The Basset Hound is a serious-looking, squat dog with a distinctive appearance and an even more recognizable howl. Their sad, pleading eyes should not allow them to mistaken as a morose dog, however. Basset Hounds are enthusiastic learners who are friendly to all they meet.
Basset Hounds are universally friendly dogs who get along well with children, other dogs and even strangers. They are naturally well-behaved and sweet with a laid-back attitude. Although their characteristic waddle is a little slow-moving, they are more determined than clumsy. Basset Hounds are enthusiastic dogs who will tirelessly follow their nose. They can have selective hearing, especially if they have just discovered a much more interesting scent, so training works best when it is consistent and firm. Basset Hounds can be easily motivated to perform for food, which makes them much quicker to respond and even to learn tricks.
These slow and steady dogs can get a little lazy, so they might need to be motivated to exercise. They should not be allowed to gain too much weight, because their little legs have a hard time supporting a dog that weighs any more than 60 pounds. Basset Hounds are incredibly loyal to their owners, on whom they rely for constant affection and attention. If they are left alone or if they feel neglected, they will howl continuously.
The Basset Hound's coat comes in all of the typical hound colors, including tri-color patterns of black, tan and white and bi-color patters of lemon and white or red and white. Their coat is hard, smooth and short and should never be excessively long.
When Basset Hounds shed, rub them down with a small bristle brush to remove any dead hairs.
These long, low dogs are close to the ground, and as a result, they get dirty. Some Basset Hounds also develop a little bit of dog odor. Especially because Basset Hounds have wrinkly and loose skin, they will need to be wiped off and bathed on a consistent basis to help prevent any infections or discomfort.
Clipping or trimming your dog’s coat is far easier than you would ever imagine. With the right clipper, trimmer and scissors, giving your dog a haircut is easy on your wallet and your schedule.
Most dogs with short coats generally require occasional trims and tidying up in areas of excessive hair growth with trimmers or blunt scissors. It's always wise to take a dog for a short walk or exercise to calm them down before trimming. Remember to brush the coat first to remove tangles and mats. Use a trimmer or a scissors to even out areas around the tail, paws, sanitary areas and chest, as needed. When finished, the coat should lay flat and smooth against the body of most short-haired dogs.
Their nails are thick and grow quickly, so they will need to be trimmed as soon as your Basset Hound starts making a clicking noise when he walks.
Basset Hounds' long, droopy ears need to be checked and cleaned consistently, because as they drag on the ground, they can collect debris that can cause painful infections.
Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.
Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.