This loyal Basset Hound is an exceptional scenthound.

Everything You Need to Know About the Basset Hound


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It’s no secret Basset Hound puppies make beloved pets, but did you know they started out as hunting cousins to the Bloodhound? Here’s everything you need to know about this charming dog breed with trailing ears and an adorable droopy face… 🐶

Basset Hound history at a glance🐾

The Basset Hound was bred to hunt rabbits and other small game, and their short stature and long ears were thought to help them locate their prey in thick underbrush. They were also prized for their loyalty and intelligence and often kept as faithful companions of French and Belgian nobility.

This faithful and intelligent canine companion has been a staple of high society for centuries, living up to its noble lineage with every generation.

Basset Hounds like this one were formally recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1885.
Basset Hounds were formally recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1885.

About this endearing dog breed

Basset Hounds have a remarkable sense of smell, second only to Bloodhounds, and it’s not just their noses doing the hard work. Their long ears help stir up smells toward their noses, and their droopy skin helps trap smells so they gain an extra olfactory advantage.

Pretty cool, huh? Watch this informative video below on how Basset Hounds and other canines ‘see with their noses’…

Bassets were bred to focus solely on one scent, blocking out everything else. It’s made them highly alert and independent if a little resistant to instruction sometimes.

But don’t worry! You can buy a properly socialised Basset Hound puppy from a reputable breeder and train them well and early. Check out this ‘How to Buy a Puppy Safely in New Zealand‘ article to learn more. Even if you adopt an older Basset, it’s a myth that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. It’s very possible with the right approach to training.

Bassets make great family dogs since they get along with just about everyone: kids, adults, dogs, and even other animals. They can even suffer from loneliness due to their pack-oriented nature. Read this article on ‘Separation Anxiety in Pets: How to Help Them‘ to prevent this from happening.

If you’re looking for a ferocious protector then Bassets aren’t the best choice. It’s more likely they’ll make friends with unexpected guests than chase them away.

Basset Hound quickfire facts

Basset Hounds are favourites of dog lovers all over the world, being among the most adorable and instantly recognisable on the Dogs New Zealand breed list. To get you familiar with this dog breed, here are some quick facts…

Weight rangeMale: 18-36 kg
Female: 18-36 kg
Height Male: 36 cm
Female: 33 cm
Coat lengthShort
Coat colour/sAny recognised hound colour
FeaturesShort bowed legs, droopy eyes, long back, dolichocephalic (long face), floppy ears, body folds
Life expectancy 12-13 years

Common Basset Hound health problems

Owning a doggo is more than just a privilege; it’s a responsibility. It’s important to understand the commitment of being a fur parent to a Basset Hound.

For example, if you own a Basset Hound, it’s important to be aware of their potential health issues, such as glaucoma, hip dysplasia, and obesity.

Also, being a fur parent to a Basset or any other dog breed for that matter can be scary when you don’t know what might poison Fido at home. Make sure your fur kid doesn’t come into contact with anything that could poison him or her at home – by watching the video below…

Eye problems – Glaucoma

There are several different eye conditions that Basset Hounds can inherit or develop, some of which can cause blindness if not treated immediately.

Basset Hounds can get glaucoma, which is an extremely painful disease that can lead to blindness if left untreated. It’s characterised by squinting, watery eyes, bluing of the cornea, and redness in the whites of the eyes. Glaucoma can progress very quickly and often leads to optical nerve and retinal damage in dogs.

Skin problems – Seborrhoea

One of the most common Basset Hound health problems is Seborrhoea (or seborrhoeic dermatitis in dogs). This dermatitis affects their skin and leads to the excessive production of sebum by the sebaceous glands. There’s usually scabs or crusting as well as an accumulation of fatty oils.

These fatty oils can cause an extremely pungent and unpleasant odour, especially when spread across the fur. Generally, the face, legs, and torso are most affected.

Back problems – Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)

Dogs with long backs and short legs, like your Basset, are more likely to get intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). According to the Metropolitan Veterinary Center, the disease is caused when the jelly-like cushion between one or more vertebrae slips or ruptures, causing the disc to press on the spinal cord.

When your dog stops jumping or going up stairs, is reluctant to move, has a hunched back, cries out, or refuses to eat or go potty, they’re probably in severe pain. When you see the symptoms for IVDD in dogs, don’t wait. Get in touch with your pup’s vet right away.

Pano in Basset Hounds

According to VCA Animal Hospitals, Panosteitis (pano) is a painful inflammation of the outer surface or shaft of one or more long bones of the Basset’s legs. Pano is a painful condition, with the pain likely caused by increased pressure within the bone and/or by stimulation of pain receptors in the periosteum (outer, soft tissue lining of the bone).

Symptoms are a sudden, unexplained, painful lameness of one or more legs; the lameness may be mild or severe. Your Basset’s affected bone will be painful to the touch. Your pup may also experience symptoms like fever, lethargy, anorexia, or weight loss. Each episode of lameness may last for a few days to a few weeks, and the period between episodes is often about a month but may vary.

Bassets with this self-limiting disease (meaning that it will eventually go away) should not physically exert themselves until the symptoms disappear. Because X-rays can determine the presence of pano, a vet should be consulted in any case of lameness displayed by your Basset.

The Basset Hound is a dog breed known for their keen sense of smell, like this Basset exploring these grounds.
It’s natural to worry about your Basset’s health and welfare as a fur parent.

It’s natural to worry about your dog’s health and welfare as a fur parent. Read this ‘Your Need-to-Knows on Leptospirosis in Dogs and Cats‘ article to learn more about a bacterial infection that affects not only dogs but cats, cows and other animals, including humans too.

Did you know that our PD Insurance Deluxe plan covers a range of dental treatments for your Basset (in addition to illness, injury and third party liability)? For more info, read this ‘Pet Dental Insurance: What’s Covered?‘ article.

Cute + charming = Basset Hound puppies

There’s nothing more marshmallow-y than cuddling a Basset Hound puppy. Check out this video to give you an idea of how cute Basset Hound puppies are…

Psst … Is reading about the Basset Hound making you wonder which dog (or cat) breed YOU may be at heart? Find out what pet you are and share it with your friends – click below:

All sorts of pet reading goodness

Here are more articles to read if you’re a loving fur parent who wants to ensure your pup’s overall wellness:

  1. Can Animals Get Coronavirus?
  2. What to Do if Your Dog has a Tooth Abscess
  3. How Do I Fix My Dog’s Broken Dew Claw?
  4. What You Need to Know About Pancreatitis in Dogs
  5. My Dog Has a Luxating Patella: What Is It and How Can I Help?

Tail-ored dog insurance for your Basset Hound

Our award-winning dog insurance helps protect your finances after accidents and when other injuries and illnesses strike. Wherever you are in New Zealand, whichever qualified vet you choose. We take the stress away by enabling you to make fast, care-based health decisions and paying your claim within two business days. 

Taking up pet insurance can save you the unwarranted stress of breaking the bank in unanticipated medical emergencies like injuries, illnesses, infections and allergies. Nothing to lose by getting a quick quote now, right?

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