What to Know About the Droopy Faced Basset Hound

Dive into the wonderful world of Basset Hounds to learn everything about what makes these cute, low-slung canines so popular all over the world!

Jan 16, 2024By Nikita Hillier
meet the basset hound the popular droopy faced pal

In the vast world of beloved canine breeds, some canine companions just reserve a place in your heart a little more than others do. Enter the Basset Hound. These beautiful dogs have gentle souls, a distinctive appearance, and an insane sense of smell.

These short little wonders own a very special place in the hearts of dog lovers all over the world. In this breed profile, we will take a look at Basset Hounds, their unique history, interesting characteristics, and qualities that make them so special.

The History and Origins of the Basset Hound

beautiful basset hound laying in grass
Image Credit: Will Thomas on Unsplash

The roots of Basset Hound trace all the way back to France. They were selectively bred for their amazing scenting abilities and natural hunting expertise. Basset Hounds were originally bred to hunt small game, like rabbits and birds. Their keen sense of smell and low stature make them great hunting companions.

The name “Basset” actually comes from the French word “bas,” which means low, and is made a little more ironic because of the fact that these guys actually have a form of dwarfism, like Corgis and Dachshunds.

This breed went on a journey from France and began to populate other areas of the world after the 19th century when they were exported to England. Once in England, their stunning appearance and great hunting skills caught plenty of attention from commoners and aristocrats alike. This only solidified the love for this cherished breed.

Distinctive Characteristics

basset hound with ears held up
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Basset Hounds have many distinctive characteristics that help them stand out from other dog breeds. It is so easy to pick out these canine companions in a crowd due to their physical appearance, intelligent expression, and so much more. Check out some more of their distinctive characteristics below!

Physical Appearance

It would be impossible to mistake a Basset Hound for any other dog breed. They have long, droopy ears, loose, wrinkled skin, and a very comical yet charming appearance. Their low, sturdy body sits close to the ground and is surprisingly well-muscled.

The chest of a Basset Hound is incredibly deep to accommodate their powerful lungs. Their coats are short, dense, and water-resistant, which provides them with heaps of protection when they’re out and about getting up to mischief. One of the most beloved features of a basset hound is definitely their long, velvety ears.

Not only are they a super cute addition to their look, but they’re also practical! These ears trap scents and direct them to the dog’s sensitive nose. These ears further aid their amazing tracking abilities!


Basset_Hound_blak and white sketchjpg
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Basset Hounds are very much known for their pleading, soulful expressions. They can easily tug at the heartstrings of anyone who is in their company. Despite their longing and melancholic stare, these dogs are known for their playful, fun, friendly, and easygoing nature.

They get along very well with children, pets, and even strangers, making them the ideal breed for family companionship. People often describe the temperament of Basset Hounds as good-natured and laid-back. While they do have a playful vibe, they aren’t known for being super energetic dogs and do prefer a daytime nap over a crazy adventure.

If you are a low-activity family or prefer a more leisurely life, you may find that a Basset Hound will fit into your family perfectly.

Scenting Abilities

another basset hound sketch
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Basset Hounds have insanely impressive smelling abilities that have helped them throughout history serve their purpose. Their olfactory prowess is a direct result of centuries upon centuries of impressive, selective breeding for hunting and search and rescue purposes. This incredible sense of smell makes them very valuable (Literally! Getting a Basset Hound from an ethical dog breeder will set you back a couple grand).

They are often distracted by enticing scents, so make sure you keep an eye on them at dinner time, otherwise, they may hop up and steal a snack! The last thing you want is a floppy Basset Hound inviting themselves to your dinner party.

Care and Maintenance

basset hound staring up at camera
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Basset Hounds are fairly low-maintenance dogs and don’t require a lot of care to get by and achieve optimal health. By just keeping up with their basic needs, you can make a huge difference. Consider the following if you’re thinking of adopting a Basset Hound into your family.

Bassett Hounds Don’t Need Much Exercise

Basset Hounds are definitely not highly energetic dogs. However, they do still benefit from regular exercise to prevent any boredom-related behaviors and maintain a healthy weight. Walking them daily and enjoying a little playtime is a great idea and will keep them content.

It is also good to avoid overexertion, especially in warm weather, as these dogs are prone to overheating.

Even These Hounds Have Grooming Needs

bassett hound statute
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

The Basset Hound has quite a short coat that is very low maintenance. However, you will still need to brush them regularly to reduce any shedding and keep their coat in great condition. Their ears will require some extra attention to prevent any ear infections.

Stay on top of gentle cleaning, weekly checks, and drying them when wet to keep ears healthy. The loose, wrinkled skin over their body makes them quite prone to skin infections, so keeping all of their skin folds dry and clean is crucial.

Nutritional Considerations Prevent Obesity

Keeping your dog on an appropriate and balanced diet is absolutely crucial. That’s because Basset Hounds are prone to obesity. It’s not uncommon to see a chunky Basset Hound with its stomach dragging on the floor.

Ensuring that they are on a diet tailored to their size, age, and activity level will keep them healthy and prevent obesity or other health issues. Staying on top of regular veterinary check-ups will ensure that their nutritional needs are met and any common health concerns are avoided.

Training and Socializing Your Basset Hound

basset hound sitting on tree trunk
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When it comes to training and socializing Basset Hounds, there are some things you must keep in mind. Consider the following:

These Dogs Have an Independent Streak

Basset Hounds are known for their independent nature. While this isn’t always a bad thing, it can make training a little bit challenging at times. Patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are so important when it comes to training these dogs. Early socialization is the key when it comes to creating a well-adjusted, confident canine companion.

Basset Hounds Need Mental Stimulation

While physical exercise is important for your Basset Hound, it is crucial to provide them with mental stimulation too. Engaging your dog in activities that encourage them to use their natural instincts will keep their minds sharp. Consider making use of scent games, trick training, and puzzle toys.

The Basset Hound’s Health Considerations

basset hound running on grass toward camera
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Much like any canine, Basset Hounds are more prone to some health issues than other dog breeds. Make sure you stay up to date with vet checks to ensure that your Basset Hound stays fit and healthy. Here are some things to stay on top of when you own a Basset Hound.

Ear Health

As we previously mentioned, Basset Hounds have long ears. While these ears are charming, they can cause a big hassle as they require in-depth and regular care to prevent nasty infections. Gentle cleaning, routine checks, and keeping the ears completely dry will ensure that your dog maintains great ear health.

Orthopedic Concerns

The unique body of a Basset Hound makes them prone to orthopedic issues, including hip dysplasia. As discussed above, maintaining good health with a balanced diet, a healthy weight, and low-impact exercises can help manage any concerns.

Make sure you regularly check in with your vet to keep an eye on your dog's health. The key to prevention is prevention or early diagnosis.

Obesity Prevention

overweight vs fat basset hound
Image credit: Napo Pet Insurance

As noted, Basset Hounds are very prone to weight gain. This is bad as obesity in Basset Hounds can exacerbate health issues. By providing regular exercise, monitoring their diet, and avoiding offering them excessive treats, you can prevent obesity.

It can be easy for a lot of people to associate overweight Basset Hounds with cuteness, but obesity is not cute. Keeping your dog in peak health is not only great for them but also makes your life easier as they won’t be ill.

Fun Facts About Basset Hounds

brown basset hound staring up at camera close up
Image Credit: Mike on Unsplash

Now, let’s take a look at some super interesting Basset Hound facts!

Their Sorrowful Eyes Are Practical

Everyone knows that Basset Hounds are famous for their droopy eyes. However, this unique feature is actually very practical. It stops any debris and dirt from entering their eyes while they sniff the ground to follow a scent. Isn’t that cool?

They Were Loved by French Royalty

The Basset Hound has a long and regal history being developed in France. The French nobility, including King Louis XIV, were known to use these loyal and wonderful dogs as hunting companions.

They Have Great Musical Talents

Basset Hounds have been known to sing because of their great vocalization abilities. Whether they’re singing along to tunes or howling with sirens, these dogs definitely know how to get the party started with their tunes.

They Have Expressive Tails

Basset Hounds have super expressive tails. When excited or happy, they will wag their slightly curled tail so much that they might actually look like they will take flight!

Nikita Hillier
By Nikita Hillier

Nikita is a huge animal lover who has grown up on a farm with many different animals, from dogs and cats to horses and cows! She has a lot of experience in the equine industry and is even in the process of studying for an internationally accredited Equine Sports Massage Certificate! In her spare time, she enjoys writing and spending time with her beloved animals!