10 Incredible Basset Hound Facts

basset hound
© iStock.com/artisteer

Written by Crystal

Published: September 13, 2022

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Have you ever stared into the soulful eyes of a basset hound?

Basset hounds have a ton of outstanding qualities. It makes sense that they’re so famous worldwide. These sad-eyed, slow-moving dogs have a unique history and fun personality traits. If you’ve fallen in love with this short-legged breed, then you owe it to yourself to learn just how fascinating bassets are.

Read on to learn 10 incredible facts about basset hounds.

1. George Washington Had a Basset Hound

Illustration of George Washington on his horse.

George Washington had a pet basset hound.

©Victorian Traditions/Shutterstock.com

The history of basset hounds in America dates back to the first American president, George Washington. George Washington’s friend, Lafayette, gave the dog as a gift.

According to George Washington’s detailed diary, the hound was a gift following the revolution. This might be why basset hounds used to be referred to as old Virginia Beach bench-legged beagles.

There aren’t any records about the basset hounds entering America for the next hundred years. Eventually, newcomers to the states brought their short-legged companions with them. However, it wasn’t until 1885 that the American kennel club officially registered its first basset hound.

2. Basset Hounds Are Fearless

Along with being loyal and loving, basset hounds fearless. These dogs have an incredible amount of stamina.

Originally basset hounds were a longer-legged dog breed that helped hunt wolves and boar! They had incredible stamina and were famous for their fearlessness in the field.

Today, basset hounds usually hunt smaller wood animals like rabbits and raccoons. However, they still display a fierce and unrelenting spirit on a hunt, just like their ancestors.

3. Basset Hounds Are Royal

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Royal families have a history of loving basset hounds.

©iStock.com/sorincolac

Dedicated breeders aren’t the only ones who love basset hounds. There’s also a long history of members of royalty falling in love with their basset hounds. The rough-coated basset hound is one of the favorite breeds by royalty and breeders.

Take, for instance, Queen Alexandra. She was the wife of Edward the 7th; he ruled Great Britain after the reign of Queen Victoria. Queen Alexandra loved rough-coated basset hounds so much that she had an entire kennel of them at her estate.

4. Basset Hounds Can Be Smooth or Rough

Basset hounds have more than one coat variety. When you see a basset hound in a dog show, it’s most likely a smooth-coated basset hound. However, there is another type of basset, the rough-coated basset.

The rough-coated basset is also referred to as the basset griffon. In the past, rough-coated bassets didn’t get a lot of attention. However, that’s been changing in recent years.

5. A Famous Count Bred Bassets

Have you ever heard of Count Couteulx de Canteleu? He was the one who finalized rough-coated bassets as a working dog breed.

Originally, rough-coated bassets were a solution for hunters out in tough terrain. Rough-coat bassets are known for being bred in areas marked with thorny underbrush and jagged rocks. The tough exterior coat helps protect them from harsh environments.

Take for instance the Fino de Paris type basset bred by the Count Couteulx de Canteleu. The Fino de Paris set the standard for rough-coated bassets having thick, strong, coarse, and sometimes crimped coats.

6. Basset Hounds Can Sing

Basset Hound standing on grass

Basset hounds produce loud melodious howls when they sing.

©Ewa Studio/Shutterstock.com

Smooth-coated basset hounds have a traditional deep hound howl. They have strong lungs and can produce loud howls. The heart-touching sounds they make are unlike any other dog howl. However, certain birds like barred owls can mimic the hound’s howl perfectly.

What will make a basset hound sing? All sorts of things. Sometimes a basset hound sings because of separation anxiety. So if you leave a basset hound alone in the backyard and they don’t like it, you’ll hear about it. You can also train your basset hound to sing on command.

7. Basset Hounds Are Fast Learners

Basset hounds are one of the smartest dog breeds around. They’re quick learners and love accomplishing tasks. Even though these aren’t the most energetic dogs, they enjoy the reward of pleasing with a good show.

You can train your basset hound to do all sorts of things, and it won’t take long for them to pick up on each one. One of the reasons they learn so quickly has to do with their tendency towards habits.

Basset hounds are a creature of habit. They’re thoughtful, clever dogs who are aware of their surroundings. When you explain what you want and demonstrate it to your basset hound, it only takes a few lessons for the habit to be set in stone.

8. Older Basset Hounds Love Adopting Younger Ones

Calmest dog - basset hound puppy

Basset hound puppies can learn a lot from older bassets living in the house.

©iStock.com/Jessica Nystrom

Older basset hounds are usually fond of puppies. When two basset hounds live together, and one is older than the other one, they become a parent to them. It’s almost as if the older dog is adopting the younger one. It’s adorable to see and incredibly beneficial to owners.

As long as the older dog is well-trained, it’ll be able to teach all of its good manners to the young pup. Not to mention, the two dogs will provide priceless companionship to each other. Basset hounds are loyal, loving dogs, and they enjoy being social.

9. Bassett Puppies Eat 4 Times a Day

Basset hound puppies need a lot of food! After a puppy is fully weaned from its mother, until it’s 3 months old, it will eat throughout the day. Owners will need to feed their basket puppies four times a day.

Once they’re 6 months old, basset puppies only need two meals daily. By the time they’re one year old, a single meal will do the trick. It’s always a good idea to contact a veterinarian to get their feeding advice.

10. Basset Hounds Are Graceful

2 basset hounds against a white background

Basset hounds move slowly and gracefully when they walk.

©Jne Valokuvaus/Shutterstock.com

You might see a clumsy-looking dog when you look at a basset hound. However, basset hounds are quite graceful when they move. Since they move at a slow pace, it’s easy for the basset hound to plan each step.

Whether they’re tracking foxes, rabbits, or pheasants, you can depend on a basset hound to make their way through the heaviest ground cover. Their gracefully clever ability to track animals is one of the reasons serious huntsman love the breed.

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About the Author

Crystal is a dedicated writer at A-Z Animals, focusing on topics related to mammals, insects, and travel. With over a decade of experience in the world of research and writing, she also fulfills the role of a skilled video and audio engineer. Residing in sunny Florida, alligators are Crystal's favorite animal.

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