Basset Hound

Country of origin: Great Britain
Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC
Occupation: Trailer
Size: No taller than 14 in; 40
to 60 lbs
Longevity: 11 to 13 years
Exercise: Calm; low energy
Training: Challenge
Grooming: Easy

Short but massive, the Basset (from the French word bas for low) is a hound once used to hunt in packs. Originating in France and possibly descended from dwarfed Bloodhounds, selective breeding shortened the legs so that human hunters could keep pace. They are mild and affectionate by nature, with tuneful voices. It may be the hound described by Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night’s Dream: “their heads are hung/With ears that sweep away the morning dew/Crookknee’d, and dew-lapp’d like Thessalian bulls”. This singular appearance has a practical function: the long ears sweep the ground, stirring up scent on a trail, while splayed feet give stability. Lighter examples still take part in field trials, but the majority of Bassets are now to be found lounging langorously in family homes. Exaggerated breeding for excessively long backs and ears has, to some extent, been reduced, but there is still a higher-thanaverage incidence of back pain and irritating eye conditions. Paw problems are also common in older individuals.

The precursors of today’s basset hounds got their start in France around the 1800s. Their main priority in life was hunting rabbits and tracking in packs. They had keen noses very similar to the bloodhound and were a great asset.

The basset hounds of today were the product of a mutation all because someone wanted bigger basset hounds. They received recognition during Napoleon’s ruling because of his paintings. In 1870, they were bred on purpose and in a controlled setting. The first standard was written in the 19th century.

The loving Basset Hound is a great family dog and an efficient hunter. Despite its great hunting abilities with its nose and keen sense of smell, they are often considered quite lazy. Their lackadaisical nature often leads to long naps and can be seen sleeping their entire day away.

Since they are laid back and patient, they are often considered the ideal family pet. They are great with children despite the fun they have with their dangling ears. They tend to follow their nose in many situations and can be stubborn. Otherwise, they are very charming creatures who lay about making their owner smile.

The basset hound has a unique appearance with their droopy ears and short legs. They are of medium size from 44 to 77 lbs. Females are typically smaller. They stand anywhere from 11 to 15 inches tall on the stubby legs. They have big-boned bodies that add to the uniqueness of the breed.

Their low-hanging ears are a staple within their breed. They are velvet and restrict air circulation. Their skin is elastic and their coat is weather resistant. Their coat is hard yet short and can come in any color. Some colors seen are black, tan, and red. Typically only nine colors are seen within the breed.

Grooming is a walk in the park for these sweet creatures. They only require a minimal of regular bathing, coat brushing, and nail trimming. Their ears require more attention because they allow debris in easily and keep them trapped their. They hang low and can get in their food. If not careful, they can develop ear diseases. They will need to be checked for mites and dirt to avoid infection. Their coat is short so excessive shedding is not an issue.

They will need to be exercised daily at least once a day. Although they would be content laying about, they are susceptible to obesity. They are easy to train because of their obedience and patient characteristics. This will make them happy though and as puppies, they need to learn how to channel their energy.

Most basset hounds are healthy but can be prone to a different range of diseases than others. The most common are glaucoma or thrombopathia. Without proper care, mites and bacteria can build up in their saggy ears. The result is ear diseases that can sometimes be fatal. Their eyes also droop which can cause issues due to the buildup of debris.



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