Basset Hound Behavior: Common Quirks and Traits

Basset Hound Behavior: Common Quirks and Traits

Are you a proud owner of a Basset Hound or considering adopting one? Understanding the unique behavior and traits of this lovable breed is essential for providing them with the care and attention they need. In this article, we will explore the common quirks and traits of Basset Hounds, shedding light on their friendly nature, stubbornness, and remarkable sense of smell. Whether you are a seasoned Basset Hound enthusiast or a curious beginner, this comprehensive guide will help you gain insights into their behavior and enhance your bond with these charming dogs.

Physical Characteristics and Temperament

Size and Appearance

Basset Hounds are known for their unique physical characteristics. They have a long body with short legs and droopy ears that hang low to the ground. These dogs are medium-sized, typically weighing between 50 to 65 pounds. Despite their compact stature, Basset Hounds are quite sturdy and muscular. Their loose skin forms wrinkles and folds, adding to their adorable appearance.

Personality Traits

Basset Hounds possess a charming and friendly personality that makes them great companions. They are known for their gentle and patient nature, making them suitable for families with children or elderly individuals. These dogs are generally relaxed and easygoing, often displaying a laid-back attitude. Their calm disposition makes them great therapy dogs and ideal for households looking for a low-key pet.

Basset Hounds are also known for their stubbornness. While they are intelligent, they can be quite independent thinkers. This can make training a bit challenging at times, but with patience and positive reinforcement, they can learn commands and basic obedience.

Energy Level

When it comes to energy levels, Basset Hounds fall on the lower end of the scale. They are generally not as active or energetic as some other dog breeds. However, this doesn’t mean they don’t need any exercise. Regular walks and playtime are essential to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.

It’s important to note that Basset Hounds have a strong sense of smell and love to follow scents. This can sometimes lead them to become easily distracted during walks or playtime. It’s important to keep them on a leash or within a secure, fenced area to prevent them from wandering off.

Overall, Basset Hounds have a moderate energy level and are content with a couple of leisurely walks and some playtime each day. They are perfectly suited for individuals or families who prefer a more relaxed and easygoing dog.

Common Quirks and Behaviors

Howling and Barking

One of the most distinctive traits of a Basset Hound is their tendency to howl and bark. These dogs have a deep, melodious howl that can be heard from a distance. Basset Hounds are known for their excellent sense of smell, and they often use their howls to communicate with their owners or other dogs. They may howl when they are excited, bored, or when they want attention. Barking is also common among Basset Hounds, especially when they sense danger or feel protective of their territory. However, it’s important to note that excessive barking can be a behavioral issue that needs to be addressed through training and socialization.

Scent Hound Instincts

Basset Hounds are scent hounds, which means they have a strong instinct to follow scents and track prey. This instinct is deeply ingrained in their DNA and has been honed over centuries of selective breeding. Bassets have an exceptional sense of smell and are often used as tracking dogs in search and rescue missions or hunting activities. Their ability to pick up and follow scents is remarkable, making them quite proficient in sniffing out hidden treats or tracking scents during walks. Due to their strong scent hound instincts, it’s crucial for owners to keep them on a leash or within a secure, fenced area to prevent them from wandering off in pursuit of an interesting smell.


Basset Hounds are known for their stubborn nature. They have a mind of their own and are not easily swayed or convinced. This stubbornness can sometimes make training a challenge, as they may choose to ignore commands or exhibit selective hearing. It’s important for owners to be patient and consistent in their training methods. Positive reinforcement techniques, such as using treats and praise, can help motivate a Basset Hound to follow commands. Additionally, early socialization and obedience training can play a crucial role in managing their stubborn tendencies and ensuring they grow into well-behaved companions.

In conclusion, understanding the common quirks and behaviors of Basset Hounds is essential for any owner. From their distinctive howling and barking to their scent hound instincts and stubbornness, these traits define the unique personality of this beloved breed. By providing appropriate training, socialization, and a loving environment, owners can help their Basset Hounds thrive and enjoy a fulfilling life.

Socialization and Training

Socializing with Other Animals

When it comes to socializing your Basset Hound with other animals, it’s important to start early and expose them to various types of animals in a controlled and positive manner. Basset Hounds are generally friendly and sociable, but proper socialization can help prevent any potential aggression or anxiety issues that may arise.

One effective way to socialize your Basset Hound with other animals is by arranging playdates or supervised interactions with well-behaved and vaccinated dogs. This allows them to learn appropriate behaviors, such as reading other dogs’ body language and understanding social cues. It’s crucial to ensure that these interactions are positive and calm, as any negative experiences can leave a lasting impact on their behavior.

Additionally, gradually introducing your Basset Hound to other animals like cats, rabbits, or even farm animals can help them become accustomed to different species. Supervision is key during these introductions to ensure the safety of all animals involved. Always reward your Basset Hound with praise and treats for good behavior during these socialization sessions.

Training Challenges

While Basset Hounds are intelligent dogs, they can sometimes be stubborn and independent, which may present training challenges. It’s important to understand their unique temperament and adapt your training methods accordingly.

One common challenge when training Basset Hounds is their tendency to follow their nose. Their strong scenting instincts can easily distract them during training sessions. To overcome this challenge, it’s essential to find a quiet and distraction-free environment for training. Using high-value treats or toys as rewards can also help keep their focus on you.

Another challenge is their potential for vocalization, especially when they are bored or not getting enough exercise. Basset Hounds have a distinct and loud howl, which can be disruptive. To address this, ensure that your Basset Hound receives plenty of physical and mental stimulation through regular exercise and engaging activities. Providing them with puzzle toys or interactive games can help keep their minds occupied and reduce excessive barking or howling.

Positive Reinforcement Techniques

Positive reinforcement techniques are highly effective when training Basset Hounds. These techniques involve rewarding desired behaviors with treats, praise, or play, which encourages them to repeat those behaviors in the future.

When training your Basset Hound, focus on positive reinforcement rather than punishment-based methods. Reward them immediately when they exhibit the desired behavior, such as sitting or staying on command. Consistency is key to reinforce these behaviors over time.

Using a clicker can also be helpful in training Basset Hounds. By associating the sound of the clicker with a treat, you can mark the exact moment your dog performs the desired behavior, making it easier for them to understand what they are being rewarded for.

Remember to be patient and understanding during the training process. Basset Hounds respond best to gentle guidance and positive reinforcement. With consistency, patience, and love, you can help your Basset Hound develop into a well-socialized and well-behaved companion.


In conclusion, understanding the behavior of Basset Hounds is essential for any owner or potential owner of this unique breed. Their distinctive traits and quirks, such as their stubbornness and love for food, require patience, consistency, and proper training techniques. By being aware of these common characteristics, owners can better meet the needs of their Basset Hounds and provide them with a fulfilling and enriched life. With the right approach, Basset Hounds can become loyal, loving, and well-behaved companions that bring joy and happiness to their families for many years to come.