The history of the Basset Hound dates back to the 16th century. They are said to be developed by friars of the French Abbey of St. Hubert. The friars produced the Basset Hound by trying to breed a dog similar to the Bloodhound.
This new breed needed to be smaller and slower. This would allow hunters to follow the dog on foot as opposed to by horseback. The Basset Hound was initially owned only by the nobility until after the French revolution. It was even said that Marquis de Lafayette gave President George Washington a pair of Basset Hounds as a gift.
The Basset Hound is a short breed that is low to the ground. It has a large but well-proportioned head with loose hanging skin and wrinkles over the brows. It has sad-looking, deep brown eyes that are slightly sunken.
Its ears are extremely long and set back on its head. The ears are so long that they can extend past the end of its nose and then some.
The Basset has a full, pronounced chest and strong broad shoulders. Its legs are short, powerful and covered with wrinkles. Its paws are large and pads are tough. Its back is long and straight and hind is round. The tail is curved and is not to be altered.
A typical Basset should be no more than 15 inches high at the shoulders and weigh between 40 and 60 pounds. The colors can be any variation of white, black, brown and red.
The Basset is an extremely well-tempered dog. It is sweet, gentle and very devoted to its master. It is a terrific family dog and is super with children and other pets.
Bassets love their families and are somewhat protective. They tend to bark when strangers enter the home. Bassets have a loud, deep bark and can scare away unwanted intruders.
Even though they have a friendly disposition and enjoy being affectionate, Bassets can be slightly stubborn, so they need training and a disciplining master. The Basset might forget that it's not his house and try to take over.
Bassets need to have clear, enforceable rules that are always followed, but also need a lot of love. They can be a little difficult to train and housebreak, because of their stubbornness, but it's obviously worth the effort.
Training requires patience, reinforcement and rewards and will lead a very desirable pet. A trained Basset will be an obedient faithful friend. Trained Basset Hounds also make excellent hunters and trackers.
Untrained Bassets are at the mercy of their nose. They may get a whiff of a scent and lose sight of their master and their whereabouts.
Bassets don't need a large living space, but they do need regular exercise. They should be kept in shape to prevent health concerns such as back and hip problems. A fit Basset can hunt, hike or walk for miles at a time. They have great endurance. All in all. Basset Hounds are great dogs and make wonderful pets.