With a Labrador Retriever and a Basset Hound for parents, the Bassador is a medium sized, stocky mix breed dog. The Basset Hound Lab mix is known for its loyal temperament, but they may be more independent and protective of their family than a typical Labrador. Training with positive reinforcement, and lots of early socialization, is important to help your Bassador become a great family pet. The Basset Hound Lab needs a secure fenced yard, regular exercise and a home with a very effective vacuum cleaner! Your Bassador could be a treasured family pet or great hunting and working dog.
Origin Of The Basset Hound Lab Mix
The Labrador and Basset Hound mix is a relatively new hybrid that has only appeared within the last few decades. The Lab and Basset Hound mix combines two beloved hunting breeds to create the ultimate “sniffer” in a short-legged, long-bodied package. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when this mix first originated. But a little information about the history of the parent breeds will give potential owners some insight into the mix.
Basset Hound Beginnings
The Basset Hound originated in France. It’s thought that monks developed a dwarfed hound who could navigate various types of not-so-friendly terrain in pursuit of rabbits, hares and other small game. Hailing from a mountainous region may explain why the Basset (which is French for “low”) was bred to have short legs and large paws. His long ears, which help to stir around the scent that he’s tracking, along with his baying howl, can be attributed to his hound dog heritage.
As Basset Hounds became popular among French aristocrats, they eventually made their way to America, possibly with the Frenchmen who served during the French and Indian War. Although you’ll still find Basset Hounds hunting in Europe today, most Bassets in the United States are coddled family pets and sometimes can be found in field trials.
Labrador Retriever Origins
Another hunting-bred dog, the Labrador Retriever comes from Newfoundland, Canada. His ancestors were retrievers of waterfowl. Like the Basset Hound, Labs made their way to the United States, where people continued to use them for water game hunting.
While many Labs today are still used as hunting dogs or working dogs, a large number of them are found in American households. With their people-pleasing and super friendly personalities, Labradors are also commonly used as seeing-eye dogs, search and rescue dogs, therapy dogs, and a host of other positions.
Basset Hound Lab Mix Appearance
The parent breeds range in sizes, but a Lab and Basset mix will be a medium-sized dog that will typically reach 15-18 inches tall at the shoulder, with females staying even shorter. However, some specimens with more of a Labrador influence may be a little bit taller, though not by too much.
No matter their height, these dogs will be rather stocky (and therefore prone to obesity—more on that later), with most Bassadors reaching between 50 and 70 pounds. To put their stockiness into perspective, the above weight range is actually the typical weight range for female Labs, just with a longer body and much shorter legs.
The potential colors add another level of unpredictability to the mix, resulting in a black Bassador, chocolate Bassador, mahogany Lab Basset Hound mix — and beyond.
Labrador Retriever Basset Hound Mix Colors
Depending on which parent a half Lab half Basset Hound most closely resembles, she may be solid-colored like her Lab parent, or she may be bi- or tri-colored like her Basset parent.
On the Labrador side, you have the possibility of finding any of the following:
- Black Lab Basset Hound mix
- Chocolate Lab Basset Hound mix
- Yellow Lab Basset Hound mix
Conversely, Basset Hounds come in multiple color combinations, including any of the following:
Shedding and Grooming
Most people know that the Labrador Retriever isn’t what you would call low-shedding. And don’t let the Basset’s smooth-looking coat fool you—both breeds are vigorous shedders. Bassador puppies are guaranteed to be high-shedding, regardless of whether they inherit the Labrador’s double-coat or the Basset’s short and smooth coat.
The Lab’s double-coat may be short, but its thickness requires weekly grooming, and more during periods of active shedding. The Basset’s coat may not be as thick, but it too requires weekly grooming to remove dead hair. In the end, this mix is going to need some maintenance when it comes to grooming. Expect to brush your dog out once a week, and more when she is blowing coat.
Basset Hound Lab Mix Temperament
When it comes to mixed-breed puppies, it’s hard to determine exactly which parent they will look and act the most like, or if they will be an equal mix of both. With regard to the Lab Basset Hound mix, the outcome could be even more unpredictable—he could be lively and eager to please, or a little bit stubborn and prone to doing what he wants, when he wants.
Bassadors with more Lab than Basset will more than likely be high-energy, with a propensity for play and an eye for mischief when they don’t get enough of the former. Labs thrive on human interaction and do not enjoy being cooped up or left alone for long. They love physical activity, such as going on walks, jogs, runs, hikes or even swims. They are generally outgoing.
On the shorter end of the spectrum, Basset Hounds are a bit more mild-mannered than Labradors. They are not overly demonstrative of their feelings of love toward their owners, but they are among the most loyal dog breeds. Basset hounds are known to be pretty independent, but they’re not necessarily disobedient. It just takes lots of repetition with their training, as well as providing proper motivation (typically in the form of food), for them to remain interested.
Finally, we’d be remiss if we neglected to mention that an enclosed area will be needed for a Bassador, as these dogs may rather faithfully follow their noses.
Basset Hound Lab Mix Socialization
Socialization is an important part of raising a happy, well-adjusted adult dog, regardless of the breed. But Bassets in particular can be a bit protective of their families. This may make them aggressive toward people who they perceive to be strangers. It’s best to socialize a Bassador with new people and animals as early as possible. With proper socializing, they should be fine to be around children, although we recommend that you supervise any new dog interacting with children initially.
Training is another important aspect of raising a happy, healthy, well-rounded dog. Labs are famously intelligent and trainable; Bassets may present a little bit more of a challenge, but they mostly need repetition and the proper motivation.
If you need to crate a Lab or Lab mix for more than a couple of hours each day (which is wise, as a Lab left to her own devices may get into trouble), then you’ll need to work on crate-training to ensure that the Lab won’t try to turn the crate into a giant chew toy while you’re away.
If crating isn’t an option, then you’ll need to make sure that someone is able to let a Lab out multiple times each day, preferably for at least one long walk, to manage their energy and tendency toward chewing.
Labradors are well known for being fountains of energy. They require regular exercise of at least an hour each day, though they’ll take more if they can get it. Running, fetching, swimming, and playing are all favorite hobbies for a Lab. Bassets are less notorious for needing an outlet, but they still have hunting history in their background and need daily exercise.
Basset Hound Lab Mix Health And Care
Dogs of mixed lineage are at risk of inheriting health conditions that are common in their parent breeds. It’s best to work with breeders that can provide the results of health testing for the parents. Here are some of the issues faced by Labs and Basset Hounds.
Labradors are generally fairly healthy, but they do face some potential issues with hip and elbow dysplasia. You can learn more about elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia in the linked articles. They can also be prone to PRA. Health testing should be carried out for all three conditions.
Along the way, Labs can also tend towards obesity, especially as they get older. They may also face some more minor problems, such as ear issues and skin allergies. To learn more about the diseases and health conditions that commonly affect Labrador Retrievers, you can read this article.
Bassets have a more extensive list of potential health problems.
- Structural issues.
- Globoid-cell Leukodystrophy (Krabbe’s disease).
- Nasal health issues.
- Ear infections.
Basset Hound Lab Mix Health
Generally speaking, both Basset Hounds and Labrador Retrievers are prone to obesity, hip or elbow dysplasia, and cataracts. We recommend finding a breeder who uses genetic testing to help increase your new best friend’s odds of living his or her best life.
Bassets have a life expectancy of 12 to 13 years, and Labs average 10-12 years. Taking those numbers as the range for a mix, you can expect your Bassador to live between 10 and 13 years.
Do Basset Hound Lab Mixes Make Good Family Pets?
With two parent breeds that are sweet and intelligent, this mix could make an excellent pet for your family! Remember that your Basset Lab mix may take after the Basset parent, resulting in a Lab cross that is a little more independent than your average Lab.
It’s always recommended that parents supervise larger dogs when they are around small children. Even though this is likely to be a friendly and affectionate breed, your adult Bassador may get a little over-enthusiastic at times!
If you’re looking for a full-grown Basset Lab mix or if you wish to adopt a puppy, then you may be able to find what you’re looking for at a local animal shelter or humane society. Rescuing a dog from a shelter is a great way to give a sweet animal another chance at a happy family life. It also takes some of the guesswork out of a mix like the Bassador dog.
Finding A Basset Hound Lab Mix Puppy
Finding the perfect puppy to bring home isn’t always easy! It’s important to avoid pet stores, as these places often are the result of puppy mills and other unscrupulous places. Sometimes, finding a puppy takes patience — especially if you want a specific mix that isn’t widely available.
Bassador Dog Breeders
Before buying a Lab and Basset Hound mix, we recommend that you carefully research breeders of Basset Lab mix puppies—don’t buy from just anyone.
Good breeders use genetic testing to prevent undesired traits or health conditions from being passed down multiple generations. They also ensure that all of their breeding stock and puppies are housed in clean facilities, with plenty to eat, fresh water always and lots of ventilation. Be wary if a breeder is unwilling to show you their entire facility or if they have dogs that look ill or depressed. These are all good indicators that something unsavory is going on behind the scenes.
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website