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Basset Hound Breed Description

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Breed Organization

Basset Hound Club of America

Native Country
Great Britain

Other Names
Hush Puppy

Life Expectancy
Approximately 10-12 Years

Litter Size
Average 8 Puppies

Breed Group

General Description

The Basset Hound is a long, low, scenting hound of French ancestry. His many admirers consider him to be among the most beautiful and unusual of all hounds, his dignified look owing in great part to a large, majestic head adorned with long, velvety ears, a wrinkled brow and dark, soulful eyes. The Basset Hound remains one of the most easily recognizable of all dog breeds.

Breed Standard

Head: Large, massive. Domed skull. Prominent occipital peak. Moderate stop. Bridge of nose slightly longer than skull. Cleanly cut muzzle. Strong jaws. Skin loose enough to form wrinkles. Flews cover most of lower lip.
Ears: Set on low, very long, longer than tip of muzzle when outstretched. Very supple, thin, narrow, and well-curled.
Eyes: Diamond-shaped. Dark to medium-brown in variety with light-colored coat. Conjunctiva of lower eyelid showing.
Body: Long and deep. Muscular neck with dewlap. Prominent sternum. Broad chest. Well-rounded ribs. Very muscular, well-sprung hindquarters. Fairly broad back.
Tail: Fairly long, thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. In action, carried raised, curved loosely in saber fashion.
Hair: Short, smooth, dense, but not too fine.
Coat: Generally tricolor (black, tan, and white); bicolor (lemon and white), but all hound colors are allowed.
Size: 33 to 38 cm (13-15 in).
Weight: 25-30 kg (33-44 lb).


English breeders crossed French bassets (the Artesian Norman Basset, the Artois Basset, and the Ardennes Basset) to arrive at the Basset Hound. The breed was shown for the first time in Paris in 1863 and in England in 1875, where it was developed. A Basset Hound club was founded in England in 1883, and the first standard was published in 1887. Basset Hounds were brought to the United States as early as 1883 and were very popular. In 1967, a Basset Hound club was founded in France to establish the breed.


The tenacious Basset Hound hunts with his nose, works instinctively in packs, has a deep, melodious voice, and is not afraid of brambles. He has great endurance and is placid, never aggressive-his strong will and stubbornness are legendary. He is a skilled pack hound, trailing small and medium-sized game (including rabbit, hare, wild boar, and deer). Affectionate and gentle, he is a prized family friend. He needs firm training.

This athlete needs space and lots of exercise. He does not tolerate solitude or heat very well. He requires regular brushing and attention to the ears and eyes.


Hunting Dog, Companion Dog.


Do not overfeed these dogs because extra weight places too great a load on the legs and spine. A problem area is possible lameness and eventual paralysis because of short legs and a heavy, long body. As they are prone to bloat, it is also wise to feed them two or three small meals a day instead of one large meal. If they do eat a large meal keep an eye on them for several hours for any signs of bloat.

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The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world.

Our organization was founded on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans and must be protected under the law. Headquartered in New York City, the ASPCA maintains a strong local presence, and with programs that extend our anti-cruelty mission across the country, we are recognized as a national animal welfare organization. We are a privately funded 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, and are proud to boast more than 2 million supporters across the country.

The ASPCA’s mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh in 1866, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”

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If you can’t find the pet you’re looking for on Petfinder, don’t give up. Some shelters maintain waiting lists for specific breeds, so don’t be afraid to ask! There are also breed-specific rescues for just about every breed, and most of them post their pets on Petfinder. (Petfinder can even e-mail you when a pet that fits your criteria is posted — just click “Save this Search” at the top of your search results page.)

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Rescue Me

Jeff Gold, Founder, Rescue Me! Animal Rescue Network

Jeff Gold lives in Watkinsville, Georgia on the same property as Rescue Me's Animal Rehabilitation Center, with 18 rescue animals. Shown with him in the photo to the left are Maggie, Izzie and Cortez. In 2003, after learning there was nobody doing boxer rescue work in Georgia, Gold founded Boxertown, an organization which helped find homes for over 500 boxers during its first two years. Based upon this success, Gold came up with the vision for Rescue Me! ― a network which helps all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals find good homes, anywhere in the world. is also a free service of Rescue Me! and provides the world's largest and most up-to-date directory of animal rescue organizations for all breeds of dogs, cats and other animals, including a comprehensive directory of wildlife rehabilitators in over 150 countries.