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Basset Hound

Gentle and non-confrontational, the Basset is instantly recognizable by its big, heavy body, long ears, and short legs. Basset, in fact, comes from the French word bas, which means "low." One thing is for certain, the Basset Hound is an excellent tracker and hunter but also a loyal pet.

  

Physical Characteristics

The Basset Hound has a heavy, bony structure, making it larger-proportioned than other breeds. The dog’s short legs and long, heavy body help it run smoothly and powerfully, even in places with thick cover. It moves with its nose pointing to the ground. The tight and thick coat, which can be found in variety of colors, protects the dog from brambles during a hunt.

According to experts, the wrinkles and the long ears help the dog in trapping scent, while its muzzle is spacious in order to accomodate its complicated olfactory apparatus -- an apparatus that makes the large and strong Basset Hound stand out among other dogs, even with its short legs.

Personality and Temperament

By nature, the Basset Hound is very friendly with children and other pets, and is also one of the most relaxed and good-natured of the hound breeds. However, this slow-moving dog may become stubborn at times. Kids should not strain the dog’s back, which is prone to problems.

The Basset Hound is fond of trailing and sniffing, baying loudly while on the trail and inspecting things slowly. As it is a good tracker, the hound will continue to follow game, even if it gets lost.

Care

Daily mild exercise, like playing in the garden or walking on a leash, is good enough to satisfy the Basset. The dog’s face, particularly the wrinkles and around the mouth should always be kept clean, while the coat does not require much grooming. This breed has a tendency to drool and it functions best indoors as a house pet.

Health

The Basset Hound, which has an average lifespan of 8 to 12 years, is prone to major health conditions such as Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD), gastric torsion, elbow dysplasia, thrombopathy, entropion, otitis externa, ectropion, glaucoma, von Willebrand's Disease (vWD), and canine hip dysplasia (CHD). Obesity is a common problem in the breed, which can lead to back problems. It may also suffer from patellar luxation. To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may recommend eye and hip exams on this breed of dog; platelet tests may help confirm vWD.

History and Background

The Basset Hound was first mentioned in 16th-century text, which spoke of badger hunting. However, people have used short-legged breeds since ancient times. When such dogs were bred successfully to create the Basset Hound is anyone's guess.

The pre-Revolutionary French used short-legged dogs for hunting, but not much was documented about these dogs. After the French Revolution, many common hunters required a dog that could be followed on foot. This dog also had to be strong, heavy-boned, and short-legged, with good scenting ability.

The Basset was a good choice, as the dog moves slowly, thereby allowing the hunter to attack the quarry easily. Although it normally used to hunt rabbits and hares, the Basset could hunt larger mammals as well. Four types of short-legged hound were eventually created, of which the Basset Artesien Normand was closest to the modern day Basset.

The Basset was crossed with Bloodhounds in the late 1800s, in order to increase the dog’s size. The result was then crossed with the Artesien Normand. It was during the same period when the first Bassets were introduced to America and England, leading to the breed’s popularity. In the mid-1900s, the Basset became popular as a pet and also in the fields of entertainment and advertising, for its funny expression.

Because of its gentle, non-confrontational nature, the Basset remains a favorite among dog fanciers, hunters, and families today.

Comments  8

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  • talking about geting a ba
    09/24/2015 11:38pm

    where can i get a pupie baset hound for free at please answer sone my douters birthday is soon thank you

  • 06/09/2016 05:43pm

    If you can't afford to buy any kind of dog, you probably can't afford to take care of one, and therefore, shouldn't have one. The average dog cost almost $2k a year in care and other needs.

  • 09/15/2016 03:16pm

    It doesn't take 2K/yr to care for a basset. I have owned one for 10 yrs and he is low maintenance as for as vet bills go. He never gets sick. I expect towards the end of his life he will get sick but to say it cost 2K/yr to care for this bread is ridiculous.

  • 09/15/2016 03:19pm

    I meant breed not bread. My mistake.

  • talking about geting a ba
    09/24/2015 11:40pm

    where can i get a pupie baset hound for free at please answer sone thank you

  • 09/15/2016 03:18pm

    I doubt you will find a free basset puppy anywhere

  • 10/14/2016 04:46pm

    You cannot get a basset for free. Good luck with that one! They are not a cheap breed to purchase nor are they plentiful to find. Took me a year to find my basset house puppy and he was FAR from free. Paid a pretty penny for him.

  • Hey my comment didnt post
    01/17/2017 08:51pm

    I dont want to write it again so ill just say, its BS about not getting anything for free. I guess you just have to be willing to work for it, like go to shelters, check at rescues, get on PetFinder. I've had 5 pure breed Basset Hounds. All together I payed $70. 4 of them were puppies when I got them, 3 of them were Papered. So it is possible. They're names were Daisy, Primo, George, Molly, and Jasper who is still with me. He was FREE.

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