Basset Hound - Breed and Grooming Tips

Instantly recognizable due to its big, heavy body, short legs and long ears, the Basset Hound has proven itself to be a multi-purpose dog that excels in conformation, obedience, tracking, field trialing and pack hunting. The breed is known for its strong hunting instinct and, if given the opportunity, will chase or follow a scent willingly. Because of its gentle, non-confrontational nature, the Basset can be used for hunting in packs or alone. The Basset can be any hound color, which includes combinations of black, tan, white, red and other colors.

A Look Back

The Basset Hound was originally developed in France as a trailer of small game that hunters could follow on foot. Bassets continued to achieve very notable popularity during the reign of Emperor Napoleon, and in 1880 Queen Alexandra kept Basset Hounds in the royal kennels. Marquis de Lafayette brought Basset Hounds, known for their impeccable sense of smell, to the United States as a gift to President George Washington to use in his hunting expeditions.

Right Breed for You?

The Basset’s sweet, gentle disposition makes him a great companion and his short coat requires minimal grooming. New owners should be prepared for a dog that actively follows scent while outside or on walks.

Source:  American Kennel Club -


General: The Basset Hound is a scent hound and so it is built low to the ground with many flaps and wrinkles and long ears. Many of the scent hounds have large heavy lips and tend to drool. Noses of scent hounds are very sensitive and shampoos with too much fragrance and dips should be avoided unless absolutely needed. . They should be groomed every 4 – 6 weeks to clean ears, clip nails and check anal glands.

Paws: Bassets have very large thick nails and need regular nail trims to keep their feet from splaying. Because they track game they need Paw Balm to keep their pads soft and pliable to keep them from drying and cracking.

Eyes: Bassets are known for their sad, droopy eyes, so Optisoothe Eye Wash is a must. Flush the eyes of any foreign matter and keep the eye moist.

Ears: Bassets have very heavy ears and are prone to ear problems, use Ear Care to clean the ears and help dry out any moisture deep within the ear, this will help with the odor. Only clean as far as you can see.

Bathing: Scent hounds definitely require multiple baths. The first bath is for general cleaning to take off the dirt and grime. Follow up with the second bath and target the need of the dog. Outdoor and field dogs may need Flea & Tick Shampoo or Tea Tree & Aloe Shampoo for irritations from running through brush on the trail. Bassets with an oily coat may need Energee Plus Shampoo. Bassets are known for having body odor because of all the flaps and folds of the skin, for these dogs we suggest Oatmeal Baking Soda Shampoo. Be sure to end the bath with conditioner or a deep moisturizing with Luxury Remoisturizer. This will keep the coat hydrated to protect against harsh weather conditions.

Coat Care: Oatmeal Baking Soda Facial Cleanser can be used as after as needed to keep the folds of the lips clean and odor free. For the body, Extreme Odor Eliminator between baths is a must! Hot Spot Foam or 3 in 1 Healing Cream used in the wrinkles will help dry out the area and prevent raw irritations.

Show Dog Tips: High Sheen Finishing Spray before entering the ring can be used to add shine and luster to the coat without leaving an oily residue

Common Problems: Dirty ears are common problems and need to be addressed regularly.

Tools: A Shedding blade to remove dead coat should be used during your grooming routine.

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