Basset Hound 101

Here at Kenne Björkwood we have one sole aim: to breed healthy, happy basset hounds that will go on to live in loving homes.

If You’re Thinking of Buying a Basset Hound

We’re happy to talk to you and show you our dogs. If you’ve never been owned by a basset hound before it’s a good idea to come and see what the reality is like. Although basset hounds are incredibly loving, easy-going dogs they do have some issues: for example, drool rules! Your nice walls and cupboards will get splashed with drool very frequently and if that’s a problem, that bassets probably aren’t for you.

Bassets also tend to have a rather unique aroma. Thankfully, we’re pretty immune to it now because we have so many but come the rainy season even we remember just how much bassets can smell. You’re going to need to invest in plenty of fragrant oils and candles to keep your home smelling sweet.

Why not check out the Best basset hound pictures & posts from Kennel Björkwood website?

Taking on a Puppy

If you’re lucky enough to welcome an 8-week old puppy to your home then you’re in for a fun but also slightly frustrating time. Because bassets are effectively a large-breed dog on short legs they require lots of gentle care during their first year. No walks, no jumping off the sofa, no running up and down stairs. You have to be very watchful to ensure they don’t over do it and hurt themselves unintentionally.

Ideally, you live in a house with a garden so your young basset can play. If you live in an apartment you’re going to have to be careful not to over-exercise your young woof.

Aside from ensuring your pup doesn’t over do it, you’re going to have to toilet train it. And that’s not always easy. We’ve seen one or two “naturals” who grasp the concept very quickyl. But bassets often take a long time to get the hang of toilet training. Such characters will test your patient and it’s important that you are always calm and positive handling a basset.

Young bassets are also heavy chewers. We’ve seen table legs, walls, cupboards and jumpers all suffer at the hands of pups.

Living with a Basset

If there is one thing we have learned being owned by bassets is that you can never be in a rush. Forget about that quick ten minute walk round the block before you have to get to an important meeting. That’s the walk your favourite pupster will decide to refuse to move. Or sleep on the pavement. Or sniff instead of pee when ordinarily he can’t wait to do his business. Bassets have a knack of working to their own agenda. When you’re relaxed and have plenty of time, this isn’t a problem. It can even be quite endearing. But when you have something else to do than hang with your hound he’ll infuriate you.

We find that adult bassets work best with a regular routine. At Kennel Björkwood the woofs get a walk first thing in the morning and a long walk in the forest in the late afternoon. In between they’re pretty happy chewing on a bone or playing with a Kong. Sleeping is a favourite pastime too. Any variation from this routine and they tend to get mischievous. Thankfully, working from home as a communications consultant, I don’t have to vary things too much but from time to time I have meetings in town or with clients and that’s when I really have to plan things carefully. You can never rush out with a basset.

Health Issues

Aside from not over exercising a pup or young basset, you have to be prepared to deal with a number of health issues if you take on a basset.

Ears need to be cleaned once a week, preferably with a good non-alcohol cleaning solution. Eyes must be kept clean daily. Although bassets don’t have shaggy coats they do drop hair very frequently so you’re going to get to know your vacuum cleaner very well.

A basset should never be exercised after it’s just eaten. All deep-chested dogs like bassets, Labradors, Alsatians (Schaffer) have a tendency to bloat so you it’s important they don’t exercise on a full stomach.

We recommend that you rest your dog for 2 hours after meals.

Bassets can also have problems with their skin. It’s important to towel dry a basset after a walk in the snow or rain. Never let moisture linger on a basset’s coat: it will just smell and serve as a breeding ground for bacteria.

Why You Should Consider a Basset

If you’re new to bassets, in spite of all the hard work and care they require, they are the most wonderful of breeds. I personally can’t think of as loving a breed of dog. Bassets are wonderfully social and tend to get on with other dogs, cats, children, friends and family. Yes, they bark and sometimes howl. Usually at the most inconvenient moment. But they’re loyal and friendly and will make you smile.

If you’d like to know more about basset hounds, you’re very welcome to get in touch for a chat and possibly come and see our woofs.

Jon Buscall
Täby, Sweden

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  • chuck

    I have a basset that is almost two named Silas. Silas loves to run and play I was curious what your thoughts on taking him to run a 5k would be?

  • GLB

    Oh dear Oh dear Oh dear, I am at a loss. My son’s Christmas gift was a basest puppy. The girlfriend was suppose to keep him part time and him the rest, but as go many relationships, I now have the dog. I have been reading all over the internet about these dogs and your page is GREAT! So I have a few questions. I have a 15 year old chihuahua that was kennel trained and potty trained in a week, I have a 12 month old Great Dane that was a bit more difficult but done with no problems. This 4 month puppy has been left to its own accord during the day, not kennel trained, not completely potty trained and howls for hours before he just gives up. Is it too late for me?! And what the heck is a KONG? My other dogs like being outside, even without me, but this one, you leave his site and it’s on. He likes to sleep with my son but just wakes up in the morning does circle on the bed and if the boy does not get up fast enough he just relieves himself right there on the bed. Thank God for waterproof mattress covers. Now that might work in their homes but that’s not going to fly in my house. And if they are sleeping in the bed how will I ever get this dog kennel trained? My others dogs sleep in their kennels at nite. And are they once a day eaters or twice, or just should I have food for him at all times. I am hopelessly lost. I want to train him so he can go live with his rightful owner, but all the websites lead me to believe this could be a lengthy process and I travel extensively, I don’t think he is going to be a great travel dog. HELP!

  • http://jontusmedia.com/ Jon Buscall

    Lovely looking lad! If he has the stamina, then go for it. I’ve personally not seen a basset out on a jog, but why not if he’s fit.

  • http://jontusmedia.com/ Jon Buscall

    The Kong is a toy: http://www.kongcompany.com/

    Sounds like you’ve got a lot on your hands. Toilet training with bassets can take time. I don’t know why. It just seems to come up a bazillion times in the breed.

    http://poochie-pets.net/ are the best training tool I know as it teaches the dog to signal clearly when it wants something.

    Otherwise, it’s a case of putting him on a schedule to get him out at certain times, rewarding him and then reinforcing it.

    It’s never too late to train a dog; he’s just not had clear signals and obviously needs a bit of help.

    Getting him to stay outside is also going to work in the long run but he’ll need positive reinforcement. To be honest, if it sounds a difficult process I’d seek help from an accredited trainer in your region.

    Best of luck !!!

  • Sascha

    I have a 12 week old Bassett named Turkish.We stay in a complex where a lot of noise can be a problem. I’m just worried about how bad the barking and howling is going to become. Any advice? ??

  • http://jontusmedia.com/ Jon Buscall

    Make sure you train T to cope with being alone. Lots of games and fun but then clear time outs when there is quiet time with something T likes. I often give mine a marrow bone to chew. They are really big and strong and don’t shatter so the dog concentrates on liking out the good stuff. I give them raw but frozen. Some dogs get an upset tummy from them but mine are fine.


    Sent from Mailbox for iPhone

  • Ricky n Jennifer

    Hi everyone…I would like to share our story…my name is Ricky and my wife is Jennifer..we are from sunny Sri Lanka. It was about 2 months back when I fell ill with a viral fever called Dengue. I escaped by the skin of my teeth loosoing my life. But during my stay in hospital out of nowhere the liking towards our friend in the basset came in to my heart. And just 3 days out of the hospital I was gifted our Basset “Pebbles”…Life has changed for us…it is difficult no doubt but my wife being a woof lover takes care of pebbles like our 3rd child. And she is a bundle of joy and love she has in her is unimaginable…we have had many woofs but from the looks of it Pebbles is gonna be on top of our list.

  • Ricky n Jennifer

    Hi everyone…I would like to share our story…my name is Ricky and my wife is Jennifer..we are from sunny Sri Lanka. It was about 2 months back when I fell ill with a viral fever called Dengue. I escaped by the skin of my teeth loosoing my life. But during my stay in hospital out of nowhere the liking towards our friend in the basset came in to my heart. And just 3 days out of the hospital I was gifted our Basset “Pebbles”…Life has changed for us…it is difficult no doubt but my wife being a woof lover takes care of pebbles like our 3rd child. And she is a bundle of joy… and the love she has to offer is unimaginable…we have had many woofs but from the looks of it Pebbles is gonna be on top of our list.

  • Ricky n Jennifer

    Hi everyone…I would like to share our story…my name is Ricky and my wife is Jennifer..we are from sunny Sri Lanka. It was about 2 months back when I fell ill with a viral fever called Dengue. I escaped by the skin of my teeth loosoing my life. But during my stay in hospital out of nowhere the liking towards our friend in the basset came in to my heart. And just 3 days out of the hospital I was gifted our Basset “Pebbles”…Life has changed for us…it is difficult no doubt but my wife being a woof lover takes care of pebbles like our 3rd child. And she is a bundle of joy and love she has in her is unimaginable…we have had many woofs but from the looks of it Pebbles is gonna be on top of our list.

  • Adrienne

    I am wanting to get a basset hound puppy sometime in the near future. I live in an apartment in Texas, which means limited space and intense weather, particularly heat. I’ve read bassets do well in apartments as long as they are exercised. My questions are: how long of a walk(s) should a new puppy take? How many times a day? Is it ok to take a puppy on a long walk after eating (I’m worried about bloat)? I have an 8-5 job where I can usually make it home during lunch, but there are days where I’m working out of town all day, so how much of a concern is it that the dog might have to go 8hrs without being let out? Like I previously mentioned, I live where it is really hot most of the time. The dog will be kept inside, but I’m worried about the puppy’s feet on hot asphalt. Should I look into getting shoes for the dog’s feet when we go on a walk, or is it best to let the feet grow accustomed to the asphalt. Also, I live on the second floor, will the dog be able to navigate the stairs alright? Or is it best to carry him? Will the dog do okay in a crate at night as long as the crate is in the same room as me? I’ve never had a dog that is only mine that I get to train from the beginning, so please forgive me if I ask questions most dog owners should already know the answer to. I just want to make sure I can take care of the little guy properly.

  • http://jontusmedia.com/ Jon Buscall

    Hi Adrienne,
    To be honest this doesn’t sound ideal.

    A basset will typically howl if left for 8 hours. In Sweden that’s actually against the law. They are very focused on their “pack” and if they’re left alone they are often very unhappy. Bassets do play, but toys just don’t have the same appeal as just hanging out close to someone.

    I’ve had owners who live in an apartment and they have managed quite well but you need an elevator in the building. The stairs are too much for a young basset because they’ll put an awful lot of stress on shoulders and elbows. As dwarf dogs they need plenty of time to mature and grow. You have to be incredibly careful with a young basset.

    As for asphalt, well that’s fine. I am sure he’d let you know if he was uncomfortable.

    Sorry to err on the negative here; I’m just speaking from my experience and the kind of discussions we have with potential puppy buyers.

    *Jon Buscall, PhD*
    Web: jontusmedia.com
    Twitter: @jonbuscall
    Skype: jonbuscall
    Email: jon@jontusmedia.com
    Tel: +46 76 863 72 85

  • sophie

    Have not had a puppy in a long time but ive had animals all my life. I just got a 7 week old basset puppy and i adoooore him. I can see him being a handfull at some point though. We are not really allowed dogs in the apt so my mother offered to keep it with the dad (long story short, my mothers dog is the puppys father) until we move. I can come visit, take him out, take care of him, even bring him home sometimes. Bought him toys, food, everything so hes comfy here. Do you think it would be bad for the dog to live in 2 places? Part time at my mothers and 2-3 days a week with me? Would that affect him much, in a bad way?

  • http://jontusmedia.com/ Jon Buscall

    Hey Sophie,
    He’ll adapt. I think dogs that go to doggy daycare can do really well. As long as they get plenty of attention, etc.

    I am a bit concerned you got him at 7 weeks. That’s a week too young to take him from his mother. Usually most breeders don’t let pups go until they are 8 weeks. It’s really important you are super careful with those sensitive joints. Absolutely no rough play ! Even if he wants to.

    Just be consistent in your training and he’ll be fine. Don’t overly spoil him when he’s with you unless you are specifically training him.

    I always recommend the work of John Dunbar or Victoria Stillwell. They work so well with positive reinforcement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-NBJfZM_RY

    Very best wishes,
    Jon

    *Jon Buscall, PhD*
    Web: jontusmedia.com
    Twitter: @jonbuscall
    Skype: jonbuscall
    Email: jon@jontusmedia.com
    Tel: +46 76 863 72 85

  • sophie

    Well actually the mom was taken away with the rest of the puppies 2 weeks ago(its a long story) :/ hes been with his daddy. He was born june 1st. Thats why im wondering if I should still leave him with his dad 3-4 days a week. And I had no idea I had to be carefull with exercises, hes been running a lot playing the pas 2 days, I will defenetly be really carefull. Thats my little guy :)
    Im wondering also, would he learn be potty trained more easily if hes with his dad? Or that probably wont make a difference.
    Thank you so much, Im really glad I found this page :)

  • http://jontusmedia.com/ Jon Buscall

    Following another dog will help with toilet training because he’ll see what he has to do. Just remember he needs lots of reward and praise for going outside. Bassets are notoriously hard to toilet train but they get there!
    Yes, definitely be careful with play. Especially if he’s around a fully grown adult male dog. He’s a dwarf dog: i.e. a big dog on very short legs and that leg mechanism needs to grow carefully and properly. All basset breeders I know warn against stairs, jumping off the sofa, rough and tumble, etc, until he’s much bigger. It’s a pain the first few months with breeds like this but if you don’t take care of them as they are growing you can get no end of problems later.

    If he gets boisterous and wants to burn off energy, use his mind! He’ll love scent training and games that use his nose.

    *Jon Buscall, PhD*
    Web: jontusmedia.com
    Twitter: @jonbuscall
    Skype: jonbuscall
    Email: jon@jontusmedia.com
    Tel: +46 76 863 72 85

  • sophie

    Another question, well 2 :)
    I’ve read that a puppy needs to be fed 4 times a day, and I’ve also read that twice a day is good, which is it. And since the pup is very yougn I only take him to my place when I know I have my days off, the rest of the time like Ive said above he is at my mother’s house with his dad, she works from home so the pup is never by himself. By how many weeks old would you say I could start leaving him by himself?

  • http://jontusmedia.com/ Jon Buscall

    I feed an 8 week old pup three to four small meals a day. At least three meals a day until he is 4 months old. He must not get fat !

    You can start training, leaving him for short periods but it takes time. Even adult bassets will struggle being left alone for more than a couple of hours because they are such pack animals. You will have to build it up over time.

    *Jon Buscall, PhD*
    Web: jontusmedia.com
    Twitter: @jonbuscall
    Skype: jonbuscall
    Email: jon@jontusmedia.com
    Tel: +46 76 863 72 85

  • Karen Horton

    my moms dog is going on 7. they live in an upstairs apartment. please get your bassit away from stairs! my parents dog has arthritis so bad now! were taking him to the vet in the am to make sure its nothing worse. he now cant make it up the stairs, cries if you try to carry him up, the weather changes hurt him, and he has to sleep in front of a space heater to keep from being sore and stiff. oh and tonight it was decided hes moving into my apartment since i live on the first floor and there is no stairs. im ok w this as long as he isnt in pain. stairs will cause him p/her pain in the long run.

  • Laura

    I got my basset hound when she was 6 weeks old – she’ll be a year old on September 9th! I had no idea that young basset hounds are not supposed to exercise too much either so I would take her to work with me (doggy daycare) and she would run around everywhere and play rough with other dogs. Right now, she seems to be fine – but I can’t speak for the future when she gets older. But she is also very well potty trained! You just have to take him out every hour or two and tell him to go potty and give him a treat when he does. ALWAYS praise him when he does something good and giving him LOTS of attention is good. My Quincy Mae is the sweetest pup ever and she’s really well behaved except recently when I took her to the vet, she kept barking but I think it’s because that’s what she was used to at the daycare when she sees other dogs to play. She always barks whenever she is playing or wants to play.

  • http://jontusmedia.com/ Jon Buscall

    Laura, don’t stress. If you haven’t seen any problems yet, don’t worry. Young bassets that over exercise or play rough and tumble often show probs with walking, limping, etc. At a year old she sounds very robust.

    *Jon Buscall, PhD*
    Web: jontusmedia.com
    Twitter: @jonbuscall
    Skype: jonbuscall
    Email: jon@jontusmedia.com
    Tel: +46 76 863 72 85

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  • Laura

    I haven’t noticed any signs of discomfort and she continues to run around in our backyard and play rough with her shih tzu brother. Last week, when we went to the vet, she said that Quincy Mae was small. She’s 35 lbs. And she didn’t find any problems with her :) I’m glad that I don’t have to worry about when she gets older and end up having lots of issues because of this. Thank you so much!

  • http://jontusmedia.com/ Jon Buscall

    It’s always a worry with dwarf breeds. I’ve found it’s important to give my dogs a big of glucosomine as they get older. It helps.

    *Jon Buscall, PhD*
    Web: jontusmedia.com
    Twitter: @jonbuscall
    Skype: jonbuscall
    Email: jon@jontusmedia.com
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  • sophie

    My puppy is now 3months and 1 week old. Im so afraid hes going to grow up and be unbearably needy. He cant spend 2minutes without me!! Is that normal? Should I ignore him? If Im on the couch he cries because hes on the floor. If Im on the bed he cries because hes not on the bed with me. When I go to the bathroom he cries in front of the door and dometimes he barks at me when Im in the shower! I love him to death. I just want to make sure Im not doing something wrong. Hes an awesome dog, I like to think its typicsl puppy behavior but what if its not :/ am I making him needy??

  • sophie

    My puppy is now 3months and 1 week old. Im so afraid hes going to grow up and be unbearably needy. He cant spend 2minutes without me!! Is that normal? Should I ignore him? If Im on the couch he cries because hes on the floor. If Im on the bed he cries because hes not on the bed with me. When I go to the bathroom he cries in front of the door and sometimes he barks at me when Im in the shower! I love him to death. I just want to make sure Im not doing something wrong. Hes an awesome dog, I like to think its typicsl puppy behavior but what if its not :/ am I making him needy? Im afraid when I start leaving him by himself hes going to go insane and depressed..

  • Laura

    That is exactly how mine was. He just has a separation anxiety. I let mine sleep with me and come with me in the bathroom, but she is a lot better than she was when she was younger. I think they just need to learn that everything will be okay and that you’re not going anywhere. I was gone for the whole summer and when I came home, she freaked out and started crying and hugging me and gave me lots of kisses, it would last for like 10 minutes. But your basset is still a baby so to me, I think it’s normal that he’s really needy and doesn’t want to be separated from you. That’s like how a human baby is. They’re needy and has to be with their momma.

  • http://jontusmedia.com/ Jon Buscall

    Yup, sounds like separation anxiety to me. The only way to get rid of this is to be firm in your resolve and not give in. Reward good behaviour. i.e. if she’s sitting on floor quietly, reward her. If she stays for a couple of seconds in her basket when you go towards leaving the room, reward her. I have overcome this by playing games with mine when they are young: they have to stay as I leave the room. Eventually they start to learn that you leaving means you come back with a treat. In the longrun you just remove the treat and change if for a different reward like a belly rub. It’s hard work with some bassets (dogs) but it’s worth it. Otherwise you could end up with a barking adult that drives everyone bonkers.

    I would do some research on clicker training / separation anxiety. This is what I’ve found works best.

    *Jon Buscall, PhD*
    Web: jontusmedia.com
    Twitter: @jonbuscall
    Skype: jonbuscall
    Email: jon@jontusmedia.com
    Tel: +46 76 863 72 85

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  • sophie

    Thank you laura thats reassuring :)

  • sophie

    I will defenetly start being more firm with him and defenetly teach him to stay. Its the face! Its that darn hush puppy face that makes it impossible to be mad or firm with!! I need to work on that.
    Even if I have him only 2-3days a week I think he remembers things that I teach him as long as I repeat it all the time. Somethings are harder because my mother doesnt really train him for anything, I think she lets him do whatever. So I have to repeat twice as much when I pick him up… Her dogs have always turned out fine though. I guess they just grow out of it.

  • sophie

    Hi Jon :) So my Charlie is now 4 months old, he wont stop bitting and chewing his ears!! Does he not feel pain? Should I let him be or take the ears out of his teeth when I see him? I try to give him toys instead but he loves them ears wayy more lol. What should I do? Its so gross too because they are all slimy and then he tries to cuddle with them flapping all over loll eewww! Help!

  • http://jontusmedia.com/ Jon Buscall

    Have you checked if he has an infection ?

  • sophie

    No infection, I clean his ears every 1-2 weeks. I think hes teething on his ears or something.. does that make sense??

  • http://www.about.me/robin.martin Robin Martin

    He could have ear mites…? I love Bassetts! I grew up with a female, Lulabelle. Adorable dogs…but they do have ear problems such as infections, etc. and they have to stay clean. Glad to see you’re on top of it!

  • sophie

    Hi, I doubt he has anything, Ive been going to the vet monthly for his shots and all I think they wouldve told me if there was anything. I think it might be just a bad habit cause his ears are really reaaaaally looong! I just dont know what to do to break that habit

  • http://jontusmedia.com/ Jon Buscall

    Yes, could be ear mites. You need to consult your vet.

    *Jon Buscall, PhD*
    Web: jontusmedia.com
    Twitter: @jonbuscall
    Skype: jonbuscall
    Email: jon@jontusmedia.com
    Tel: +46 76 863 72 85

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  • sophie

    This might be a stupid question…How do I stop my 5month old puppy from always eating others dogs poop in the park!!!!! I turn my back 2seconds and he has his face in a poop! lol I’ve met Basset owners that have told me that they do that even when adults..will this stop? -_-

  • http://jontusmedia.com/ Jon Buscall

    There can be two reasons for this: 1) he’s not getting enough nutrients from the food you’re giving him. I.e. feed him a premium dog food (I feed raw).
    OR the 2) the poop he is coming across has a lot of food still in it ! Dogs can’t digest cereals and other fillers in dog food so some dogs will go for poop, realising it still has a high food content.

    Best of luck !

  • sophie

    Ok yes thats what I thought, Im actually changing his food to Acana right now Ive heard a lot a good things about it. We’ll see how it goes with that.
    Thank you!

  • http://jontusmedia.com/ Jon Buscall

    It’s good, but go gently. It can take a couple of weeks for them to really get sorted on another food. It’s best to introduce it slowly.

    *Jon Buscall, PhD*
    Web: jontusmedia.com
    Twitter: @jonbuscall
    Skype: jonbuscall
    Email: jon@jontusmedia.com
    Tel: +46 76 863 72 85

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  • Guest

    http://www.acana.com/

    Im planning on feeding him raw eventually but for the moment Im switching to Acana like I said. If you have a few minutes maybe you could let me know if you think it is a good choice?

  • http://jontusmedia.com/ Jon Buscall

    Of all the kibbles, I think Acana is one of the best. It has rice in it, which is a bit of a filler. That’s why I prefer Orijen by the same company; however, some dogs find Orijen too rich.

    See how it goes! Good luck.

    *Jon Buscall, PhD*
    Web: jontusmedia.com
    Twitter: @jonbuscall
    Skype: jonbuscall
    Email: jon@jontusmedia.com
    Tel: +46 76 863 72 85

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