A Basset Hound temperament should be sweet and gentle and happy. It should never be sour , timid or agressive. The best way to ensure that is to purchase a puppy with a happy outgoing temperament and if the temperament is solid behind them then the whole litter will be bright and outgoing. This is not to say that a quiet timid puppy will not be a good pet with some work, but it is unlikely that they will assimilate with your visitors with ease in my limited experience. Always ask to be shown both the dam and sire. Often the sire is owned by someone else but see if you can see him at a Dog Show.
Calm happy parents produce calm, happy puppies and dogs.
Always choose a puppy with bright clear eyes. They should walk without any problems and should not drag any feet. They should be plump and a little bit round. When awake they should be quite active. it should be apparent that they have been well socialised.
There are a number of Genetic disorders in Basset Hounds as there are in any Breed.
Reputable Breeders are testing for these disorders.
Tests can be carried out for :
Glaucoma (Blindness). There are 3 kennels in Australia that I am aware of that currently test for Glaucoma, and my kennel is one of them after hearing tales of Glaucoma from people want to buy pets and have that experience recently.
Von Willebrands Disease.
Bassets hounds are basically sound healthy animals and most of the imports that came into this country were tested for the disorders and were clear so the Genetic Disorders should not alarm you. Some breeders do test as an added precaution and because they are extremely reputable Breeders and you should discuss this with the Breeder.
Some breeders including myself have Xrayed for both Hip and Elbow Dysplasia. Basset Hounds do not have hips like other breeds but should not walk as toeing in etc.
Remember you are buying a healthy specimen as a pet , not a show Dog so do not expect a Show Quality puppy. As a general rule, Do not breed your pet Basset unless you discuss it with the Breeder.
FINDING THE RIGHT BREEDER:
Inspect as many dogs as possible. Anyone is always welcome here to meet my older dogs. Most breeders would be the same. Go to Shows and look at the Dogs. However always bear in mind that some Breeders only show rarely or at Big Shows. Surf the net look for sites with pictures of Dogs that you may like. Some sites have links to other sites. Not all Breeders are members of the State Breed Club for political reasons. It does not mean that they are not reputable Breeders. Look at as many kennels as you can to decide whose type is really your type of Basset Hound.
And above All Good Luck.