Five Things You Should Know Before Choosing a Basset Hound

Updated on August 17, 2019

Basset hounds are very loving and gentle dogs. That said, it is important to know what you are getting into with any breed of dog before bringing it home and getting attached to it.

Below is some information about things to consider before bringing your hound home.

Should I Get a Basset Hound? Five Things to Consider

  1. Basset Hounds shed a lot.
  2. They have special ears.
  3. Basset Hounds need exercise.
  4. Swimming is a challenge.
  5. They are super vocal.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Rosie the Basset Hound
Rosie the Basset Hound
Rosie the Basset Hound | Source

1. Basset Hounds Shed a Lot

Bassets have a very short coat, so there is no worry about their coat getting matted or tangled.

However, this breed does shed a lot, and not just with the fall and spring weather changes, either. You are going to want to be prepared for this.

Tips for Managing Fur

Make sure you take time to brush your dog to avoid a lot of fur ending up all over your home. If you have carpets, ensure you have a good vacuum that will collect pet fur.

If your basset still seems to be shedding a lot with weekly brushing, you may want to consider a shedding comb. These come in a variety of styles, so make sure you talk to a clerk at the store to get one that is the right size for your dog.

My basset really enjoys the time I spend brushing her and even rolls over for me to get the spots I missed. Not only will the brushing keep unnecessary dog hair off your floors and furniture, but it will also help keep your dog's coat healthy and shiny.

Rosie the Basset Hound
Rosie the Basset Hound | Source

2. They Have Special Ears

Basset hounds' ears, also known as leathers, require specialized attention. They are long and can, therefore, get caught in things if you're not attentive. They also require special cleaning.

The insides of the ears can get a lot of black wax built up, which the dogs are unable to remove themselves. For this reason, it is important to inspect your dog's ears and clean out the black waxy build-up as often as necessary.

You can use a warm washcloth; however, they do make special clean wipes that work much better and can also relieve the funny smell that the wax leaves behind.

Rosie the Basset Hound deciding that we are walking no further without a break!
Rosie the Basset Hound deciding that we are walking no further without a break! | Source

3. Basset Hounds Need Exercise

Bassets are pretty chill dogs. Mine would sleep all the time if I let her; however, she LOVES to go for walks. As a breed, they can have weight issues because of their love of food.

Walking your hound will help ensure that it does not get overweight, preventing back and joint problems as it ages. Don't let their little size fool you. They can enjoy a very long walk if you are up for it. Just be careful because they will flop down when they are tired and won't want to go further.

Bassets can become depressed if they do not get outside and walk. While walking, ensure that you give them a chance to sniff around and enjoy their walk.

Remember that the hound breed originated as hunting dogs. For their own mental stability, they need to get out and "hunt," or at least sniff around during a walk. Just make sure to keep them on a leash unless you have a fenced-in space, such as a dog park.

They will follow their noses and will actually block out noise including you calling them until they find what they are looking for. So to make sure that your hound doesn't take off into the bush after a squirrel, keep it on a leash.

Rosie the Basset Hound doesn't really like the bath either.
Rosie the Basset Hound doesn't really like the bath either. | Source

4. Swimming Is a Challenge

Due to this dog's unique shape and size, swimming can be a real challenge for the breed.

Many people will toss their dogs in the water and watch them swim. With a basset hound, you will not want to take this approach.

  • They have very short legs, which means they have less propulsion in the water and therefore have more difficulty keeping afloat.
  • They also have a very heavy front half to their bodies, which means they can sink easily and have a more difficult time keeping their heads above water.
  • If you have a swimming pool, you will want to take extra precautions. When hounds get into the water, because of their short legs, they will have difficulties getting out even if there are stairs. Make sure that your dog doesn't have access to the pool without direct supervision.

That said, basset hounds can swim. Many enjoy the cool water, especially in the summertime.

You can purchase life jackets for your dog to ensure that they will not drown while enjoying time in the water.

Rosie the Basset Hound isn't always barking and talking. Sometimes she takes a nap.
Rosie the Basset Hound isn't always barking and talking. Sometimes she takes a nap. | Source

5. They Are Super Vocal

You need to understand basset hounds quite a bit before you get them. They are very vocal dogs.

Everyone knows that they bay and understands that they will bay quite a bit and about all kinds of different things. Some bay for treats, others bay to go outside while others will just bay to get your attention.

If you don't like a vocal dog, do not get a Basset Hound. Part of their charm is that they are vocal dogs.

Not only will they bay, but they will also talk to you. I know, I know, everyone thinks that their dog talks to them. This is very different, though.

For example, if I ask my Rosie if she wants a treat or a car ride she will whine and cry and bay really low, indicating that yes, in fact, she does want a treat or a car ride. I find this adorable, others not so much.

Make sure before you get a hound that you spend time with one if possible to ensure that you fully understand how vocal they can be.

Dealing With Neighbors

Even if you are prepared for the noise your dog will make, you have to make sure that any neighbors you have will also be prepared for the excess volume. When I come home after being out, my hound basically goes ballistic.

She runs around and jumps all over the place. She cries and bays as if she is being crushed by an elephant.

Sometimes when I leave my home (this was more at first), she would bay for hours. This is not an exaggeration. One of my friends in my apartment building stated that she bayed for hours for that first time I left.

When you are not home, you can not stop your dog from barking and baying, and this can cause many issues with neighbors who don't want to hear this noise.

For most dog breeds, you can purchase a bark collar. They discipline the dog and teach them not to bark. Unfortunately, they don't actually work for basset hounds because it is in their nature to alert people and make noise.

Also, those sonic things that are supposed to keep dogs from barking don't work with them either. So if you live in an apartment or in a home near people who hate noise, this might not be the dog breed for you.

Would you ever get a very vocal dog?

See results

Should You Get a Basset Hound?

Basset hounds have quite a few idiosyncrasies that some people are not prepared for.

They are:

  • a very vocal dog, not only barking but also whining and other random communication.
  • a dog that could potentially have issues around water and have problems swimming.
  • a dog that needs to be brushed frequently and have their ears cleaned on a regular basis.
  • a dog that needs to get out and walk to avoid issues with depression, but also needs to be leashed while walking.

If you can handle these aspects, you will end up with a dog that will love you unconditionally and be an excellent companion.

Questions & Answers


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • profile image


        6 months ago

        Bassets are great. I have had 2 and both have been very quiet -- whine a little but rarely bark and never howl

      • profile image


        12 months ago

        Bassets are the most adorable living thing on earth ..I lost my basset 5 days back ..

      • profile image


        12 months ago

        You forgot to mention the overwhelming hound smell that comes with any hunting dog, they will do whatever they can to remove any shampoo sent immediately after a bath, as the folds in their skin trap oils and retain their "lovely" (or so they think) scent. However bassets have an *incredible* personality that outweighs this.

      • profile image


        13 months ago

        I just wanted to those of you thinking about getting a Bassett Hound know that they are an absolute amazing breed. Not all of them are as much work as this article might make it seem. I have owned 4 Bassett hounds now and only 1 was vocal in the way the authors Bassett is and that stopped once we got him a friend. As Miles pointed out they are very pack oriented and can suffer from separation anxiety. They are very very intelligent and because of that they tend to be a bit stubborn, but with some time and diligent reward based training they can and will amaze you. Bassett hounds are incredibly intuitive, as most dogs are but anyone who has ever had a Bassett will tell you they are on another level. If your sad prepare to get a hound hug. They are some of the most loving, loyal, family oriented dogs you will ever find. They are so sooo great with kids, and in my experience they have done wonderfully with other dogs and even cats(as with any set if animals a proper introduction is necessary). If you are thinking of getting a Bassett you won't regret it. Yes they "can" be quite a bit of work but any dog you get is "going" to be a lot of work. It's all worth it when you see your little Bassett hound puppy trip on its own ears! Gotta love this breed!

      • profile image


        15 months ago

        I have 3 bassets. They are the most loving, stubborn, cuddly dogs ever. I wouldn't have another breed.

      • profile image

        juane zoutendyk 

        17 months ago

        Good day I have a rottwiler who is very gentle and a jack Russel at home. I realy wanted a bassed since i was 10. Would Basseds get along with other dogs. And How do you pic one that doesnt howl alot for nothing?

      • profile image

        jim dorsam 

        17 months ago

        all said and read, i have wanted a bassett houd since i was in high school.

      • profile image

        Susan Thomas 

        2 years ago

        I have had basset hounds for years, they lose loads of fur, they talk all the time, they tell you if they want water, to go out, want food, if they are upset,and are VERY loud when you return home, But dont bark much. Mine only bark if they think something is really wrong. They howl if very unhappy. They still,and will do anything to get at food.But they are loving kind and love other animals. Having said all this I wont want to be without my Basset for all the world.I love her very much. You can never be lonely with a Basset.Just remember they love you with every bone in their body . So love them back and you will have a wonderful, very funny happy friend.

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        Are they hard to house train?

      • profile image

        Susan Walsh 

        2 years ago

        I use something called "people's paste" when my dog gets a cyst like finding. It dries out the thing and it goes away!

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        My basset NEVER barks at home.. only at the park when she's running around with other dogs :) she'll only whine if she wants me to open a closed door ;P

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        I'd just like to add that bassets are very pack oriented and they howl when they are alone. It's not something I would want to "correct" with a bark collar because that would not solve the underlying problem - your hound feels abandoned and alone.

        The best cure for separation anxiety is a companion. Another basset!

        I wouldn't recommend this breed for someone who will have to leave their hound alone.

      • profile image


        3 years ago

        One more thing to add to this ! Basset Hounds as they get older if you go onto the same walk every first or second day you can let them of their lease

      • profile image


        3 years ago

        I am thinking about getting a Basset hound. I just don't no how to ask my parents since we already have a dog. The thing is that I think he is lonely and needs a fury friend to keep him company when we are gone. Thank you so much for the things that you said, I know so much more about Basset hounds:)

      • profile image


        4 years ago

        We have a 15 year old Bassett that never went in the pool, he fell in today and luckily I was right there, he did swim half of the pool before I got to him but could not get out at the yes even an older dog can swim. He has been with us since he was a puppy and his favorite thing to do was walk the fence daily and check out the property ( 5 acres) he was an outside dog, now he's inside and enjoying his senior years sleeping most of the day

      • caithness profile image

        Jessie Kuehl 

        5 years ago from Sydenham Ontario

        I rescue my hounds from Basset Rescue and have found that the majority of my hounds get lumps which are worrisome but have always turned out to be fatty cysts. I have had several surgically removed, but most either remain small or break open on their own. If you have this happen to your hound, keep the area VERY clean, squish as much of the goop out of the opening as you can, be careful not to hurt your dog though. I generally give mine a course of antibiotics as well, just to be safe. I used to panic when a new lump developed and have literally spent thousands of dollars at the vet having the lumps investigated, but I have learned that it is a fairly common issue with bassets.

      • MelonieGilchrist profile imageAUTHOR


        6 years ago

        Thank you so much. Honestly my dogs are super important to me and I think that if you are going to have one, you should know about their special needs :).

      • Admiral_Joraxx profile image


        6 years ago from Philippines

        I see you know your dog pet so well, you are what every pet owner should be, in terms of being a hundred % knowledgeable specially on things like dogs for example which you want to take good care of. You've done a great job on this! Voted up, useful and awesome!=)

      • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

        Zsuzsy Bee 

        6 years ago from Ontario/Canada

        Great hub. Thank you for sharing. You have described the basset really well. Years ago friends of mine used to have a Basset. They owned a gas bar and coffee shop. Freddy decided to take on the job of greeter and 'talked' to all the customers. He was a great success at his job and the locals eventually referred to the coffee shop and gasbar as Freddys.

        He was almost seventeen when he passed. Even after two years my friends haven't been able to replace him. When they do it will be another Basset I'm sure.

        voted up and useful

        regards Zsuzsy

      • MelonieGilchrist profile imageAUTHOR


        6 years ago

        Thank you so much! I honestly didn't know half of this before I adopted mine. I love her and understand she has special needs, wanted to make sure others know what to expect.

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        6 years ago from Houston, Texas

        This is excellent information for people to know before adopting a basset hound. Thanks! Up, useful and interesting and will pin this to my dogs board.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)