With their long ears, short legs, and droopy eyes, basset hounds are often portrayed in movies and TV as a comical and lazy dog breed. While this image may be true in some ways, you need a lot more information about these pups before you can decide if a basset is the right dog for you. Here is a look at five things you need to know about owning a basset hound.
1. They’re laid back, but not always lazy
Bassets have a well-deserved reputation for being extremely easy-going, but you shouldn’t assume that owning one won’t involve any work. In fact, basset hounds were originally bred to be hunting dogs, and most of them love to go for long walks. Your dog is likely to get depressed if you don’t make exercise a major priority, and obesity is a major issue among bassets that don’t walk often enough. On the flip side, a basset will typically be extremely lazy at home. They tend to love snuggling up on the couch or getting stroked by a new friend.
2. You need to have a sense of humor
As opposed to working dogs that focus primarily on the task at hand, basset hounds tend to be fairly “clownish,” and you will need to have a sense of humor in order to make the most of owning one. Often, this tendency toward being a goofball will arise at the most inopportune times, such as when you are in a hurry, so you need to be willing to roll with the punches. Your dog is also likely to be extremely stubborn, so you will have more luck with your basset if you can see the humor in distinctly “unfunny” situations.
3. Bassets drool all the time
Next time you see someone walking a basset hound on the street, make note of how its face and ears look. You will notice that bassets are almost always covered in slobber. Since their skin is so droopy, these dogs tend to get dried drool caked onto their entire bodies much of the time. If you are turned off by an unkempt dog, then a basset probably isn’t right for you.
4. They’re extremely vocal
Hounds in general have a reputation for baying, and bassets are no different. Be prepared for your dog to bay quite often-sometimes for no obvious reason. If you live in an apartment with neighbors who are likely to complain, then you are probably going to have trouble owning a basset. On the other hand, if you enjoy “talking” to your dog, then a basset hound might be the perfect breed.
5. You’ll need to care for skin, ears, and legs
All dogs are susceptible to certain health problems because of their shape and size. For bassets, the most common problem spots include their skin, ears, and legs. You should plan to clean ears at least weekly so that they don’t get infected. Similarly, bacteria can get trapped in skin folds, so you will need to bathe your basset relatively often and always thoroughly towel dry your dog after a walk in the rain or snow. Your hound’s legs are likely to become trouble spots as the dog gets older (after all, a basset has a lot of weight to support on such stubby ankles), but you can help your dog out by doing your best to prevent obesity.
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