Why Are Basset Hounds So Lazy? (Answered and Explained!)

Basset hounds are known for their laid-back and relaxed personality, and people often call them lazy. But being a hound, a hunting dog, aren’t they suppose to be active and energetic? Then Why are Basset Hounds so Lazy?

Basset Hounds are lazy because they were selectively bred to have an incredible sense of smell and a slow and steady pace so that hunters can keep up with them. This trait has made modern-day basset hounds relaxed and laid-back.

But lazy doesn’t mean they are total couch potatoes. They are still a hound and need regular exercise and walks to stay fit and healthy. 

5 Basset Hound Traits That Are Often Mistaken For Laziness

Sometimes, certain myths get built around dog breeds’ temperament and physical traits resulting in stereotypes. One such stereotype is that Basset Hounds are lazy dogs. 

Let us take a look at the breed’s traits that often make people think Bassets are lazy.

Their Physical Makeup Causes Them to Tire Easily

Basset Hounds have short legs and long backs. This physical makeup makes them tire easily which is why they seem to need more frequent rests.

Don’t forget the fact that the Basset Hounds were bred to be hunters’ companions. Despite their short legs, they could easily chase small games like hares and rabbits. Their long backs also allowed them to flush out rabbits from burrows and tight spots.

Unfortunately, due to this physical makeup, they need more rest stops. This does not mean they are lazy. In reality, Bassets can easily cover large distances while hunting, just not as fast as some other dog breeds..

They are Stubborn and Need Firm Handling and Training

Basset Hounds are renowned for their stubborn streak. Here are some typical examples of stubbornness displayed by them:

  • They chose to smell a flower or dig the ground, ignoring all your commands.
  • They often hit the brakes on the walk, refusing to any further. This happens with us all the time.

It is up to you to train this stubbornness out of your Basset from a young age. Remember: a dog’s stubborn nature can get difficult to overcome as they grow.

 This is why you need to show your dog who the boss is, right from day one. Start with basing obedience training early on. Always use positive reinforcement methods instead of punishments. If needed, hire a professional dog trainer to help you.

They are Incredibly Smart

Bassets are intelligent dogs. The breed ranks #71 in the most intelligent dog breeds – which isn’t too bad considering there are over 200 purebred dogs in that list!

However, their smartness means they know exactly what is good for them. If they don’t see the value in exercise or training, they won’t move!  This could make your Basset seem lazy, when, in reality, they just aren’t motivated enough.

Thankfully, Bassets are extremely food-oriented, and treats and rewards are a great way to get your Basset moving!

They need to Sniff Compulsively on Their Walks

When you walk with your Basset, you must understand that a short walk around the block is likely to stretch for an hour. After all; all Bassets need to compulsively stop and sniff around when they walk – they simply cannot help it. It is easy to mistake such compulsive sniffing as an excuse for not walking. 

In reality – your Basset is hard at work while sniffing. Bassets have a powerful olfactory sense. Their sense of smell is almost 40 times more powerful than that of humans. Sniffing every corner, rock, or tree stump helps your pet acquire important information about neighborhood dogs. Your dog needs this mental stimulus and it is as important as physical exercise for your dog’s well-being

They are Fun-Loving Dogs

If you’re planning to set an exercise regime for your Basset, you must make sure it is fun. If you choose stressful activities, your Basset might start loathing exercise. This could be mistaken for laziness. In reality, all you need to do is choose activities that you and your Basset both enjoy. 

For starters, you could play a game of fetch in the yard, set an obstacle course indoors, or even make a designated digging area for your canine pal. Bassets love to dig!

Why Do Basset Hounds Sleep So Much?

It is normal for a Basset Hound puppy to sleep for up to 16-20 hours a day. An adult Basset Hound will sleep almost 13-15 hours a day. Like most indoor dog breeds, Basset Hounds tend to nap throughout the day. 

It is normal for a healthy, well-exercised adult Basset to sleep for an average of 14.5 hours daily.

If your Basset appears more sluggish than usual, has a decreased appetite, or is showing symptoms of pain or ill health, please call your vet immediately.

Are Basset Hounds Low-Energy Dogs?

Though Basset Hounds as a breed have the stereotype of being lethargic and low energy, some Bassets can be as energetic as Jack Russell Terriersand some Jack Russells can have much lower energy than Basset Hounds!

It is not the dog breed that determines the dog’s character; it is the energy the animal was born with. Certainly, breeding and genetics do matter, but it also depends on the pet’s environment.

 If you’re active and energetic, there is a good chance that your healthy Basset will be energetic and active as well.

Key Takeaways – Why Are Basset Hounds So Lazy?

Your Basset might seem lazy to you because they nap all day. In reality, getting your Basset to enjoy exercise is up to you. And exercise they must!

Healthy adult Bassets need at least an hour of physical activity daily. Without it, they can get bored, depressed, and destructive. 

Remember: most dog owners unconsciously choose a dog that matches their energy levels. So, if you move more, chances are your Basset will as well!