Do Basset Hounds Make Good Pets?

So, you fancy yourself a basset hound? No one can blame. This adorable and charming dog is without a doubt one of the most appealing breeds and many households choose a basset hound as their next family companion. With that being said, it is always important to fully investigate any breed you are looking to bring into the home to understand their personalities, quirks and any special care requirements.

Let’s take a closer look at the basset hound to give you a better understanding of what life with this breed will be like and to help you determine if they will fit well into your home.


What are Basset Hounds Personalities Like?

The basset hound is a friendly, easy-going dog that likes to take life in their stride. They are considered to be full of charm and one of the most patient breeds you will ever come across. They are so chilled out most of the time they are almost horizontal and are often seen as a tad on the lazy side. Basset hounds personalities are often seen as being quite comical which explains why so many of this breed are seen frequently in comic strips and movies.


What are Basset Hounds Temperaments Like?

Basset hounds are known for their even and relaxed temperaments. They get on well with most people and there isn’t too much that fazes them. This is a very loyal breed that makes such wonderful family dogs and generally get on well with children. However, thanks to their hunting background basset hounds can stubborn and quite persistent particularly if they have picked up a scent.

Basset Hounds Fact Table

Personality Friendly, Charming, Patient and Low Key
Size Medium – Large
Height Up to 15 inches
Weight 40 – 65 Pounds
Life Expectancy 12 – 13 Years
Grooming Requirements At least once a  week
Exercise Requirements Low – 1 hour of moderate walking a day is ideal
Trainability Difficult to train – can be aloof and not interested
Barking Tendencies Average – varies from dog to dog


Basset Hounds History

The Basset hound originated from France descending from 6th-century hounds belonging to St Hubert of Belgium. Historically they have been bred to hunt small prey such as rabbits and foxes. Traditionally these hounds have been used in pack hunts where they will follow the scents of prey and flush them out for humans. This breed has low slung bodies and short legs which is ideal for dealing with the dense underbrush whilst out hunting.


Do Basset Hounds Make Good First Time Pets?

Yes, all in all, Basset hounds can make wonderful pets for first time owners. They are easy to take care of and have personalities that are well suited to family life. This laid, back and even-tempered breed enjoys social interaction and is great with kids and other pets in the household. If you can deal with their hunting behaviors, some shedding and excess then drool then the basset hound can make a great first-time pet.


Are Basset Hounds Easy Dogs To Look After?

Basset Hounds are generally quite easy to look after. They are low energy dogs that do not require long or excessive walks which is ideal for a busy family. They love playtime but are equally just as happy to chill out and have a snooze. Grooming is minimal and once a week should be sufficient. This happy go lucky breed is easy to have around the house however social interaction is a must. They do not like being left alone for too long.

Are Basset Hounds Easy To Train?

Training basset hounds can be somewhat challenging. Thanks to their hunting background they are very independent. At times this breed can seem very aloof and disinterested which can result in a lack of attention. This can make training difficult. However, that isn’t to say that training is impossible. Early socialization, training treats and some patience and persistence on your part can work a treat.


Are Basset Hounds Good With Kids And Other Dogs?

Basset hounds are amazing with kids. This breed is very people-oriented and is considered to be some of the most friendly and loyal dogs around. They are not known to become easily aggressive and love being part of a family environment. These hounds are used to hunting in packs and therefore thrive on the company of other dogs. As long they have been propyl socialized with each other adding another dog into the family should not be an issue.

Do Basset Hounds Make Good Guard Dogs?

This breed does not make the best guard dogs thanks to their even and chilled temperaments. They adore the company of others and therefore do not have much protective drive. Your basset hound is likely to see an intruder as a new friend rather than a threat so do not expect them to alert you as any good watchdog would do.


Do Basset Hounds Make Good Apartment Dogs?

Basset hounds can exist quite happily in an apartment environment. This breed is an ideal size for apartment living and does not require as much exercise and some other breeds. They are easy to manage with the right training, however, do not do very well with being left on their own for long periods.


Can Basset Hounds Be Left Alone?

It is not a good idea to leave a basset hound on their own for too long. They thrive on the company of others and have been known to suffer from separation anxiety. Loneliness can result in destructive behavior to the home however with proper training this can be managed sufficiently. This breed does much better with the people they love around them.


Do Basset Hounds Shed A Lot?

Despite having relatively short hair, basset hounds do shed quite a lot. It is a common misconception that dogs that do not have long hair won’t shed as much. At certain times of the year (usually autumn and spring) basset hounds can shed profusely. Regular grooming can keep this at bay, along with a stringent at-home cleaning routine. Ensuring your hound receives a nutritious diet can also help reduce the amount of shedding.


Do Basset Hounds Stink?

Basset hounds are renowned for being quite stinky dogs in general thanks to their skin folds. These folds of skin tend to trap sweat, water, dirt, food and saliva which can result in them producing a rather smelly odour. This breed also has a series of oils in their coat that helps protect and keep them warm during hunts. This can also be a contributing factor to bad odours. Regular baths are highly recommended.

Are Basset Hounds Aggressive Or Dangerous?

No basset hounds are not aggressive or dangerous. This breed is very friendly and placid. They like to live a chilled life and do not make great guard dogs. They are more likely to befriend a burglar than attack. That isn’t to say that basset hounds are never aggressive, but this behavior is usually reserved for extreme cases.


Do Basset Hounds Like To Swim?

Swimming is not a natural sport for basset hounds. They do have the ability to swim, but it is fair to say they are not very good at it. This partly due to the way they are built. This breed naturally carries about two-thirds of their weight in the front of their body and have very short, stout legs. This makes swimming challenging for basset hounds.

Check out this video of a basset hound swimming HERE! You can clearly see how awkward it looks for them to swim and why a life jacket is highly recommended for safety!


Tips For Training Basset Hounds

Basset hounds aren’t the easiest breed to train. They are often very aloof and uninterested in following commands which stems from their independent nature. Training this breed, however, is not impossible and there are few tips you can following which will undoubtedly help with this process:

  • Train from an early age (before your hound gets too set in their ways)
  • Keep training sessions short and fun (do not overdo it, especially in the beginning)
  • Use a praise and reward method (never punish)
  • Find out what reward makes your hound tick (treats, a special toy, etc.……)
  • Focus on obedience training first and foremost
  • Ask others in your household to get on board with training techniques for consistency


Is It Better To Get A Male Or Female Basset Hounds?

There is very little difference between male and female basset hounds in terms of personality, temperament and trainability. Both sexes make equally wonderful companions and the decision between the two will usually boil down to personal choice. In terms of seeking out this breed to buy it is considered that males are much more widely available to purchase than females.


Do Basset Hounds Bark A Lot?

Like with most hounds, basset’s have a set of lungs on them that you can’t ignore. Although they like to be quite vocal the majority of this breed are not renowned for excessive amounts of barking however when they do, you will certainly know about it! Barking and howling from this breed is usually followed by happiness and excitement. They do not bark aggressively unless a serious threat is present. If your basset hound is taking part in excessive amounts of barking it is fair to say something isn’t quite right such as illness or separation anxiety.


Do Basset Hounds Bite?

Basset hounds do not typically bite out of aggression and you will not often see them bare their teeth. This breed is generally very laid back and for them, this type of behavior is unnecessary and requires far too much effort. You may notice during playtime that your hound will give you the odd nip here and there, but this is usually in a playful way and is a behavior that can commonly be seen in young pups.


How Much Exercise Do Basset Hounds Need?

In the nicest possible way, basset hounds are considered to be on the lazy side. They like the chilled life and would be as happy just as much sitting on the couch all day than going out for long walks or taking part in large amounts of playtime. Although they are not as active as some other breeds going for a daily walk at a moderate pace is necessary for their overall health and wellbeing.


Feeding Guide

Basset hounds do best on high-quality dog food that is packed with nutrition. This breed is renowned for overeating and therefore obesity is common. This is also partly due to their sedentary lifestyle and lack of willing to exercise regularly. Always portion control each meal and stick to a twice a day feeding routine. Avoid leaving free food out all day for your hound to graze on which can contribute to them piling on the pounds. Reserve treats as a training tool since large amounts of these can be very calorific. On a side note, provide your pooch with regular exercise and playtime to assist them in burning off unwanted calories.


How Expensive Are Basset Hounds to Buy?

The average price of purchasing a basset hound pup is between £350 – £1000. On average you should expect to pay about £600. This price will increase with age and will be largely dependent on the breeding background, temperament and level of training the dog has received. Basset hounds tend to be on the expensive side of dog ownership and you should expect to spend £80-£100 per month after purchase and set up costs.


Pros and Cons of Basset

Basset hounds can make such wonderful pets however there are some significant pros and cons to this breed that you should be aware of:


  • Easy to take care of
  • Minimal exercise required
  • Great family dogs (particularly with kids and other pets)
  • Easy going, friendly and low key
  • Positive indoor temperament
  • Minimal grooming required


  • Can be difficult to train (but not impossible with patience and persistence)
  • Shedding can become excessive (particularly at certain times of the year)
  • Do not make great guard dogs
  • You will need to deal with the drooling issue every day
  • They do not give up on a scent they like (you may need to always walk on a lead)



So, do basset hounds make good pets? Yes, they absolutely do. This breed makes a great family dog particularly for those with children and gets on well with most people. They are neither aggressive nor dangerous and prefer to live the uneventful life. They are easy to take care of in terms of grooming and maintenance and can be great for first-time dog owners. Like with all dog breeds there are certain pros and cons you will want to consider, but we believe the pros far outweigh the cons when it comes to this adorable breed.

Linda Rice

Linda is an expert in everything pet related from owning dogs such as Labradors to Doberman Pinchsers. She has also owned a horse, an iguana and some geckos and of course some cats. She once worked in a pet store and has a fishtank of both fresh and saltwater fish. She is also considering a new dog for her house at the moment!

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