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» The Top Six Myths about Basset Hounds

1. Basset hounds are less intelligent than other dogs.

Bassets are very intelligent, but they also possess an independent nature and low desire to please their people. This blend of characteristics can make them frustrating to live with, but it also means that they’re a fascinating challenge to a dog trainer. Train your basset with lots of positive motivation—they respond especially well to food rewards—and you’ll see how smart they really are!

2. Basset hounds are medium-sized dogs.

Technically, but a sturdy male basset weighing upwards of seventy pounds might make you doubt that technicality. Bassets are strong, solid dogs who can really pull on their leashes; don’t underestimate them!

3. Basset hounds are short-haired dogs that don’t shed.

Bassets shed a LOT despite their short coats. Regular brushings (especially with a currycomb or hound’s glove) help quite a bit, but be prepared to get to know your vacuum cleaner if you add a basset to your family. Luckily, bassets seem much less terrified of vacuum cleaners than do most other breeds!

4. Basset hounds are good companions to take on off-lead romps through the woods.

Bassets love to be taken on walks, but they always should be kept on a lead (a Flexi-Lead works well, since it gives your basset freedom but will still keep him under your control). When not leashed, a basset might decide to follow his nose and leave you without a thought, only realizing what he’s done when he’s miles away and unable to return home. Don’t take chances with the safety of your basset; either keep him on a leash or let him play within the confines of a fenced-in yard.

5. Basset hounds bond better with other dogs than they do with human beings.

Bassets were bred to exist companionably with other dogs in packs, and they DO tend to get along well with each other. But they also love people; very few breeds are as affectionate toward human beings as the basset hound. Most bassets bond very strongly with their people, showing none of the aloofness of some of the other hounds.

6. Basset hounds are couch potatoes who laze around all day barely breathing.

Perhaps some bassets are loafers, but I've never met them. Nearly all bassets are active, busy dogs who get into trouble regularly. Many chew and are destructive. Others regularly overturn garbage pails and shred paper. And, of course, any food within basset reach (and they're a long dog who can reach quite far up on a kitchen counter when motivated to do so) is fair game. Be prepared for anything with a basset!

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