Bassador Dog – A Complete Guide To The Basset Hound Lab Mix

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basset hound lab mix

The Bassador dog is a cross between a Labrador Retriever and a Basset Hound. They have a medium sized, stocky build. 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.

People Often Ask…

What’s In This Guide

Basset Hound Lab Mix: Breed At A Glance

  • Popularity: Labs are ranked as the most popular dog breed in the US, and Basset Hounds come in at number 28 out of an extensive list
  • Purpose: Companion animal
  • Weight: 45-85 pounds
  • Temperament: Devoted to family, intelligent

Basset Hound Lab Mix Breed Review: Contents

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 lab 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.

What To Expect From A Basset Hound Lab Mix

Bassets and Labs have some things in common, such as their hunting history. But there are more disparate details than there are similarities between the two. As such, it’s impossible to accurately predict exactly what traits an individual dog of this mix will inherit from which parent breed.

That being said, it’s important to educate yourself on the mix if you’re contemplating bringing a Bassador dog into your home. The best you can do is look at the range that both parents bring to the table in terms of personality, behaviors, trainability, health, and appearance.

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:

  • Black
  • White
  • Tan
  • Brown
  • Lemon
  • Mahogany
  • Red
  • Blue

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.

Bassador Personality

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.

basset hound lab mix

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 And Exercising Your Basset Hound Lab Mix

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.

Basset Hound Lab Mix: Your Guide to the Bassador

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.

Lab Basset Exercise

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.

Daily walks of twenty or thirty minutes are more likely to be ideal for a Bassador that has the shorter legs, longer torso, and lower energy of the Basset parent.

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.

Labrador Health

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.

Basset Hound Health

Bassets have a more extensive list of potential health problems.

  • Structural issues—The basset hound is known as an osteochondrodysplastic breed, which means that it has dramatically shortened and often curved legs. According to a 2007 study, this body type is actually a form of dwarfism that results from abnormal leg bone development. Combined with an elongated body, this can result in various health problems, including spinal issues and hip and elbow dysplasia.
  • Globoid-cell Leukodystrophy (Krabbe’s disease)—This fatal disease is caused by the abnormal processing and storage of the myelin sheath, an enzyme that protects nerves in the brain and spinal cord. Unfortunately, Krabbe’s disease commonly impacts Basset Hounds. Puppies may have muscle tremors or weakness. Then as the disease progresses, they stop growing normally and often lose control of their legs and other body systems.
  • Nasal health issues—Basset Hounds are dolichocephalic, or simply put, they have longer noses than some of their shorter-muzzled brethren. Having a longer muzzle definitely has its perks, but it sometimes can put a dog at risk of developing nasal tumors, sinus problems and other conditions. Check out our article on long face dogs to learn more.
  • Bloat—Dogs with deep and narrow chests are most prone to bloat, which is a potentially fatal condition where the stomach twists, fills with gas, and suffocates itself. Surgery can prevent this condition from occurring, as well as feeding several small meals each day.
  • Ear infections— To help prevent a Bassador from developing frequent ear infections, he’ll need his ears cleaned out.
  • Ectropion—Dogs with excess skin around the face, especially around the eyes, are prone to ectropion, or unnatural drooping of the lower eyelid.
  • Glaucoma—According to a 2015 study, Basset Hounds are especially susceptible to primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG). Glaucoma causes progressive loss of vision.
  • Dermatitis—Those folds of extra skin can harbor an excess of Malassezia, a type of lipophilic yeast that causes dryness or greasiness, redness, and/or flaking of the skin. The condition often requires lifetime treatment to keep it at bay.

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.

Basset Hound Lab Mix Life Expectancy

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.

Basset Hound Lab Mix Shedding

Most people know that the Labrador Retriever isn’t what you would call “low-shedding.” But what about the Basset Hound? 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.

Basset Hound Lab Mix Grooming

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.

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!

Similar Breeds

If you’re interested in a Lab mix but not sure that the Basset Lab mix is right for you, consider the following options.

Rescuing A Basset Hound Lab Mix

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.

Basset Hound Lab Mix Breed Rescues

Currently, we have not been able to find any rescues specifically for this mix. However, as both parent breeds are quite popular, you may very well be able to come across a Bassador even so.

basset hound lab mix

We recommend checking with rescues for Labs and Bassets and inquiring about available mixes. If you find any rescues dedicated to the Bassador, please let us know in the comments below!

The Labrador Handbook by Pippa Mattinson

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. For more information on finding a puppy, check out our puppy search guide.

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.

Basset Hound Lab Mix Products And Accessories

Is A Basset Hound Lab Mix Right For Me?

How do you know whether a Bassador dog is the perfect pup for you? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.

Cons

  • Potential to inherit a variety of health issues
  • May be independent
  • Could seem stubborn or unwilling to mind
  • Needs a fenced-in yard
  • Almost guaranteed to shed

Pros

  • Will be intelligent
  • Likely to be a good family dog
  • Could be trained as a hunting companion or working dog

Your Basset Hound Lab Mix

Do you have a Basset Hound Lab mix? We’d love to hear all about them in the comments below.

References And Resources

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

13 COMMENTS

  1. I had a Lab-ssett named Holly whom I dearly loved. She was one of the smartest dogs I ever came across. She would bay at the moon and sing songs like Silent Night and Do a little dance. I miss her but am so happy Holly chose me to be her human mom!

  2. We rescued a 9 year old Bassadore He had been horribly abused and was ion “death row and was shaking so bad he was pooping on himself. He came home with me that day. I am so in love with my boy Cole.

  3. I’m the proud dad of a 13 year old, 50lb female bassador. I’ve had dogs all my life, but never one that wins over every person she meets in seconds! I’ve had her since she was 10 weeks in age and, in her puppy years, it was impossible to take her for a walk without being stopped by every passer-by who had to comment on her cuteness and happy disposition. Despite what this article states, she was trained to be off-leash at 6 months and has never needed a fenced-in yard. I do recommend crating in the first year if you’re not home during the day and socializing at the dog park as early as possible. Inquisitive, effervescent, loyal, and affectionate, this mix breed can strike the perfect balance of temperament and low maintenance in a medium sized package.

    • I have a 16 month bassador,female,spoiled oh yes.she get moody like human,everyone love her
      to death,when we go places,people want to pet her and calling her beautiful ,love her to death.when she get mad with me she won’t eat until she getready

  4. Me and my husband have a Bassador who is around 11 years old and he is a rescue. Despite his stubbornness, he makes a wonderful pet who is extremely affectionate. 💕

  5. We just adopted a lovely Black, white, and a little brown Bassador fur-baby (18 months old). I’m totally in love. He does however have a strong hound personality and a propensity to pull to chase trucks, and cyclist. My biggest worry for my fur-boy though is that he’s an escape artist and experienced climber. He recently scaled a 6ft fence – just to get on the other side. He also has terrible separation and crate anxiety. My question is, can these traits be trained?

  6. We are fostering a Bassador for the local Animal Control/Shelter. Her name is Dixie and she is a hoot. Her temperament is pretty spot on with this article. She plays hard and is loving when she wants to be. She wants to be the Boss Dog around the others (we have 4). She is due to go in for her Heart Worm treatment, spade and shots this week. I dont know if she will be a permanent resident, but has earned a place in our heart.

  7. I live Eugene Oregon.
    I’m ready to adopt a Bassdor in September.
    Looking for female.
    2 to 6 years old.
    Where can I find one?
    Thankss

    • Get in touch with a local basset or lab rescue group. Different regional rescues are willing to help transport a dog if they know you’ll provide a loving home.

      Source: my 3 bassadors from rescues/humane societies. Wonderful dogs, friendly and sweet and great with kids. Some medical problems, but my family tends to end up with those.

  8. I have a yellow lab/basset mix that was rescued from a pound. He looks like a yellow lab on basset legs. His ears aren’t long and his muzzle is short for a male lab (some people mistake him for a puppy). His personality is basset – he is stubborn, won’t fetch, doesn’t like water, and loves to follow a scent. He can spot coyote and deer at a very long distance. He is protective of me when another dog approaches. He loves people, especially men.

  9. We have a half black lab and half Bassett hound. I have been looking for help for months with him! He is hyper and stubborn , about a year and half and still chews everything!! I finally understand a few things now thank you!

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