Miniature Basset Hounds
Breed Guide: Miniature Basset Hounds
Although some breeders will try to claim otherwise, true miniature basset hounds are virtually nonexistent. Most basset hounds sold as miniatures are actually just your everyday basset hound, only on the smaller end of the weight/size scale (often referred to as a “runt”). Basset hounds have a tendency to become very large if they are overfed or are not given the proper amount of exercise, which may encourage people to believe that healthy, albeit smaller, bassets are miniature basset hounds. If you would still like to consider a basset hound as a pet, it’s important to understand the physical and personality traits that this breed possesses, which we are going to talk about in this article. We will also talk about a few true miniature alternatives that are quite similar to the basset hound.
The basset hound is a short-legged, long-bodied breed of dog that falls into the “hound” family. Although this breed appears very sturdy, they tend to be heavier than they appear, often weighing an average of about 55 pounds. This doesn’t sound like much, but this breed only reaches a height around one to one and a half feet. The basset has very long ears and loose skin that often lies in folds around the base of the neck and legs. They have slightly sunken eyes and very droopy jowls that contribute to the basset’s trademark sad-looking expression.
The basset hound was originally a hunting breed whose keen nose was used to track small ground animals, although few people actually use bassets for this purpose anymore. It is important to realize that because basset hounds have such long ears, they are particularly susceptible to developing ear diseases. Another common medical issue to be prepared for is yeast infections in the mouth. As the skin on a basset’s face has many folds, drool can gather within these areas and develop a yeast infection. This can easily be prevented by simply wiping the area down with a towel a couple of times a day.
The basset’s personality makes is a very popular family dog. Most bassets are easy going but can become lazy if they are not stimulated into activity. They are peaceful dogs that are famous for their friendliness and acceptance of children, strangers, and other dogs. A basset will bark at an unfamiliar noise, so one would make a good watchdog but not a good protector as he would be keen to welcome strangers. Bassets like to goof around but you probably wouldn’t notice a great deal of activity emanating from a basset. They would be quite content to chill out all day taking random naps and such if they are left to do so, which is why it’s important for a basset’s owner to take the initiative to see that the basset gets enough daily exercise, even if it’s just a few walking laps around the house.
If you are looking for a smaller breed of dog but like the amiability of the basset’s personality, you may want to consider getting a miniature dachshund or a miniature beagle. Both dogs fall into the hound family and are very easy to get along with. Dachshunds have the same sort of body structure as a basset with a long body and short legs, but their ears aren’t as long and their skin has a tighter consistency. The dachshund’s activity and diet will have to be monitored just as a basset’s would, as they too can easily become overweight. The dachshund and basset share a similar stubbornness, so you may find it hard to get a response when giving a command. The beagle’s body is a little more proportional in regards to a height/length ratio, but their colorings look much more similar to a basset’s. The beagle is much more willing to seek out activity and less prone to laziness than bassets and dachshunds, but they still should be allowed daily trips outdoors (in a secured area or on a leash) for adequate exercise. The beagle doesn’t have the same stubborn streak as the basset and dachshund, but his mind can wander at the drop of a hat if he catches an interesting scent, which may result in failure to respond to a command. This can usually be corrected with early training.
Even though miniature basset hounds are not truly existent yet, you never know what the future may hold! Best of luck in choosing your future pet!