The earliest-known depictions of short-legged hunting dogs are engravings from the Middle Kingdom of Egypt. Scent Hounds were used for hunting in both Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. It is believed that the Basset type originated as a mutation in the litters of Norman Staghounds, a descendant of the St Hubert’s Hound.Basset type hounds became popular during the reign of Emperor Napoleon III. The controlled breeding of the short haired basset began in France in the year 1870. From the existing Bassets. French bassets were being imported into England at least as early as the 1870s. Everett Millais’, who is considered to be the father of the modern Basset Hound, bred one such dog, Nicholas, to a Bloodhound bitch named Inoculation through artificial insemination in order to create a heavier basset in England in the 1890s. The first breed standard for what is now known as the Basset Hound was made in Great Britain at the end of 19th century. This standard was updated in 2010.
The Basset Hound is sweet, gentle, devoted, peaceful and naturally well-behaved. It fits into family life well. Its temperament should always be friendly, and never vicious, moody or harsh, and would only become so if the owners lead the dog to believe he is pack leader over humans. It can be a bit stubborn with meek owners and needs a firm, confident, and consistent owner who displays natural authority over the dog. Dogs need to know the rules of the house and have the humans stick to them. Bassets like to do tricks for food. Housebreaking is difficult, but they do well with patient, gentle training. With proper training, they are obedient, but when they pick up an interesting smell, it’s sometimes hard to get their attention, as they like to follow their noses and may not even hear you calling them back. Only allow your Basset off lead in safe areas.
The Basset Hound is a short, relatively heavy dog. The head is large and well-proportioned with a rounded skull. The muzzle is deep and heavy with the length being greater than the width at the brow. The brown eyes have a soft, sad look to them and are slightly sunken with a prominent haw. The darkly pigmented lips have loose hanging flews and the dewlap is very pronounced. The skin hangs loose like elastic and falls in folds on the head. The velvety ears are set low and extremely long hanging toward the ground. The large teeth meet in either a scissors or even bite. The chest is very deep, extending in front of the front legs. The dog’s hindquarters are very full and round. The paws are big. The dewclaws may be removed. The coat is dense, short, hard and shiny. There are no rules concerning color, but it is usually black, tan, white, red, or white with chestnut or sand-colored markings.
Height: Males 12 – 15 inches (30 – 38 cm) Females 11 – 14 inches (28 – 36 cm)
Weight: Males 50 – 65 pounds (23 – 29 kg) Females 45 – 60 pounds (20 – 27 kg)
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 of bloat, it is also wise to feed them two or three small meals a day instead of one large meal. If they do eat a large meal keep an eye on them for several hours for any signs of bloat.
To keep the Basset Hound healthy, it should be given plenty of exercise, including a long daily walks to keep the dog mentally stable, but discourage it from jumping and stressing the front legs. This breed will run and play by the hour when given the chance. Because of their keen noses they tend to roam when they pick up a scent. Take care when off lead that the dog is in a safe area. When they pick up a scent they may not even hear you calling them back as their complete focus will be on finding the critter at the other end.
Life Span is about 10-12 years
Justin would not recommend Basset Hounds for weak owners. Need firm and consistent when training the Basset Hounds.