Basset Hound Dog Breed
Aliases: Low-Set Hound
|Life Span:||8 to 12 years|
|Litter Size:||8 puppies|
|Recognized By:||CKC, FCI, AKC, ANKC|
|Color:||The colors of the Basset Hound are of any recognized hound color. This can be lemon (white and light buff), red and white, mahogany, black and white, tri-color (white body with brown head and on body with blanket, and some black spotted highlights with or without a blanket), or the Bleu De Gascogne.|
|Male Height:||12-15 inches|
|Male Weight:||30 to 65 pounds|
|Female Height:||12-15 inches|
|Female Weight:||20 to 55 pounds|
|General info courtesy of terrificpets.com. Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.|
|Living Area:||The Basset Hound can live in either indoors or outdoors in today\'s world, but in the early 1500s and thereafter, it was bred as an outside dog due to its hunting responsibilities. This is not a small apartment-sized dog, but requires larger exercise areas or yards, or exercising outside of the home through walking or hunting.|
The Basset Hounds are the only living descendents of our earliest scenthounds, and as a smooth, short-coated dog, the Basset Hound has a long, heavy body with wrinkly-cute, short stout legs. This Basset form has been developed over centuries for its owners to follow the dog on foot with the dog leading, as they hunt through dense cover for badgers, rabbits, and hares, allowing the hound to hunt with its famous sense of smell.
The head of the Basset is its strong point with a rounded skull and loose-fitting skin, falling in folds around the head. Long soft ears should meet beyond the top of the nose when extended, having the ability to fold, and not look "flat." But it is the eyes, sad brown eyes, which reaches the hearts of people, kind with softness and no harsh appearance. Round hindquarters and large paws add to the look of gentleness and make one wonder how such a beautifully powered dog could ever hunt live game, looking like it should be on the lap of its owner as a fluffy lap pet whose only mission in life is to be petted.
Physical characteristics of the breed allow the thick coat to protect the dog from being torn or hurt from bramble bushes during the hunt, or getting caught up in them. The long ears are said by old-timers to stir up the ground scent for the dog to follow, while the wrinkles in the loose skin around the face trap the scent that has risen in the air. All of these features, working together as one, make the Bassett Hound an excellent tracker in its slow and easy meandering way, while it sniffs scent and then trails the find. Stubborn and slow moving, once this dog gets on a trail, it refuses to give up until the trail has disappeared-with or without its owners or trainers.
Compared to other breeds, the Basset Hound has a much heavier bone that is in total proportion to its physical size. While it is considered a short dog, once a person tries picking them up they will never make the mistake of calling the Basset a small dog simply because they are low to the ground. This heavy weight is what works with the slow-moving attribute of the dog, as it moves forward with sheer determination, focusing on the scent with its nose to the ground. But once the scent is found, their loud beautiful baying makes the heart pound with excitement and nostalgia for this ancient breed on the hunt-once again.
Any game can be fun with the Basset as they enjoy family and owners, and will play games if they think it will benefit them-like a treat or two.
If the kennel is outside where they do will sleep is warm and protected, sleeping outside will do well, but it is important to know that this breed is a kind and loving breed and bonds well with family. The Basset would actually prefer to sleep on the bottom of the bed, or right next to its owner with the pillow tucked under its head.
The coat of a Basset Hound is short, heavy, and smooth, with low grooming requirements. A brushing once or twice a week removes any dead dander hair, while keeping the skin circulated. But during heavy shedding cycles, the hair will need to be removed by brushing and bathing.
This color refers to a smooth, blue mottled and black, with tan markings on the hound. The Bleu De Gascogne is not recognized by the American Kennel Club according to their breed standard of the Basset Hound. But it is recognized under the FCI registry under the hound division, and is also recognized under the Rare Breed Network. The main registry for this colored Basset Hound is the Bleu De Gascogne Club of America, for those who enjoy this colored Basset and would like to show it.
History says very little about the Bassett Hound until around the 1500s, and it was during this time that it was referred to as a badge hunter. What documentation we have during those early days shows they originated from the old St. Hubert hounds that were the hunting hounds of the abbey of St. Hubert in the Ardennes, the capital of the forests of the High Ardennes and hunting.
These early Ardennes hounds were brought to Britain in 1066 during the Norman invasion, used in packs to hunt stag. The English gave the name Bloodhound to this imported dog, completely transforming this Belgian hunting dog into one the highest quality-tracking dog with the most exceptional olfactory organ of any breed known to man. Later on, this breed was mixed with the later-developed Basset Hound to increase the Basset\'s size.
Once the Basset began to gain popularity, they gathered many admirers from King Edwards VII to Shakespeare. But before then, from the earliest time of its origin until the French Revolution, information about the breed is very sketchy and pretty much undocumented. Dogs were used prior to the war that were shorter-legged and slower paced, but because of the war the dogs became extinct or dispersed.
After the Revolution, the common man took up hunting with guns, using dogs they could follow while on foot. They needed a dog they could keep up with who also had a great scenting ability, and heavy bone for long endurance. With a clearer picture of history and more documentation, it was recognized that the Basset Hound was the dog to answer this need. Due to the dog\'s slow speed when chasing the prey, it was discovered that the prey was easier to shoot at as it provided an easier target for the hunters on foot.
During these early times, four different versions of the Basset Hound were developed, with the Basset Artesien Normand looking like the present-day Basset. In the 1800s and in the 1930s, the Bassets were crossed with Bloodhounds to increase the size of the dog. From then on, the Basset Hound gradually gained in popularity, with its gentle personality and droll expression winning everyone over.
With such a sweet gentle look on its face, it is no wonder that the Basset Hound\'s personality is sweet and gentle, with a peaceful demeanor that belies the inner strength of this four-legged hunter and tracker. Because their personality is mild, this breed has become one of the most popular family dogs, known for their extreme tolerance. A naturally well-behaved dog, they are the most easygoing of breeds with a good-natured personality. And with such a mild disposition, many individuals take this as timidness in the breed. But its mild personality causes the breed to be very affectionate with its owner, along with children in the family. Fitting well into any family, it is cordial with family pets, children and other dogs. The only warning regarding families will be the Basset\'s back as if children attempt to ride on the dog\'s back, it will do great damage due to the length of the body.
A calm dog, they love food and can easily be trained to do tricks for it. They respond well to gentle and patient training with lots of love and kindness, with positive reinforcement as they learn their commands. Unfortunately, they are known to combine stubbornness with their training program, so choosing a training program needs to be an excellent one. Once the Basset Hound acquires the scent coming from their age-old instincts as a cat crosses the street or field, or a rabbit takes off across the nearby field-it will be very hard to keep the attention of this eager student unless he has been taught with high obedience training.
It is important to remember that Basset\'s were once a pack animal, and part of a pack. Not an aggressive breed because of this pack background, they are a loving and cuddly breed--with many owners referring to the Bassett thinking it is a lap dog or refusing to leave the side of their owner. In several breeds the females and males will fight against one another, which is due to the dog\'s personality and territorial rights the Basset Hounds are not like that as they get along well with other dogs and both sexes of their own.
Thyroid Disease - Low Risk
The Basset Hound ranks #99 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. This is considered a low risk breed so your chances of obtaining a dog with the disease is small. It is still suggested that dogs meant for breeding still be tested to help bring the incidence of disease even lower (or even eliminate it).
|Rank Among Breeds||Number of Dogs Tested||Percent of Dogs With Disease|
You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here
Other Health Problems
A major concern with the Bassett Hound is obesity; not only with the weight issue but also because of the strain it puts on the intervertebral disk, forming a disease. Suggestions for tests that need to be done are the eyes and the blood, with an occasional checking for patellar luxation.
Other major concerns for the breed are:
- foreleg lameness
- otitis externa
- intervertebral disc disease
- von Willebrands
- gastric torsion
- foot cysts
- infection as minor concerns.
- Bloat can also occur due to their love of food, with possible lameness and paralysis due to the extra weight on their legs and spine.