is highly desirable among Basset Hound enthusiasts. The mahogany typically appears over the back, ears, and sides, with white covering the belly and legs, and a blaze running up the face. This coloration not only highlights the loose, wrinkled skin that is characteristic of the breed but also tends to enhance the soulful expression of their dark eyes.

4. Black and White


Black and white Basset Hounds present a classic and somewhat tuxedo-like appearance. The sharp contrast between the jet black and pure white areas of their coat gives these dogs a distinguished look. This variant is less common in purebreds but is highly sought after when it appears. Black and white Basset Hounds often have a predominantly black body with white chest, neck, and face markings, sometimes accompanied by black patches or spots.

5. Blue and White

Blue and white Basset Hounds are a rare find. The blue is not a typical bright blue but a diluted black that appears as a deep slate or grayish blue. This unique coloring is due to a genetic dilution that affects the black pigment. These Basset Hounds often have a mystical appeal due to their unusual color, paired with the standard white markings. However, it’s important for potential owners to know that the blue color can sometimes be linked to skin issues, known as color dilution alopecia.

6. Red and White

Red and white Basset Hounds have a vibrant, attention-grabbing appearance. The red here is a rich, rusty color, providing a striking contrast to the white. This variation typically features more white than red, with the red appearing mostly on the back and sides of the dog. The bold red patches draw attention to the dog’s sturdy body and short, yet strong legs, making it a popular choice for those seeking a Basset Hound with a bit more flair.

7. Chocolate and White

Chocolate and white Basset Hounds carry a beautiful, smooth chocolate-brown color mixed with white. This color is especially warm and inviting, with the rich brown providing a stunning backdrop for their soulful eyes and droopy ears. Chocolate is relatively rare and highly prized, often considered a luxurious color for a Basset Hound. The chocolate areas are usually complemented by large patches of white, which may include the face, chest, neck, and paws.

In summary, Basset Hounds come in a splendid array of colors that not only enhance their adorable physical traits but also add to the breed’s widespread appeal. From the classic tri-color to the rare blue and white, each color variation brings its own unique beauty to this lovable breed. These dogs, regardless of their coat color, continue to be cherished for their gentle temperament and distinctive appearance, making them a favored choice among dog lovers around the world.

1. What is the most common color for Basset Hounds?

The most common color for Basset Hounds is the tri-color, which includes black, brown, and white. This traditional color pattern features black across the back and on the tail, brown markings on the head and around the eyes, and white primarily on the chest, legs, and tip of the tail. The tri-color pattern is highly prized for its striking contrast and is a favorite among breed enthusiasts due to its classic appearance that accentuates the Basset Hound’s distinctive features.

2. Are pure white Basset Hounds common?

Pure white Basset Hounds are extremely rare and are not considered a standard color by most kennel clubs. While Basset Hounds can have significant white in their coats, particularly in bi-color or parti-color patterns, a completely white Basset Hound would lack the typical pigmentation seen around the eyes and nose, which is not desirable according to breed standards.

3. Can Basset Hounds be blue?

Blue Basset Hounds are possible but very rare. The blue color in Basset Hounds is a dilution of the black coat and is due to a specific genetic configuration. Blue Basset Hounds have a unique coat that appears as a soft gray or slate color. However, potential owners should be aware that this color can be associated with genetic health issues, such as color dilution alopecia, which can lead to skin problems and hair loss.

4. What does a lemon and white Basset Hound look like?

Lemon and white Basset Hounds have light tan or cream markings instead of the deeper browns or blacks typically seen in other colors. The ‘lemon’ parts are usually quite pale, especially when the dogs are young, and may darken slightly as they age. This coloration gives the Basset Hound a softer appearance compared to the more contrasted tri-color or mahogany patterns. Lemon and white is a less common color but is appreciated for its gentle and warm aesthetics.

5. How does the mahogany and white color differ from other Basset Hound colors?

Mahogany and white Basset Hounds feature a rich, deep reddish-brown color paired with white. This coloration stands out due to its vibrancy and the striking contrast it provides against the white markings. Mahogany covers most of the body and can intensify the solemn and thoughtful expression that Basset Hounds are known for. It’s a less common color than tri-color but is sought after for its unique and luxurious look.

6. Is a black and white Basset Hound common?

Black and white is an uncommon color combination for Basset Hounds, as they typically have additional brown markings. Those that are primarily black and white are often striking due to the strong contrast between the colors. Black and white Basset Hounds would generally have a black body with white on the chest, paws, and possibly the face. This color pattern is less traditional but can be very appealing visually.

7. What are the grooming requirements for different colored Basset Hounds?

Grooming requirements for Basset Hounds are generally the same regardless of coat color. The breed’s short, dense coat needs regular brushing to manage shedding and keep the skin healthy. Basset Hounds should be bathed as necessary but not so frequently as to dry out their skin. The ears and the area under the folds of the skin need special attention to prevent infections, especially in more humid climates or during more active periods.

8. Do the colors of Basset Hounds fade as they age?

Yes, the colors of Basset Hounds can fade or change as they age. For instance, dark colors like black may become less intense and more muted, while lighter colors like lemon may darken slightly. Sun exposure and diet can also affect the pigmentation of their coats over time. Regular grooming and care can help maintain the color’s richness as long as possible.

9. Are parti-colored Basset Hounds accepted in dog shows?

Parti-colored Basset Hounds, which have large patches of white mixed with another color, are generally accepted in dog shows as long as they meet the breed standard for markings and the white does not predominate. However, preferences can vary between different kennel clubs and show judges. Parti-color is less common and may not be as traditional as tri-color, but it does not disqualify a Basset Hound from being shown.

10. Can environmental factors influence the color of a Basset Hound’s coat?

Environmental factors such as sun exposure can influence the color of a Basset Hound’s coat. Extended time spent outdoors can lead to a bleaching effect, especially on darker colors, which may become lighter or more washed out. Nutritional factors also play a role; a diet that is rich in certain nutrients can help maintain the pigment and health of the coat. Using dog-safe sunscreen on lighter-colored Basset Hounds can prevent sunburn and color fading.