Basset Hound History

White And Brown Basset Hound Dog



The Basset Hound has a sense of smell second only to the Bloodhound. That might be because one of the ancestors of today’s Basset Hounds was a Bloodhound. In the late 1800s, an English dog breeder,  Everett Millais, bred a Basset Hound with French ancestry to a Bloodhound. The pups from that litter became the foundation stock of the modern Basset Hound.

The Basset Hound’s ancestry goes back to dogs exported to Europe from Greece. During the 6th century, some of these dogs found their way to the Benedictine abbey of  Saint-Hubert, Belgium, eventually becoming St Hubert’s Hounds.

The Basset type of dog originated in France and is related to the hounds St. Hubert of Belgium owned in the sixth century. By breeding at the Benedictine Abbey of St. Hubert, this hound finally evolved into what is now known as the St. Hubert’s Hound in 1000 AD.



The Laconian (Spartan) Hound, one of four dog types identified from Greek images and descriptions, is the ancestor of St. Hubert’s original hounds. These dogs were described as massive, slow, “short-legged and deep-mouthed,” with a tiny head, straight snout, upright ears, and long neck, and either tan with white markings or black with tan markings.

According to legend, Laconian Hounds would keep following their prey’s smell until they discovered it. They eventually made it to Constantinople and then traveled to Europe from there.



Arrival in England

The first Bassett Hounds arrived in England during the late 1800s. By the end of the 19th century, English breeders developed the breed standard for the dogs now known as Basset Hounds. Eventually, there were different versions of these short-legged hounds. One of these versions, the Basset Artésien Normand[/siki], closely resembles today’s Basset Hound.

Hunters on horseback could keep up with faster dogs, but hunters on foot had an easier time keeping up with the slower, short-legged hounds. The low, slow ancestors of the Basset were just the dog for this type of hunting.




Cute sleeping dog basset hound

The low, slow Bassett Hound is one of the most laid-back and relaxed dog breeds. They are amicable and get along well with virtually every animal and human they meet. The Basset is very good with children. Although they may be very friendly, these Hounds make excellent watchdogs.

Bassets may be amiable, but they can also be stubborn. You will need to treat your dog with firm patience.

They are renowned for their vocal prowess and devotion to tracking. Prospective owners need to be ready to handle Bassets with patience and firmness.

Taking Care Of Your Basset

Basset Hounds do need daily exercise, but not too much. One or two daily walks should be enough. Bassett Hounds should always sleep indoors with the family at night. During the day, they should have access to an enclosed yard.

Their grooming needs are minimal.   Routine brushing and bathing will get the job done.


The adorable and instantly identifiable Basset Hound is one of the most alluring AKC breeds and a steadfast favorite of dog lovers everywhere. This modest and low-key dog is usually endearing despite occasionally being difficult.

The Basset Hound is only about 15 inches tall at the shoulder, but he has big-dog strength and endurance thanks to his incredibly thick bone, tiny solid legs, and giant paws.  They weigh between 45 to 60 pounds.

Bassets are renowned for their vast, domed heads with mournful eyes, long, silky ears, and furrowed brows that give the breed the appearance of a sad clown.

To help hunters locate their dogs when tracking through the brush, many Bassets have a distinct white blaze and white tips to their tails.

The Basset Hound’s coat is naturally oily, like all dogs’ coats. Their oil has an unmistakable “dog fragrance” inherent to the breed.

Health Information

Basset Hounds have a lifespan of  9 to 12 years. They have long, drooping ears that you should frequently clean to prevent infections.

Basset Hound sitting at table in cafeteria

Basset Hounds Love to Eat

Bassets have a condition called achondroplasia. They have large bones that make them at risk for elbow dysplasia and arthritis of the elbow joint.

Bassets have droopy eyes that may cause eye issues if the area beneath their eyes becomes clogged or dirty. Because they drool, they are susceptible to yeast infections in the folds around their mouth.

Obesity is often a problem with these dogs, so you should carefully monitor how much food they eat.

The Basset Hound Club of America is the parent club of the AKC for this breed.