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Talking about Bassets....

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  • Talking about Bassets....

    Story is that daughter and live-in-boyfriend want to get a Basset puppy. What is the good, the bad and the ugly on these delightful, charming hounds?

    They have a small place and small yard - we have acreage and other dogs - so it would get exercise when they come over and will have a Greyhound and Daxie to run with.

    LIB wants a puppy - they feel a Basset would have a lower energy level than some dogs for a smaller place. We have some customers that have two and they are lovely dogs - it's just that I've never known one intimately or any
    negatives with the breed.

    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

  • #2
    Bassets are definitely lovely dogs. Georgie Porgie goes to work with me on occasion and everybody loves him. (small office, laid back, and all dog lovers). We stopped at Petsmart on the way home last Friday and he fortunately did not try to tear into the dog food bags, the cat food bags, or snitch any of the toys.
    Georgie gets along with all of our dogs-male and female. He ignores the horses but does keep out of their way.
    Even though our property is fenced, he does not have the run of the property. He has a kennel (and a friend) and is supervised when he is out. I know that nose would get him in trouble!
    Bassets are very strong. We've been walking along a leash very nicely until he opts to go in another direction, then I'm jerked back.
    You might get an idea of his size and strength by his nicknames: Tank, Bulldozer, Sausage, Pork Chop.


    • #3
      I've known a couple really nice Bassets. Unfortunately, I've also met a lot of VERY aggressive Bassets. Cage aggressive, stranger aggression, aggression toward other animals. I would be very careful to meet BOTH parents of the pup prior to taking one home. I would decline to take one home if the breeder said, "well he/she isn't here right now because...(insert excuse)" I would ask specifically about temperament. How is your dog with children, dogs, cats, strangers at the door etc. How is your dog when you walk it on leash? (leash aggression?) Good luck!


      • #4
        Nothing in the world is cuter than a Bassett puppy. Although the south end of a Corgi or an Aussie going north is close.

        Bassetts are hounds. Like all hounds, they can have selective hearing. They'll eat anything. They make lovely, funny faces with those floppy jowls, and they drool. They have sexy ears. The are prone to some problems with the legs --- some have had to have knee surgery --- and you don't want them to get too heavy. They will follow their nose into places that can get them in trouble. And a Bassett at top speed just isn't quite the same as a greyhound --- or even a coonhound!

        Like with any dog, training is vital and good socialization is a must.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Donkaloosa View Post
          Nothing in the world is cuter than a Bassett puppy. Although the south end of a Corgi or an Aussie going north is close.

          Bassetts are hounds. Like all hounds, they can have selective hearing. They'll eat anything. They make lovely, funny faces with those floppy jowls, and they drool. They have sexy ears. The are prone to some problems with the legs --- some have had to have knee surgery --- and you don't want them to get too heavy. They will follow their nose into places that can get them in trouble. And a Bassett at top speed just isn't quite the same as a greyhound --- or even a coonhound!

          Like with any dog, training is vital and good socialization is a must.
          GREAT post, and right on the money. (I couldn't add anything else, and am a dog trainer--I happen to have two Whippets, but "hounds are hounds". Scent hounds are *definitely" different from sight hounds, but yeah: selective hearing is definite issue with ALL hounds! Both are difficult to train, so training--especially in the area of "attention"--is of vital importance.) I think they are more laid back than many hounds, so people often don't bother to train them, but this is uh, not a good idea for *any* dog, even the ones who seem easygoing. Good luck, and prioritize training AND socializing your puppy!
          "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

          "It's supposed to be hard...the hard is what makes it great!" (Jimmy Dugan, "A League of Their Own")


          • #6
            My mom had bassets and I had a half basset growing up (god rest her obnoxious, lovable soul). Generally friendly, lovable sorts, good with kids & other animals. Prone to serious back trouble and ear infections for obvious reasons. Ditto on not letting them get too heavy. The one thing that would lead me to never personally again own another hound is the above mentioned selective hearing + nose-getting-them-into-trouble traits. They can also be somewhat difficult to train (food helps though ) Extremely frustrating in my experience, however, lots of hound owners are very happy with their chosen breed. My intense dislike of that trait however has lead me to want a completely different set of traits in a dog (natural, inborn obedience, etc).

            There may be nothing cuter on the planet than a Basset puppy, though...I'm sure she will find it tough to resist!


            • #7
              I have Rudy, a lovely bassett hound who appeared here four years ago. He is the third Bassett I have had.

              They are lovely, albeit they can get a bit smelly when things build up in there ears.
              I have kept the weight of all of mine good so no medical issues with there backs or legs. I have never met one who was aggressive but clearly others feel differently on that subject.

              They get along with everything as in other animals.
              Yes, they are hunters. Rudy here is the brains, and Nelly is the braun. Rudy aint too fast but he makes up for it in determination.
              From behind a closed door, you would never know the dog is so short, they sound huge so a good deterent for the unwanted.

              I am all for the Bassett. They are just great all the way around and a load of fun.
              Our horses are not seen as the old and disabled they may have become, but rather as the mighty steeds they once believed themselves to be.

              Sunkissed Acres Rescue and Retirement


              • #8
                I have had many puppies over the years and swear I will never do another one. More power to them for raising one from a puppy!

                I have had 2 bassets. The first one was adopted from a local rescue. We only had her 3 short months. The second is an older girl around 5 years of youthy age. She is wonderful.

                I got this second young girl from a local animal control. I kept her from the rescue pipeline. She is wonderful. I love her dearly. I can't imagine having her from a puppy. She was ready to go out of the box.

                The bad about her is her ever dubious skin folds that trap moisture. She gets a build up of oil from her skin glands. I keep her clean, her nails cut and her diet carefully managed. She is not a lean girl. She has heartworms as well. She is being managed carefully.

                Good luck with the puppy. They are fun and the cuteness factor is unreal.
                Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

                Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!


                • #9
                  I have a friend who has a bassett. He is cute, fun, and very loving He also has a growth plate problem in his leg and had to have pricey surgery to straighten it, and the vet said it was fairly common for the breed.

                  Only behavioral problem they have had with him was when they started training him to the dog door, he would go out until his head and front paws were out, and then he would do his business. He just didn't seem to be aware that the business end of his body was still in the house!

                  He is so lazy that they bought a kids wagon to put him in and tow him around in at the horse shows


                  • #10
                    I've had several Bassets and did Basset rescue for years. I LOVE the breed...but IME, they are not a low energy dog. People look at them and think "couch potato", and yes, they love to have the sofa all to themselves, but if they don't get enough exercise, they can get into mischief because they need some kind of outlet for their energy.

                    Not a low maintenance dog wrt grooming - you really have to watch their ears and wrinkles.

                    No matter how clean you keep them, they have that specil eu d'hound. I personally love that smell, but not everyone wants it in their home.

                    And all the comments about nose are dead on. I swear 80% of their brain is dedicated to olfactory receptors.

                    Also, I don't know how they do it with their body type, but they are escape artists.

                    One last thing - keep your bread under lock and key. I don't know why, but every Basset I've owned or fostered would manage to get on the counter for the bread if it was left out.

                    Originally Posted by JSwan
                    I love feral children. They taste like chicken.


                    • #11
                      My aunt and uncle have two and they are nice dogs. They need to get their energy out and can be difficult to train and housebreak at times.

                      Be careful of their backs of course. I suggested to my aunt & uncle not to let the dogs jump onto the beds and back down, but it took until one breaking her back to learn that lesson. That was $$ surgery there.

                      They do have a tendency to have the ear issues. The two bassets there are on a daily ear cleaning regime and have frequent bouts regardless of severe ear infections.

                      Not sure if it's normal basset thing or not, but the one female basset has horrific food allergies and that's hard to work around, but I don't think it has so much to do with being a basset, as the fact she was bred by a puppymiller.

                      But I really do like the Bassets. Hard to resist those soulful looking eyes and their silly faces.
                      Semi Feral


                      • #12
                        Does small place = apartment with close neighbors? If so, would worry about their loud "bar-rooo!" making the neighbors complain. Our shelter has received quite a few bassets already this year, mostly due to noise complaints that the owners didn't want to deal with. The others were strays...where the nose goes, the body follows.

                        If you go with this breed, be sure to go to a good breeder who will let you meet the parents and see their facilities. I'm sure you know that already, though.


                        • #13
                          I like hounds, all hounds despite my general dislike and mistrust of many dogs. You must remember above all else, a Basset is a hunting dog and hunt he will - chickens, cats, children, and imobile objects that may be food. My Basset loving friend didn't believe me on that one, until his Basset smelled an intriguing odour and followed it and hunted himself up a herd of cows being chased to a different pasture and he had to find the dog miles away happily baying at his 'catch'. Yes, they bay when they tree the quarry even the bread JSwan mentioned. Baying is not a bark, it resembles a cross between a howl and a bark, carries for miles and is earsplitting at close quarters and is not meant to be heard indoors. Bassets are also considered a large breed despite the short stature - they were made to go through brush trailing larger animals and really are a lot faster than they look. They also need a lot of exercise.

                          If they insist, probably better to go with field dogs than bench dogs as the physical problems are fewer and the brain capacity is greater, not that they will be easy to train, just easier. Field dogs also have much better temperaments - they are bred to work, not to stand there and look pretty; agressive hunting dogs are soon weeded out - the ones that don't sound on trail, the ones that attack the kill, be it a dummy or real, the ones that won't call off a scent, and other field faults.

                          ETA: like all very long eared dogs, they should have a snood to be put on at feeding time to protect the ears from collecting food on the ends, accidental lacerations from overenthusiastic eating or standing. Food collected on the ends of those long ears adds a special note to that hound smell.
                          Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                          Member: Incredible Invisbles


                          • #14
                            Oh, yes, the noise... The baying is ear splitting. I have a coonhound, and the best way I can describe the difference between bark and bay is a bark is a car horn, a bay is an 18-wheeler air horn.

                            With any of the hunting dogs, if you want a pet, you are usually better off getting the field bred dogs. They may not be as fancy or as pretty (I've seen field bred Goldens who looked like first class mutts), but they will have a better disposition and be easier to train.

                            And remember that hounds will learn only what they personally think is important!


                            • Original Poster

                              So far, I've found out that apart from the cuteness factor being off the scale, they are counter surfers (just about tall enough when standing up?), smelly, prone to back and knee problems and skin and ear infections. They have a brain that operates through the nose and ears that are selective in their hearing.
                              They have a voice that carries.


                              However, having an extensive Hunt background, owning greyhounds, and a daxie, one could say I have most of it covered regarding experience. That is apart from my recently deceased greyhound - she was so special, so trustworthy even off leash and so loyal and adoring - but a counter surfer if given the chance.

                              It is up to the kids, I guess. Field Bassets would definitely be the way to go since my opinion of show dog breeders is, well, guarded. Thanks for the advice from the experienced!
                              Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                              • #16
                                Love my Bassets

                                Ok! I can't resist talking about my basset (he is my second)...

                                Besides all the things you mentioned, both good an bad, he is simply the most charming dog, with the most character, you could ever hope to meet!

                                Oliver loves everyone and will show every guest all the tricks he knows (a grand total of about 3) for the chance of a belly run or treat. He is a fantastic cuddler and is great on the farm because he has no interest in the horses, being near them, chasing them, etc. We did have to put in an underground fence around the barn yard area to stop him from roaming for days around the countryside with nothing but his voice to locate him. However, now that he has adjusted to his new territory he is quite content.

                                Oliver is cheap to feed as he is an air fern and was quite easy to crate train. He was WILD as a young puppy though. All he wanted to do was run and play with the the other dogs in the house but now that he is older he is much more settled. I think you could do A LOT worse then a basset and will probably get a third one when he is gone


                                • #17
                                  disclaimer: I'm a herding breed person. I like dogs that want nothing more in the world than to make me happy.

                                  That said, I'm really not a huge fan of Bassets. As has been stated, they're often drooly and their baying can be absolutely ear-splitting. They're quite a bit larger than I think a lot of people realize (50/60 lbs+). And by virtue of the fact that they're hounds, they frequently don't give a d*mn what you think or want them to do. Hard to train, which of course includes housebreaking.

                                  I worked at a vet clinic, as well as at a resort-type boarding kennel, all through high school. I also showed dogs. I have had multiple unpleasant encounters with Bassets. I'd say they're tied with Dachshunds, being beaten only by Chihuahuas.

                                  Admittedly, these bad experiences were all with dogs that had likely been poorly bred or mis-handled. In each case, the problem dog was pushy, rude, and inclined to snap if asked to do something they weren't totally on board with. It's remarkable how much their low center of gravity gives them an advantage when they don't want to cooperate!

                                  If they're going to get one, they should research a breeder carefully (as always). Socialization and early training are really important. Substantial structure in a puppy's life does wonders for how they turn out as an adult.


                                  • #18
                                    I love the story about the dog door!
                                    George the Basset is active...for a while. Then he wants to come into the house for the air conditioning. We have acres and acres of fields behind us, a (shallow) river across the road, and then there are the hills. I'm sure George could disappear for days if he had the chance. It is amazing how fast they can move when they want to follow their noses.
                                    We have had no problems with his ears so far. He used to trip over them when he was a puppy. I haven't noticed a hound smell, either, but then we have 8 dogs and 4 horses so I might be immune to barnyard odors!
                                    However, he does have that hound bay. Rooo rooo rooo. Rooo rooo rooo. Roo roo roo. I don't imagine we'd be too popular in a subdivision or esp in an apartment.
                                    I for one, vote for a trip to the local shelter. We've had Oscar, apparently a JRT mix, for a little over a month and he is a wonderful dog, even as a puppy. He gets along with all the dogs, the horses, and loves my DH. We paid $75, but got $50 back once we had proof that we had him neutered.


                                    • #19
                                      My trainer has two bassets. They are very low key and don't seem too care too much about the horses.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by mjmvet View Post
                                        I've known a couple really nice Bassets. Unfortunately, I've also met a lot of VERY aggressive Bassets. Cage aggressive, stranger aggression, aggression toward other animals. I would be very careful to meet BOTH parents of the pup prior to taking one home. I would decline to take one home if the breeder said, "well he/she isn't here right now because...(insert excuse)" I would ask specifically about temperament. How is your dog with children, dogs, cats, strangers at the door etc. How is your dog when you walk it on leash? (leash aggression?) Good luck!
                                        Er, actually, if you buy from a reputable breeder, there's a good chance the father won't be on premises, or even in the same state.

                                        I had a basset when I was little. We took her from our uncle who was getting married and couldn't keep the dog. The first thing she did was run full speed through our screen door and into the house.
                                        She was annoying, but only because she was our first dog and we didn't know how to train. She wasn't trustworthy off the leash and knew when it wasn't on, even if your fingers slipped for 1/2 a second. When she got away she would run under our neighbors' decks and we would have to bribe her into coming out with cold cuts. She got really good at grabbing the food then scooting backwards out of our reach. When she was hungry, she howled. When she wanted to go out, she howled. When she wanted to come in, she howled.
                                        But, she tolerated me and my sister and we did some really dumb things with her (once I remember we hooked her up to our Radio Flyer and made her pull us around).
                                        Everybody thinks that bassets are dumb..but she was probably the smartest dog we've ever owned.
                                        I'd get another in a heartbeat. (I think the wahoo-ing is cute, though)

                                        Edited to add pictures!
                                        My CANTER cutie Chip and IHSA shows!