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Bassador (Basset Hound & Labrador Retriever Mix): Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove


Height: 13–20 inches
Weight: 45–70 pounds
Lifespan: 10–15 years
Colors: Yellow, black, white, and brown
Suitable for: People with disabilities, hunters and fishermen, families with children, single dog owners
Temperament: Kind, Pleasant, Outgoing

As the progeny of two hunting breeds—the Basset Hound and the Labrador Retriever—you may expect the Bassador to be equally inclined toward hunting. While this may be true to some degree, the noble Bassador is more inclined towards snuggling and close companionship than long days on the hunting trail!

Strongly resembling a Labrador in almost every regard, this breed’s low-to-the-ground heritage is displayed in the stumpy legs and soulful eyes of their Basset Hound ancestors. Their agreeable temperaments and signature looks have made them a popular designer dog over the last two decades.

Whether you’re considering bringing a Bassador into your home or want to know more about this curious hybrid breed, this article will introduce you to everything you need to know. From the price of Bassador puppies to their temperament, trainability, and health requirements, let’s take a look at everything this fascinating breed has to offer.

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Bassador Puppies


Any “designer” dog carries the temperaments and characteristics of their parent breeds. Therefore, let’s consider the merits of the Basset Hound and the Labrador Retriever before discussing how these breeds naturally balance each other out in the Bassador.

Labrador Retrievers hail from Canada and were originally companion dogs and work assistants to fishermen around the Labrador Peninsula in northern Canada. As an incredibly popular breed, they are the most adopted canine in many countries. You can find them at work as disability assistance dogs, therapy dogs, and law enforcement screening and detection dogs.

With a name from French that roughly translates to “rather low,” the Basset Hound is an oddly shaped dog that’s instantly recognizable for their short legs and long, droopy ears. Originally bred to trace the scent of rabbits while hunting, these short-legged canines may have a genetic history that traces as far back as 2,000 BC in the Middle Kingdom of Egypt. They are a friendly, outgoing, and notoriously vocal breed that can be a bit stubborn

Perhaps the most significant benefit of the Bassador’s crossed genetics can be seen in developing resistance to chronic health problems that plague Basset Hounds and Labrador Retrievers. Something about the genetic mixing of these two breeds has led to a beneficial arrangement of health characteristics, often making them longer-lived than either of their parents.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Bassador

1. Bassadors Have an Extremely Keen Prey Drive

Owing to their heritage from two hunting dog breeds, the usually laid-back Bassador can be prone to intense chasing and hunting when smaller prey animals are around. Unless you’ve given them appropriate training, they will aggressively pursue squirrels, rabbits, cats, and other small animals as soon as they spot one.

2. They Display a Trait Known as “Alarm Barking”

The Bassador will employ a Basset Hound’s trademark howl alongside the Labrador Retriever’s high-alert barking as a combination of traits from both sides of their ancestry. This makes them excellent guard dogs and a possible nuisance in the middle of the night if a raccoon is digging in your trashcan. When a Bassador has been spooked, they’ll definitely let you know it!

3. You May Be Able to Find One in a Shelter or Rescue

Unlike most designer breeds, Bassadors are a relatively common occurrence due to the large presence of purebred Labradors and Basset Hounds in America. They’re unavailable in every region, but there’s a better-than-average chance that you’ll be able to find one up for adoption if you put patient effort into searching and waiting.

Parent Breeds of the Bassador
Image Credit: Jumpstory

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Bassador 🧠

It can be difficult to make broad judgments on a Bassador’s temperament since they can be dominated by the characteristics of only one side of their genetics. If your Bassador favors the Labrador heritage, they will be more energetic and friendly, while favoring their Basset Hound heritage will lead to a more curious dog. Either way, they are most likely to be friendly and outgoing with just about everyone.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Spending time with families is one of the areas where the Bassador truly shines. Their outgoing personalities and love of pets make them ideally suited to any family that can give them plenty of attention. Add to that a devoted nature that loves helping and the added exercise from playing with kids, and you have a dog that’s an ideal candidate for your home.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Due to their unnaturally high prey drive inherited from a combination of hunting breed parents, Bassadors are not a good choice for homes with small pets. While they can be trained to avoid chasing small animals, it is a lengthy process that is not always effective. Around other dogs, however, Bassadors are affable and happily share their homes.Divider 4

Things to Know When Owning a Bassador:

Often, owning any Labrador mixed breed can feel like taking care of a puppy for the first 3 years of their life. If you’re considering bringing a Bassador into your family, we strongly recommend that you consider the cost of time, money, and attention involved in doing so as well as the following topics related to their health:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Although they’re energetic dogs, Bassadors do not require any special dietary considerations. However, you should be careful not to overfeed them since they have a genetic predisposition to gain weight quickly. If you’re unsure about the best food for your dog’s breed and stage of life, it’s always best to consult a licensed veterinarian.

Exercise 🐕

Bassadors require significant exercise to prevent weight gain or full-on obesity. Their hunting genes incline them towards vigorous activity, such as a high-speed game of fetch or an intense tug-of-war battle. Anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous exercise is usually enough to help them stay at a healthy weight.

Training 🦮

This breed is especially prone to two undesirable behaviors: chewing and chasing prey animals. Both will require substantial amounts of training to overcome. This can be a challenge due to the Bassador inheriting a Basset Hound’s natural stubbornness, but it is definitely possible, owing to the excellent trainability of their Labrador side.

Grooming ✂️

Equipped with a short but exceptionally dense coat, the Bassador is a heavy shedder. Weekly brushings should suffice for much of the year, but during your dog’s shedding seasons in the spring and fall, you should be prepared to increase it to once daily.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Their health and well-being can vary widely from one Bassador to the next, and much of their potential for health problems is dependent upon responsible breeders. Always go to extra lengths to verify any Bassador breeder’s credentials and inquire as to the health of the dog’s parents before committing to a purchase.

Common ailments for Bassadors include:

Minor Conditions
  • Glaucoma
  • Gastric dilatation volvulus (gastric torsion)
Serious Conditions
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Back injuries
  • Hip dysplasia

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Male vs Female

Generally, male and female Bassadors display little meaningful variation. Males may be slightly heavier due to increased muscle mass, while females display more of a tendency to put on weight in old age. Both sexes show similar temperaments, making them excellent pets.

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Final Thoughts

Since they can inherit the best of two mega-popular breeds, the Bassador makes an excellent pet in any home that doesn’t already have small animals as pets. Although they’re friendly canines, the Bassador can weigh up to 70 pounds, and owners should supervise their pets when interacting with children. They’re a popular designer dog breed for a good reason. An agreeable nature and generally good health make them quite easy to care for.

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Featured Image Credit: Svea Neitzke, Shutterstock

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