What is a Recognized Hound Color?

Two different colored Basset Hound puppies

Basset Hound Color: Any recognized hound color is acceptable and the distribution of color and markings is of no importance.

And honestly, folks, that’s all they wrote! There is no list of colors in the AKC Basset Hound Breed Standard, and no fault, serious fault, or disqualifications assigned to color.

In their Encyclopedia of K-9 Terminology, Edward and Patricia Gilbert assert that references to “recognized hound color” as used in the Basset Standard, or “true hound color” as used in the Beagle Standard, refers to “hound color is identified in the English Foxhound Standard as black, white and tan or any combination of these three, or any combination of the various ‘pies’ composed of white and the color of the hare and badger or yellow or tan.

They go on to say, “Any breed developed in England that uses the term hound color or true hound color is referring to the color of the English Foxhound.

Two different colored Basset Hound puppies

It’s true that the classic Basset marking most featured in art of Bassets is a blanket tri-color, typically with a black blanket over brown on the body and head, with a white chest, belly and legs/socks. But this is far from the only acceptable color, and some of those colors would go beyond the colors identified in the encyclopedia.

They include Bassets that are almost completely a deep mahogany in color, and Bassets very heavily ticked in black and white with only minimal brown points over the eyes, on their cheeks, and around the base of the tail, with an overall color that is quite reminiscent of a Bluetick Coonhound. And true lemon Basset Hounds, which are fairly rare but correct in color, have only subtle, pale yellow color markings on largely white coats.

Blue Bassets appear from time to time, a dilute form of tri-color. They are rarely seen in the show ring. There is a French breed called the Basset Bleu de Gascone, recognized by the FCI. This is a distinct breed from the Basset Hound and is not a “blue” Basset, despite the name.

Basset Bleu de Gascone are described in the FCI Breed Standard as “entirely mottled (black and white) giving a slate blue effect.” However, this is not a “Blue Basset,” which is a dilute form of tri-colors due to a recessive gene. No hound explicitly accepts a blue dilute coloration, so this is one of the few colors that I would consider as not being a recognized hound color.



Are you looking for a Basset Hound puppy?

The best way to ensure a long and happy relationship with a purebred dog is to purchase one from a responsible breeder. Not sure where to begin finding a breeder?

Contact the National Parent Club’s Breeder Referral person, which you can find on the AKC Breeder Referral Contacts page.


Want to help rescue and re-home a Basset Hound dog?

Did you know nearly every recognized AKC purebred has a dedicated rescue group? Find your new best friend on the AKC Rescue Network Listing.


Basset Hound Dog Breed Magazine

Showsight Magazine is the only publication to offer dedicated Digital Breed Magazines for ALL recognized AKC Breeds.

Read and learn more about the loyal Basset Hound dog breed with articles and information in our Basset Hound Breed Magazine.


Basset Hound Breed Magazine - Showsight


If you enjoy the Basset Hound Breed Magazine, help us educate the community by sharing it.

  • Sylvie McGee has been involved with Basset Hounds for nearly 35 years, first in Basset Hound rescue, and since the 1990s, in Conformation. She has bred Basset Hounds under the prefix HeavenScent, typically showing and finishing her hounds from the Bred-By Class. Sylvie has served the Basset Hound Club of America in a variety of Committee and Board positions, and is currently the BHCA’s First Vice President. She is currently approved to judge the Hound Group and five Working Breeds, and judged Intersex at the 2021 BHCA National Specialty in Lima, Ohio.

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