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Basset Hound

Basset Hound

Basset Hound


The Basset Hound is best known of all the Bassets, this breed has lost any geographical qualification of its name. The exact location of its origin is hazy, but it is regarded as a classically British breed. The Basset is descended from dwarfed bloodhounds, and dates back to the 1500s. The first breed description may be in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream: “With ears that sweep away the morning dew/Crook kneed, and dewlapped like Thessalian bulls/slow in pursuit, but matched in mouth like bells”.

Another story is that the first Bassets in England were named Basset and Balle, bought by Lord Galway in 1866 from the Compte de Tournon. A subsequent breeder, Sir Everett Millais, added the Bloodhound strain to his Basset stock to create a distinctively British breed.

The Basset Hound is sweet, gentle, devoted, peaceful and naturally well-behaved. They fit into family life well. Their temperament should always be friendly with never an indication of sharpness or viciousness and would only become so if the owners led the dog to believe he was pack leader over humans. They are mild but not timid; very affectionate with its master and friendly with children. It can be a bit stubborn with meek owners and need a firm, confident, and consistent owner who displays natural authority over the dog. Dogs need to know the rules of the house and have the humans stick to them.

Bassets like to do tricks for food. It has a deep musical bark. Housebreaking is difficult, but they do well with gentle patient training and positive reinforcement. With proper training, they are obedient, but when they pick up an interesting smell, it’s sometimes hard to get their attention, as they like to follow their noses and may not even hear you calling them back. Only allow your Basset off lead in safe areas.

The head is large, with a rounded skull and pronounced occiput. The plane of the muzzle is parallel to the top of the skull. The skin is loose-fitted and falls in folds on the head. The velvety ears are very long and should meet beyond the top of the nose. They should fold and not appear flat. The large teeth should meet in a scissors or level bite. The lips hand down with loose flews. The sad brown eyes should show prominent haw. The expression should be kindly without any harshness. The Basset has a very pronounced dewlap. His chest is very deep and extends in the front of the forelegs. The paws are big and the hindquarters are round. Dewclaws may be removed.

The dog’s movement should be deliberate, but not clumsy. The coat is short, hard and shiny. There are no rules concerning color, but it is usually white with chestnut or sand-colored markings.

For further information on the Basset Hound.

Websites related to Basset Hound Breeders, Clubs and Rescue Groups.

Related Links:  Beagle Afghan Hound.

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