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Basset Hound

Low and lazy, the Basset Hound is a family favourite with a calm and friendly nature. 

Bred in France as hunting dogs, Basset Hounds were selectively bred to achieve a short dog that was able to sniff out their targets through low bush. 

Basset Hounds are a large dog on disproportionately short legs. They weigh between 20 and 35 kgs but are around 33 to 38 cm high. They come in traditional 'hound' colours, including tricolour (black, tan, and white), tan and white and lemon and white.


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Dog Breed Facts & Characteristics

Also known as




Bred for



Weight 18 to 35kgs, Height 33 to 38cm  

Weight Range

18 to 35kgs


Tricolour, tan and white, lemon, and white 

Life expectancy

8 to 11 years


Short, sheds  


Calm, playful, friendly  

Exercise requirements

Medium-low, can be lazy but do require daily exercise 

Best suited for 

Families with experienced dog people as can be difficult to train

Apartment Friendly



Basset Hounds are described as calm and friendly, making them a popular choice for families with children. They can be lazy, so encouraging exercise is important. That said, their short legs (caused by a genetic mutation which causes achondroplasia) makes them prone to various injuries and conditions affecting the bones including patella luxation and elbow dysplasia, so gentle exercise is recommended. It can be difficult to get the Basset’s attention when they’ve found an interesting scent, which can make them difficult to train. They enjoy being around other dogs and people and may suffer from loneliness and separation anxiety in a household where people are out a lot of the time. Their laid-back nature makes them a reasonable candidate for apartment living, but they do have quite a loud bark, so take this into consideration when deciding to bring a Basset into your life. Socialising Basset puppies from an early age means getting them used to other dogs, animals, people, and different environments. This helps them grow up to be well adjusted adults. 


Basset Hounds have a short dense coat that does shed. Brushing once or twice a week helps keep the skin and coat in top condition. It also provides and opportunity to check the skin for signs of infection or allergies, which they are susceptible to. With long, floppy ears that are prone to infection, regular ear cleaning with an appropriate cleaning solution is advised. Basset hounds also have many folds of skin, including around the eyes and face, so cleaning and drying these regularly helps to prevent them from becoming infected and irritated. Flea prevention is recommended all year around, as well as tick prevention if you are in a tick endemic area. 


When choosing a food for your Basset Hound, select a premium food appropriate to your dog’s age and life stage. Basset Hounds are prone to obesity, so follow the feeding guides carefully on the food to avoid overfeeding. Make sure your dog always has a supply of fresh, clean water available.

Common health concerns 

As already mentioned, Basset Hounds can be prone to skin sensitivity, allergies, and infections. This is reflected as the top reason why Bassets visited the vet in 2020 according to PetSure claims data. Their droopy eyes give them their trademark “sad” facial expression, but can also make them susceptible to eye problems, including dry eye and entropion. Entropion is a condition where the eyelid rolls in, causing irritation to the eyeball. Basset Hounds are also susceptible to gastrointestinal problems including gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV). This is a life-threatening condition where the stomach becomes bloated with food and gas. 

Hip and elbow dysplasia as well as Intravertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) are also problems that can occur in Basset Hounds. 

The five most common reasons for a Basset Hound to visit the vet (excluding routine care visits) according to PetSure claims data in the 2020 calendar year were: 



Average cost for single treatment
(average pet insurance claim amount)

Highest cost for single treatment (highest pet insurance claim seen for this condition)


Skin problems, including allergies, pododermatitis 




Gastrointestinal problems, including gastritis, Canine Haemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE)




Ear infections




Cancer, including Osteosarcoma and Mast Cell Tumours




Eye problems, including entropion and dry eye 



Disclaimer: Reimbursement for these claims would be subject to limits, such as annual benefit limits or sub-limits, benefit percentage, applicable waiting periods and any applicable excess. Cover is subject to the policy terms and conditions. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or policy wording available from the relevant provider.

Most popular Basset Hound names

According to PetSure data from 2019 to 2020, the most popular names for Basset Hound were

Most popular names

  1. George
  2. Alfie
  3. Daisy
  4. Fred 
  5. Maisie
  6. Winston
  7. Arthur
  8. Ava
  9. Basil
  10. Beau

Most popular female names  

  1. Daisy
  2. Maisie
  3. Ava
  4. Bonnie
  5. Ella
  6. Jessie
  7. Josie
  8. Lulu
  9. Mabel
  10. Maggie

Most popular male names 

  1. George 
  2. Alfie
  3. Fred 
  4. Winston
  5. Arthur
  6. Basil
  7. Beau
  8. Benson
  9. Boris
  10. Duke

Did you know?

The Basset Hound has been the face of “Hush Puppies” shoes since the 1960’s. The first and most famous Bassets were Velvet and Jasmine, owned by Chuck Greb who was the grandson of the founder of Greb Industries, the company that created Hush Puppies. Velvet and Jasmine tragically went missing in 1973.  

Where can I get a Basset Hound?

Although they are a pure breed of dog, you may be able to find a Basset Hound or cross breed through a breed specific rescue. Also be sure to check out your local pet rescue shelter where you might find your new best friend. 


  1. American Kennel Club, Basset Hound, Accessed on 01/03/2021
  2. Wikipedia, Basset Hound, Accessed on 01/03/2021
  3. Basset hound town blog, 2009, Chuck Greb, the man who found Velvet the basset hound for Hush Puppies has died, Accessed on 01/03/2021

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Kylie Mitchell is a veterinarian with over 17 years experience in animal health and welfare, including in the veterinary and pet insurance industries

She has three rescue cats (Noah, Bei Bei and Meeka), four very old cockatiels and a pond-full of fish.

Kylie's pets

Bei Bei
Bei Bei