European Basset Hound – Everything You Need To Know

European Basset Hounds are easy-going, short-legged family pets with lots of wrinkly skin, a laid-back approach to life, and the ability to adapt well to their environment. These breeds were initially bred as hunting dogs and hunted in packs for small animals such as rabbits. They are playful and outgoing with early socialization. They are often portrayed as kind, wise, patient, and loyal but independent thinkers with the inner strength to endure disease, pain, and loss without complaint.

At first glance, American and European Basset Hounds may seem identical. But there are a few things that differentiate them. The main difference lies in size, skin, coat color, diet, nutrition, grooming needs, and health problems. The European Basset Hounds are more wrinkly than their American counterparts. Hence, they require more care and maintenance than American Basset Hounds.

However, European Basset Hounds need plenty of mental and physical stimulation. So, always be ready to spend lots of time playing and exercising to build a bond and happy life with these droopy-eyed adorable puppies.

European Basset Hound Pros and Cons

Loyal, friendly, and good with childrenShort legs make it difficult to move around.
Easy to trainShort nose can cause breathing difficulties.
The coat is easy to maintain.Good watchdogs

European Basset Hound Basic Information

  • Name: European Basset Hound
  • Origin: France
  • Group: Scent hound, companion dogs, watchdogs
  • Size: Medium
  • Height: 10 – 15 inches
  • Weight: 35 – 75 pounds
  • Coat: Smooth and short
  • Color: Mahogany, red, tri, and lemon with white markings
  • Energy: Medium to high
  • Activities: Agility, obedience, walking, tracking, sniffing.
  • Barking Level: High
  • Shedding Level: Medium
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Litter Size: 6 – 8 puppies
  • Breed’s Original Pastimes: Hunting and chasing
  • Life Span: 10 – 12 years

European Basset Hound History

The European Basset was initially bred in France, and in the late 1800s, these breeds started appearing in the United States. Around this time, the American Kennel Club (AKC) began registering Basset Hounds. In 1916, AKC officially recognized the first European Basset Hound as a dog breed. 

The Basset (bas in French means low-set) results from a mutation of the St. Hubert strain caused by a short-legged, dwarfed hound, whose slower movement and low-set form were beneficial to hunters on foot in pursuit of small game. Due to their long ears, European Bassets were used to drive small prey, such as hares and rabbits, out of dense undergrowth into open terrain where hunters could hunt with nets, spears, or clubs. 

European Basset Hound Highlights

  • European Basset Hounds have muscular bodies with well-developed heads, long floppy ears, and droopy faces.
  • European Basset Hounds can be stubborn and challenging to train and housetrain like all hounds. 
  • They are known for their calm, loyal, and friendly temperaments.
  • European Basset Hound is one of the oldest and largest breeds globally.

European Basset Hound Personality

The European Basset Hound stands about 10 to 15 inches in height and weighs around 35 to 75 pounds. They have facial wrinkles and droopy expressions with a very enthusiastic, bold, and intelligent personality. Initially hunting in packs, they tend to be good with other pets and dogs. In addition, they are people-oriented and get along well with kids. Usually, active dogs. Not easy to train as they are stubborn. A firm, skilled hand with plenty of creativity is required to bring out their best. These breeds can be serious barkers and tend to be diggers using their sturdy nails and feet. However, the hunting urge is relatively strong, and if not safely confined, European Bassets will go off hunting on their own. In addition, excessive drooling may occur because of their head structure and skin folds around the mouth.

Friendliness Overview 

  Affection level   High
  Family-friendly   Medium to high
  Kid-friendly   Medium to high
  Pet-friendly   Medium to high
  Stranger -friendly   Medium

Adaptability Overview

  Good for apartment living   High
  Good to new owners   Medium to high
  Sensitivity level   Medium to high
  Tolerates being alone   Medium
  Cold-tolerance   Low to medium
  Heat-tolerance   Low to medium

European Basset Hound Physical Features 

Head: European Basset Hound’s head is small, dark-coated, with extremely short fur. 

Neck: The neck is slightly arched, straight, and tapers to a short, triangular length shoulder.

Topline: The topline of the European Basset Hound is flat and straight.

Body: European Basset Hound’s body is short and compact with short legs, a long neck, and large ears. 

Forequarters: The forelegs are heavy-boned, short, and powerful, with wrinkles on the lower legs.

Hindquarters: The hindlegs are fully muscled, almost equal to the shoulders’ width.

Tail: Their tail is long with a bushy tip, medium-sized, curved, and slightly upward. 

Coat: Their coat is wavy, dense, and soft on the legs.

Color: The color of the European Basset Hound is mahogany, red, tri (black, tan, and white), and lemon with white markings

Gait: Their gait is smooth and free. The hocks and stifles should be flexible, and their toes must not drag on the ground.

European Basset Hound Temperament

European Basset Hounds can be excellent family dogs with early socialization and proper training. They are calm, easygoing, and generally good with kids and other pets. In addition, these ancient dogs have fearless traits, highly enthusiastic personalities, and appreciable bravery. If you get them, make sure you have sufficient time to keep them engaged. The only downside of their dedicated and loving qualities is that they can easily undergo separation anxiety if left alone for extended time.

European Basset Hound Training 

European Basset Hounds love to play, requiring sufficient exercise to maintain their health and energy. In addition, they need to be adequately trained to avoid getting aggressive with strangers and other dogs in general. However, punishment-based activity can result in bold or fearful reactions and make them more viable to bite without alert. Hence, positive reinforcement such as praises and rewards are highly advised in training these breeds. 

Check these effective ways in which you can effectively train your European Basset dog:

Trainability Overview

  Easy to train   Low to medium
  Intelligence   Medium to high
  Mouthiness tendencies   Medium
  Barking and Howling tendencies   Medium to high
  Prey drive   High
  Wanderlust tendencies   High

European Basset Hound Exercise Needs

European Basset Hounds need at least 15-30 minutes of daily exercise to maintain good health or jogs and walks that last for about 30 minutes each time. This is also a perfect way to fight their tendency to become obese. They may become aggressive, agitated, or destructive without proper training.

Exercise Needs Overview 

  Energy level   Low to medium
  Exercise needs   Low to medium
  Intensity   Low to medium
  Playfulness   Low to medium

European Basset Hound Grooming 

Grooming is an integral part of the life of a European Basset Hound. However, the time they need to be groomed relies on how often they are bathed and how much hair they have. Because of their wrinkly folds, the European bassets are more prone to bacterial skin infections. If not treated properly, their irritated skin can cause many health difficulties, including eczema, ringworm, skin rashes, and acne. 

European Basset Hound’s grooming needs are as follows:  

  • Bathe whenever it’s needed. Frequent bathing strips off their skin’s natural oils, leave it fragile and dry.
  • Brush their teeth twice a week.  
  • Brush their coat two times a week.  
  • Trim their nails weekly, twice, or thrice, depending on their nail growth.  
  • Clean their eyes weekly.
  • Clean their long ears once a week because they often drag on the ground and quickly get dirty.

Grooming Overview

  Easy to groom   High
  Drooling tendency   Medium to high
  Amount of shedding   Medium to high

European Basset Hound Health 

European Basset Hounds are prone to certain health conditions, especially skin diseases. So, scheduling routine health check-ups and visits to the veterinarian is necessary. 

Health Overview

  Overall health   Medium to high
  Weight gain tendencies   Medium to high
  Size   Medium

Hip Dysplasia: A condition in which the socket section of the hip joint does not entirely fit the ball portion, putting the joint in danger of dislocation. Some dogs display discomfort and lameness on one or both rear legs. 

Cardiac problems: This is one of the most common health concerns in canines. The most common signs of cardiac problems in dogs are coughing, difficulty breathing, rapid heartbeat, structural defects such as aortic stenosis, and hypoplastic left heart syndrome.

Obesity: European Basset Hounds are prone to obesity and worsening hip and elbow dysplasia. This condition negatively hits a dog’s health and durability. Obese dogs exhibit an increased risk of digestive disorders, heart disease, diabetes, joint problems, and hypertension. 

Eye problems: European Basset Hounds can be predisposed to these eye diseases:  

  • Corneal damage  
  • Dry eye (keratoconjunctivitis sicca)  
  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis)  
  • Eyelid mass  
  • Cataracts  
  • Entropion
  • Ectropion  

Cherry Eye: When the eyelid glands protrude, it appears like cherry and has to be removed surgically.  

Ear infections: These ailments are generally indicated by whining, scratching, and head shaking. 

Osteosarcoma: Osteosarcoma is malignant bone cancer in small to medium-sized breeds.

Epilepsy: Seizures are a common issue in European Basset Hounds that cause sudden body jerking and loss of consciousness. 

Bloating: This disorder, also called Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus, affects canines with a large chest like Basset Hounds. If fed more than good meals a day, they will be involved, rapid water drinking, and exercise after a meal. This life-threatening disease commonly occurs in older dogs. 

Glaucoma is an eye condition that affects dogs and humans and needs medical attention. Signs such as squinting, pain, watery eyes, and redness can indicate glaucoma, leading to blindness. Regular health tests can aid in recognizing and curing glaucoma early.  

Patellar Luxation: A common disorder seen in small to medium-sized dogs. The kneecap’s anatomy lets it slip to one side when the dog steps out, causing a skipping gait on the back leg.  

Hypothyroidism: European Basset Hounds are predisposed to underactive thyroid glands. The thyroid hormone controls how rapidly the dog ignites calories, and when this hormone’s levels are too low, the dog lacks energy, is sluggish, and gains weight immediately.  

Allergies: European Basset Hounds can be allergic to various substances, varying from food to pollen. So, if your dog licks their paws or rubs its face, get him checked by your vet. 

Thrombopathia: A blood platelet condition that commonly affects European Basset Hounds. This affects the ability of blood to clot, like von Willebrand disease.

Skin diseases: European Basset Hounds are known to have many skin issues. Their short, dense coat is challenging to maintain. As a result, they also tend to develop skin infections.  

Treating skin infections in European Basset Hounds can include antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and corticosteroids.

Bacterial infections: European Basset Hounds are predisposed to bacterial infections due to their long snout. They tend to carry bacteria from their surroundings, but if you live with your dog, you can help control bacterial infections by keeping your dog on a regular schedule of cleaning their skin and teeth.

Von Willebrand’s Disease: The most predominant hereditary bleeding difficulty in dogs is VWD. It’s caused by a lack of a specific protein that aids platelets in adhering together, forming clots to close damaged blood arteries. VW factor is the name of the missing protein (VWF).  

European Basset Hound Diet and Nutrition 

European Basset Hounds are not known for their agility, speed, or jumping ability. However, they are known for their stamina and endurance. They have a special diet that includes fruits, vegetables, meat, and bones. In addition, their diet should contain phosphorus, iron, protein, calcium, zinc, and vitamins A and C. They also need to drink enough water because they cannot sweat like other canines. 

European Basset Hound Living Condition

European Basset Hounds are serene dogs that are well-suited in tiny houses and apartments with backyards. Living indoors with the family keeps them happy and engaging. However, they are not suited for extreme heat or cold. Bored, lonely Basset Hounds may find an undesirable medium to keep themselves active, such as barking or chewing.

European Basset Hound Club Recognition 

  • UKC = United Kennel Club
  • AKC = American Kennel Club
  • CKC = Canadian Kennel Club
  • KC = Kennel Club
  • BHCA = European Basset Hound Club of America
  • FCI = Federation Cynologique Internationale
  • Fédération Royale Belge d’Association Canine de France

Adding a European Basset Hound to Your Family 

Things to remember before adding a European Basset Hound to your family.

Getting a European Basset Hound from a reputable breeder helps prevent unavoidable circumstances like health and vaccination issues. Hence, it is best to visit the puppy’s parents to cross-check his health and happiness.

Cost of a European Basset Hound

The average cost of a European Basset Hound is between $600 and $1200, but they can go for more than $2500 depending on breeders and their pedigree.

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