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A basset hound is a long, low-slung, heavy-boned
scent hound bred for hunting small game, primarily rabbits. His long ears were developed
to stir up ground scent for his large nose to smell. The folds of skin under his chin are
useful for trapping and holding the scent. His large feet give him steadiness and his
heavy bone makes him sturdy. His short legs enable the hunter to follow him apace on foot.
The basset hound must have great lung capacity and a large, strong heart so that he can
track game for long periods of time. Bassets are expected to have the stamina to hunt day
after day in widely varying terrain, often with dense undergrowth and in all weather
conditions. They are truly a breed for whom form follows function.
Bassets are considered a medium-sized breed,
although a male basset can weigh over seventy poundsas much as many large dogs!
Females generally weight between forty and fifty pounds. The basset has a thick, dense
coat that repels water effectively and needs little formal grooming, a blessing for both
those who exhibit them in dog shows and those who love them as companions. They're an
independent breed with a sense of humor, extraordinarily intelligent, affectionate, and
The strong, sturdy Basset Hound was developed in
France. The word basset, in French means "low-slung". The words
seems to fit this breed very well. Although the French breed is not recognized by the
American Kennel Club, most researchers believe that the breed descends from the
now-extinct St. Hubert breed, also from France. While the breed did not arrive in England
and North America until the late1800s and early 1900s, it has existed in Europe for
approximately 300 years. The Basset makes an excellent tracker of hare, rabbit badger and
more. This breed is able to move through dense bush with relative ease with his sleek coat
and compact body. While he may appear to be a slow-mover at first glance, the Basset Hound
is surprisingly athletic and can cover great distances in a short time. Families with a
Basset need to provide him with regular exercise, such as a daily walk, to prevent him
from becoming obese.
Some misunderstandings about Bassets:
Many people believe that Basset Hounds are not
very intelligent. The opposite of this is true. The myth probably extends from the fact
that this breed is very independent and not normally motivated to please their humans.
Owners find this a challenge and small bites of food treats work well in training.
Another belief is that Bassets are small and
weak. They can range up to about 70 lbs and are a strong solid dog. Have you ever
seen a Basset pull a child in a wagon or their leashed owner while on a walk?
It is often felt that Bassets do not shed.
They do, in fact, shed quite a bit. Regular grooming is as important for this breed as
well as any other.
Think of Bassets and many people imagine a
lazy dog. In fact, the Basset Hound loves to run and frolic and explore. They
are naturally inquisitive and can become separated from their owners easily if taken on
unleashed walks. They do, in fact, love their owners, but are always looking for new
and fascinating things to get into. They are full of surprises!
Basic Facts About The Breed:
Height: Generally, the Bassets
are in the range of 13.5" to 14". Ideally though, the height should not exceed
14", however heights up to 15" are accepted. Any height at the shoulder blades
over 15" is a disqualification.
Weight: 40 - 60 lbs (17.9 -
Coat Type: While the skin of
the dog may be loose and wrinkled, the actual coat is short, flat and sleek. Colors
acceptable to this breed are the same as any acceptable Foxhound color: tan, black, or
red, with white markings permissible. A weekly rub-down with a bristle brush or hound-mitt
keeps the coat clean and healthy.
Temperament: The companionable
Basset makes a loyal, gentle and devoted family pet.
Health Problems: Be sure
to keep the eyes and extra-long ears clean to prevent infection.
Special Interest: Like every
other hound-dog, when the Basset catches an interesting scent, he is inclined to track as
far and for as long as he can. For this reason, make sure his exercise area is
well-maintained and gated. When in public areas, be sure your dog is obedient to your call
and beckon, otherwise keep him leashed..
AKC: Group 2 - Hounds
CKC: Group 2 - Hounds
KC: Sporting - Hound Group
FCI: Group 6
ANKC: Group 4 - Hounds
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