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Male Vs. Female Basset Hound: How Different Are They?

Male Vs. Female Basset Hound: How Different Are They?

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Both female and male pups of the Basset Hound breed are generally perceived as desirable pets due to their gentle and friendly nature. Knowing which of the two genders to get is necessary to determine which one is better suited for you as each one offers a slightly different experience. However, you should keep in mind that gender should not be the ultimate nor the only factor in your decision.

That being said, if you are into laid back, clingy, and playful pups, the male Basset is perfect for you. On the other hand, if you want a Basset hound that can be easily trained, is gentle around kids, and is independent, then you might want to opt for a female dog of this breed.

In our male vs. female Basset Hound guide, we will lay out all the details you need to know about the differences between the male and female Basset Hound. As a sneak peek, we can say that male and female Bassets have little difference in temperament and trainability. But, nonetheless, these differences have to be considered.

So, all of you eager up-and-coming Basset Hound owners, get ready to explore an in-depth inspection of both genders.

Basset Hound comparison table

Taller and heavierSmaller and lighter
ClingierMore independent
Love attentionDon't need much attention
More competitiveLess competitive
Mature slowerMature faster
Harder to housebreakEasier to housebreak
More playfulMore serious
Less hypoallergenicMore hypoallergenic
More friendly with female dogsMore friendly with male dogs
More activeMore protective
Neutering is less expensiveSpaying is more expensive

Why Basset Hounds are the best

Basset Hound standing outdoors

Before we venture into the male vs. female Basset Hound topic, let’s first take a look at the characteristics that make this breed exceptional family pets:

• Basset Hounds are very loving.

• They are sturdy dogs with lots of stamina, which means they can keep up with energetic and active children.

• Bassets are friendly and outgoing.

• These pups love to be around people, including kids.

• Basset Hounds have an easygoing nature.

• Bassets are very playful.

• Dogs of this breed are patient and very tolerant of noise and other activities.

• Basset Hounds are loyal and very protective of their family. They will also lookout for your children.

Considering the things we mentioned above, these pups truly are one of the best dogs you can get for your household. However, you should know that these characteristics vary depending on the gender of the dog. Even though this dog breed may exhibit the traits you want in a dog, you need to know which of the two genders excels at the traits you need. So, let’s get into it.

Physical differences between a male and female Basset Hound

Basset Hound having a serious, yet funny cute look

We start our male vs. female Basset Hound guide with something that is most obvious to the majority of people – their appearance. Even though there are slight differences between the genders, they are still worth noting.

Male Bassets

Male Basset Hounds are medium-sized canines that weigh around 40 to 65 pounds and stand 14 inches tall at withers. This makes them slightly heavier and larger than their female counterparts.

Males also have more muscle mass than female Bassets, so they appear a bit bulkier than them.

Female Bassets

Female Basset Hounds are smaller in both height and weight than their male counterparts. As a general rule of thumb, female Basset Hounds tend to weigh on average five to ten pounds less than males. Also, their height is about 13 inches at withers, making them approximately an inch shorter than males.

Note: There are only a few subtle physical differences between male vs. female Basset Hounds. Both sexes share the same coat quality, which is short, densely smooth, and repels dirt and water.

Their coat also serves as protection from all types of weather conditions. Ideally, their skin should be loose and elastic, which gives off their classic droopy appearance.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) also accepts any markings. Bicolor and tricolor combinations are very common in Basset Hounds.

Are male or female Basset Hounds better? differences in temperament

Dog breed Basset Hound sitting on the leaves

Male Bassets

Males, as noted by numerous Basset Hound owners, tend to be clingier than females. The number one reason behind this is when owners spend most of their time at home with their dogs.

Bassets love to be in the middle of anything that is going on, including spending quality time with their owners. These pups are always down to play and have fun, which makes them even more active.

Generally speaking, males are indeed more competitive and their nature to become dominant is notable due to the production of testosterone. This might explain why most show winners are male dogs.

Also, it has been proven that hormones largely govern a pup’s behavior, getting rid of the source by neutering them will lessen most undesirable male behavioral traits.

Most male Bassets are omega males compared to females. However, aggravating these doggies can potentially trigger them to bite or show hostility as a defense mechanism.

One statistic shows that the tendency of male dogs to bite someone is around 6.2 times higher than that of females.

Female Bassets

Females, on the flip side, are independent. Although they do not mind taking part in socializing with their family, they feel much more comfortable minding their own business without any attention needed from their owners or other dogs.

One owner has stated that her female Basset is the most social dog in a daycare of over 60 pups. This is an atypical exhibited behavior, but it shows that exposing a Basset to other dogs in the early stages of its life can impact its behavior towards other dogs in adulthood.

Similar to males, female Basset hounds also have seasonal displays of territorial traits and dominance. This, however, most likely occurs when a dog is either pregnant or just given birth.

This goes to show that protection becomes the number one priority when a Basset becomes a mother. This behavior can also be seen when the dog feels that its owner is being threatened.

Basset hounds: differences in trainability

Basset Hound with owner outdoors


During training, pushing a male Basset Hound too far will shut him down, and it can even cause aggressive behavior such as a startle reflex. This usually happens when the dog tries to show control over the situation and its owner.

When it comes to potty training, some owners revealed that males could take a few months before learning how to do it properly.

There is a tendency that when a male Basset smells where he went potty before, he will probably go there again. This is why routine training is highly recommended, and the patience while doing it should be high as well.

It is mostly an innate behavior for male Basset Hounds to be child-like as it takes a longer time for them to eventually mature. This is why most owners state that females are easier to housebreak than males.

Getting a male’s attention during training may prove difficult once he picks up an interesting scent. After all, it is said that only a Bloodhound’s scent is more powerful.

However, positive reinforcements such as petting, praise, and treats will go a long way in making training easier. No dog can resist snacks!


Because female Bassets value independence more than males and mature faster, training can be quite difficult at the start. You should always keep in mind that you own the dog and not the other way around.

If your female pup realizes that she can do her own thing and ignore your commands, you will have a difficult time managing her. These canines can read body language, emotions, and even energy, so how they behave around you will mostly be based on how you present yourself as their owner.

However, some female Bassets become more responsive during training and have a lower chance of wandering off. This is because their ability to focus is much better than male Bassets.

What is curious, though, is that a large percentage of dog show winners are, in fact, males. Also, take note that females are most likely to be untrainable during their heat cycles.

Health differences between male and female Basset Hounds

Basset Hound Puppy outdoors

Our male vs. female Basset Hound guide wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t go over the health and lifespan of these pups. Bassets are generally healthy dogs. Both male and female dogs of this breed have an average lifespan of eight to twelve years if provided with proper care and nutrition.

Male Bassets

When you neuter a male Basset Hound, he will become more settled and also has a lesser chance of developing health issues. The procedure of surgically removing the male dog’s testicles should be done between four and nine months of age.

A dog that undergoes this process is believed to have long-term health benefits like reduced risk of testicular cancer. Also, it should prevent your pup from displaying negative behavior such as aggression and marking his territory.


Reputable breeders require that female Bassets as young as five months be spayed. Spaying is a process where the uterus and ovaries of a female pup are entirely removed.

When you spay your pup, you can be sure that no unwanted pregnancies will happen. As the average litter size is around six to eight puppies, you can see how spaying can save you the additional expenses of taking care of Basset Hound puppies.

Also, this procedure lessens the chance of your dog developing tumors in its mammary glands. It can also save your dog from other disorders commonly found in females, such as the life-threatening infection known as pyometra.

A word of caution: You should always consult your vet before making a decision on spaying/neutering your dog. A vet will give you a personalized opinion on whether or not you should put your dog through this process.

Most common health issues

Tricolor Basset Hound lying on the grass

Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV)

Also known as gastric torsion or bloat, this life-threatening condition can affect deep-chested dogs like Basset Hounds. They are especially at risk if they are fed one large meal a day, drink large volumes of water after eating, eat rapidly, and exercise vigorously after eating.

GDV happens when your pup’s stomach fills with gas or air and then twists (torsion). The pup is unable to vomit or belch to rid itself of this excess air, and the normal return of blood to the heart is impeded. Without immediate medical intervention, it can lead to death.

Von Willebrand’s disease

This is a hereditary ailment that can cause mild to severe bleeding and prolonged bleeding time. If you think that your pup might have von Willebrand’s disease, ask your vet to do a blood test to determine whether any surgical procedure should be done.


Panosteitis is also known as wandering or transient lameness. It is an elusive condition that is sometimes seen in young Bassets. The primary symptom of this ailment is sudden lameness, which, luckily, puppies usually outgrow by the age of two years with no consequences.

This lameness can be slight or severe. Many veterinarians are not aware of this condition in Bassets and may misdiagnose it as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, or even some more serious disorders.


Bassets are prone to glaucoma, which is a condition where pressure builds up inside the eye. It can lead to blindness in dogs if not detected and treated early. If you notice your dog squinting, tearing, or rubbing at its eyes, or if one or both of its eyes appear to be red or bulging, immediately take it to your vet for a checkup.

Glaucoma can cause serious damage to the retina and optic nerve in a matter of just a few hours, so a trip to the emergency room could definitely be necessary.

Patellar luxation

This condition is also called “slipped stifles” and is a common occurrence in small dogs. It happens when the patella, which has three parts – the femur (thigh bone), tibia (calf), and patella (knee cap) – is not properly aligned.

This leads to lameness in the leg or an abnormal gait, sort of like a hop or a skip. Patellar luxation is present at birth, although the actual misalignment or luxation does not occur until much later. The rubbing of joints caused by this condition can lead to arthritis, a degenerative joint disease.


This is another blood platelet ailment that is sometimes found in this dog breed. Like von Willebrand’s disease, thrombopathia affects the ability of the blood to clot.

Eyelid and eyelash problems

Basset Hounds are prone to ectropion (turning out of the eyelids), which results in a dry cornea, and entropion (turning in of the eyelids), which causes lashes to dig into the surface of the eye.

Your veterinarian should be able to determine if your dog has either of these problems and can correct them surgically if needed.

Intervertebral disc disease (IDD)

These pooches are especially prone to having back problems. This may be due to genetics, falling or jumping off furniture, or simply moving the wrong way. Signs of back problems include the inability to raise up on the rear legs, loss of bowel and bladder control, and sometimes paralysis.

This is why you should always support your Basset’s back and rear when holding it. Some owners claim that they can help ward off problems by taking their dog to chiropractors who have experience working with dogs.

Ear infections

Because these dogs have long ears that don’t allow for the sufficient circulation of air to the inside of their ears, infections are sure to develop. Help your Basset ward off these infections by cleaning its ears every week and taking it to the vet if its ears smell bad or seem inflamed.

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is quite a common occurrence in these scent hounds. Many factors, including environment, diet, and genetics, are thought to contribute to this ailment of the hip joint.

Bassets with this condition may be able to lead healthy, normal lives, but some of them might require surgery to get around easily. Hip dysplasia is a hereditary condition in which the thigh bone doesn’t fit snugly into the hip joint.

Cherry eye

This is a health issue in which the gland beneath the third eyelid sticks out and looks somewhat like a cherry in the corner of the dog’s eye. Your vet should be able to remove this gland if necessary.

Differences in relationships

The male vs. female Basset Hound topic covers everything that separates the two sexes of this breed. This includes their relationships with other animals and children. So, let’s see how they compare.

With children

Little girl playing with a dog in the park

Male Bassets

Even though these pups are gentle, it is important to remember that they are medium to large dogs due to their weight and height. Therefore, leaving one of them alone with young children without proper training and behavioral correction can prove dangerous.

Typically, males don’t see kids as children but as their playmates, so they can be rowdy. This is why it is a good idea to bring your child along to puppy socialization.

Females Bassets

Some owners who have children admit to choosing female Basset Hounds over males because they are believed to be gentler. Females have the natural parental instinct to protect young ones as if they are their own.

Moreover, it has been published in a Swedish study that young children, especially six-year-olds who grew up with female dogs, have a 16% lower risk of asthma compared to children who grew up with males. This is mainly because females don’t express as many allergens as male dogs.

With other dogs and pets

Cat and dog lying outdoors

Male Bassets

Male representatives of this breed are generally more interested in hanging out with other female dogs than with their own sex. However, this doesn’t mean that male Bassets would create a wall between them and other male dogs. It just means that they like females more.

Male Bassets have no problem interacting and befriending other pets regardless of their size. They are quite amicable, and their slow-moving actions neither startle nor threaten other animals such as hamsters or birds.

Their killing instinct when seeing weak or vulnerable pets is not activated because of their friendly nature. One pet, in particular, gets along great with a male Basset Hound – the cat. They possess pretty much the same behavior, which is being patient, low-key, and loyal.

Female Bassets

Female pups of the Basset Hound breed are also friendly and easygoing with other dogs. However, a few factors might change their behavior toward other dogs, such as if they are pregnant or going through their heat cycle.

Even though this breed is usually friendly, you should be cautious if you want to introduce a new pet when your female Basset has just given birth. Her natural motherly instinct to protect her newborns is strong, and anything she perceives as a threat might lead to problems.

But, generally, females are very good with other pets. And if you bring in a baby animal, your female Basset might even take care of it as her own.

Are male or female Basset Hounds better for a family?

Basset hound dog sitting on the top of the hill

When it comes to male vs. female Basset Hounds, this might be the toughest thing to compare. Both sexes do quite well interacting with people, and the Basset Hound is one of the gentlest recognized family dogs worldwide.

Bear in mind that there is no major difference between the male and female Basset Hound in this section. However, the minute details listed below that differentiate them from one another may help you decide if a female or male Basset is better for your family.

Advantages of male Bassets in a family environment:

• More friendly with female pups

• Tend to seek more attention

• Very playful and carefree

• More active

• More competitive

• Tend to be friendlier

Advantages of female Bassets in a family environment:

• Mature faster

• Gentler with children

• Independent thinkers

• Capable and willing to nurse other baby animals

• More protective

• Can give birth to six to eight puppies

Male Bassets need more attention with regards to behavioral training, activities, and other important aspects. If you wish to own a male dog of this breed, make sure you have enough quality time and effort to make it work.

When it comes to females, it is in their blood to be people-oriented, and you can rest assured that they will do well with your children under supervision. They mature faster and are more serious and more careful when playing with your kids. This leads to fewer injuries or accidents, which makes some people lean towards female Basset Hounds more.

Whichever gender you decide on, remember that how you raise and treat your dog will determine how they will end up. Both sexes have their ups and downs. Try to encourage your pet as much as you can and expose it to other people and animals. Ultimately, your effort as a responsible owner will be repaid with your dog’s undying loyalty, love, and affection enough for the whole family.

Which one is the better guard dog?

Basset Hound standing on the leaves in park

This is probably the second toughest thing to determine when it comes to male vs. female Basset Hounds. Both female and male Bassets are generally friendly and sweet dogs, which is why they might not be the best at guarding your property. These pups are certainly not watchdogs, and if an intruder breaks into your house, they might even befriend them.

That said, based on their personality and certain conditions, a pregnant Basset Hound or a female that has just given birth usually becomes more suited to guarding your property.

As we mentioned earlier, a female’s instinct to protect is higher under these conditions, and anyone unfamiliar to her who breaks her boundary or territory easily becomes a threat.

This desire to protect is much lower in males as they only seldomly become aggressive. Since males are more carefree than female Bassets, unfamiliar faces and suspicious actions will most likely go right over their heads.

Should I get a male or female Basset Hound?

Basset Hound standing on the grass

The purpose of our male vs. female Basset Hound guide is to help you decide on which one to get. So, are you ready to find out which one is better for you? Let’s get into it.

Male Bassets

If you wish to have a male Basset Hound, breeders will often ask you if you already have any other male dogs in the household. If that is the case, they will recommend getting a female.

It goes the same way with having a female pup and wishing to get a female Basset Hound. Having two of the same genders can lead to same-sex aggression. Also, it is important to take note that choosing a male should fit your lifestyle.

Experts also advise you to personally see the dog first and figure out if he suits your personality. This is because sex is not a strong indicator of how compatible the two of you will be.

But, at the end of the day, if you are a laid back, goofy person who prefers to spend days chilling and not doing much, then the male Basset Hound is probably the better choice.

Female Bassets

On the other hand, if you are more into independent thinkers that mature and learn faster, then the female dog of this breed is probably your best bet. Also, if you want to breed these pups, it could be another reason to own a female.

If you already have a male dog in your home, a female would balance out the household as opposite sexes get along better.

Additionally, if you have young children, a female Basset may prove to be a great choice. Numerous families that got one for themselves have not regretted their decision.

Female Bassets get along great with kids on a different level due to the psychology behind their gender.

History of Basset Hounds

basset hound dog in backyward

Basset Hounds are noble dogs that are mostly recognized as the Hush Puppy in the famous footwear brand Hush Puppies.

Where do Basset Hounds come from? Well, we don’t know for sure, but it is said that these pups have descended from the St. Hubert hound dog but in a dwarfed strain.

They were initially popular with the French aristocracy but were eventually used as hunting dogs by commoners who didn’t have access to horses.

These dogs were followed on foot while they used their noses to track small game, like rabbits and hares in the underbrush of thick forests.

Basset Hound highlights

Basset Hound lying on the grass

• Like most hounds, these dogs can be stubborn and difficult to train and housetrain. This is one of the reasons why crate training them is recommended.

• If one of these pups catches an interesting scent, it may try to follow it, regardless of how much danger it might pose. Always keep your Basset on a leash when outside and not in a fenced yard. Also, obedience classes are a must and make sure he responds well to the ‘come’ command.

• One of the primary reasons why Bassets are given up for adoption or put in rescue is that they “drool too much.” Since they have a lot of loose skin around their mouths, these pups tend to make quite a mess when drinking water.

• Bassets often have flatulence. If this problem seems excessive in your pup, talk to your vet. A simple change in dog food might do the trick.

• Obesity is one of the bigger problems for this dog breed. They love to eat and will overeat if given the chance. When they put on too much weight, these pups begin to have joint and back problems.

• Because these dogs are prone to bloat (a life-threatening condition), it is better to feed them three or four smaller meals a day rather than one large meal. Also, don’t allow your Basset Hound to exercise too much after eating.

• A Basset’s long ears need to be checked and cleaned once a week to help prevent ear infections. You might notice that you need to wash the ear flaps even more often. This is because Bassets can drag them through puddles and tend to pick up dirt as they draw their ears on the ground.

• Even though a Basset is strong and incredibly agile for having such short legs, it is best to keep him from jumping, for example, out of a car. Always pick it up and support its back with your hand to ensure the dog doesn’t get hurt.

• Bassets hate being left alone. If you leave a Basset Hound alone for long periods, he might engage in destructive behavior.

• Given that two-thirds of their body weight is in the front of their bodies, Bassets are not great swimmers. Don’t allow your dog to fall into a swimming pool because it can quickly get into trouble.

The verdict

Basset Hound sitting outdoors

Photo from: @brutus_thebasset

Some Basset Hound owners think that their dog is stubborn, greedy, lazy, and grumpy. However, these unwanted behaviors are just the result of an owner who lacks an understanding of training, leadership, and dog ownership.

Although they can be a bit stubborn, Bassets still prove to be good-natured, friendly dogs and loving companions when given the proper guidance from an early age.

Basset Hounds are laid-back dogs with high tolerance levels that love to cuddle. Also, they are non-territorial, unlike most other dog breeds.

Ultimately, the male vs. female Basset Hound debate is just the tip of the iceberg when deciding which pup to get. The more important thing is to focus more on checking a pup’s past experiences, personality, intelligence, and energy levels.

If a Basset Hound ticks all the boxes, regardless of its gender, it is a sure sign for you to take that pup home right away!

Male Vs. Female Basset Hound: How Different Are They?