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25 Things to Love About Basset Hounds

Written by: Arlene D.
| Published on April 21, 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 in France, their name roughly translates to “low” in French, a nod to their short stature. Bred as scent hounds, their powerful sense of smell is second only to the Bloodhound, making them exceptional at tracking. Despite their serious work capabilities, Basset Hounds are known for their laid-back and even-tempered nature, making them excellent family pets. They exude charm and warmth, often winning hearts with their gentle and patient demeanor. Beyond their hunting skills, they are particularly noted for their loyalty and affectionate nature. Basset Hounds thrive in a variety of settings, fitting well into family life where they can be both playful companions and serene presences. Here are 25 reasons why the Basset Hound continues to be a beloved breed among dog enthusiasts.

1. Unique Appearance

The unique appearance of Basset Hounds is undeniably appealing. Their long, velvety ears, mournful eyes, and wrinkled brows give them a distinctive, almost melancholic expression that is hard to resist. The contrast between their substantial body and short legs adds to their charm, making them both endearing and comical. This unusual structure does not just contribute to their cuteness but also enhances their scenting ability, with the ears helping to trap smells close to the ground.

2. Gentle and Friendly Nature

Basset Hounds are celebrated for their gentle and friendly disposition. They typically exhibit great patience and a sweet temperament, making them fantastic pets for families with children. They are rarely aggressive and tend to maintain a calm demeanor, which also makes them good companions for other pets. Their friendly approach extends to strangers as well, as they are usually sociable and open to new people.

3. Exceptional Sense of Smell

One of the most impressive traits of a Basset Hound is its exceptional sense of smell. Bred for hunting, they have highly developed olfactory senses, capable of following a scent trail for miles. This makes them not only excellent hunting dogs but also useful in various scent-related work such as search and rescue missions. For families, this means you’ll likely find them sniffing out food crumbs or interesting scents during walks.

4. Minimal Exercise Needs

Unlike many other breeds, Basset Hounds do not require extensive exercise. Their laid-back nature means a couple of short walks per day and some playtime at home are sufficient to keep them happy and healthy. This makes them particularly suitable for those who cannot provide the rigorous exercise regime that more active breeds demand.

5. Good with Children

Basset Hounds are known for being particularly good with children. They are sturdy enough to handle the rough play and gentle enough not to pose any harm. Their tolerant nature often makes them patient playmates, willing to endure dress-ups and tea parties, making them cherished members of families with young kids.

6. Easygoing Companions

The easygoing nature of Basset Hounds makes them ideal companions for those who enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle. They are content to lounge around the house and do not demand constant attention, fitting perfectly into the family dynamic without overwhelming it. This trait makes them especially appealing to first-time dog owners or those who prefer a less demanding pet.

7. Loyal to Their Families

Loyalty is a standout characteristic of Basset Hounds. They typically form strong bonds with their family members and can be quite protective in a quiet, understated way. Their loyalty combined with their affectionate nature makes them devoted companions who thrive on interaction with their humans.

8. Adaptable to Various Living Situations

Basset Hounds are surprisingly adaptable to various living situations. Whether in a large house with a yard or a small apartment, they can adjust as long as they have their basic needs met and receive sufficient affection from their owners. Their adaptability makes them suitable for both urban and rural settings.

9. Distinctive Vocalizations

Basset Hounds are known for their distinctive vocalizations, from deep, soulful howls to amusing barks. They can be quite expressive in their sounds, which owners often find endearing. While their baying and howling can sometimes be a challenge, it is also part of their charm and harks back to their hunting lineage.

10. Low Shedding Coat

Despite their relatively long coat, Basset Hounds are low shedders compared to many other breeds. Regular brushing can help manage their shedding, keeping their coat healthy and reducing hair accumulation around the house. Their coat also requires minimal grooming, saving time and effort for their owners.

11. Comic Relief

The somewhat clumsy antics of Basset Hounds often provide comic relief. Their expressive faces and sometimes awkward movements can bring laughter and joy to a household. They have a knack for lightening the mood and can be particularly amusing without even trying.

12. Do Not Require a Large Outdoor Space

Basset Hounds do not require a large outdoor space for exercise, making them ideal for city living where spacious yards are not common. A few short walks and some indoor play are often enough to satisfy their physical needs, which is perfect for less active owners or those with smaller living spaces.

13. Effective Watchdogs

While not typically aggressive, Basset Hounds can be effective watchdogs. They are likely to alert their owners to unfamiliar sounds or presence, which can be reassuring to many families. Their deep bark can be surprisingly forceful, giving the impression of a larger dog.

14. Longevity

Basset Hounds generally enjoy a long lifespan, living on average 12 to 13 years. This longevity allows owners to develop deep and lasting relationships with their pets. With proper care, including regular veterinary check-ups and a healthy diet, Basset Hounds can be part of the family for many years.

15. Therapeutic Presence

The calming presence of Basset Hounds can have a therapeutic effect on their owners. Their gentle and affectionate nature makes them excellent companions for those seeking emotional support. They are often content to simply sit by their owner’s side, providing comfort and stability.

16. Not Overly Energetic

Basset Hounds are not overly energetic, which can be a perfect match for older individuals or those with limited mobility. Their moderate energy level ensures that they are happy with just a little exercise and a lot of relaxation time, aligning well with more sedentary lifestyles.

17. Historical Charm

Basset Hounds have a historical charm that appeals to many. Their breed has been featured in classic literature and art, adding a touch of nobility and timelessness to their appeal. Owning a Basset Hound can feel like keeping a piece of history alive.

18. Social and Affable

Basset Hounds are generally social and affable with both people and other dogs. They tend to make friends easily at the park and enjoy the company of other pets. This sociability makes them great additions to multi-pet households or for frequent social gatherings.

19. Suitable for Novice Owners

Basset Hounds are suitable for novice dog owners. Their easygoing nature and moderate needs make them relatively easy to care for, even for those new to dog ownership. They are forgiving of mistakes and are less demanding than many other breeds.

20. Minimal Health Issues

While no breed is free from health concerns, Basset Hounds are generally healthy with minimal genetic health issues. Common concerns can often be managed through diet, exercise, and regular veterinary care, making them relatively easy to maintain in good health.

21. Predictable Behavior

Basset Hounds are known for their predictable behavior, making them easy to manage and train. Their even temperament means fewer surprises and a stable companion that is both dependable and endearing.

22. Enjoyable to Train

Despite their sometimes stubborn nature, Basset Hounds are enjoyable to train. They respond well to positive reinforcement and can enjoy learning new commands and tricks. Training sessions are an opportunity to engage their minds and strengthen the bond between pet and owner.

23. Good Natured

The good-natured disposition of Basset Hounds makes them beloved family members. They generally have a sunny outlook and a pleasant demeanor, contributing to a harmonious household and making them excellent companions for children and adults alike.

24. Non-Sporting Lifestyle

Basset Hounds fit well into non-sporting lifestyles. They do not require the intense physical activity that some other breeds do, making them suitable for those who prefer a more relaxed daily routine without rigorous physical demands.

25. Unconditional Love

Above all, Basset Hounds offer unconditional love to their families. Their constant affection, loyalty, and companionship enrich the lives of their owners, providing joy and love in abundance.

Basset Hounds are much more than just a pet; they are a source of comfort, joy, and laughter. Their distinctive appearance, combined with their laid-back and loving nature, makes them particularly well-suited to a variety of homes and lifestyles. Whether snuggling on the couch, lazily sunbathing, or greeting you with their cheerful demeanor, Basset Hounds have a way of making every day brighter. For those looking for a loyal, affectionate, and easygoing companion, the Basset Hound is an excellent choice, sure to bring love and happiness into your home.

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