The head is large, with a rounded skull and pronounced occiput. The plane of the muzzle is parallel to the top of the skull. The skin is loose-fitted and falls in folds on the head. The velvety ears are very long and should meet beyond the top of the nose. They should fold and not appear flat. The large teeth should meet in a scissors or level bite. The lips hand down with loose flews. The sad brown eyes should show prominent haw. The expression should be kindly without any harshness. The Basset has a very pronounced dewlap. His chest is very deep and extends in the front of the forelegs. The paws are big and the hindquarters are round. Dewclaws may be removed. The dog’s movement should be deliberate, but not clumsy. 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. The coat is short, hard and shiny. There are no rules concerning color, but it is usually white with chestnut or sand-colored markings.
The Basset Hound is sweet, gentle, devoted, peaceful and naturally well-behaved. They fit into family life well. Their temperament should always be friendly with never an indication of sharpness or viciousness. They are mild but not timid; very affectionate with its master and friendly with children. It can be a bit stubborn. They like to do tricks for food. It has a deep musical bark. 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. Housebreaking is difficult, but they do well with gentle patient training and positive reinforcement. With proper training, they are obedient, but when they pick up an interesting smell, it’s sometimes hard to get their attention.
Height: Dogs 12-15 inches (30-38cm) Bitches 11-14 inches (28-36cm)
Weight: Dogs 50-65 pounds (23-29kg) Bitches 45-60 pounds (20-27kg)
Do not overfeed these dogs because extra weight places too great a load on the legs and spine. A problem area is possible lameness and eventual paralysis because of short legs and a heavy, long body. As they are prone to bloat, it is also wise to feed them two or three small meals a day instead of one big large meal. The dog should be kept observed for several hours after eating a large meal.
The Basset hound will do okay in an apartment. They are very inactive indoors but outdoors they will run for hours in play if given the chance. They will do okay without a yard, but should be given plenty of opportunities to run and play to keep it healthy and trim.
To keep the Basset Hound healthy, it should be given plenty of exercise, including a long daily walk, but discourage it from jumping and stressing the front legs. This breed will run and play by the hour when given the chance.
About 10-12 years
Average of 8 puppies – large litters are common, known to have 15 or more puppies in one litter
The smooth, short-haired coat is easy to groom. Comb and brush with a firm bristle brush, and shampoo only when necessary. Wipe under the ears every week and trim toenails regularly. The hair around and inside the ears needs to be carefully wiped and cleaned, as when the dog is hunting, drinking, or eating, debris or food matter has a tendency to become entangled in this area, causing fungus or bacteria to grow if the area is left unattended for lengthy periods of time. This breed is a constant shedder.
The name Basset Hound comes from the French word “bas” meaning low. Some sources suggest the Basset Hound may have originated from genetic dwarf dogs presented in litters of other types of French hunting hounds, however, we do know that it is a rather old breed, descended directly from the Bloodhound. Shakespeare described the Basset Hound with the following poetic image: “Ears which sweep away the morning due.” According to research, the true fame of the Basset Hound began in 1863, when it was presented at the Paris Dog Show. Its popularity spread to England where a lively dispute arose between two factions of breeders: Those who wanted to keep the Basset Hound a hunting dog, and those who wanted to transform it into a companion dog. Situated between these two factions were the American breeders who proceeded to develop an extremely pleasing companion dog without sacrificing any of the qualities of the hunter. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885. Its natural bent is for hunting both in the den and in the open. It is therefore, used for the hunting of fox, hare, opossum, and pheasant. Bassets can hunt in packs or alone. It has an excellent sense of smell, but its reflexes are a bit slow. Their slow pace is convenient for hunters on foot and keeps game from being scared out of reach. The Basset’s nose is almost as outstanding as the Bloodhound’s. George Washington may have owned Basset Hounds given to him by Lafayette after the American Revolution.
Hound, AKC Hound