The Basset Hound, bred originally in France for hunting purposes, makes an excellent family dog. It has a sweet temperament and a playful nature which make it ideal for children.
The Basset Hound also requires very little grooming compared to other dogs due to its short coat. Some owners have thought it difficult to train the Basset, training is actually quite easy when using the proper technique.
Basset Hound History
The short-legged hunting dogs dates back as early as 2000 BC in Ancient Egypt, but the Basset Hound was first bred in France in the late fourteenth century.
They were originally used for hunting small game such as rabbits, trailing them for long periods so that the hunter could follow on foot. Because hunting from horseback was primarily an aristocratic activity, the short legged hound was very valuable to lower class families.
In 1853, during the reign of Napoleon III, the famous sculptor Emmanuel Fremiet created beautiful bronze statues of the Emperor’s Basset Hounds. This only increased their popularity. Basset Hounds were soon imported to England and then to various countries around the world.
Basset Hound Coat and Colors
Basset Hounds have a short-haired coat that is smooth and requires relatively little grooming. They are usually tricolored, containing a mixture of black, tan, and white. They commonly have a white blaze (a wide strip of white running down the center of the face) and white tip to their tail.
Basset Hound Size
The Basset Hound stands 28-38 cm (11-15 inches) tall and can weigh anywhere between 20 and 34 kilos (45-75 pounds). Many people find that this makes the dog surprisingly heavy for its size. They need daily exercise or they are likely to gain weight and develop significant health problems.
Basset Hound Temperament and Personality
The Basset Hound is a gentle, sweet, and sociable dog. They are extremely playful but also patient, making them ideal companions for children as long as they are given time to relax and recharge.
While they have been described as stubborn, it’s important to realize that they are food-driven dogs. This means that they respond to food rewards very well and rarely respond to punishment. This should guide your training of this hound. As they are bred to follow interesting scents, you should keep your Basset on a leash or fenced while outside for safety.
Basset Hound Health
Basset Hounds have a median longevity of 11.3 years, which is normal for dogs of their size. Several of their characteristic features come with common health concerns that you should be aware of if you are thinking of owning a Basset.
Their ears hang low and don’t allow much air circulation, which can commonly cause infections if they are not kept clean. Their short legs make them prone to fractures if they jump from heights of a few feet or more, so you should avoid giving them the opportunity.
The Basset Hound also have a tendency to become overweight if not given enough exercise, because they will be content to lay in front of a fireplace as long as you will let them. Additional common health issues include dermatitis, arthritis, and gastrointestinal problems such as colitis.
Regular checkups, exercise, and proper cleaning are necessary to ensure a long, happy life for this hound.