Other Names: Basset
Dog Group Kennel Club: Hound (AKC, KC)
A Basset Hound has a long, low-slung, heavy-boned body. They were originally used as scent hounds, for hunting small game such as rabbits. Basset’s have long ears, which were developed to stir up ground scent. Basset hounds also have great lung capacity and a large, strong heart so that they can hunt game for long periods of time.
The basset has a thick, short, dense coat that repels water effectively. Coat Colours include: black, tan and white, or any combination of these colours.
Weight: Males 70 lbs, Females 45-50 lbs
Average life span: 11-13 years
Basset Hounds are independent with a sense of humour, intelligent, affectionate, loyal and entertaining. They have a very gentle and lovable temperament and are therefore great with children of all ages. They make excellent family pets, and will get along well with other animals. The males are also not male aggressive as they were bred to hunt in packs.
One of the most common reasons Bassets are given up for adoption is that they drool too much, and make a mess when drinking. If you don’t want a dog that drools this is not the breed for you.
Basset hounds are obedient but they can be quite stubborn at times. Training must start from early puppy-hood and should be consistent, owners need to be patient.
Grooming requirements are minimal – a good weekly brushing will keep the coat shiny and free of dead hair. The Basset Hound’s eyes and ears need must be cleaned and checked regularly to prevent infection. Bassets nails must be clipped very regularly. If they grow too long their paws will spread out causing spine and joint problems.
Moderately active, Basset Hounds require a good walk every day to keep them fit and happy. They do have a tendency to continue wandering instead of coming home. Therefore when not leashed, a basset might decide to follow his nose and get himself lost. To be safe, always keep them on a leash and make sure you have a well fenced yard/garden. Care must be taken to not over-exercise when pups are young because of their heavy bones.
Back injuries are common in Basset’s because of their long back and heavy bones. For preventative measures they should never be allowed to jump off furniture, grooming tables, the back of the car etc.
Basset Hound Health Issues
Bloat (gastric torsion), though not a hereditary condition, this has been known to affect the Basset. This is a very serious condition. When a dog bloats, the stomach can turn and block, causing a build up of gas. Unless treated quickly, bloat can be fatal. Signs of bloat include futile attempts to vomit and to salivate. Bloat, which may lead to cardiovascular collapse, usually occurs when exercise too closely follows eating. The incidence of bloat may be lessened by feeding adult dogs twice a day and, of course, by allowing a dog time to digest before taking him for a run in the park. Click Here for more information
Hip dysplasia: a malformation of the hip joint resulting in a poor fit between the head of the femur bone and the hip socket. This condition can be alleviated by surgery, at some cost to dog and owner. Because dysplastic dogs often produce dysplastic puppies, buyers should ask if both the sire and the dam of the puppy in which they are interested have been rated clear of hip dysplasia. Do not take yes for an answer without seeing a certificate, and ask for a copy to take to your veterinarian.
Glaucoma: is a leading cause of blindness in dogs. It is the result of increased fluid pressure within the eye. If the pressure can not be reduced, there will be permanent damage to the retina and optic nerve resulting in visual impairment. Treatment: surgery.
Von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD) – is an autosomally (not sex-linked) inherited bleeding disorder with a prolonged bleeding time (somewhat similar to hemophilia in humans) and a mild to severe factor IX deficiency. A DNA test for vWD is now available. Carrier-to-carrier breedings, in theory, will produce puppies that are 25% clear, 50% carriers, and 25% affected. Ideally, only clear-to-clear or clear-to-carrier should occur, so that no puppies will be affected. Not all dogs that are vWD affected will have severe bleeding problems, but they ARE at risk whenever they need to have surgery or have an accident. Some unlucky affected dogs will actually bleed out from a needle stick or minor wound.
Paneosteitis: (also known as wandering lameness or growing pains) is occasionally seen in young Bassets. There is inflammation in the long bones of the front and hind legs. Attacks can be brought on by stress and aggravated by activity. This disease generally resolves over time. During the episodes of pain and lameness, your veterinarian may prescribe medication to help alleviate the pain, and restricted exercise for your dog.
Ear Infections: The long, drooping ear predisposes the Basset to ear problems. The ears must be kept clean and dry.
The Basset’s large paws are prone to inter-digital cysts, abscesses and fungus infections between the toes.
Basset Hound History
The Basset Hound is an old breed, originating in France. The word “Basset” comes from the French word “bas” meaning a “dwarf” or “low thing”. The Basset was first used and developed as a badger hunter, and it was known as a “badger dog.” The Bassett then became popular in the hunting smaller game such as hare and rabbit.
In the mid-1800s, the friars of the French Abbey of St. Hubert developed the breed by the selective breeding of other French hounds. Their aim was to develop a dog that was lower-set and therefore a slower-moving dog and easier to follow on foot. Their large feet helped steady them, and heavy bones made them sturdy. The purpose of the long ears was to stir up the scent on the ground. The folds of skin under the chin, and wrinkles on the head and face helped trap and hold the scent.
The French Basset was first imported to England in 1866 by Lord Galway. There was no real interest in the breed in England until the 1874 imports by Sir Everett Millais. He is considered the “father of the breed” in England. He first exhibited a Basset at an English dog show in 1875, but it was not until he helped make up a large entry for the Wolverhampton show in 1880 that a great deal of public attention was drawn to the breed.