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Basset Hound

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The basset hound is a medium- sized dog originally bred to hunt and track rabbits and foxes. The name ‘basset’ derives from French and can be translated as ‘relatively short’. The basset hound is the dog with the best sense of smell in the world thus making it a highly praised hunting dog. Today, the basset hound is mostly known as a family dog.

The basset hound originates from France and can be traced back to 1561. An illustrated hunting description from France mentions a breed called basset. In fact, there are six recognized basset breeds. The main purpose of the basset hound was hunting and Napoleon III often used it.

It is also thought that the first American president George Washington received a couple of basset hounds as a present from Marquis de LaFayette. The basset hound we know today is based on both the hunting line and the pet dog bred in the 20th century. Seeing as hunting no longer serves the same popularity the basset hound is mainly used as a family dog and has lost part of its hunting instincts.

Appearance, grooming and health
A basset hound weighs approximately 50-63 pounds and is 11-14 inches tall. Life expectancy is 10 to 12 years. This breed is characterized by its very long ears hanging down reaching the chest of the dog. The basset has some dewlap that provides it with a somewhat sad expression. However, it is part of the dog’s charm.

The tail is medium long and has a white tip, which is highly wanted by hunters because the dog is easier to spot during the hunt. The legs are short but the body medium-sized. Due to its length the basset hound is capable of reaching things that other dogs of the same height cannot (e.g. a delicious smelling cookie on the kitchen counter). Usually, a poor swimmer because of its build.

A basset hound is usually black, brown, and white. But other colours are also acceptable. The coat is short, shiny, and sheds a great deal.

Character and behaviour
The basset hound is a good family dog. It is friendly and patient with children. The basset hound has distinct hunting instincts and should never be let off the leash. It can be very stubborn thus making treats part of the training session a good idea. The basset hound tends to bark or howl when it wants attention or calls attention to something else. It can be a challenge to train a basset hound.

What you should know about the breed:

  • Characteristic build: long, short, and heavy
  • Displays a very gentle temper
  • Only needs moderate level of exercise
  • Hunting instincts make it difficult to walk a basset off the leash
  • Difficult to train
  • Heavy shedder and sometimes drools
  • It likes to bark or howl when it wants attention or something unexpected happens

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