If you melt at the sight of big sad eyes, you may not be able to resist buying a Basset Hound puppy. These dogs have eyes that would melt even the hardest heart and a sweet and loving disposition to boot.
The Basset Hound has a keen sense of smell and can track scents almost as well as its ancestor, the Bloodhound. In fact, this member of the American Kennel Club's hound group is apt to become so obsessed with a scent that he will ignore commands to come or heel. Basset Hounds were developed to be able to track scents through tight areas where the larger scent hounds could not fit.
The Basset Hound weighs around sixty pounds and stands between eighteen and twenty inches high. These dogs can come in any AKC recognized hound dog color, although a dog with a white base coat with brown and black patches is most common. The Basset has long, droopy ears, which almost touch the ground when he is standing. His undershot jaw, broad chest, and short legs combine to give him a comical and clumsy appearance, but this dog can actually move very gracefully.
Basset Hounds are ideal apartment dogs, as long as neighbors don't mind their mournful vocalizations. These dogs actually don't care to exercise unless they are tracking a scent, but they must receive daily exercise to stay healthy. To keep your Basset in shape, you will have to walk with him, even if you have a fenced yard.
If you are looking for a pet who does well with children or other pets, then a Basset Hound is a wonderful choice. These dogs adore people and will do anything to be with them. More than one Basset has endured the indignity of dressing up in frilly gowns just so he can spend time with the children he loves.
Although Basset Hounds are loving and devoted pets, they do have a stubborn streak. Some people mistake this stubbornness for an intelligence problem and think that their Basset isn't smart enough to learn obedience. However, if you look closely at your Basset as he is disobeying, you may just catch a naughty twinkle in his big, sad eyes. Your Basset is more apt to obey commands that mean he is spending time with you than commands that don't interest him, such as the stay command. Since these dogs are a bit difficult to train, you may want to consider taking your puppy to obedience classes to get professional training help.
Basset Hounds love to eat. Since this chow hound behavior and their disinterest in exercise is a bad combination, you will need to keep a close eye on your Basset's food consumption. If your Basset becomes overweight, ask your veterinarian to recommend a food that will help him lose some weight.
Bassets require little grooming. Brush through his hair once a week to remove dirt and loose hair. You may also need to check his ears to be sure he doesn't develop any problems, since the air may not circulate well in such droopy ears. In fact, ear infections are one of the main health problems with this breed. Other common health problems are spinal related injuries and eye diseases.
If you want a dog whose sole purpose is to please his owners, then a Basset Hound may be the perfect choice for you and your family.