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10 Interesting Basset Hound Facts To Know (Vet-Verified)

Written by: Jordyn Alger

Last Updated on April 17, 2024 by Dogster Team


10 Interesting Basset Hound Facts To Know (Vet-Verified)


Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo


Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Basset Hounds are charming little dogs with a lot of personality. While they are known for their docile nature, they are also known to be independent and stubborn—but that can’t detract from how loveable the Basset Hound is. Whether you have a Basset Hound or are considering bringing one home, we’re sure you’re curious to learn more about this special pup. We’ve gathered 10 interesting Basset Hound facts for you to chew on, so let’s dig in!

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The 10 Interesting Basset Hound Facts

1. Basset Hounds Have Excellent Senses of Smell

The Basset Hound’s low-riding body isn’t just for show; it plays a very vital role in the breed’s ability to smell. Since they are so low to the ground, Basset Hounds can pick up scents easily. Their floppy ears direct scents toward the nose, and the folded skin traps the smells so the Basset Hound can get a concentrated whiff. In fact, the Basset Hound is so good and smelling that its sense of smell is second only to the esteemed Bloodhound!

Basset Hound walking on grass
Image By: Daniel Albany, Pixabay

2. The Basset Hound’s Talents Haven’t Always Been Recognized

Although the Basset Hound has many talents, these talents haven’t always gotten the recognition they deserve. A television show from the 1950s portrayed the Basset Hound as an oafish sort, and the cartoon “Fred Basset” depicted the Basset Hound as a comedic yet lazy pup. Even worse, a publication determined the Basset Hound to be one of the least intelligent dog breeds due to its stubbornness.

However, Basset Hounds are far from oafish. Any Basset Hound owner knows the dog is independent and capable of carrying out any task they set their mind to.

3. Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Features a Description of the Breed

In Shakespeare’s fantastical play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” the Basset Hound makes a cameo. It is described as a “crook-knee’d” hound with ears that “sweep away the morning dew.”  This description suggests that the Basset Hound was quite well-known in this period, enough that a playwright could describe the dog and have the audience picture a Basset Hound in their minds.

If you and your Basset Hound want to snuggle up and read together, perhaps you can look at Shakespeare’s poetic description of such a fine dog!

Shakespeare Books
Image By: jhenning, Pixabay

4. The Dogs Are Intelligent Yet Stubborn

Some people mistakenly believe that the Basset Hound cannot be trained due to its stubbornness. Thankfully, that is far from the truth. The Basset Hound can be trained and is intelligent enough to do all sorts of tasks. However, the tough part is convincing your Basset Hound that the tasks are worth doing.

Basset Hounds were bred to follow a scent until the end, ignoring all other information. This makes the breed perceptive and capable but also somewhat unwilling to listen to instructions that they don’t deem worthwhile. The trick to training the Basset Hound is patience and persistence.

5. Basset Hounds Have the Most Bone Per Pound Out of Any Other Dog

Basset Hounds are tiny dogs standing just below 15 inches at the shoulder. You may reasonably assume that the Basset Hound isn’t a heavy dog based on this tiny size. However, looks can be deceiving.

The Basset Hound is a heavy dog and can weigh up to 70 pounds. Much of this is due to their body’s bone density. Fully grown Basset Hounds can be difficult for the average person to carry, so don’t try to scoop up a Basset Hound unless you have the strength to do so.

Basset Hound
Image By: Maria Symchych, Shutterstock

6. The Little Dogs Have Big Voices

Basset Hounds are docile creatures that don’t take up much space, but that doesn’t mean they’re quiet! They are known to bark often and loudly. They are vigilant dogs that will alert you of everything they see, whether the mailman, a squirrel, or a strange-looking leaf. Training the Basset Hound early on will be essential to teach your dog when it is appropriate to bark.

7. They’re Remarkably Social

The Basset Hound is an excellent candidate if you’re looking for a good family dog. They’re patient, low-key dogs with much love to give. They are friendly with children, other dogs, and even strangers. However, Basset Hounds can suffer from loneliness. Therefore, if you are considering the Basset Hound as a pet, ensure you can provide plenty of social time with your dog.

Image By: siberian spring, Shutterstock

8. Like Any Other Breed, They Are Prone to Some Health Concerns

Each dog has health concerns, and the Basset Hound is no exception. If you bring a Basset Hound home, you should brush up on the signs of the medical conditions that they’re vulnerable to, including glaucoma, hip and elbow dysplasia, carpal valgus, and patellar luxation.

Adopt your Basset Hound from a reputable, responsible breeder to avoid the worst health disorders. Ethical breeders can show you genetic test results verifying the puppy’s heritage and genetic health. If you talk to a breeder who refuses to show you this information, walk away.

9. Basset Hounds Need Extra Maintenance

If you’ve ever heard that Basset Hounds are smelly, you’ve heard right. Basset Hounds have naturally oily skin. Basset Hounds are prone to developing an unpleasant fragrance due to the folds of their skin trapping odors and grease. However, this is easy to avoid with proper grooming. Weekly brushing and daily wipe-downs with a wet cloth are great ways to keep your Basset Hound smelling fresh.

Basset Hound lying down on the grass
Image By: Billion Photos, Shutterstock

10. They Aren’t Stellar Guard Dogs

As mentioned before, the Basset Hound is incredibly relaxed with everyone. If you expect your Basset Hound to become a guard dog when a stranger enters the home, think again. At the most, your Basset Hound will regard the stranger with wariness and suspicion and maybe even bark for a while. However, the dog is likelier to befriend a stranger than chase them away.


Basset Hounds are remarkable dogs. They have charming personalities, unique intelligence, and other glowing qualities that make them so special. We hope this article has helped you learn a little bit more about this incredible dog; if you are considering adding a Basset Hound to your home, be sure to do extensive research on the breed’s needs before making the decision. You will surely make a friend for life when you adopt a Basset Hound.

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Featured Image Credit: Mary Swift, Shutterstock

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