The Basset hound dates back to 15th-century France and was bred to stand low to the ground in order to hunt rabbits, foxes, squirrels, and pheasants in heavy ground cover. Because many short-legged dogs were referred to as “basset” during that time, it’s not entirely clear which breeds have common bloodlines with today’s basset hounds.
The Basset hound breed did not come into its own in America until the early 20th century, though it was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885. When easterners imported dogs from leading kennels in England in the early 1900s, the development of the heavier, bigger-boned, American-type bassets began
The following description is of an “ideal” basset hound. Not all basset hounds fit the description exactly, but that’s not a problem unless you want one who can participate in dog shows.
• Height: Both male and female bassets are typically no more than 14" (36 cm) at the shoulder.
• Weight: Weight ranges from 40–80 pounds (18–36 kg) for both males and females.
• Coat: Bassets are tricolor black, red, and white and have a short, hard, and dense coat over loose skin,
which helps them endure all kinds of weather.
Temperament and Personality
Basset hounds have generally mild temperaments. They are devoted to their owners, eager to please, quick to learn, and willing to obey. Bassets are suited for almost any living situation, as long as they are treated with love and respect and given adequate care.
Here are some traits to consider when determining how well a basset is going to fit in with you and your family.
The basset is definitely a “people dog” and is happiest in a home where someone is around during the day. If left alone for long periods of time, a basset will become bored and can get into trouble. With proper care and attention, a basset hound will become a mild-mannered and gentle member of any family. The breed gets along well with children, as long as they are taught the proper way to interact and play with a dog.
|Basset Hound Puppies|
Bassets adapt easily to apartment living as long as they are given frequent walks on a leash. However, most would prefer a nice-sized yard, or at least an enclosed area for outdoor romping. Because the basset is a hound breed, its sense of smell and inquisitive nature makes it impossible to allow him out on his own without supervision he might run away otherwise. Also, bassets tend to slobber quite a bit more than most other breeds, which makes them a poor choice for a fastidious housekeeper.
Bassets need only moderate exercise, but lazy or underexercised bassets are prone to obesity, especially because they have long, low frames. Overweight basset hounds should be exercised regularly, either in a confined, fenced area or on a leash. Short daily walks that are strictly for elimination purposes are not enough to keep extra weight off.
The basset hound is generally easy to train, but be sure to keep the sessions brief and interesting. He can be stubborn at times, so patience and creativity will be necessary to train him effectively.
Basset hound Breeders
Buying a basset hound directly from a breeder is the most expensive option, but as long as the breeder is reputable, it’s also the best way to guarantee that the basset you purchase will be healthy and well socialized.
Look for the following when searching for a reputable breeder:
• Focus: Breeds only one or two breeds
• Knowledge: Knows breed standards and temperaments
• Care: Keeps clean, well-maintained kennel areas, and the dogs or puppies appear healthy and happy
• Support: Offers support after you bring your dog or puppy home
• Paperwork: Provides a written contract and health guarantee; requires you to complete an application and provide references; provides records of veterinary care and shots, as well as references from other customers
• Mandatory return: Requires you to return the dog if you decide not to keep him You can locate breeders on the internet, in breed-specific magazines, at dog shows, or in the telephone book. However, it’s often best to get a personal recommendation from friends or a vet.
Most cities and towns have an animal shelter, humane society, or pound that takes in unwanted, lost, or abandoned pets, restores them to good health, and offers them for reasonable fees to the public. Few people intent on adopting a specific breed, such as a basset hound, think of trying a shelter. But in fact it’s possible to adopt a purebred from a shelter and often for a fraction of the price that breeders charge. If you’re set on a basset puppy, though, keep in mind that it’s generally less likely that you’ll be able to find a puppy at a shelter.
Rescue groups are like shelters for specific breeds. Basset hound rescue groups take in lost or unwanted bassets and offer them for adoption. Rescue groups are a great option for prospective dog owners who want a specific breed but who also would like to “rescue” a dog rather than buy one from a breeder. They typically charge a bit more than shelters but are still a great option for adopting a purebred dog.