The comic tells the story of a sarcastic Basset Hound named "Fred". He lives in London with his two owners, a husband and wife duo. It is a slice-of-life comic strip mainly consisting of the whimsical daily life of Fred.
Fred Basset provides examples of:
- Animated Adaptation: In 1976, the strips were adapted into 5-minute animated shorts.
- Comic-Book Time: Fred was born in 1959 and is stil alive after over 50 years.
- Dog Stereotype: Inverted with Fred. He's not the "lazy Basset Hound", the "dumb Basset Hound", or the "affectionate rural Basset Hound". He's decently energetic, is quite sassy and smart, and lives in the suburbs.
- Fan Nickname: Commenters on Go Comics call Fred's owners the "Dears" since that's their usual endearment for each other—and Fred's for them sometimes. Also, around 2019, Fred befriended a cat who pops in from time to time, owner unknown, but very friendly. Some readers called the cat "Purrcy" at first, but when she was confirmed as a female in 2022, that changed to "Purrcia."
- Friend to All Children: Fred's a favorite among the neighborhood kids (especially the Tucker Twins—first names not given) and the little girls Amanda and Mia. He's quite fond of all of them and often joins in their football games. He's also very fond of puppies—he visits any new litters or new arrivals in the neighborhood and enjoys playing with them, especially the posh neighbors' two little Pomeranian pups. Fred's parents are also warm and welcoming to the neighborhood children, despite having none of their own except Fred.
- Market-Based Title: It is known by different names in several countries. It's called Lorang in Norway, Wurzel in Germany, Laban in Sweden, and Lillo il Cane Saggio in Italy.
- No Name Given: Fred's owners are unnamed. (Readers often refer to them as the "Dears" or "Mr. and Mrs. Dear", since that's what they usually call each other.)
- Women Drivers: Several jokes revolve around Fred's female owner being a bad driver.