Basset Hound – Dog of the Month
When he’s not on the trail of a bunny, he’s a laid-back family friend who loves kids.
He may be best known as the Hush Puppy dog, but the Basset Hound is much more than an advertising icon. With his placid personality and short-statured yet noble appearance, the Basset Hound is a popular family companion, as well as a slow-paced but keen hunting dog.
The name Basset comes from the French word bas, meaning low. And Basset Hounds certainly are low to the ground. Because their bones are heavy and they are muscular, they usually weigh 50 to 65 pounds although they typically are no more than 14 inches tall at the highest point of the shoulder. In reality, they are big dogs on short legs. Their short-legged appearance is the result of a form of dwarfism called achondroplasia. Despite his large size, the Basset believes he’s a lap dog and will do his best to fit in yours.
Dog Breed Group:Hound Dogs
Height:Up to 1 foot, 2 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight:50 to 65 pounds
Life Span:10 to 12 years
- Like all hounds, Bassets can be stubborn and difficult to train and housetrain. Crate training is recommended.
- If they catch an interesting scent, Basset Hounds may try to follow it, no matter how much danger it poses to them. Keep your Basset on leash when outside and not in a fenced yard. Also, take him to obedience class and be sure he responds well to the Come command. Use gentleness and patience to train him. Hounds of all types typically think for themselves and don’t respond well to harsh training techniques.
- One of the primary reasons that Basset Hounds are given up to rescue or for adoption is that they “drool too much.” Because of the loose skin around their mouths, they also tend to make quite a mess when they drink. If you’re a fastidious housekeeper who can’t stand drool, a Basset Hound is not the best choice for you.
- Basset Hounds often have flatulence. If this problem seems excessive, talk to your vet. A change in diet may help.
- Obesity is a real problem for Basset Hounds. They love to eat and will overeat if given the chance. If they put on too much weight, they can begin to have joint and back problems. Portion out food relative to your Basset’s condition, not by the recommendation on the bag or can.
- Because Basset Hounds are prone to bloat (a potentially fatal condition), it’s better to feed them two or three smaller meals a day rather than one large meal a day. Don’t allow your Basset to exercise too strenuously after eating, and watch him for about an hour after eating to make sure he’s okay.
- Your Basset’s long ears need to be checked and cleaned each week to help prevent ear infections. You may find that you need to wash the ear flaps even more often, because they can drag in puddles and pick up dirt as they drag the ground.
- Basset Hounds can howl loudly, especially if they are left along for long periods of time.
- Even though your Basset Hound is strong and amazingly agile for having such short legs, it’s best to discourage him from jumping, for example, out of a car. Pick him up and support his back to ensure he doesn’t get hurt.
- Basset puppies can suffer from joint problems as they grow. Try not to allow your puppy to overdo things when he plays and discourage him from jumping on and off furniture.
- With two-thirds of their body weight in the front of their bodies, Basset Hounds are not great swimmers. Don’t allow your Basset Hound to fall into a swimming pool because he can quickly get into trouble.
- To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from a backyard breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they’re free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.