Basset comes from the French word bas, which means low, or short. But just because they’re short doesn’t mean they’re delicate: These dogs are typically only 14 inches tall but weigh a whopping 50 to 60 pounds on average.
The head is large and well-proportioned with a rounded skull. The muzzle is deep and heavy with the length being greater than the width at the brow. The brown eyes have a soft, sad look to them and are slightly sunken with a prominent haw. The darkly pigmented lips have loose hanging flews and the dewlap is very pronounced. The skin hangs loose like elastic and falls in folds on the head.
The velvety ears are set low and extremely long hanging toward the ground. The large teeth meet in either a scissors or even bite. The chest is very deep, extending in front of the front legs. The dog’s hindquarters are very full and round. The paws are big. The dewclaws may be removed. The coat is dense, short, hard and shiny. There are no rules concerning color, but it is usually black, tan, white, red, or white with chestnut or sand-colored markings.
French aristocrats bred these dogs from bloodhounds to use while hunting
They were used to track a variety of animals, but especially rabbits and hares.
The dog's large, floppy ears have a job to do. As a basset hound trots across the ground, its ears help bring smells directly to its face, while its dewlap (the loose skin underneath its chin) helps trap them.
The Basset Hound will do okay in an apartment. They are very inactive indoors but outdoors they will run for hours in play if given the chance. They will do okay without a yard, but should be given plenty of opportunities to run and play to keep healthy and trim.
The smooth, shorthaired coat is easy to groom. Comb and brush with a firm bristle brush, and shampoo only when necessary. Wipe under the ears every week and trim toenails regularly. This breed is a constant shedder.
As a result of being so low to the ground, bassets pick up more dirt than other dogs—which means they need frequent baths if you want your house to stay clean. Additionally, their eyes need frequent wiping to prevent infection, and because those large ears don’t circulate air very well, they need to be cleaned at least once a week.