Black Basset Hound

The black basset hound is a short-legged member of the hound family. This dog was originally bred for hunting because they have a sharp sense of smell and an ability to track a scent that is second only to the bloodhound. 

This hound originated in France and is part of France’s recognized basset-type breeds. Their name, basset, was derived from the French word bas, which means “low”, and the following suffix et, which translates to “rather low.”

This breed of basset hound is unique because it is generally black as opposed to the brown, black, and white of other bassets. 

These dogs have a long body with a robust chest and short legs and highly held, curved tails. They weigh between 40 to 65 pounds, making them heavier than many dogs of their size. 

Black basset hounds were bred from bloodhounds and possess a loose skin structure which gives them their trademark look of melancholy.

The loose skin on the dog is actually very special because the skin around the neck, known as a dewlap, and its trailing ears help trap the scent of whatever it is trailing. 

Their necks are wider than their heads, so that combined with the loose skin around their faces and necks makes it easy for collars to slip off. Owners should take great care with these dogs to make sure they don’t get lost.

The basset has a large nose that houses extraordinary olfactory receptor cells. The basset’s form is due to dwarfism, but their body structure is very long.This can be deceiving because their structure can help them reach things at elevations other dogs their height cannot reach. 

Because of their short legs, bassets are not good swimmers. They are not able to hold themselves above water for too long and should always be supervised when in water. 


The black basset has short black fur which is smooth and soft, though it frequently sheds. This breed has a white tip on their tail to help hunters keep up with their tracking through the underbrush. It has a naturally oily skin that gives off a hound scent only found within their breed. 


The black basset hound, like other members of the basset family, is friendly, playful, outgoing and tolerant of kids and other pets. They are very devoted to their tracking and are vocal. They are also noted to be stubborn. Therefore, prospective owners should prepare to be patient and handle them with firmness. 


The black basset hound has large, hanging ears that do not allow the circulation of air inside them. Therefore, from time to time, the inside of their ears must be cleaned thoroughly to avoid ear mites and infections. 

These hounds regularly suffer from elbow dysplasia due to the bone growth abnormality from which they suffer.

If the dysplasia is not checked, it may become arthritis in their elbow joint. Basset hounds, dachshunds, and bulldogs are among the breeds known as achondroplastic because of the dwarfism they suffer. 

Black basset hounds can suffer eye problems due to the flesh of their droopy eyes which collect dirt to the point of being filled with mucus if not kept clean.

They are also prone to yeast infections around the folds of their mouth, which hold collections of drool that will not dry out on their own. 

It is best to keep a basset fit or it is bound to suffer from bone or joint problems, paralysis, or gastric dilatation-volvulus (twisted stomach). 

Mortality Rate

Like other bassets, the black basset lives approximately 10- 13 years, which is the median age for purebreds and other dogs of the same size. The oldest basset hound lived 16.7 years. The leading causes of death in this  are cancer, old age, gastric dilation volvulus, and cardiac arrest. Basset hounds are easily affected by glaucoma, epilepsy, von Willebrand disease, thrombopathia, luxating patella, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and elbow dysplasia.

Hunting with Black Bassets

Black bassets are born to hunt; they have a one-of-a-kind nose and their short stature is best suited for small game hunting.

The history of bassets in hunting began in 1959 by Colonel Morrison, who bred and developed their species for hunting. His breed had straighter and longer legs with shorter ears, but founded the lineage of modern black basset hounds.


The black basset hound requires less exercise because of its body type. All it needs is a daily walk in the park or along the street at a moderate pace; these dogs can also benefit with enough playtime to exercise their muscles and minds.

Owners should avoid any form of physical activity after the dog has eaten; this avoids it getting bloated or sick. 

Black basset hounds can make wonderful companions for families as well as excellent partners for those who are looking for a hunting partner. 


Hello, I'm Shelly! I write about all things dogs. I'm a proud mother of 3. So I guess my official title is fulltime mother, part-time dog blogger. Look around and if you have any questions reach out to me