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Jude's avatar

Anyone ever owned a Bassett Hound? What are they like? Easy to train?

Asked by Jude (32134points) May 2nd, 2010

The good and the bad about having a bassett???

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39 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I have a basset hound, her name is Lady and she is 2. Granted, she is the only dog of this particular breed that I’ve ever owned, but I have found it next to impossible to train her. I hate to say that, it makes me feel so pitiful as an owner. But compared to my beagle, or any dog I’ve owned in the past… she seems really difficult to get through to. She is convinced that every single command means “roll over.” lol

But, on the plus side.. she is extraordinarily good natured. She adores all other animals, loves people, she is calm and sweet. Excellent companion.

escapedone7's avatar

They have good points. They are completely adorable, and have the benefits of a small dog without being as yippy and hyper. They are laid back and loving. However they are not the brightest breed, I’m sorry to inform you. Compared to a basset, German Shepherds and Labradors are geniuses.

Coloma's avatar

All the scent hounds are adorable, Bassets, Beagles, Coonhounds..BUT…they are boneheads, loveable but difficult. lol

Can be hard to housetrain, stubborn, follow their noses, very LOUD, VERY LOUD!

I had a crazy coonhound years ago, he was half Walker hound half Plott hound…amazingly beautiful dog, but..OMG…he could run for hours and never tire, was the food stealer from hell..( ALL hounds LIVE to eat and will stop at nothing to get their mouths on food ) Bassets don’t have the leg power and stamina of a larger hound but they are very stubborn and tenacious dogs…will wander for miles, always on the lookout for an escape. haha

I love the hound breeds but they are a breed unto themselves.

My coonhound, when he bayed..OMG…pictures went crooked on the wall and the piano vibrated.

Do your homework…Bassets are a bit shy like Bloodhounds, but still a whole lotta dog!

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@coloma shy is a good word. my basset is shy, but very sweet. and LAZY. You are completely right about being loud. Lady (my BH) weighs 45lbs, but she sounds like a much much bigger dog if she starts talking.

Jude's avatar

Thanks, jellies. You are all cracking me up with some of the descriptions here. Yes, they’re pretty cute!

What about bathing, ears, smells?

kheredia's avatar

I work with all kinds of dogs and I can tell you the one thing that really stands out about bassets is their insanely strong smell. They’re very stinky and very loud. But they are also very sweet and happy lil guys. They do get very dirty ears and are more prone to infections. I’d say, personality wise they are all pretty good dogs, it’s the odor you have to worry about.

kheredia's avatar

Oh, and their nails get pretty long too so you have to trim them often.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

All hounds tend to have a bit more of a “doggy” smell to them. She doesn’t reek or anything like that… she just requires a bath more often than my other dog. Ear cleaning is important, yes. They are prone to ear infections because those big droopy ears tend to scoop all kinds of funk up in there. But, just wiping them clean with a warm, damp cloth seems to do the trick. That is what we do with our dog, and no ear infections to date. (knock on wood)

Coloma's avatar

Hounds can be prone to ear infections, mine never had an issue but a friend with a Bluetick had chronic yeast infection problems with him, all floppy eared dogs can have ear issues.

I so miss my Ruckus…he drove me mad, but he was so cool! lol

Once, he stole an entire pork roast off of the counter and was so sick, emergency vet trip….at least Bassets can’t get their face on the counters. haha

escapedone7's avatar

I love the bray of a hound, where as the yip yip yip of the chihuahua types gets on my last nerve. A hound bray is beautiful. I grew up with a basset. His name was Ringo.

SeventhSense's avatar

I disagree about the hounds being dumb. I had a beagle and foxhound mix that was downright brilliant. That dog looked both ways when it crossed the road and would calmly stroll. It had every neighborhood restaurant owner wrapped around his finger. He would invariably find a way to slip out of any room in the house and make the rounds of the town. He turned handles on doorknobs!
He could scale seven foot fences and impregnated every dog in the neighborhood that was in heat. He was the bomb. God I loved that dog.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@SeventhSense I’m inclined to agree with you there. I think my beagle is absolutely brilliant. I have never met a dog that was easier to train. She even understands things that you wouldn’t expect a dog to understand. We aren’t able to have a fence, so if the dog is in the yard she has a long run that goes the length of our property. If she manages to get her line wrapped around something, almost without fail she will get herself unwrapped immediately. That is just one of the things that amazes me, among many. Smart, smart dog. My basset, however… not so much. :)

Coloma's avatar


Yes, they are lovable galoots, my guy was smart, but he used it in evil ways..he was manipuhound! lol

To this day my daughter tells the story of him eating her muffin while she was napping when she was 4. haha

He was like a sibling to her…jeez, the dog brother that tormented. haha

escapedone7's avatar

My father got Ringo before I was ever born. He was a part of home and family from my earliest memories.

That silly hound had the odd obsession with rolling around on anything stinky. I was 9 and took him to a parade. When the horses pooped in the road, the silly hound pulled his leash and got away from me. He ran out and rolled around in the droppings. He loved to roll around in anything disgusting. I will never forget coming back from the parade. I was a very naughty child. I heard my mother scream “Don’t you dare let that dog in this house” and I opened the door and let him in. My mother squealed and screamed while the shit covered dog jumped up on the couch. I got a heck of a beating but I was laughing too hard to feel it.

SeventhSense's avatar

They’re like kids. Some of the biggest troublemakers are the brightest. They just get into everything.

Coloma's avatar


Hahaha…hound stories…

My dog loved to ambush joggers, we had a good sized Xmas tree farm at the top of our property…he would go on the stealth every morning and hide in the trees till our one neighbor came jogging along, he had this thing for the guy, haha

He would charge out of the christmas trees and skid to a stop, nose at crotch level and then..WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! You could see his uvula gargling when he howled and the strings of saliva vibrating in his throat. That one neighbor and he had this morning routine for about 5 years. The neighbor claimed he hated him but….not true! haha

meagan's avatar

I’ve heard that they’re nice dogs, just really, really loud.

xxii's avatar

@kheredia – Bassett hounds are known to be smelly because their ears are extremely prone to yeast infections (which smell horrible) and other ailments. It’s really on the owner to clean the dog’s ears out regularly, but you definitely have to care for them much more diligently than the average dog breed’s ears.

And no, not the most trainable breed. In fact, probably one of the least trainable.

rooeytoo's avatar

It is relatively unusual to see any kind of hound in obedience competitions. That pretty much tells the whole tale (or is it tail, heheheh).

Coloma's avatar



I signed my hound up for obediance lessons, he passed, barely. haha

Heres this insane giant howling coonhound with all these little Pugs and Shitzus and weiner dogs. One of the final tests was the instructer walking along as the digs were in a sit posistion and shaking a bag of treats at them. My dog failed miserably, lunging like a madman. lol

He was very food motivated at least. haha

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

One final point about those lovable, stubborn Bassett hounds is that they are fairly long for their height and weight.

Since they don’t come with an optional set of legs to support the middle of them, it is very important to help them avoid getting obese. It is really hard on their backs, especially if they live where they have to deal with stairs often. Dachshunds have the same problem!

loser's avatar

Wow! Very lovable, loud, stubborn, not easily food motivated, difficult to train, and prone to spinal issues. Real dog lovers love ‘em!

OpryLeigh's avatar

I have never owned a Bassett but I have worked with them. Their good qualities are that they are extremely lovable and chilled out (for the most part). Compared to the majority of other breeds I have worked with, they can be difficult to train. I agree with @Coloma that they tend to be lovable “boneheads”. My biggest worry about ever owning a Bassett would be the vets bills that I have seen everyone that I know who owns one have to fork out. I don’t know if I just happen to know a bunch of fairly unlucky owners but, more so than any other breed that I know, they always seem to be visiting the vet for something. Other people have mentioned ear infections but I also see an awful lot of Bassetts with back and joint problems (from a young age).

They do have a certain smell about them which, if you’re not careful can stink the whole house out. Their coats tend to be oily and they shed A LOT! Also, you will be constantly cleaning slobber off the walls, furniture, floor etc etc.

I happen to love the baying noise they make but, as we found out when we had a Field Spaniel, you have to have tolerant neighbours (or none at all) with noisy dogs!!!

Having said all that, the nature of the Bassett wins me over every time and for that I could put up with most of the above. If you are interested in other breeds in the Bassett family, I am a big fan of these guys

SophieJB's avatar

My family have owned Basset Hounds since the 50s and would never have any other breed. They are very soft, friendly, they are brilliant with children and babies, they adore people, love other dogs but are very stubborn with minds of their own and in the past, this stubbornness has led us to rehoming some lovely Bassets because their owners had no patience and didn’t understand the breed!

A good breeder/dog show friend of mine ‘interviews’ prospective buyers and if they don’t know enough aboout Bassets, he refuses to sell them a pup because he said you must understand the breed and character of them!

Don’t give up and whatever you do, don’t smack your Basset, just enjoy your time together because there’s nothing to compare with those soulful Basset eyes!

SeventhSense's avatar

One thing the hounds are all good at is tracking and I’m sure the bassets are no exception with those long bloodhound like ears. So you might train him to find your lost car keys if it’s a frequent occurrence.

Coloma's avatar

What happened in my case was I had always wanted a Booldhound, but they were very expensive and hard to find, so, I found an ad in the local paper for Coonhound puppies….I had NO idea how different they were from their laid back Bloodhound cousins.

Oh yeah..I learned that there was a HUGE dif, in personality and temperment and that behind the long floppy ears and wrinkly faces was one of the worlds most high energy dogs! lol

Another tale from the hound front.

Once while hiking with my dog I let him off leash on a secluded trail to run amok.

Well…there was a group of campers down the trail and Ruckus tore out and left me in the dust after he caught wind of a scent.

All of a sudden I hear him howling and the top of his lungs, what did he find/ tree?

Run down the trail just in time to see about 5 people all jumping to their feet and backing up as he screamed in the middle of their camp…then…he rushes in and completely snarffed down several plates of picnic food, intermittently baying while gargling on potato salad.

OMG! I was so humiliared, apologetic, it was AWFUL! haha

They were not amused, but fortunetly not seriously angry either.

That dog, we called him ATH..all terrain hound, could run, swim, dive for sticks, climb trees, jump like 8 feet in the air…I will never forget the coonhound expereince! lol

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@SeventhSense that isn’t the ONLY thing they are good at. i mean, they are excellent at being cuddly. :)

@Coloma ROFL!! I have heard that about coonhounds, but your story cracked me up! Nothing like a pet that keeps us on our toes.

SeventhSense's avatar

They are affectionate dogs but they always seem to be struggling to get anywhere on those little legs.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@SeventhSense I can’t lie, I crack up every time I see my basset run. It’s really amusing… but she is faster than you’d expect! haha

Coloma's avatar

I like how their feet turn out, like ducks…hahaha

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loser's avatar

@jjmah Well? Are you gonna get one?

Jude's avatar

@loser Yup. I think that I’m going with a rescue. :)

xxii's avatar

@jjmah – Good luck! You’ll need it…
– Long time hound owner

PS. Of course, post or feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@jjmah Aww, I am so happy to hear that. :) Congrats to you and best of luck with your new pup!

Coloma's avatar



rooeytoo's avatar

It is always good to go with rescue especially if you want a specific breed. The rescue organizations are usually very good at health and temperament tests before they place a dog.
So you know you will be getting a healthy, mentally stable dog.

Congrats to you and the lucky pup!

sporttrac's avatar

We just rescued a three year old male Bassett in Dec 2009.When we got him he had the red flags,listless, thin, could see his ribs. Four days after we got him he was in the hospital with pneumonia hooked up to iv fkuids.It took alot of TLC and money but todayMay2010 we have the greatest , smartest and most loyal friends . He.s at the door waiting for me when I come home and aside of me when I wake up.One of the kindest and loeable dogs around.No one ever told him he wasn’ta lap dog (lol).The neighborhood kids fight over who gets to walk him and their parent don’t have to look for them cause they are always in our yard with him. God brought him to us for a reason and I hate to think of what would of happened to him if we didn’t. do thier ears smell? yes Are they stuborn? sometimes But a better friend you will never find.

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