Basset Hound

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Other names:
  • None
Country/Date of origin:
  • France
  • 1500′s
  • 13 to 15 inches
  • 40 to 60 pounds
  • Good natured and easy going.
  • Has a great sense of humor.
  • Stubborn.
  • Not too intelligent.
  • It seems that about 90% of the brain is directly wired to the nose.
  • Very difficult to train.

Although the Basset family of dogs originated in France, the one Americans know as the Basset was refined in England in the last part of the 19th century.  The scent trailing breed was developed by French nobility to hunt rabbit, hare, deer, and other game that could be taken on foot.  The shortness of leg and bulky body make the Basset especially useful in dense cover.  The amusingly shaped body is really quite efficient at punching into thickets.  Recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1885, the breed had an amazing spurt of popularity in the 1950′s when it was the darling of the advertising world.

Body Type:
  • A long, low dog.
  • The Basset looks as if it has a Bloodhound’s head set on a Dachshund’s body.
  • The long, hanging ears are not altered.  They help to gather the scent into the nose while tracking.
  • Tails are carried above the line of the back and are not altered.
  • The Basset’s leg bones are the heaviest of any breed.
  • Short, glossy coat lies close to the loose, wrinkled skin.
  • Sheds more than most short-haired dogs.
  • Colors are all hound colors, but the most commonly seen are combinations of black, tan, and white or red and white.
  • Minimal grooming.
Health and Wellness:
  • Gastric dilatation and volvulus syndrome (GDV, also commonly called bloat).
  • Basset Hound thrombopathy.
  • von Willebrand’s disease.
  • Glaucoma.
  • Intervertebral disc disease.
  • Otitis externa.
  • Atopy.
  • Seborrhea.
  • Patella luxation.
  • Urolithiasis (cystine).
  • Lymphoma.
  • Trichoepitheliomas.
  • Pilomatrixomas.
What you should know:
  • Bas is the French word for low.  One look at the Basset and you can see why it carries its name.
  • Bassets are said to have the most musical voice in the dog world.  The world is treated to their vocal expressions quite often, too.
  • Bassets used for hunting are higher on the leg and not as stocky as the show and pet Basset.
  • Hunters traditionally follow these hare hunters on foot.
  • George Washington hunted with a pair of Bassets given to him by Lafayette.
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