Things to Know Before Adopting a Basset Hound Puppy

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With their long, oversized ears and droopy sweet faces, the Basset Hound dog breed is one of the most loved canine companions.

Despite their current demeanor, Bassets’ origins can be traced back to sixth-century France, where they were bred as hunting companions to the taller, longer-legged Bloodhound.

Together with their historical roles, here are 10 more things you need to know before adopting a Basset Hound puppy.

10 Things to Know Before Adopting a Basset Hound Puppy

1. Basset Hounds can be independent and stubborn

Basset hound dog relaxing on a sofa
Image Credit: dolly_jean_the_basset from Instagram

Adopting a Basset Hound puppy may be the wrong decision if you’re not ready to keep up with a stubborn furry friend.

Bassets were originally bred to track scents while tuning out distractions and forging their path in the woods.

This trait has ingrained in them a keen sense of alertness and an independent spirit which can sometimes cause a reluctance to follow instructions.

The breed’s independent streak and potentially stubborn nature might sound like a drawback, but the good news is that the breed can be trained to follow instructions.

Just make sure to get your puppy from a reputable breeder, and socialize them from a tender age to transform them into well-mannered adults.

2. Bassets are food-motivated

Basset hound dog eating from a food bowl
Image Credit: Stanley from Instagram

Basset Hounds have a keen sense of smell and an instinct to hunt, making them highly driven toward tasty foods and treats.

Their innate love for food can be a tremendous asset in training because they will always look forward to that yummy reward.

Future Basset Hound puppy owners should always keep human foods away from these canines for safety and portion control.

One major downside of Bassets’ love for food is the possibility of gaining too much weight tending toward obesity.

You should therefore practice proper portion control, avoid giving them excessive treats, and provide regular physical exercises to keep the puppy at a healthy weight.

Their love for food can also lead to some mischievous behaviors, such as counter-surfing or snatching snacks when you’re not looking.

3. Bassets love to chew

A person offering a biscuit to a basset hound dog
Image Credit: bunchofbassets from Instagram

All dogs love to chew, especially during their teething phase in puppyhood, but Bassets’ love for chewing goes the extra mile.

These wrinkly dogs have a strong jaw and persistent nature making them avid chewers on anything they find yummy.

As a future Basset Hound owner, you should plan on investing in a variety of chew toys and bones to keep your dog’s jaws busy with the right tools.

This chewing behavior can stem from a variety of factors, including boredom, hunger, or a natural love for food, which we highlighted earlier on.

4. Basset Hounds are not great watchdogs

Basset hound puppy sitting on a log
Image Credit: Basset Hound Corner from Instagram

If you are looking for a fierce dog to keep your home safe, then you may want to skip Basset Hounds because they don’t excel in this role.

These wrinkly dogs are lovers and not fighters. They are more likely to remain mute at strangers and other potential threats.

Basset Hounds are exceptionally sociable and possess excellent interpersonal skills, making them quick to befriend strangers and unlikely to bark at them.

However, it’s important to note that a Basset Hound may still develop a tendency to bark at strangers without proper socialization during puppyhood.

With even minimal socialization, these scent hounds can readily learn to differentiate between harmless outside noises and strangers.

5. Basset Hounds are highly social

Two puppies playing together
Image Credit: otis blue the basset from Instagram

If you’re looking for a dog who thrives on companionship from both humans and other pets, then you can stop your search at Basset Hounds.

Originally bred to work together in packs, Basset Hounds are naturally outgoing and enjoy the company of others.

You can expect these droopy canines to make friends during routine walks. They are always eager to greet other dogs and humans alike with a friendly wiggle and a curious sniff.

Their pack-oriented nature is so strong that they can experience loneliness or separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods.

If you’ve decided on adopting a Basset Hound puppy, consider adding one more to ensure they always keep each other company.

6. Bassets need moderate exercise

A basset hound dog walking during winter
Image Credit: kobethebasset from Instagram

Basset Hounds are moderately energetic, but they don’t require excessive physical activity to stay fit. Regular moderate activities like daily brisk walks and runs are enough to keep Bassets healthy.

In addition to daily walks, Basset Hounds also enjoy having interactive sessions with their human companions and fellow canines.

Your Basset puppy will appreciate playing games of fetch, running around the compound, wrestling with fellow pups, and playing with your kids.

Besides keeping the dog healthy, routine exercise can also drive away boredom and prevent the dog from becoming obese.

7. Those droopy ears need regular cleaning

Basset hound dog posing for a close up photo
Image Credit: kobe the basset from Instagram

The oversized, droopy Basset Hound ears are beautiful to look at, but they are also prone to ear infections if maintenance is neglected.

Basset ears create a favorable, warm, and moist environment that can harbor harmful bacteria and viruses.

Plan on thoroughly cleaning your puppy’s ears once every week to eliminate dirt, debris, and bacteria that may be hiding in the internal canals.

Be sure to also monitor the dog’s droopy skin folds below the eyes, as these areas can also become infected if not properly cared for.

8. Basset Hounds are good at nose work

Things to Know Before Adopting a Basset Hound Puppy.
Image Credit: basset_bffs from Instagram

Equipped with over 220 million scent receptors, Basset Hounds boast an exceptional sense of smell, second only to their larger cousins, the Bloodhounds.

Basset Hound’s short stature and oversized ears work in tandem with their nose to improve their scent game.

These wrinkly dogs also have oversized ears which help to stir smell toward the nose, making their scent game better.

While trailing on the ground, the dogs’ long droopy ears act like scent scoops, gathering and funneling the faintest of smells toward their nose.

These scents are then amplified by the loose folds of skin on their face, known as dewlaps, which effectively trap and concentrate the whiffs.

9. Bassets can be prone to some health problems

A Basset Hound puppy sleeping on grass
Image Credit: astro_bassethound from Instagram

Basset Hounds are fortunate in that they are relatively less prone to breed-specific or hereditary diseases compared to other dog breeds.

However, their droopy skin and oversized ears can predispose them to certain conditions, particularly skin and ear infections.

Basset Hounds can also suffer joint problems such as arthritis, and hip and elbow dysplasia especially when they become overweight or obese.

Basset Hound’s long body and substantial weight can also put some strain on the dog’s spine, leading to possible issues.

These scent hounds are also prone to various eye problems, including glaucoma, cherry eyes, and cataracts.

10. They have an average lifespan of 10 – 12 years

A person holding a basset hound puppy using both hands
Image Credit: bromwylva_bassets from Instagram

Most Basset Hounds can enjoy a happy life for an average of 10 – 12 years. With a healthy diet, regular vet care, and routine exercise, some individual Bassets can live up to 17 years or more.

Basset Hounds were originally bred as pack animals, so make sure to cater to their social needs to improve their life expectancy.

While many Basset Hounds enjoy long lives, common causes of death include natural aging or health conditions like gastric torsion (bloat) and osteochondritis dissecans (OCD).


One of the major things to know before adopting a Basset Hound puppy is their innate love for food, so you should always watch what they eat and offer the right portion.

Basset Hounds’ natural animal pack instincts make it easier and fun to socialize them. They’ll generally appreciate other pets’ company but sometimes want some ‘me’ time.  

Written By

Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a also a pet writer and expert with more than 20 years of experience of working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals at a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.

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