Once you go basset, you never go back. At least, that’s the buzz on the internet if the hundreds of forums and Facebook groups dedicated to Living La Vida Basset are any indication. (Yes, exclusive groups for basset lovers exist, and they are glorious.)
So what’s it like to own one of these goofy-yet-grumpy, droopy-yet-cuddly, furry-yet-frumpy friends? From the first moment you gaze into the sweet, soulful eyes of a basset pup, that will eventually grow into a perpetually serious hound, your life will never be the same again.
Bassets are a “members only” dog breed for a reason — basset owners just can’t get enough of their lovably serious mugs. There are reasons basset hounds are kind of a big deal.
1. The innocence
On the surface, this Eeyore-inspired breed may look like it can do no wrong, but basset lover Lindsay Griffiths swears her two hounds Barney and Oliver are a handful. Griffiths says they have “such different and strong personalities” that are all their own.
2. The stubbornness
Image: Don DeBold/Flickr
Forget playing dead — a basset’s favorite trick is to pretend it can’t hear you, says Nancy Wadsworth of Delicious Yogini. You can just call it “strong-willed” the next time your hound acts like it doesn’t know you at the dog park.
3. The silliness
For such a serious-looking breed always on the hunt, bassets have a goofy rep behind closed doors. Nancy Fullbright says 10-year-old Sadie is still like a playful puppy on most days. “She’s goofy and oblivious and would probably walk right in front of a car if I didn’t have her leashed!”
4. The cuteness
Anna Crowe Bates says that her basset Norman’s cutest trick is enough to melt your heart — a move she affectionately calls the tuck. “Tucking [his] nose is an everyday cuteness factor.”
5. The drama
The word on the street is that bassets are lazy, but that’s just what they want you to believe. That moment when your basset trudges through the house and acts like everything is a chore, you know you’ve been had. Griffiths quips, “Asking a basset hound to do anything is met begrudgingly — unless it involves food.”
6. The drool
Spend an afternoon with a basset, bring a raincoat. Drool is an inevitable part of basset life. Griffiths says, “The drool… oh, the drool. I have a periodic wipe down of the walls and regular moments of, ‘How did that get up there?'”
7. The ears
Bassets are nothing if not resourceful. Griffiths says Barney loves to use his big, floppy ears as a sleep mask when she leaves the light on for too long.
8. The hopping
More cute points for Norman the Basset: Bates says he likes to hop like a bunny when he gets excited.
9. The sniffing
Any hound dog owner can tell you, “The nose knows.” Fullbright says, “I could never, ever let my basset hound Sadie loose without a leash because her nose would carry her away.”
10. The reaching
Bassets may look little because they’re close to the ground, but they’re really full-sized dogs on short legs. Word to the wise: Watch out the next time you leave muffins cooling on the countertop — they’re not going to last long.
11. The howling
Hounds are known for their howls, and no one knows this better than proud basset mama Ruth Carter, owner of Carter Law Firm. Her quirky dog Rosie howls every time she hears the phone ring. Every. Single. Time.
12. The moping
Image: Yasmin Elizabeth/Flickr
Perfect at looking pathetic in the hopes of scoring a treat, that daily, down-in-the-dumps basset expression is actually its happy face. Look closer and you’ll see its “smize.” Tyra would be so proud.
13. The snuggling
Don’t let that hot-dog-shaped body fool you. Griffiths says her big bassets don’t know their own size — they have no problem climbing up and snuggling on her lap.
14. The brains
If you never thought you’d see the day when a dog would ring the doorbell to get your attention, just try keeping Frank the Basset away from his beloved backyard.
15. The brawn
Bassets may be smaller than some of the big dogs on the block, but they are mighty — and dense. Carter says, “My Rosie squishes dog beds within weeks unless I get her a memory foam bed.”
16. The love
At the end of a long day, there’s nothing like curling up with a big basset on the couch. According to Fullbright, every basset she’s encountered has been docile and sweet. Need one more reason to appreciate man’s best hound? Fullbright says, “They are just good-natured dogs.”