European vs. American Basset Hound: What’s the Difference?

American Basset Hound vs European Basset Hound

The European Basset Hound and American Basset Hound are dogs of the same breed. However, there are actually many things unique to each variety.

The American Basset Hound retains the original appearance of the breed. When fully grown, this dog is a bit smaller than its European counterpart. On the other hand, European Basset Hounds have more folds on their coats. As a result, these pooches look “droopier” than their American cousins.

These are just some of the differences between the American and European Basset Hounds. If you’re interested in learning all about the details, read along.

By the end of this guide, you’ll have a good grasp of what makes each of them unique. Let’s take a glance at their key differences!

History and Origin

European Basset Hound puppy exploring outdoors

European Basset Hound

The Basset Hound can be traced back to 1000 AD in a place called Benedictine Abbey.

Before they were called Basset Hounds, these dogs were first known as St. Hubert’s Hounds. They were named after their original breeder, St. Hubert.

After some time, St. Hubert’s Hounds eventually populated France, where it gained recognition and popularity.

According to experts, the modern-day Basset Hound resulted from a breeding defect observed in the litter of one French breeder.

This defect caused St. Hubert’s Hounds to have shorter legs. Because of this newly found stature, St. Hubert’s Hounds were given a new name, the Basset Hound. 

In 1886, Lord Galway of England imported Basset Hound puppies to his country. From there, the population of the Basset Hound grew further in Europe.

Over the years of being bred on European soil, these dogs evolved to a slightly different look than the original.

They became bigger, and their coats developed more folds. And this is what we know now as the European Basset Hound.

American Basset Hound

The American Basset Hound shares its early history and origin with its European cousins. This dog also came from St. Hubert’s Hounds and was first bred in Europe.

However, it was sometime in the 1890s when the American Basset Hound took its own course in history.

During this time, the original Basset Hounds from Europe (not the European Basset Hounds) were imported to America.

Unfortunately, nobody knows the exact date when Basset Hounds first arrived in the country. But we do know that it was immigrants who brought these pups to the United States.

After some time, breeders began raising and selling Basset Hound puppies. However, it was not until 1916 that the Basset Hound breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

As years passed, breeders noticed that Basset Hounds in America looked different from Basset Hounds in Europe.

American Basset Hounds look similar to the original Basset Hounds, but the Basset Hounds in Europe look slightly different.

Because of these and some other differences, Basset Hound fanatics decided to distinguish the two by naming them after their place of origin. Hence, American and European Basset Hounds.

Kennel Club Recognition

European Basset Hound

Most kennel clubs recognize the European Basset Hound. It is essential to know that kennel club standards don’t typically list Basset Hounds as “European” per se.

More often than not, the origin of the dog will not matter on its kennel club registration. A Basset Hound would just need to satisfy the characteristics listed in a breed standard to qualify.

One issue about European Basset Hounds is that they are slightly bigger than American Basset Hounds. Because of this, they may not be able to register with some kennel clubs that have height and weight cut-offs.

In general, European Basset Hounds can be registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC), Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), United Kennel Club (UKC), and many more.

American Basset Hound

Like the European Basset Hound, American Basset Hounds are also recognized by most kennel clubs. The place of origin of these dogs does not hinder their registration.

As long as your Basset Hound is purebred, chances are, you can have it registered to any kennel club of your choice.

However, you must ensure that your Basset Hound is less than 15 inches in height, as this is one of the common disqualifications.

Some kennel clubs where you can register your American Basset Hounds are American Kennel Club (AKC), Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), and United Kennel Club (UKC).


European Basset Hound

European Basset Hound resting on the grass
Image credit: dolly_jean_the_basset / Instagram

One look at the European Basset Hound, and you can easily tell that it is a Basset Hound through and through. This dog sports long floppy ears and short stubby legs just like any other Basset Hound!

However, one thing stands out with this dog compared to other American hounds, and that has to do with their skin. European Basset Hounds have more skin folds than their American counterparts.

In effect, this makes their general appearance a bit droopier and sadder. Aside from this, there’s not much difference in how these dogs look. In fact, both American and European Basset Hounds come in the same coat colors.

Watch this video to get a better grasp on what a European Basset Hound puppy looks like:

European basset hound puppies at 7 weeks

American Basset Hound

American Basset Hound sitting outdoors

The American Basset Hound sport a neater look than the European Basset Hound. This pup has fewer skin folds and less excess coat. As a result, many people think that the American Basset Hounds look a bit more streamlined.

In terms of coat color, the American Basset comes in a handful of options. Some of these are tri-color, lemon & white, red & white, black & brown, and more. They share a similar range of colors with their European cousins.

For the most part, the American Basset Hound is indistinguishable from the European Basset Hound. 

In fact, physical differences are so minimal that an untrained eye will have difficulty spotting them!

Size and Weight

European Basset Hound

A full-grown European Basset Hound is at least 75 pounds in weight and around 14 inches in height. 

On rare occasions, these dogs can even reach a weight of 100 pounds and a height of 18 inches!

On average, European Basset Hounds are about 10 pounds heavier than American Basset Hounds. Many believe that this weight difference can be attributed to their excess skin folds.

There are slight size differences between male and female European Bassets. In general, males tend to be heavier and slightly taller than females. However, most of the time, these differences are hardly noticeable.

When it comes to the Basset Hound growth curve, the European Basset Hound develops at the same rate as its American counterpart.

American Basset Hound

The American Basset Hound is around 45 to 65 pounds in weight when fully grown. In terms of height, these dogs measure anywhere from 11 to 14 inches.

Males tend to be taller than females by about one to two inches. However, it can be difficult to notice this height difference unless they are standing right beside each other.

During their puppy years, American Basset Hounds and European Basset Hounds are similar in size.

In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to distinguish one puppy from the other! Size differences will only be evident from six months of age and older.

Temperament and Personality

American Basset Hound puppy front profile

European Basset Hound

Basset Hounds are friendly dogs that make fantastic family pets. These dogs are sociable, non-aggressive, and get along with other animals.

Luckily, the European Basset Hound is no different from its American cousin rest; this dog is also awesome!

European Bassets are clingy dogs, especially males. They love spending quality time with their families, and they appreciate belly rubs and cuddles more than anything. These dogs hate being left behind.

American Basset Hound

Like their European cousins, American Basset Hounds are also excellent family companions. These dogs are loving, gentle, and very docile. Similarly, they also love clinging to their families!

The disposition of the American Basset Hound is almost indistinguishable from that of the European. However, some pet owners claim that American Basset Hounds are more playful and energetic.

In addition, American Bassets are also believed to have a higher tendency toward same-sex aggression, especially females. Fortunately, Basset Hounds grow out of this tendency as they age.

Moreover, these dogs are pretty easy to discipline and train. That said, it is crucial to start training and socializing your Basset Hound early on, regardless of whether it’s American or European.

Grooming Needs

European Basset Hound

European Basset Hounds have moderate to high maintenance needs. Because of their excess skin folds, their grooming needs can be a bit more tedious.

When grooming your European Basset Hound, it is recommended to clean thoroughly under their folds.

You must ensure that their skin is free from dirt and other small debris. Otherwise, they will undoubtedly suffer from skin infections.

In terms of grooming frequency, a good wipe-down once a week is imperative for this dog.

A monthly trip to the groomer is also ideal for maintaining this pooch’s coat health. For these dogs, bathing can be done every four weeks.

American Basset Hound

American Basset Hounds do not need to be groomed as thoroughly as their European counterparts. More often than not, these dogs have easy to moderate maintenance requirements.

That said, you should not overlook the cleanliness of your American Basset. These dogs should be brushed at least once a week and bathed once every six weeks.

Having your American Basset Hound professionally groomed is also an excellent way to keep it looking neat and sharp. It is recommended to bring your pup to the groomer at least once every two months.

Lifespan and Health Problems

American Basset Hound lounging outdoors

European Basset Hound

European Basset Hounds live anywhere between 8 and 12 years. Some of these dogs with exceptional health can even live past 17 years old.

Needless to say, European Basset Hounds live a pretty long life. Compared to other dogs of their size, they are slightly above average in terms of lifespan.

That said, the European Basset Hound also has its fair share of health problems. Some issues pertinent to this breed include osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), dysplasia, and Von Willebrand’s disease

These health issues are not entirely life-threatening; however, they can significantly diminish your dog’s quality of life.

American Basset Hound

The American Basset Hound has a lifespan similar to European Basset Hounds, around 8 to 12 years. Likewise, this pup can also live past 17 years old if it has exceptional health.

There are a handful of factors affecting the lifespan of the American Basset Hound. This includes diet, family history, genetic issues, and living conditions.

One way to help your Basset live its longest life is by giving it the right kind of food. You should also exercise your pup for at least one hour a day.

Like the European Basset Hound, American Bassets are also at risk of osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), Von Willebrand’s disease, and hip and elbow dysplasia.

Breeders and Puppy Prices

European Basset Hound

The European Basset Hound usually costs anywhere between $800 and $1,800. These dogs are a few dollars more expensive than their American counterparts. They are also a bit harder to find in the United States.

Below are some reputable breeders where you can find European Basset Hound puppies for sale:

  • Basset Bottom Bassets – Basset Bottom Bassets is a family breeder located in West Virginia. This breeder has over 25 years of experience in breeding and raising dogs. Make sure to give them a call about their available European Basset Hounds!
  • Mountaineer Basset Hounds – Located in Craigsville, West Virginia, this breeder is another fantastic place to get European Bassets. They offer a pet transport service, which is handy if you live far away. You may view their past litter on their website.
  • Limestone Bassets – Limestone Bassets is another breeder that raises and sells European Basset Hounds. They home-raise all their puppies up until they are ready for rehoming. This breeder is pretty active on Facebook. In fact, they post tons of photos of their adorable dogs there!

If you decide to get a European Basset, expect to spend $100 to $150 for its monthly expenses. This monthly cost is on top of the price of your puppy. This covers things like food, treats, vitamins, and pet insurance.

American Basset Hound

The American Basset Hound will set you back by around $600 to $1,400. They are pretty affordable compared to their European cousins. American Bassets are also relatively easier to find.

Below are some reputable breeders where you can find American Basset Hound puppies for sale:

  • AKC Marketplace – AKC Marketplace is one of the best sources for purebred dogs, such as the American Basset Hound. This marketplace is where you’ll find dozens of reputable breeders all in one place. You can rest assured that every breeder on this marketplace is trusted by AKC themselves!
  • Huggable Bassets – Huggable Bassets is the home of the RusBud champion lineage. This is the birthplace of the infamous pair, Rusty and Buddy. Needless to say, Bassets from this breeder are top-of-the-line. This is the perfect place to get high-end American Basset Hounds.
  • Sandyhill Basset Hounds – This Basset Hound breeder is a highly regarded kennel in Indiana. They sell some of the cutest and healthiest American Basset Hounds you’ll ever see! You may check out their available dogs on their website, as well as testimonies to their service.

If you want more options, you can always consult the Basset Hound Club of America’s directory. You’ll find dozens of well-trusted breeders in their directory.

In terms of the monthly cost of owning an American Basset, expect to spend $100 to $150, which covers food expenses, vet trips, pet insurance, and other costs. This is exactly the same as with the European Bassets.

Similarities Between European and American Basset Hounds

European Basset Hound standing on fallen leaves

The European and American Basset Hound are two faces of the same coin. These dogs are slightly different, but deep down, they are very much the same.

For starters, these dogs share a similar history. They both descended from a dog breed known as St. Hubert’s Hounds. It was only when these dogs were imported to America that they developed distinct identities.

Moreover, the European and American Basset Hound also share a similar look. These pooches sport that signature stubby legs and long floppy ears combo. Differences are only apparent if you know where to look.

The temperament of these dogs is also pretty much the same. They are both family-oriented dogs that are gentle and loyal.

Finally, the lifespan and health of the European and American Bassets are mostly identical. These dogs are both generally healthy and live long lives.

European Basset Hound vs. American Basset Hound: Which Is Better?

Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer to this question.

Neither the European Basset nor the American Basset is better than the other. Luckily, there are a few key things that can help you determine which suits you better.

The European Basset is a slightly larger dog with more demanding grooming needs. This is a pup to choose if you want a unique-looking dog with all the good traits of a family companion.

On the other hand, the American Basset Hound comes in a more manageable size. Choose this pup if you want a pretty low-maintenance dog that is loyal and loving. You’ll also save a bit of money as they are often more affordable.

The European Basset Hound and the American Basset Hound are excellent dogs to own. These two are some of the most loyal and loving dog breeds out there. Picking any one of them is a guaranteed good choice!

Frequently Asked Questions

American Basset Hound standing on rocks

How Many Types of Basset Hounds Are There?

Basset Hound, as a breed, has only two different types — the European and American Basset Hounds. However, there are quite a handful of Basset dog breeds that share similarities with the Basset Hound.

These dogs are the Petit Basset Griffon Bendéen, Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen, and Basset Fauve de Bretagne.

Like the Basset Hound we all know, these dogs are low-riding pooches with short legs. However, each of them is special in many ways.

What Is the Difference Between a Bloodhound and a Basset Hound?

The most striking difference between a Bloodhound and a Basset Hound is their ear length. Basset Hounds have much longer ears than Bloodhounds.

Basset Hounds also have short stubby legs, while Bloodhounds stand tall and proud.

Moreover, Bassets weigh less and look sadder than Bloodhounds. They also live longer lives than Bloodhounds.

Final Thoughts

If you are sure that the Basset Hound is for you, then you really can’t go wrong with choosing either the European or the American Basset Hound.

Both dogs are docile, loving, loyal, and gentle. Sure, the differences are there, but they are minimal.

One way to ease your decision-making is to consider the dog’s size. If you want a slightly bigger dog, then the European Basset is the one to go.

If you don’t mind a smaller pooch that is somewhat easier to maintain, pick the American Basset Hound.

So, which between the American and European Basset Hound will you take home? Let us know in the comment section below!

Leave a Comment

You may also like