When I was growing up, my family lived about a mile away from a Basset Hound hunting club. We lived in a pretty rural area, so hunting clubs were pretty normal.
However, this farm had over 50 basset hounds living on the property. That is a LOT of dogs.
To be honest, my experience living close to this farm put a negative taste in my mouth when it came to Basset Hounds.
They were loud. Constantly loud. But I never really met one in person until a close friend of mine adopted one years later.
That’s when I learned my lesson to not let past experiences ruin your view on a particular breed! Now, I am obsessed with Basset Hounds and if I ever get the opportunity to own one, I would not think twice.
By the way, hi dog moms and dads! My name is Bri and I am a loving dog mom to an American Bulldog and Pitbull mix named Bruce! Bruce has extremely sensitive skin and he sheds like crazy.
Had I known this before I adopted him… well let’s be honest it would never have changed a single thing.
However, I do wish I would have been a little more prepared to handle how much he sheds before I brought him home.
My friend with the Basset Hound learned a similar lesson when she brought him home. Turns out, Basset Hounds shed like crazy too.
Luckily my friend is a lot like me, so her dog’s pet hair did not change how much she cared about him! It did however cause her to adjust her lifestyle.
After seeing what she and I both went through with our dogs, I decided to help other pet owners who are considering bringing home a Basset Hound by putting together one of my shedding guides for the breed!
I will cover the basics that any pet owner would want to know about their dog. How much they shed, when they shed more, health conditions that affect shedding, and how you can manage their shedding.
First, let’s talk about the history of the Basset Hound!
History of the Basset Hound
How cute is this – the word basset is French for low. Their name literally means “low hound” and for whatever reason I think that is the cutest thing in the world.
Clearly, Basset Hounds descend from France and Belgium. They were bred for hunting small game such as rabbit and deer and have one of the most intelligent sense of smell across all dog breeds.
This is what initially spiked their popularity. French aristocrats needed these dogs for hunting, which was their key to life.
The were recognized officially by the American Kennel club in 1885 and are still commonly used for hunting today.
However, families also fall in love with their droopy eyes, soft and long ears and their sweet personalities.
They are also quite famous for their skills in dog shows all over the world!
What is a Basset Hound’s Coat Like?
Basset Hounds are a short-haired breed with super soft coats. They are usually multicolored with white, brown and black spots all over their stubby little bodies.
Their short fur requires regular brushing to control shedding. Their overcoat is made for them to be outdoors with a waxy layer that helps deflect water.
The undercoat keeps them warm during all their adventures.
Do Basset Hounds Shed? How Much?
To quote the American Kennel Club, “The Basset’s short hair can shed profusely.” If that does not make it clear, let’s go into detail.
Like other short-haired dogs, Basset Hounds lose hair quite frequently. However, the American Kennel Club also only classifies them as “Occasional Shedders.”
This is one of those breeds that will leave traces of fur everywhere they go. That means your floors, couch bed, food and my favorite, your coffee, will be at risk!
You will especially see it when you pet them, which will be all the time. I get handfuls of Bruce’s fur every time I pet him, which again, is all the time.
When do Basset Hounds Shed the Most?
There are a handful of factors that affect how much Basset Hounds shed. Some of them are pretty obvious, but some of them might take you by surprise!
Let’s take a look at those circumstances:
Time of year
This is by far the most influential piece to this puzzle. There are two times in a year when dogs shed the most, which are called shedding seasons.
Shedding season occurs when the seasons are changing, once from winter to summer and again from summer to winter.
During the winter to summer transition, Basset Hounds will shed their thick undercoats to keep them cool.
The exact opposite happens during the transition from summer to winter. In this case, pups will shed their light summer coats to make room for their thicker winter fur.
This is extremely important to help Basset Hounds maintain a healthy body temperature.
Owners should fully support this by brushing their dogs throughout these two seasons which will help keep their skin and coats nice and healthy.
Stage of life
Stage of life is not as commonly recognized as having a great impact on shedding. However, it is definitely worth mentioning – remember the goal is to learn as much as possible about this breed!
Puppies have puppy coats. Much like people lose their baby teeth, puppies eventually shed their puppy coats when they mature!
When this happens, you will obviously see an increase in shedding. It might even take multiple days for them to fully lose their puppy fur.
Once they lose it, their shedding will start to balance out as they age into adulthood. However, once they start to get older, they may start to shed more frequently again.
This is all perfectly normal!
Diet & exercise
Just like with people, the right diet and exercise can make a big difference on their health. In dogs, their coats will greatly reflect the signs of a healthy diet and exercise.
Basset hounds, like all dogs, need the right nutrients to fuel their little stubby legs. And smooshy faces. And floppy ears.
Okay sorry, but seriously these nutrients will make their skin healthy, which in turn will keep their fur healthy. Same goes for exercise.
If they are over or underweight and unhealthy it can reflect in their coats.
Skin conditions and pests
This actually makes a bigger difference than some people might think! If you have ever seen a dog with fleas, I am sure you know how irritating it can be for the dog.
They constantly scratch, lick and bite at themselves which causes their fur to come out. Skin conditions like mange, alopecia and even common allergies can have the same affect.
It is extremely important to take note if your dog is shedding more than usual. We will get more into health considerations later.
How to Combat Basset Hound Shedding
I highly recommend not trying to reduce the shedding of your Basset Hound. I prefer to maintain it!
The best way to do so is by getting into a routine. Grooming is going to be your best friend here!
Brushing your Basset Hound once a week at least will be astronomical in controlling your dog’s shedding.
If you can get a majority of your dog’s lose fur out during a good brushing session, you can keep all that hair from getting all over your home.
While the American Kennel Club tells us that Basset Hounds do not need frequent baths to keep them clean, the occasional one can actually help you control their shedding.
A good bath will loosen up any dead fur.
Once the pup is washed and dried, this is a great time to brush them since that fur will be loosened from the bath!
Tools and Equipment to help Combat Basset Hound Shedding
Every dog parent needs tools to help them make their lives and the lives of their dogs better. The three main tools that I could not live without are my dog brush, my lint roller and my vacuum cleaner.
A brush is obviously the most important tool here. I highly recommend the Furminator brush for most short-haired dogs, but especially Basset Hounds.
The Furminator is built for getting all the loose hair off of your dog while combing through undercoat.
It is gentle and Bruce always thinks he is just getting a nice pupper massage. He is a huge fan of these brushing sessions!
The next tool I could not live without is the MagikBrush Lint Brush. This is not your typical lint roller; it does not have the plastic sheets that you tear off over and over again and eventually have to replace.
However, they do an incredible job of getting pet hair off of ANY surface. I use them on my clothes and furniture but even in my car.
To clean it you just take a cloth and wipe the fur right off! This is also better for the environment since you do not have to throw away sheet after sheet.
Last but certainly not least, any dog parent with a shedder at home needs a good vacuum. Without it you will lose your mind trying to keep your house clean.
My absolute favorite vacuum for the three years that I have owned Bruce (I bought it when we adopted him) is the Dyson Cordless vacuum. This thing is the all-time champion of pet hair.
Plus, being cordless makes it so easy to vacuum my stairs and even my furniture. I use this a few times a week and it never fails me!
It is a little expensive, but I promise this is an investment that is well worth the money.
I went through a few vacuums because the pet hair got so bad, and probably spent the same amount of money getting a new one every 6 months as what I spent on this one that has lasted for years.
With these three tools in your back pocket, you will not have any trouble staying ahead of the dog hair that plagues us all. That is, as long as you remember to use them!
Health Considerations in Basset Hound Shedding
Unfortunately, excess shedding is not normally a good sign in dogs. While it might be something minor like allergies or a treatable case of mange, it could also be a sign of something worse.
Internal conditions such as cancer break down a dog’s health from the inside out. You might not know what is wrong with your dog, but you can watch for certain symptoms that are red flags.
They could show signs of a loss in appetite, lack of energy, and the biggest one could be excess shedding. It is crucial for dog parents to keep this in mind and take notice of any abnormalities in their dog.
This could save their lives!
Final Thoughts: Do Basset Hounds Shed?
Although I was not a huge fan of Basset Hounds growing up, I now see how incredibly loving and smart they are. Their sense of smell is something to be both awed and appreciated.
While I do not do much hunting, I do know that these pups have been astronomical to those that do.
Even if you just want a Basset Hound as a companion and not necessarily to track down your next meal, these pups are great to have in any home.
As far as shedding goes, there is no reason why any pet owner would not be able to manage a Basset Hound. A quick brush a few times a week is all it takes to keep their shedding under control.
Those tools I mentioned, combined with a bunch of kisses and love, will make both your Basset Hound and you and your family very happy!
Hopefully this information is helpful if you are considering bringing home a Basset Hound! Happy Pup Parenting!