Physically, Basset Hounds are known for their long, droopy ears, and what appears to be a long droopy frown. But what about behaviorally. Are these dogs aggressive in nature or prone to bouts of aggression? Intrigued, I decided to spend some time researching the average temperament of this breed. Below, I will be sharing with you all that I was able to find.
So, are Basset Hounds aggressive? Basset Hounds are generally not aggressive dogs. Instead, they are typically gentle, sweet-tempered and friendly; having a tendency to be on the docile and lazy side. They are a loyal and devoted breed of dog that is keen to show affection; they will get along with their owners and everyone in the family, including small children and other pets.
When inside, Basset Hounds will tend to be lazy and not move around too much, but once they are outside, they become alert and aware.
They can easily wander off if they catch a scent and are not on a leash or an enclosed area.
As long as you are aware of these traits, then a Basset Hound can make a great family pet. They have a number of tendencies which makes them great companions and great to be around.
There are several tendencies and traits that make this breed such an excellent choice of dog.
Let us now take a closer look at the average temperament of a Basset Hound, along with whether they are ever likely to display acts of aggression.
We will also be taking a look at some of the proactive things that you can do as an owner, to prevent aggressive behavior in this breed.
Basset Hound Temperament
Basset Hounds have an easy-going, laid back temperament, and it takes a lot to rile them up. If they are getting aggravated, they are more likely to walk away and find another spot to curl up rather than lash out.
Due to their easy-going manner, Basset Hounds make a great choice for first-time dog owners, even though training them can be a challenge. Basset Hounds are hunters, and like many hunting breeds, they can have an independent and stubborn streak in them.
While Basset Hounds may be on guard in the home and alert you to anyone that comes near, they are not guard dogs. Your Basset Hound is more likely to try and make friends with an intruder than to protect you from them.
Basset Hounds are social dogs and love to be around people and other dogs. If you plan on leaving a dog alone for an extended period, then perhaps a Basset Hound is not for you. They are breed known to suffer with separation anxiety.
Not only is it one of the things that can trigger behavioral problems in Basset Hounds, but your entire neighborhood will hear their upset howling by being left alone.
Once outside, you may see that your Basset Hound becomes more active than when they are lazing around inside.
Outdoors is like a huge amusement park to scent dogs in particular, such as the Basset Hound. They will have endless fun smelling all the smells and will try to make friends with everyone they come across.
What Can Make Basset Hounds Aggressive?
While Basset Hounds are not an overly aggressive breed, they can easily become aggressive when in certain situations, and this is not uncommon for a lot of dog breeds in general.
Some owners of Basset Hounds have reported that their dog will become aggressive, showing signs of barking, nipping, and biting. These tend to be relatively mild, whereas some owners may not even see these as aggressive behaviors at all.
Many of these instances end up being due to behavioral issues or other situations that have perhaps led to aggression, such as not getting enough attention. Or at least, the Basset Hound perceives they are not getting enough attention.
Basset Hounds generally become aggressive out of fear or from being ignored. These dogs need to be part of the family and do not do well alone.
Like many dogs who don’t do well alone, when they do not get the attention that they need and demand, they will become destructive, and in the Basset Hound’s case, they may also become aggressive.
When a Basset Hound does not grow up in a supportive and loving environment, they can also be aggressive. This is due to not knowing or understanding love and affection, and being taught how to act properly.
However, this does not occur in most cases where Basset Hounds are brought into the family home to be a loving pet. Besides, this same behavior can bet attributed to other dog breeds that are in the same situation.
One other area in which some Basset Hounds can become aggressive is when they are territorial. They can perceive anything from the house and yard, to their toys and foods, to be part of their territory.
As a general rule, Basset Hounds are not territorial; however, some can become so due to other issues that may be going on. If you find this is the case, be very careful with children around the Basset Hound.
Early socialization and training can eliminate this before it becomes a problem. The earlier you can set ground rules for your Basset Hound, the easier life will be, and the more trust you will form with your dog.
How to Prevent Aggression In Basset Hounds
The best advice to prevent aggression in Basset Hounds is to get them socialized and into training straight away and provide them with a loving home. Both of which are extremely easy enough to do.
Early socialization will teach them the proper way to act with people and other dogs. Training and socialization is a vital part of owning a dog as there are ways in which other dogs can teach them behaviors that we as humans can’t.
Proper training is a great way to prevent your Basset Hound from becoming territorial.
Ensuring that your Basset Hound is not alone for long periods will help with their fear and loneliness, two of the biggest causes of aggression.
Knowing that they are loved and safe with their family will have them behaving in a laid-back manner that Basset Hounds are known for.
Basset Hounds only need a moderate amount of exercise, but if you are finding that your dog is acting up at all, provide them with both physical and mental stimulation.
Scent dogs can tire out quite easily by sniffing a scent trail, or just smelling around. Take your Basset Hound to a park, or other areas, that they are not familiar with so that all of the scents will be new.
You can also create fun games with them, taking a favorite food of theirs, and creating a bit of a game of hide and seek for them.
Sniffing out where the treats are hidden will not only tire them out but reward them as well. The smelling version of hide and seek great to play indoors or outdoors with them.
Some areas host organized Basset Hound tracking events, and the breed are also known to be good at agility, obedience, and rally competitions. These events are great for your dog but be aware that it will take some patient training to get them to that level.
Never show anger or frustration with your Basset Hound, as it will then become a learned behavior for them. When training a Basset Hound, they do better with the reward system than with a punishment style system.
As training a Basset Hound can be quite difficult, it can be rather frustrating when they are not doing what you want them to. Remember to take a deep breath and not let it affect you, or your dog will pick up on it and act out accordingly.
Along the same lines, if you have children, ensure that they are learning how to act around the Basset Hound and not be mean or aggressive with the dog.
Kids, especially young ones, may not understand that their actions pose a problem to the dog. Basset Hounds are tolerant with kids, so in most cases, this will not be an issue.
Overall, Basset Hounds are a dog breed that is very docile and laid back, never letting anything bother them, and will look for a change of scenery if they start to get bothered. They love being around their family, and this makes them happiest.
Not receiving enough love and attention is the biggest trigger for Basset Hounds to become aggressive.
Thus, many dog experts recommend to get them into training as early as possible and find another breed if you have to leave your dog alone for long periods.
Since Basset Hounds started as hunting dogs, providing your Basset Hound with an activity to keep them occupied can help with boredom and destruction, while at the same time tiring them out.
Not that they need a lot of exercise before they get tired. Basset Hounds are a lazy breed and will just mope around when inside.
They become a little more alive when they are outside and have exposure to all the different smells. Ensure that you always have your Basset Hound on a leash when outside. They are known to wander off while following an unknown scent trail.
There are competitions and organized events that are around in which you can sign your Basset Hound up to give them some extra fun and activity. It’s a great opportunity to work with your Basset Hound and form a bond and trust between you.
For any training, whether it’s potty training or competition obedience training, you will need to have patience with your Basset Hound. They are a stubborn breed and don’t take to training as quickly as some other breeds do.
If you are looking for an easy-going, loyal, and loving family dog, then a Basset Hound could be a great option. They get along great with everyone in the family and are extremely tolerant of children and other pets.
Basset Hounds do not typically bite out of aggression, however, they may nip when playing. This behavior will need to be trained out and rectified, to ensure that your dog does not perceive it as something that they can continue to do.
The best way to stop a Basset Hound from biting is to provide them with sufficient socialization and obedience training with positive reinforcement techniques. You may have to take your dog to an expert; an animal behavioral specialist or a specialist trainer if biting does not subside through your own efforts.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.