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10 Dog Breeds Similar to Basset Hounds

Written by: Ejay C.
| Published on February 19, 2024

Basset Hounds, with their distinctive long ears, droopy eyes, and short legs, are one of the most recognizable dog breeds in the world. Originating from France, these dogs were bred for hunting, specifically for their ability to track and hunt small game with their powerful sense of smell, second only to the Bloodhound. Their calm and affectionate nature makes them excellent family pets, and their unique appearance has endeared them to many across the globe. However, for those who are captivated by the charm of the Basset Hound but interested in exploring other breeds with similar traits—whether it’s the appearance, the scent-tracking abilities, or the gentle temperament—there are several options to consider. This article explores 10 dog breeds similar to Basset Hounds, shedding light on their characteristics and why they might be a fitting choice for enthusiasts of this lovable and laid-back breed.

1. Bloodhound

Bloodhounds are renowned for their incredible sense of smell and tracking ability, making them closely related to the Basset Hound in function and form. With their long droopy ears and wrinkled skin, Bloodhounds share the Basset Hound’s distinctive appearance, though they are significantly larger. Known for their determination and endurance on the scent trail, Bloodhounds are gentle giants at home, displaying a calm and affectionate demeanor that makes them wonderful companions for families who appreciate the traits of the Basset Hound but desire a larger dog.

2. Beagle

Beagles, with their compact size and exceptional scent-tracking capabilities, are another breed that shares many similarities with Basset Hounds. Known for their playful and curious nature, Beagles are smaller but equally as adept in the field as their longer-legged counterparts. They possess a friendly and outgoing temperament, making them excellent pets for active families. Their shorter coat requires less grooming than a Basset Hound’s but still offers the same opportunity for bonding through care and maintenance.

3. Dachshund

Dachshunds, often called “wiener dogs” for their long bodies and short legs, share the Basset Hound’s distinctive body shape designed for scent-tracking and hunting in dense underbrush. Dachshunds come in two sizes and three coat types, offering a variety of appearances within the breed. Like Basset Hounds, they have a keen nose and an independent streak, but their smaller size and energetic personality make them suitable for those who appreciate the Basset Hound’s traits in a more compact and lively package.

4. Coonhound

Coonhounds, particularly the Black and Tan variety, share the Basset Hound’s strong tracking instincts and are bred for hunting small game. While larger and more athletic, Coonhounds possess a similar laid-back temperament when not on the scent trail. They are affectionate with their families and get along well with children, making them great companions for those interested in a more active dog that retains the Basset Hound’s good nature.

5. Bassett Fauve de Bretagne

The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is a small hound breed closely related to the Basset Hound, known for its wiry, fawn-colored coat and lively disposition. Though more energetic and requiring more exercise than Basset Hounds, they share the same hunting instincts and are excellent scent trackers. Their size and affectionate nature make them great companions for families, especially those with an active lifestyle.

6. Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen

The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, or PBGV, shares the Basset Hound’s short stature and excellent scenting ability but comes in a rougher, wiry coat. Known for their happy and energetic personality, PBGVs are more active and require regular exercise to stay content. They are sociable dogs that enjoy being part of the family, making them great for those who love the Basset Hound’s traits but prefer a dog with more vigor.

7. Sussex Spaniel

Sussex Spaniels, with their long, low bodies and melodic bark, share the Basset Hound’s leisurely pace and affinity for scent work. Though a spaniel, their appearance and hunting style closely resemble that of the Basset Hound. They are known for their calm and friendly disposition, making them excellent companions for those seeking a dog with the Basset Hound’s gentle nature in a slightly different package.

8. Clumber Spaniel

Clumber Spaniels are among the largest of the spaniel breeds and share the Basset Hound’s laid-back attitude and love of leisure. With their heavy bodies and slow movement, Clumber Spaniels are gentle and affectionate, making them great family pets. Their coat requires regular grooming, and they share the Basset Hound’s enjoyment of scent games and outdoor activities at a leisurely pace.

9. Otterhound

Otterhounds are large, rugged dogs bred for hunting otters. They share the Basset Hound’s excellent nose and love for tracking but are more suited to water. With their dense, waterproof coat and webbed feet, Otterhounds are distinctive and rare. They possess a friendly and boisterous temperament, making them suitable for families who appreciate the Basset Hound’s characteristics but desire a breed capable of more vigorous activity.

10. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

While not a scent hound, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel shares the Basset Hound’s affectionate and gentle nature. Cavaliers are known for their loving disposition and adaptability, thriving in various living situations. They enjoy being part of the family and are excellent companions for those who admire the Basset Hound’s friendly temperament but prefer a smaller, less active breed.

While the Basset Hound is unique in its appearance and temperament, several breeds offer similar qualities that make them equally endearing to dog lovers. From the playful and compact Beagle to the larger and more rugged Otterhound, each breed presents an alternative for those drawn to the Basset Hound’s charm. Whether it’s the hunting instinct, the laid-back personality, or the distinctive appearance that attracts you to Basset Hounds, there’s likely a breed among these ten that will capture your heart and fit seamlessly into your life, offering companionship and joy akin to that of the beloved Basset Hound.


What Are Basset Hounds Like? How Are They Different Than Other Breeds?

Basset Hounds are one of the most distinctive and recognizable breeds in the canine world, known for their long, droopy ears, mournful eyes, and short, stout legs. Originally bred in France for hunting small game, their keen sense of smell is second only to the Bloodhound. Despite their somewhat melancholic appearance, Basset Hounds are friendly and gentle, and possess a character full of charm and warmth, making them beloved pets worldwide.

Understanding Basset Hounds

Basset Hounds are medium-sized dogs characterized by a heavy, bone structure, short legs, and an elongated body. Their most striking features are their long, velvety ears and droopy eyes, which give them a distinctive, somewhat sad appearance. However, their temperament is anything but; Basset Hounds are known for their easy-going nature and friendly disposition. Originally bred as scent hounds, their acute sense of smell makes them excellent trackers, a trait that has been utilized in hunting since their origin.

Temperament and Behavior

Basset Hounds are renowned for their laid-back and gentle temperament. They are incredibly patient and tolerant, making them excellent companions for children. Despite their hunting background, Basset Hounds are quite happy lounging around the house and do not require as much exercise as other breeds. However, they do enjoy a good sniff around the garden or a leisurely walk. They are sociable animals, enjoying the company of humans and other dogs alike, though they can be quite stubborn at times, especially when following a scent.

Physical Characteristics

Apart from their notable ears and eyes, Basset Hounds have a short, smooth coat that comes in a variety of colors, including tri-color, black and white, brown and white, and red and white. Their skin is loose and elastic, giving them a somewhat droopy appearance. Despite their short stature, Basset Hounds are quite heavy due to their bone density, weighing between 50 to 65 pounds. Their tails are long and curve slightly, often wagging enthusiastically.

How Are They Different Than Other Breeds?

Basset Hounds stand out from other dog breeds in several ways. Their unique physical appearance, with short legs and a long body, is designed for stamina rather than speed, allowing them to follow scents for long periods without tiring. Unlike many breeds, Basset Hounds have a calm and laid-back demeanor, content with being at home and requiring less exercise. Their sense of smell is remarkably acute, making them one of the best scent-tracking breeds. Additionally, their gentle and amiable nature sets them apart as one of the most family-friendly breeds, capable of forming strong bonds with their owners.

Health and Care

Basset Hounds generally have a lifespan of 10 to 12 years and are prone to certain health issues, such as ear infections due to their long ears, obesity, and joint problems, particularly in their backs and hips. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and moderate exercise can help manage these issues. Their coat is low-maintenance, requiring regular brushing to remove loose hair. However, their ears need frequent cleaning to prevent infections, and care should be taken to keep their eyes clean and free from irritation.

Basset Hounds in Society

Basset Hounds have a strong presence in popular culture, often depicted as laid-back, somewhat stubborn, but always endearing characters. Their unique appearance and gentle nature have made them popular subjects in media and advertising, embodying a relaxed and contented lifestyle. Despite their leisurely demeanor, Basset Hounds are still used in hunting and tracking today, showcasing their enduring skills and versatility.

Basset Hounds are a breed like no other, offering a unique combination of physical characteristics, temperament, and abilities that set them apart from other dog breeds. Their gentle nature, combined with their distinctive appearance and exceptional sense of smell, make them beloved companions around the world. While they may require some special care, particularly regarding their health, the joy and companionship a Basset Hound brings to a home are immeasurable. For those seeking a laid-back, affectionate, and loyal pet, the Basset Hound is an excellent choice, embodying the essence of a true companion dog.

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