Bassets might howl or bay rather than bark when they want something or to suggest that they think something is wrong. They also use a low, murmuring whine to get attention, which sounds to many owners as though their Bassets are "talking."
Basset Hounds are an aristocratic breed of French lineage, a descendant of the St. Hubert's Hound, a dog similar to the present-day Bloodhound. Friars of St. Hubert's Abbey in medieval France desired a shorter-legged dog, capable of following a scent under brush in thick forests, as hunting was a classic sport of the time. Both Bassets and St. Hubert's Hounds were bred to trail, not kill, their game. Bassets were originally used to hunt rabbits and hare. The first application of the word "Basset" to a breed of dog can be traced to an illustrated text on hunting written by Fouilloux in 1585.
Early French Bassets closely resembled the Basset Artésien Normand, which is still a breed today though it is not recognized outside of France. Because many short-legged dogs from this time were called basset and record-keeping from this time was sparse, it is difficult to speculate which of these breeds have bloodlines in common with today's Basset Hounds. It is commonly believed that Marquis de Lafayette brought Basset Hounds to the United States as a gift to George Washington.
In 1863 the Basset Hound reached international fame at the Paris Dog Show. At that time there were two common Bassets, those with a rough coat (Basset Griffon) and those with smooth (Basset Français). The dogs were further classified by the length of their legs. The two popular Basset breeders at this time were M. Lane and the Count Le Couteulx.
In 1866, Lord Galway imported a pair of Le Couteulx Bassets to England, but it was not until 1874 that Basset Hounds were widely introduced there by Sir Everett Millais. The Kennel Club accepted the breed in 1882 and the English Basset Hound Club was formed in 1884. The American Kennel Club first recognized Basset Hounds as a breed in 1885. In 1935, the Basset Hound Club of America was organized in the United States. The current American breed standard was adopted in 1964.
Health and care
Tricolour BassetIn comparison to other breeds, the Basset Hound is an especially healthy breed but there are some illnesses to which they may fall prey.
They are a deep-chested breed, and are therefore prone to bloat. Many bloodlines are genetically prone to glaucoma, luxating patella, and ectropion ("cherry eye"). Young Bassets occasionally develop panosteitis. Older Bassets occasionally develop Von Willebrand disease. Long dogs on short legs can easily develop back pain, especially if excessive weight is already a concern. Hip dysplasia can be a problem in Bassets. Due to the breed's short legs and large mass, Bassets may be susceptible to arthritis as they grow older. Also, the life expectancy for an average Basset usually lies between 8 to 12 years of age, but there are extreme cases where they live beyond 14 years old.
As Basset Hounds often overeat, feedings should be regulated to prevent weight gain. Long ears are prone to infection if not cleaned regularly. The pronounced haw of the eyes can become dry and irritated.
Training is a touchy topic when deal with the Basset Hound breed. Gentle and patient training is the most effective form of training. Trainers must be persistent with the breed in order to achieve a well mannered dog. The Basset has the tendency to become stubborn by listening to their nose, rather than their master. Owners need to make the training process lively and entertaining to allow the Basset to learn more pro-efficiently.
Height: 13 - 15 inches
Weight: 40 - 60 lbs.
Colors: Generally black, white and tan, but occasionally lemon.
Coat: Hard, smooth, short and dense.
Temperament: Basset Hounds are independent, good natured, sociable and gentle
With Children: Yes, delightful pet to children.
With Pets: May show dominance to other male dogs.
Life Span: 10 - 12 years