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Choosing a Basset Hound to Be Your Pet

You are thinking about getting a dog and are considering various breeds. The Basset Hound is on your list. Is this breed for you? To help you decide, here are my top reasons why you and the Basset Hound may be compatible.

Choosing a Basset Hound may be for you if:

  1. You would like a laid back, friendly dog to be your loyal and loving companion or family member.
  2. You are patient.
  3. You have a sense of humor.
  4. You enjoy a daily walk or two.
  5. You are not interested in high maintenance grooming routines.
  6. When outside, you will always have him either on leash or in a fenced area if he's unattended.

My Top Reasons for Choosing a Basset Hound

1. You would like a dog with a laid back, friendly disposition to be your loyal and loving companion or family member.

Some frequently used adjectives to describe the Basset Hound's temperament are:

  • laid back
  • durable
  • easy going
  • tolerant
  • sociable
  • mild mannered
  • cheerful or happy
  • adaptable

It is important to remember that each dog is an individual and breed does not necessarily dictate temperament and personality. But, these adjectives provide a general description of what one can usually expect from a well-bred and well cared for Basset Hound.

Due to these qualities, typical behavior displayed by this breed is as follows:

  • Is good with kids.
  • Will tolerate and get along with other pets.
  • Enjoys companionship and being part of a family.
  • Sociable and friendly with strangers.
  • May become lonely if not receiving enough attention and left alone all the time.
  • Able to adapt to his living environment (apartment, home, farm) as long as his exercise and attention needs are met.
  • When inside, likes to play. But, also really enjoys sleeping and lounging around.
  • Will not thrive or be happy as a back yard dog.
  • Will appear upset when harshly reprimanded.


2. You will practice patience with your dog.

Here are some more frequently used adjectives to describe the Basset Hound temperament:

  • independent or stubborn
  • slow (to obey)
  • thoughtful with deliberate responses

Typical behavior includes:

  • Will quickly obey just about any command if you have a treat in your hand (assuming dog is trained).
  • No treat sometimes (not always) means... I heard that command and will consider it (as I pretend that I did not hear it) and I will get to it in my own time.
  • May ignore your commands if he is singularly focused on an interesting scent in the back yard.

You will need patience along with the understanding that this breed is sometimes slow to respond.


3. You have a sense of humor.

Why a sense of humor? Well... just like a child or teenager may happily (or defiantly) ignore your well intentioned and all knowing advice, a Basset Hound is not always inclined to listen either. I mean, it's frustrating!!! Of course, a more positive person would turn that around and call it challenging.

If you finally do decide that choosing a Basset Hound is right for you then, a sense of humor about it all helps to keep you sane.

A Basset Hound can help out here because he is often described as clownish or comical and he really can be quite silly. Sometimes just looking at my Basset Hound makes me laugh...

It's the way he sleeps with his head crammed into the side or corner of his bed with his ear completely covering his eye. What other animal or species do you know of that can do that? Not sleep. But, cover his eye with his ear...

Basset Hound sleeping with ear over eye

It's the way he's able to get into the most perfect and comfortable position in his bed and fall asleep so quickly. I don't think, I have ever been or will ever be that comfortable. Too bad for me.

It's the way he follows me around and stares at me until he gets exactly what he wants... A walk. One day I was busy doing various chores. I was in the bedroom putting away the laundry and I felt a strange presence. I turn around and look and there he is sitting at the end of the hallway, staring at me. Then I go into another room to do something else and I turn around again and there he is... Sitting, staring. It reminds me of those scary, haunted house movies.

I'll spare you the rest of my stories since you may not have the same sense of humor as I do. If you're interested, click here to read more of my amusing Basset Hound observations.


4. You enjoy a daily walk or two and / or hiking.

While the Basset Hound is described as having a low to moderate level of energy, he also has great endurance and enjoys a long, daily walk or two. He needs to get out and exercise because without it, he will have a tendency to become obese along with all of the other health problems associated with obesity. A daily walk will help him maintain a healthy body weight and the happy, laid back disposition for which the breed is so well known.

Enjoy hiking? Take your Basset along! Into more extreme sports? Then choosing a Basset Hound might not be for you, if you want to include your dog in the fun.


5. You are not interested in high maintenance grooming routines.

When choosing a Basset Hound or any other breed, the amount of time and expenses for grooming should be considered.

All dogs require grooming. Some more than others. This breed does not need an elaborate or expensive grooming routine. It needs:

  • A weekly brushing session. Hair trimming and styling is unnecessary.
  • Routine ear care, at least once per week. More often if needed.
  • As needed nail trimming.
  • As needed bathing.
  • Routine dental care.

I have never taken my dog to a groomer. With a pet Basset Hound, it is really not necessary. In the beginning, my husband and I needed help with trimming his nails. So we used to make a monthly trip to the vet to get them trimmed. But eventually, we got the hang of it and no longer make the trip.


6. Your Basset Hound will be on a leash or in a fenced yard when he is outside unattended.

My sister-in-law had a dog who was never on a leash. The dog followed her everywhere. She would even sit outside (off leash) on our front porch and dutifully wait for her beloved owner while she came inside for a while.

Do not expect a Basset Hound to behave this way. The Basset Hound has a tendency and strong desire to follow his nose. He will follow it anywhere. Even into a busy street.

To keep him safe when outside, a Basset Hound should be on a leash. If you want to be able to give him some unattended, back yard play time, then a fence is necessary.

Final Tips for Choosing a Basset Hound:

Still thinking about choosing a Basset Hound? To balance your research read my top reasons why a Basset Hound is not for everyone (if you have not already done so).

Basset Hounds are cute and adorable, especially as puppies. But, do not get a Basset Hound because of the way it looks! Choosing a Basset Hound or any other breed should be done with careful and deliberate consideration.

Keep in mind, it is important to choose a breed that is suitable to your personality, lifestyle, needs, and wants.

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