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…
- How long do Basset Hound Lab mixes live?
- Are Basset Hound Lab mixes good family dogs?
- How big do Bassadors get?
- Where can I find a Basset Hound Lab mix?
What’s In This Guide
- Basset Hound Lab Mix At A Glance
- In-depth Breed Review
- Basset Hound Lab Mix Training And Care
- Pros And Cons Of Getting A Basset Hound Lab Mix
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
- History and original purpose of the Basset Hound Lab mix
- Basset Hound Lab mix appearance
- Basset Hound Lab mix temperament
- Training and exercising your Basset Hound Lab mix
- Basset Hound Lab mix health and care
- Do Bassadors make good family pets
- Rescuing a Basset Hound Lab mix
- Finding and raising a Basset Hound Lab mix puppy
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.
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:
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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!
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- 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
- Gough A, Thomas A, O’Neill D. 2018 Breed Predispositions to Disease In Dogs and Cats. Wiley Blackwell
- O’Neill et al. 2013. Longevity and Mortality of Owned Dogs In England. The Veterinary Journal
- Adams VJ, et al. 2010. Results of a Survey of UK Purebred Dogs. Journal of Small Animal Practice.
- Schalamon et al. 2006. Analysis of Dog Bites In Children Who Are Younger Than 17 Years. Pediatrics
- Duffy D et al. Breed differences in canine aggression. Applied Animal Behavior Science 2008
- Strain G. Deafness prevalence and pigmentation and gender associations in dog breeds at risk. The Veterinary Journal 2004
- Packer et al. 2015. Impact of Facial Conformation On Canine Health. PlosOne
- Ahram, D., et al., 2015, “Variants in Nebulin (NEB) Are Linked to the Development of Familial Primary Angle Closure Glaucoma in Basset Hounds,” PLOS One
- Bond, R., Patterson-Kane, J.C., Perrins, N., Lloyd, D.H., 2006, “Patch Test Responses to Malassezia Pachydermatis in Healthy Basset Hounds and in Basset Hounds with Malassezia Dermatitis,” Medical Mycology
- De Decker, S., et al., 2012, “Cervical Vertebral Stenosis Associated with a Vertebral Arch Anomaly in the Basset Hound,” Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
- Downing, R. “Globoid-cell Leukodystrophy in Dogs,” VCA Animal Hospitals
- Johnstone, I., and Lotz, F., 1979, “An Inherited Platelet Function Defect in Basset Hounds,” Canadian Veterinary Journal
- Martínez, S., et al., 2007, “Histopathologic Study of Long-Bone Growth Plates Confirms the Basset Hound as an Osteochondrodysplastic Breed,” Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research
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.
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