Basset hound temperament differs slightly between different dogs, but there are many common Basset behavior traits that are shared within the breed.
Bassets are pack hounds and will see their owners as members of their pack and will attempt to work their way to become the leader to the best of their abilities. Making note of these tendencies will allow for you to understand basset hound temperament.
Although originally bred for the hunt, Basset Hounds are social, friendly dogs that are renown for being gentle and tolerant with children and other pets, making them an ideal choice for a loyal family pet. Basset Hounds thrive in a family environment and appreciate having people around to keep them company. Basset Hounds can be stubborn at times and can take more training and patience at times. This again relates back to their pack hound tendencies and the desire to become the leader of the pack. A calm, confident and authoritative approach is needed with a Basset to remain in full control. Owners must make sure that they are consistent with the rules of the house in order to positively enforce the rules of the house. Bassets can also be mischievous and may attempt to get their own way if left to their own devices. A Basset can appear to be sound asleep until they detect the scent of food in the air and will most likely spring up and run straight to the kitchen.
Basset Hound Activity levels
Basset Hounds are often commonly misconceived as being lazy and slow moving animals – maybe due to their short legs and droopy expressions. In actuality, Basset Hounds are highly energetic and playful and require a moderate amount of exercise in order to stay healthy and in shape. Bassets will thrive in a home environment where they ideally have an area to run around and play in. Regular walks are a good idea to keep Bassets happy and in shape Basset Hounds are very enthusiastic in greeting owners, especially after not seeing them for a while and will most likely run to greet you with a great level of excitement. While Bassets have a high level of energy, they will likely take regular naps throughout the day and enjoy relaxing in a warm place in the sun.
While Bassets thrive around humans and other animals, it is also important to let him/her get used to healthy lengths of alone time. If your dog is never alone, occasions where you do end up spending time away will be a lot harder for the Basset to process. This can lead to anxiety and other problems. You can train your Basset Hound to get used to being alone by giving him/her a toy to play with while your dog is in it’s usual sleeping area and then leaving the room. Stay out of sight and try not to succumb to any whining – simply wait until your Basset settles down. When they are playing quietly, return to the room, praise him and reward your dog with a treat. This is best done at a young age as part of socialisation and reinforcing positive behavior in this way is a very important part of preparing your puppy for being around other dogs and people.
A rewarding companion
With socialisation and a consistent reward system that is enforced and understood by the whole family, your Basset will thrive in the home environment! People will often say that Basset Hounds are quite hard to train, but with a little insight into the pack dog mentality, you will reap the rewards of having a loyal, happy and healthy Basset again and again.