The Basset Hound breed is very recognizable, these dogs cannot be confused with others. Their short stature, extremely long ears, unhurried demeanor and folds on the face are familiar to many from various films, cartoons and television series.
As an example, we can cite the well-known Lieutenant Columbo from the TV series of the same name, and his dog named “Dog” (a dog is a great name for a dog, isn’t it?). This Basset Hound was lazy, independent and kind. This breed originated in France, however, modern Bassets are somewhat different, as they were bred separately, from French individuals brought to England.
The French ancestors of the modern Basset hounds were descended from the Laconian dogs, which in turn gave rise to the Saint Hubert hounds around the 10th century AD, through long selection at the Monastery of Saint Hubert. They have been described as having a great sense of smell, with short legs, large and sluggish dogs with a small head (modern Bassets, on the contrary, cannot be called a small head).
These dogs successfully lived and developed, having success with the French aristocracy until the 19th century. The most famous regal lover of this breed is Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, who even ordered several sculptures of his Basset Hound dogs to be made.
Targeted breeding in France began around the 1870s, and at the same time, several individuals were transported to England, where breeders began their own breeding program. They crossed a French Basset Hound with a Bloodhound through artificial insemination. They crossed the resulting dogs with French Bassets, resulting in a clear breed standard around 1895. This standard was updated in 2010.
A Basset Hound dog must be no more than 36 cm in height – this is the official breed standard. The neck is long, the head is large, the skin on the muzzle sags and has folds, the ears are long, sometimes they can almost reach the ground (if the neck is lowered to the level with the spine). The tail is also long, set high above the back, legs are short. The physique is large, they are prone to overweight, the body is elongated. The color usually consists of two or three colors – white, brown, black.
Kind, friendly, physically unable to rush anywhere – these are Basset Hound dogs. They have a very peculiar character – on the one hand, these dogs are known for their gentleness, kindness and obedience, on the other, sometimes they can be an example of stubbornness and independence. Moreover, not only heredity plays a role here – a lot depends on the owner himself and on whether he can build relationships with his pet in the right way.
The Basset Hound breed, due to its constitutional characteristics, is not well adapted to any serious activity, although their French ancestors were often used specifically for hunting. Modern bassets are rarely used for this purpose; for security functions, as you understand, they are also useless to use. Although, they can raise the alarm, as they love barking (and often can even howl for pleasure) and in general can react quite violently to unexpected sounds or strangers that they didn’t like.
Nevertheless, Basset Hound dogs are mainly bred as a companion and friend for the whole family – they are great with children, interesting, inquisitive, love to be around people and generally like to feel in the spotlight. Children are perceived perfectly, very patient and tolerant in communication with them.
Despite their short paws and slowness, they like walks, games, and accept other pets well. It is better to introduce them to cats at an early age if you intend to find the cat with the dog at home. Internal independence does not prevent them from being strongly attached to their family, although they can spend part of the day alone.
Basset Hound dogs are usually used as a companion pet, and therefore do not need to learn complex commands. If the pet has a stubborn character, which is often the case, the main thing that the owner needs to achieve is obedience. To do this, you need to have a strong will, and a huge amount of patience, as with the Basset, the use of brute force, beatings, constant screaming and psychological pressure are unacceptable.
You need to use the trainer’s techniques and tricks, such as rewards and covert manipulation. The latter means, for example, that if the dog wants to walk or play with you, let him know that you will meet him after completing the task. In this case, place the leash in a prominent place and repeat the command. The task can be made more difficult by introducing distractions and increasing the distance between you and your pet.
The Basset Hound requires regular brushing once a week. Also, you will have to carefully examine his ears and clean them of dirt 2-3 times a week. After all, the air under the ears practically does not circulate, which contributes to the occurrence of various infections and the multiplication of bacteria.
Mucus also accumulates in the corners of the dog’s mouth, which needs to be cleaned from time to time, because it does not dry out completely, which causes pathogenic microflora to form there. Another problem area is the eyes. Due to sagging skin, dust and dirt accumulate in them, therefore, eyes need to be cleaned at least once a day, or even two. Claws are trimmed once every 10 days, the animal is bathed 1-2 times a week.
The Basset Hound breed of dogs has a number of diseases associated with their body structure, in addition, there are hereditary diseases.
- gastric dilated volvulus, also called bloating or torsion of the stomach, sometimes popularly also called volvulus;
- von Willebrand disease – an inherited disorder that causes blood clotting problems;
- panosteitis – also called stray or transient lameness;
- local dislocation of the patella;
- problems with eyelids and eyelashes;
- intervertebral disc disease – Basset hounds are especially prone to back problems. This may be due to genetics, improper movement, falling, jumping from furniture.
- ear infections;
- dysplasia of the hip joint;
- cherry eye.
1. Basset Hound drooling too much. Due to the loose skin around the mouth, they tend to make a real mess when they drink or eat. If you are a picky owner who hates drooling, Basset Hound is not the best choice for you, so you can look and pick up another breed of dog.
2. Obesity is a real problem for the Basset. They love to eat and often overeat when given the opportunity.
3. Basset hound dogs are not very good swimmers, so keep an eye on them near bodies of water so they don’t get into trouble.