The Basset Hound Club of Victoria Inc.

Breed Information

The Basset Hound


The Basset Hound is a short legged well boned scent hound, bred to work in a pack and enjoys nothing more than being able to cast about with his nose down crisscrossing as he picks up and follows the scent trail, with his tail up.  

The word "Basset" is French and means "low-set", "stunted" or "dwarfed". First detail proof of Basset existence is 1585 being denoted as badger dogs. The original home being the regions of Artois and Flanders. It was said the Basset will hunt all animals but is especially excellent for rabbit and hares.

The French hounds became known in Britain after the invasion in 1066 by the Normans, but the foundations for the breed as we know it were laid by Sir Everett Millais when he purchased and imported to Britain a hound called Model. By the 1900's packs were established and the breed was popular on the show bench.

In 1957 Bassets were sent to Sydney, where today they are found around Australia.

The Basset Hound comes in a varying combination of traditional hound colours, namely Tri-Colour combinations (Black, White & Tan), or Bi-Colour combinations of Tan & White, Red & White, Lemon & White.


It is fortunate that such a large, solid hound (sometimes likened to a "Labrador on short legs") has such a placid disposition. It should be outgoing but gentle and loving. Like many breeds, Basset Hounds take eighteen months to three years to fully mature. During this juvenile stage they are full of energy and tend to get up to mischief! However, with firm and consistent discipline, these dogs make well mannered and much loved family members.




Basset Hounds are enthusiastic eaters and should be fed a well-balanced, quality diet. They love to come inside the house but will manage quite well outside, provided that they have a cosy draught-free kennel and a safe backyard in which to romp. It is imperative that yards be fully fenced with reliable gates. Bassets (being scenthounds) have very little road sense - they tend to just put their nose to the ground and off they go on their merry way.

In comparison to many other breeds, Basset Hounds need relatively little grooming but still love to be pampered and fussed over!  The coat of a Basset is short and smooth and quite a weather resisting one.   A weekly brush will help ensure the coat is kept clean and free of loose hair.    Their ears should also be checked regularly and wiped cleaned with a damp cotton wool ball, or a slightly dampened cloth.   Nails should also be checked and clipped when necessary. Bassets have a slight drooping of the lower eye, where occasionally dust accumulates. Therefore, eyes should be checked regularly and any discharge or eye change reported to your veterinarian.

Bassets love a daily walk on a lead or a romp in the park but should be under supervision at all times. At home they need room to play in order to gain plenty of natural exercise. Puppies should be discouraged from overly rough play and never allowed to run down stairs. With this breed, continually exercising solely on grass can tend to weaken feet and pasterns, so walks on bitumen roads and/or footpaths should also be given.

Basset Hounds make excellent family pets, especially as they adore the attention of children. However, as with any dog, you should always supervise young children when interacting with your dog, as although the Basset is a gentle natured dog, there is a limit to the amount of pushing and pulling they will tolerate from very young children.


There is nothing worse than a totally unruly, uncontrollable, spoilt Basset.  Remember that as these dogs mature, they need both firm and consistent training in order to learn acceptable manners.   Don't let your Basset Hound rule the roost!


People who can provide the right facilities and assert the necessary discipline to enable them to enjoy these colourful canine characters to the full.  Being a pack hound the Basset enjoys company, and thrives on being a part of the family.


Basset Hounds are generally a healthy breed, however it is important to note that during the vital first year of growth, the front legs of puppies in particular are very susceptible to growth plate damage (limb/joint damage), and this could result in unsoundness in the legs as they grow into adulthood.  New puppy owners need to apply commonsense and endeavour to ensure the growing puppy avoids heavy impact jumping such as off furniture or out of the back of cars.

Known eye health conditions include ectropian; entropian; and Glaucoma.  Bassets can be prone to such problems as Gastric Torsion (bloat); Platelet Dysfunction such Basset Hound Thrombopathia and Von Willebrand’s Disease (bleeding disorders), Joint disorders such as elbow dysplasia.

Veterinary Specialist Ophthalmological examination is available for diagnosis of eye health conditions such as glaucoma, and other eye defects.  Additionally, a Breed Specific DNA health test is available for Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG) and Breed specific DNA testing for Platelet Dysfunction (Basset Hound Thrombopathia and Von Willebrands disorder).

When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime. Basset Hounds live on average from between 10 to 12 years of age, but they can have a longer life span.


Height at shoulder:

Dogs                38 cms (15 ins)

Bitches            33 cms (13 ins)


Now you know a little about the Basset Hound and have decided this is the dog for you or you want more information, then you are welcome to contact our Club, or your State controlling body for purebred dogs, such as Dogs Victoria.  Our Club members, and member breeders, are happy to chat to you and answer your queries, as well as providing information as to the availability of puppies.   We also recommend that if possible take the time to visit a dog show where you can see the breed and speak to breeders.    In this way you will gain a better perspective about Basset Hounds and if it is a breed that will suit your family's needs.




Contact Details

Mrs Maureen Boaler(Club Secretary)
Langwarrin, VIC, Australia
Email : [email protected]