The American Kennel Club recognizes only one variety of basset hound, which can stand up to 15 inches in height and weigh up to 65 pounds. Miniature basset hounds are simply bassets that are smaller than average.
The basset hound has the body of a medium-size dog with short legs. Its unusual body type is due to a genetic condition causing abnormal growth of bone and cartilage. Dachshunds and English bulldogs share this trait. Basset hounds are prone to back problems and need regular exercise to keep from becoming overweight. They shouldn't be permitted to jump down from even moderate heights as they can easily damage their spines or hips.