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Basset Hound vs Dachshund: Which One Is Right for You? (With Pictures)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Basset Hound vs Dachshund

Don’t let their similar body shape and structure fool you; the Basset Hound and Dachshund are two entirely different dog breeds. Though both were bred to be hunting dogs and were used for centuries for their excellent hunting abilities, they’re now popular household pets.

Their short and stocky build may make them look similar, but that’s where the similarities end. They have very different personality traits and needs, and both aren’t suitable for every family.

If you’re unsure if you should adopt a Basset or a Dachshund, keep reading. We’re going to review both breeds in detail so you can better understand their histories, temperament, and suitability for your home.

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Visual Differences

Basset Hound vs Dachshund side by side
Image Credit: Jumpstory

At a Glance

Basset Hound
  • Origin: France
  • Size: 50 to 75 pounds, 14 inches tall
  • Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
  • Domesticated?: Yes
  • Origin: Germany
  • Size: 16 to 32 pounds, 8 to 9 inches tall
  • Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
  • Domesticated?: Yes
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Basset Hound Overview

basset hound
Image Credit: Billion Photos, Shutterstock

Basset Hounds are scent hounds that were bred mainly for hunting hare. They have a keen sense of smell, and their ability to ground scent is astounding. In fact, the only other breed that has the same level of ground scenting skills is the Bloodhound. Let’s take a closer look at their characteristics, appearance, and uses.

Characteristics & Appearance

Basset Hounds are short and solid dogs with curled tails. They are a stocky breed with short legs, so lifting a full-grown one can be difficult.

Like their Bloodhound ancestors, Bassets have a hanging skin structure that causes a sad and dopey look.

They are known for their mild manners and friendliness. They get along with everyone, including small children and other animals. The breed is relatively calm unless they catch a whiff of a good scent trail. They can be very playful and outgoing and are very vocal.

Bassets can be stubborn, however. Prospective owners will need a lot of patience when it comes to training. They respond best to positive motivation, such as food rewards.


Basset Hounds were originally popular amongst the French aristocracy. After the French Revolution, humans had different plans for this breed, as they soon became hunting companions for commoners who didn’t have access to horses. Their keen nose and short stature are perfect for hunting small game.

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Dachshund Overview

shiny black dachshund
Image Credit: NORRIE3699, Shutterstock

The Dachshund, sometimes affectionately referred to as the wiener or sausage dog, is a short-legged, hound-type dog breed. It was developed in Germany, and the name Dachshund literally means “badger dog” in German.

Characteristics & Appearance

A typical Dachshund will be muscular and long-bodied. Its legs are long, and its front paws are disproportionately large, perfect for digging.

In America, there are two types of Dachshunds – standard or miniature. The standard type will weigh between 16 and 32 pounds, while the miniature version will weigh 11 pounds or less. A Dachshund that weighs between 11 and 16 pounds is known as a tweenie.

The Dachshund will have one of three coat types – smooth with short hair, long-haired, or wire-haired. Long-haired Dachshunds have a silky coat with feathering on the ears and legs. Wire-haired varieties are the least common type in America and the most recent type to be included in breeding standards.

Dachshunds are exceptionally playful, clever, and lively pets. They are very devoted to their family members and will often bond with one particular person. However, they can become jealous if that person’s attention isn’t always on them and may even become snappy. They need to have a proper introduction to small children to avoid aggressiveness. Studies even suggest that Dachshunds are one of the breeds most likely to exhibit serious aggression towards humans.

As a hunting breed, however, they can be very stubborn and have a one-track mind when in the presence of small huntable animals. They can also sometimes be aggressive when around other dogs or strangers.


The standard-size Dachshunds were bred to scent, chase, and flush out badgers. The miniature version was bred for hunting small game such as rabbits. Dachshunds are the only breed recognized by the AKC that can hunt both above and below ground. Their short and powerful legs can enable them to dig deep into narrow tunnels to track down their prey.

Dachshunds are typically classified as a hound or scent hound group throughout America and Great Britain. However, in countries that belong to the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (International Canine Federation), Dachshunds are in their own group alongside types such as Sheepdogs, Pointers, Sighthounds, and Retrievers.

Despite their small stature, Dachshunds make excellent watchdogs.

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What Are the Differences Between Basset Hounds & Dachshunds?

Though Basset Hounds and Dachshunds are very similar in their short stature, they’re very different in overall size and temperament. Let’s take a closer look at their key differences.


Dachshunds can be stubborn and temperamental. They tend to bond with one family member and can become aggressive if something or someone gets in the way of “their” person. They are very confident and don’t let their small size hold them back. Dachshunds are very curious, spunky, and can be friendly. They’re very intelligent and excellent problem solvers.

Basset Hounds are laid-back and calm. They are generally accepting of strangers and other pets. They don’t like to be alone for too long, so they will happily seek out their owners for a snuggle session or Netflix binge. Bassets have an independent streak, making them stubborn and difficult to train. In addition, they aren’t natural people pleasers like other breeds, so they’ll need patience and confident humans to help train them.

Activity Level

Both Dachshunds and Basset Hounds were bred to be hunters. As such, you should be prepared to spend some time exercising them every day.

Dachshunds are relatively high energy. Standard types will need around an hour of exercise and play daily, while you can get away with 30 minutes for a miniature Dachshund. Exercise will help them release pent-up energy and prevent behavioral issues stemming from boredom.

Short walks at a relaxed and comfortable pace are best for Basset Hounds. Activity that’s too high impact will be harmful for their joints.

Since Bassets are led by scent, you should never leave them off leash unattended. If they were to catch an interesting scent, they might wander off. They become very single-minded while trailing a smell and will not pay attention to their surroundings, putting them in plenty of potentially dangerous situations.


Both breeds are vocal.

Daschunds can have a thunderous and deep bark that makes them sound like they’re a much bigger dog. Most love to bark, too, so you’ll need to consider if a loud dog is right for you, given your housing situation.

Basset Hounds often howl instead of barking. Their howling is very distinctive and loud and can travel great distances.


Both breeds may be prone to certain health conditions. Basset Hounds may be at risk of bloat, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, or glaucoma. Daschunds may be at risk of intervertebral disc disease, epilepsy, progressive retinal atrophy, diabetes, deafness, and bloat.

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Which Breed Is Right for You?

Dachshunds may be better suited for people who don’t have other animals in the home or small children. They need a parent who can take them for a walk every day and someone willing to provide mental stimulation in the form of puzzles or scent tracking.

Basset Hounds are an excellent pick for relaxed families or those who already have other pets or children in the home. However, their heftiness and propensity toward joint disorders mean they shouldn’t live in homes with too many stairs.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: (L) Monica Martinez Do-Allo, Shutterstock | (R) Kojirou Sasaki, Unsplash

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