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Basset Hound Dog Breed


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Height at the withers: Males 30–38 cm, Females 28–36 cm

Average Weight: Males 25–34 kg, Females 20–29 kg

Basset Hounds are quite extraordinary looking dogs that are well described as being “large hounds on short legs”. However, they are working dogs and as such, they are powerful looking and well balanced which, in short, means they possess a tremendous amount of stamina when out working in the field. Apart from their strong, short back legs, a Basset Hound’s large and proud head is another of their striking and ultra recognisable physical traits.

A Basset’s head is dome shaped with a very prominent occiput. They boast quite a wide brow and some dogs have wrinkles around their eyes and brow which is acceptable as a breed standard. Their noses are black although some lighter coloured hounds do boast liver or brown coloured noses. A Basset’s eyes are a lovely lozenge shape being dark in colour, but in lighter coated dogs their eyes can be lighter which is permissible. Basset Hounds have a very calm look about their eyes which often gives the impression of them being “serious” characters.

Their ears are long and set low on their heads. They are very velvety to the touch and curl inwards adding to a Basset Hounds overall appeal. They have strong looking jaws and a perfect bite and their necks are well muscled with dogs holding them slightly arched. A Basset’s forequarters are powerful and they boast strong well-laid back shoulders. Their legs are short and extremely well muscled with dogs boasting a tremendous amount of bone in their legs too. Dogs sometimes have wrinkles on their front legs which is perfectly acceptable as a breed standard.

A Basset Hound’s body is long with a very prominent breast bone and they are low to the ground with just enough clearance for these dogs to travel easily without rubbing their bellies on the ground no matter what type of terrain they are asked to work on. Dogs have well sprung ribs that extend well down their bodies. Their backs are broad and level with their loins slightly arched. Their hindquarters are extremely powerful and well-muscled and dogs often have wrinkles on their back legs which are acceptable as a breed standard.

A Basset Hound’s feet are well padded and quite large which allows them to be very sure footed even on rougher terrain. Their tails are long and well set, tapering to the tip with a small amount of coarser hair on the underside of it. Dogs carry their tails high and slightly curved which adds to their proud look.

When it comes to their coat, this is short and smooth with no feathering at all and their coats should never be too fine to the touch. Their skin is very supple without being too loose either. The accepted breed colours for Kennel Club registration are as follows:

  • Lemon & White
  • Red & White
  • Tan & White
  • Tricolour


One of the most important things about a Basset Hounds conformation is that it allows hounds to work and move as they are supposed to. When a Basset Hound moves, they do so with a tremendous amount of purpose with an effortless action with their front legs reaching forward and a tremendous amount of power from their hindquarters. A hound’s stifles and hocks must be free-moving with dogs not dragging their toes.


The Kennel Club frowns on any exaggeration or departure from the breed standard and would judge faults on how much they affect a dog’ overall health and wellbeing as well as their ability to perform.

Male dogs should have both testicles fully descended into their scrotums and it is worth noting that dogs can be a little shorter or taller as well as slightly lighter or heavier than stated in the Kennel Club breed standard which is given as a guideline only.

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