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Basset Shepherd (Basset Hound & German Shepherd Mix): Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Basset Shepherd (Basset Hound & German Shepherd Mix)

Height: 12-20 inches
Weight: 50-75 pounds
Lifespan: 10-14 years
Colors: Black, brown, white
Suitable for: Families of any size, high-energy owners, owners seeking a true companion
Temperament: Calm, Friendly, Hard-working, Loving

The Basset Shepherd is a mix between a Basset Hound and a German Shepherd. Although 50-50 first generation mixes are common, some breeders produce multi-generation Basset Shepherds.

Like many hybrids, this breed inherits physical traits from both parent breeds, so while puppies may look similar, each may very well grow up to look rather different even if they come from the same litter. These pups can resemble just one or both parent breeds, so their size can vary quite a bit as well. This is important in case you’re specifically looking for a smaller dog based on your living situation or property size.

No matter what your pup ends up looking like, this breed is loving and compassionate and will very likely become your best friend. We’ll go over everything you need to know about these dogs below to help you decide if a Basset Shepherd is the perfect pup for you!Divider 1

Basset Shepherd Puppies

A Basset Shepherd puppy
Credit: meunierd, Shutterstock

You may be interested in this breed because it combines the best qualities of both parent breeds, and we don’t blame you. However, you should know that these puppies can have very different temperaments depending on which side of their ancestry they get their behavioral tendencies from. You may find yourself with the equivalent of a German Shepherd or a Basset Hound, or you may get a combination of both. Each of these parent breeds has a great personality and likely won’t cause any major problems for you, but you should still know what to expect in terms of your dog’s behavior.

You should also be prepared to train and socialize your pup early on and often. This breed is highly intelligent but can exhibit a bit of stubbornness, so be prepared. Establishing a training routine from the beginning will help your dog learn rules and commands. Given this breed’s high energy, this early training and socialization will help keep them calm and well behaved when you have company or when meeting other dogs and people on walks. Be ready to establish yourself as a leader for this puppy and you’ll never have to worry about them disobeying you.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Basset Shepherd

1. They’re Great with Children

Basset Shepherds get their demeanor and behavior toward children from both parent breeds, so no matter which breed your pup tends to take after, you can rest assured that they will care for and protect any kids that may live in your home. Additionally, this dog’s friendly demeanor means that they’ll likely be just as good with your children’s friends as they are with your actual family, so playdates shouldn’t be a worry with this dog.

While some dogs are simply good with children, Basset Shepherds really go above and beyond in their patience and understanding when it comes to children. However, these dogs are also high energy, so while they will never intentionally hurt a child, playing can get out of hand sometimes and lead to accidental injury. Always be mindful of this when your child plays with any dog.

2. They’re Both Companion and Work Dogs

Both the German Shepherd and the Basset Hound were originally bred as working dogs, and their desire to work and provide value in some way shines through even in their hybrid offspring. The Basset Shepherd will very likely inherit that drive to be productive and feel needed. If they don’t have this sense of purpose, you may find that they exhibit some destructive behavior.

Despite their desire to work, this breed also makes a wonderful companion dog. They’re loving, extremely loyal, and will go to the ends of the earth to please their owners. They’re also abundantly affectionate, so you’ll be able to snuggle and relax with your pup just as much as you can go to work patrolling the yard or keeping watch over children.

3. They Make Great Guard Dogs

Your Basset Shepherd comes from two breeds that are regarded for their intelligence, so they inherit their smarts from both sides of their families. Additionally, this breed is very alert, which means that they’ll not only notice what is going on around them, but they’ll know if it’s something abnormal or some kind of threat.

These two traits make for an excellent guard dog. Your Basset Shepherd will keep a keen ear and eye out for any suspicious activity, and they’ll only jump into action if they think it’s necessary for the safety of you, your family, or your home. They aren’t very aggressive, so you won’t get much unnecessary barking from these dogs. They’ll know to alert you if and only if there is a problem.

Parent Breeds of the Basset Shepherd
Image Credit: Jumpstory

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Bernese Mountain Dog 🧠

Basset Shepherds are generally very friendly dogs that make wonderful companions. They’re affectionate and have a great sense of loyalty and respect for their owners, especially if they are properly trained. This breed will love you and protect you unconditionally.

They’re intelligent and emotionally mature dogs, so they will always have a good sense of their standing with you, and they’ll respond accordingly. For this reason, they aren’t very mischievous pups, and they’ll seek to please you in all situations. They understand leadership roles in families, and they will usually take their role happily as long as it’s trained into them.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Basset Shepherds make excellent family dogs because they are extremely friendly. You won’t run into many people your dog doesn’t instantly hit it off with, and this makes for a pup who will befriend each and every family member and who will be happy to spend time with anyone and everyone.

You should know that these dogs have a keen sense of leadership as we mentioned before. They’ll need and want a leader in their lives in order to become the best dog they can be. They will likely notice which person in your family they can consider a leader, and who they can consider an equal. This isn’t necessarily cause for concern, but it is important to know that family members will be treated and listened to differently based on how your dog perceives their rank in the family.

Basset Shepherds are also active dogs that can be destructive if they don’t get their energy out in positive ways. This makes them difficult dogs to own for people who work long hours or aren’t home for stretches of time during the day. These dogs are perfect for families who may have rotating shifts of people being home throughout the day. This breed loves interacting with their owners, so the more people that are around to give your pup attention, the better.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Your Basset Shepherd is very likely to be friendly to other pets including other dogs and cats. They do have a moderate prey drive, so if you have small rodents your dog may not be a good fit for them. However, when it comes to living with dogs or cats, tolerance is the very least you can expect from this breed.

If it has always been your dream to have a puppy and a kitten grow up together to be best friends, the Basset Shepherd is the perfect fit for you. For some reason these dogs love cats, so they’ll not only be friendly with them, but they’ll probably love them just as much as they love you. They’re just about as patient and gentle with cats as they are with kids.

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Things to Know When Owning a Basset Shepherd:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

This breed does best with two or three cups of food a day depending on their size, and you should spread those out into two meals. Because these dogs can vary quite a bit in size, a smaller Basset Shepherd will be closer to two cups a day, while a larger one will need around three cups. Check with your vet as your puppy approaches their full size to get the best recommendation for your individual dog.

One issue that you’ll have to watch out for with this breed is weight gain and obesity. With many breeds, you can get away with feeding when they’re hungry or simply leaving food out, but this is not a breed well suited for those feeding practices. Basset Shepherds will gladly overeat if you let them, so be sure to follow your vet’s or dog food manufacturer’s recommendation for a medium-sized dog with a moderate to high energy level.

Aside from proper feeding quantity and scheduling, just make sure you get a high-quality, high-protein dog food to supply your pooch with all of the nutrients they need to stay happy and healthy.

Exercise 🐕

Since both parent breeds are high-energy working dogs, your Basset Shepherd will also need quite a bit of exercise every day. In addition to normal playtime, you should expect to exercise your dog for about an hour every single day.

Hitting this daily recommended amount of exercise will help prevent weight gain, and getting your dog’s energy out in exercise can do wonders for your couches and slippers!

Like we mentioned previously, this breed is very intelligent, so it’s a good idea to stimulate them mentally as well to keep their minds sharp. You can get some treat puzzles or toys that require thought and experimentation to keep them entertained and engaged.

A great combination of physical and mental exercise for this breed is to let them explore new places. They will love going on hikes or nature walks and being able to investigate unfamiliar sounds and smells.

Basset Hound and German Shepherd
Credit: Malisa Nicolau, Shutterstock

Training 🦮

German Shepherds are often regarded as one of the most trainable breeds, and while Basset Hounds are also intelligent, they tend to be independent too. Like many aspects of this breed, you may find that your Basset Shepherd is a breeze to train and teach, and you may find that training takes some patience and effort.

Whatever the case is with your individual Basset Shepherd, you can rest assured that your pup will learn quickly and understand you easily. Whether or not they choose to obey you right away is the luck of the draw! Either way, using positive reinforcement during routine and structured training sessions is the best way to get this breed properly trained.

Grooming ✂️

This breed has medium length fur, but they have what is referred to as a double coat. This means shedding, and a lot of it. To prevent matting and tangling and also to help cut down on the shedding, you should be brushing your Basset Shepherd with a rubber or wire brush at least twice a week. Don’t think you’ll avoid the shedding altogether though! If you don’t have a good vacuum, invest in one before committing to this breed.

Bathing these dogs about once a month will help keep their coats clean and healthy, and you should keep up with cleaning their ears about once a week to prevent infection. Also plan to trim their nails once a month or so to avoid them cracking or breaking.

Although not particularly common with this breed, tooth and gum issues can help be avoided with routine cleaning or providing them with chew toys that promote dental hygiene.

Health and Conditions ❤️

This breed isn’t susceptible to many life-threatening health issues, but there are some problems that can occur. You’ll find that the Basset Shepherd is generally a very hearty dog, but of course look out for any of the below issues, as they can become more serious if not identified and treated.

Minor Conditions
  • Eye issues including cherry eye
  • Wobbler syndrome
Serious Conditions
  • Degenerative myelopathy
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia

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Male vs Female

Male Basset Shepherds will tend to be quite a bit larger than female Basset Shepherds, and you can see up to around a ten to fifteen-pound difference between the two sexes. You’ll also find that male Basset Shepherds tend to be a bit more alert and protective of you and your family. For the most part, both genders are similar in temperament and behavior.

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Final Thoughts

The Basset Shepherd is a wonderful mix of two great parent breeds and committing to this breed will ensure you end up with a loving and affectionate dog that will fit right in with any sized family, even those with children and other pets.

These dogs have a very controlled temperament, and you’ll find that while they’re alert and ready to protect, they also aren’t aggressive or alarmist. They have a very keen sense of what should and shouldn’t be considered a threat, and they’re outgoing and welcoming toward anything or anyone they think is friendly.

If you’re looking for a dog that will love you, show you affection, be willing to learn from and obey you, and go above and beyond to protect you, this breed will not disappoint — and if you’re willing to be patient and persistent with training, the Basset Shepherd might just be the dog for you!

Featured Image: jawestad, Pixabay

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