Five Fun Facts About Basset Hounds

Low and slow, and with their mournful expressions and droopy ears, Bassets are the “sad clowns” of the dog world. 

Here are five fun facts you might not know about these popular dogs:

One – Bassets were bred to hunt by French aristocrats and were derived from the Bloodhound

Two –  They are in second place only to the bloodhound when it comes to their sense of smell. These dogs have over 220 million smell receptors, compared to a human’s paltry five million. 

Three – The name “Basset” comes from the French word bas which means low. They may be low, but they are not lightweights. Bassets weigh on average fifty to sixty pounds.

Four – They are terrible swimmers and are in serious danger of drowning if they fall in the water. Their short legs and thick heavy bodies are not built for swimming, so keep them away from pools and ponds. 

Five – Bassets need to be bathed frequently. Their low slung bodies pick up more dirt and debris than dogs with longer legs. And their floppy ears don’t allow air to circulate well either, so they need to be cleaned regularly as well. is a comprehensive site for information dog owners can rely on, and includes tips on health, exercise, fun facts, breed profiles and much more. 


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By Ellen Britt

Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.

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