Basset hounds are one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the United States. The reasons why they are so loved is because of their even-tempered nature, their laid-back approach to life, and the overall calmness that they bring to the family. You will have a loyal companion who is ready to go on some adventures with you when this breed is part of your life. Many owners say that they would never go back to a different type of dog after their companionship experience.
These dogs have a big personality that everyone in your family will enjoy. Their long body, floppy ears, and sense of humor makes them the perfect choice for homes with children. Their lifestyle preference can also lead to issues with obesity later on in life, and many Basset hounds refuse to listen to their owners if they start tracking something that they find to be interesting.
If you are thinking about adding a new member to your family, then the pros and cons of Basset hounds are worth reviewing because you’ll get to see if this fun breed meshes well with the personalities that are already present in the home.
List of the Pros of Basset Hounds
1. Basset hounds have a personality that works with most family environments.
This breed usually makes for a good family dog because its approach to life is very easy-going. The American Kennel Club notes that the Basset hound is a charming, low-key, and patient dog that stays devoted to their family under almost any circumstance. Although there are some individuals who can be energetic, stubborn, and rebellious, you will find that most of them like a few outdoor adventures, lots of downtime, and the occasional snuggle to help them know that they are in a loving place.
2. There are fewer care issues to consider with Basset hounds compared to other breeds.
Basset hounds are a short-haired dog breed, which means that they require a minimal amount of grooming throughout the week. These dogs do require regular eyecare and their faces need to be washed regularly because of the way that they approach the outside environment. You will still want to brush them regularly since they can shed a lot, especially during the summer months.
Most tend to be motivated by food over anything else, which means they are easier to train as a breed than most other dogs as well.
3. These dogs have a positive indoor temperament.
Basset hounds are calm dogs who love to spend time inside just as much as they do when tracking down an attractive scent. They enjoy living the good life, and they don’t need a lot of space to make that happen. That is why this short-haired breed works so well in small houses, condos, and apartments. Their size is manageable, they don’t make a lot of noise when left by themselves, and you will discover that they love taking naps during the day. You still need to get them outside every day in some way, but a backyard adventure and a walk are suitable choices.
If your family has young children, then it is also important to note that they generally do not bite as part of their temperament either. Most individuals are exceptionally patient with children, which is why they are such an excellent family pet.
4. This breed has an adorable look that makes you want to love them.
Basset hounds are easy to recognize thanks to their legs that are short and crooked. They also have ears that are floppy and long, often hanging close to the ground. Their tails curve upward somewhat, and you can always tell when they are happy thanks to their whole body shake of excitement. They are relatively short, have a tight coat, and there are no longer hairs to manage on their coat around their legs and tail. You’ll often see them in white or red, but the AKC= says that any hound color is acceptable with the breed.
5. Basset hounds are generally good with most people.
Although these dogs sometimes like to bark at people, they are the first ones to offer a happy greeting when you have a visitor over. That means they aren’t the greatest watchdogs ever, but you can let go of the worry that your Basset hound is going to be aggressive toward someone. Even with their hunting instincts firmly in place, this breed is closer to a companion animal today. They love a good scratch behind the ears, and anyone with the capability of offering that is going to be perceived as a friend.
List of the Cons of Basset Hounds
1. You must pay strict attention to their diet.
Basset hounds Love to eat. It doesn’t matter what the food might be. As long as it is edible (and sometimes even if it just smells edible), then you are going to see an active nose and begging eyes trying to convince you to share. When you combine their food motivation with a desire to limit activity levels, then this breed has a high prevalence of unhealthy weight gain.
You will need to manage the eating habits of your Basset hound carefully to ensure that they can maintain a healthy weight. Their laziness and desire for food can lead to back problems if their obesity is allowed to grow unchecked. Make sure that they get at least one 20-minute walk per day for some exercise, along with some free time in an outdoor environment.
2. There are some health concerns that you will need to manage with this breed.
Basset hounds are typically very healthy animals, but there are some concerns which are fairly common with this breed. You will want to speak with your veterinarian about hip dysplasia, gastric torsion, spinal disc disease, and glaucoma. Regular veterinary examinations are necessary to ensure that the dog stays at a peak level of health. Make sure that you are working with a professional who is familiar with the breed’s hips and eyes so that an early intervention becomes possible should one of these issues occur.
3. Basset hounds do not give up a scent that they like.
The reason why Basset hounds became popular in the first place was because of their legendary ability to find and track a scent. This is their bread and butter, and most individuals within this breed do it exceptionally well without the need for any training. This issue is a disadvantage because of the stubborn nature of their personality. If you want your dog to be more of a pet than a working animal, then getting them off of an attractive scent can feel like an impossible experience at times.
It is not unusual for a Basset hound to ignore commands while they’re tracking that they would normally follow at home. This issue is also one of the reasons why this breed can get lost if they are allowed to wander off-leash around a neighborhood. They don’t give up until they lose interest, or the trail disappears.
4. You will need to deal with the drooling issue every day.
When a Basset hound even starts to think about food, they will start to drool. There are also issues with this behavior when they are finished eating or drinking something. You will find wet pools of slimy stickiness throughout the house when you have a dog from this breed living with you. If you are the type of person who prefers to keep your home neat and tidy, then this disadvantage could be problematic.
You might also want to think twice about having this dog at home if you are a renter. The drool can get into the carpets or act like moisture to a hardwood floor, creating repair issues that could be problematic when it comes time to move.
5. The breed is still classified as a medium-to-large dog.
Even though the average height of a Basset hound is under 15 inches, this breed is still classified as a medium-to-large breed by most kennel associations. That is because the dogs are very heavy-boned in their stature. Their body is elongated, using fairly short legs to move about as they drag their bulk along. This body shape also means that they can be incredibly strong, which could be problematic when walking one who latches onto a favorable scent.
This body shape makes them one of the few dog breeds that shouldn’t be in water. It is challenging for them to swim with their size, weight, and shorter legs. Even a small home pool could become problematic for some Basset hounds with their low muzzle profile, so think about what features could be an issue on your property before bringing one home to live with you.
6. You might bring home a barking machine.
Basset hounds become extremely protective of their home and family. Although they are relatively calm dogs who will love up to almost anyone, strangers at the front door present a different story. There can be a lot of excitement when there’s a knock or the doorbell rings. Even the sound of footsteps can trigger the barking for some individuals if they are unsure of where the sound originated. This disadvantage can make having one problematic if you live in high-density housing where sound rules apply.
7. Basset hounds love to dig up anything.
The hunting instincts with this breed are so profound that a Basset hound will quickly break out of their enclosure to go track a scent at a moment’s notice. You must reinforce your backyard fencing or use a restraint for unsupervised time outside to avoid having the dog run after what their nose detected. That includes providing an area where they cannot dig their way out. The strength of their legs is incredibly, and their feet and nails work excellently for digging needs. If you have any loose dirt, there is going to be a hole. They are excellent at digging holes underneath their fences as well.
8. This dog breed requires a firm, but not abusive, person in charge.
You must have the discipline to stay committed to the eating plan of a Basset hound since they will consume everything in sight. That approach includes any treats that you might want to give them during the day. These dogs are not athletic by any stretch of the imagination, and their personalities can become demanding if they think you aren’t feeding them enough. That doesn’t mean that they will get aggressive, but it could mean that your pup decides that listening to you is no longer their top priority.
Training Basset hounds takes the same approach. These dogs are fairly intelligent, but their stubbornness comes into the training routine sometimes. It can require some creativity to begin that process. If the animal thinks of you as being abusive, then you might lose their desire to listen for the rest of their 12- to 13-year life span.
Verdict on the Bassett Hound Pros and Cons
Basset hounds are generally excellent family dogs who love to go on short walks, explore their backyard, and take a leisurely nap somewhere that allows them to keep an eye on their food dish. They might appear to be small, but they are sturdy, bulky, and high-performing hunters. This urge is so strong that it can be a disadvantage for some because there will be constant pulling to find new scents.
If you don’t mind a challenge with training, then the loyalty and love that this breed provides is almost beyond compare. These dogs love being part of the family. They might bark at strangers, but they will also be the first one to offer a happy body wagging experience when that person comes through the front door.
The pros and cons of Basset hounds show us that these dogs are well-suited for most environments. Develop a plan of action with your veterinarian to manage their potential health issues, and you will be able to enjoy having a loyal friend.
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.