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Basset Hound Breed Information

Basset Hound

Recognized By: ACR , AKC , ANKC , APRI , CKC , CKC , FCI , KCGB , NKC , NZKC , UKC
Mispellings: Bassett Hound, Bassett, Bassethound

Caring for a Basset Hound

Feeding: A Basset Hound should never be overfed as they tend to put on weight quickly and that places an added strain on their legs and spine. They are prone to bloat and should be fed them two to three small meals a day instead of one large meal. A good eye should be kept on the Basset for several hours after eating a large meal.

Living with a Basset Hound

Temperament: Basset Hounds are gentle, peaceful, sweet, friendly dogs. They should never appear timid.

Family Dog: The Basset Hound makes a great family dog. They are extremely affectionate with children and their owners.

Shedding: The Basset Hound is a constant shedder.

Grooming: The Basset should be brushed with a firm bristle brush regularly. They should be bathed only when necessary. Pay special attention to underneath their ears which should be wiped under the weekly. The toenails need to be clipped regularly.

Training: Basset Hounds can be stubborn but do well with patient training and positive reinforcement. They can however be difficult to housebreak. They are generally very obedient dogs but sometimes tend not to listen when they have picked up on a scent.

Barking: The Basset has a deep musical bark.

Exercise: The Basset Hound needs plenty of daily exercise including long daily walks to keep trim and healthy.

Living Conditions: Basset Hounds will do fine as an apartment dog. They are typically very inactive indoors but love to run and play outside. They do not necessarily need a yard but should be given ample time to run outside to keep fit and trim.

Basset Hound Appearance

Appearance: The overall appearance of the Basset Hound shows the characteristics that he was bred for allowing him to follow a trail through difficult terrain. The Basset Hound has short legs with a heavy build for its size. The Basset Hound moves deliberately but it now way appears clumsy.

Size: The Basset Hound should be 14 inches or under at the withers. A typical height for a male Basset is 12-14 inches and 11-14 for females. The average weight is 45 to 65 pounds.

Head: The head of the Basset Hound is large and proportionate. Its length is greater than its width. The top of the head is domed with a pronounced occipital protuberance. The Basset Hound has flattened cheeks. The top of the head and muzzle are parallel to each other. The stop is moderately defined. The head is characterized by the loose, wrinkling skin that covers it.

Nose: The nose of the Basset Hound should be dark in color, preferably black. It has large open nostrils.

Eyes: The Basset Hound has soft, sad eyes that are slightly sunken into the face. They should be brown or dark brown in color buy may be lighter in lighter colored dogs.

Ears: The Basset Hound has extremely long, low set ears that hang in loose folds with the ends slightly curled inward. They should reach well past the end of the nose when extended forward. The ears have a velvety texture. They should be set far back and low on the head.

Muzzle: The Basset Hound has a deep, heavy muzzle.

Teeth/Bite: The Basset Hound has large teeth that meet in either a scissors or an even bite. The lips should be dark in color and pendulous, falling squarely in the front and back.

Neck: The neck of the Basset Hound is long and powerful with a good arch.

Body: The Basset Hound has long, smooth and well sprung ribs that extend well towards the back of the body. The top line of the Basset Hound is level and should never sag. The chest is deep with a definite sternum. The elbows and shoulders are tight to the body. The height from the lowest point of the chest to the ground should not be more than one-third of the overall height of the dog. The Basset's shoulders are powerful and well laid.

Forequarters: The Basset Hound's front legs are short and powerful. They are covered with a layer of wrinkled skin.

Hindquarters: The hindquarters of the Basset are full and rounded in appearance. They should be approximately the same width as the shoulders. The weight of the dogs is evenly distributed on the on the hind legs displaying the well let-down stifle free from any tendency toward a crouching stance. When seen from the rear, the legs should be parallel to each others. The hocks should not turn in or out.

Gait: The Basset Hound has a smooth and powerful gait. It appears effortless in motion with great coordination between the front and rear legs. While in motion the Basset typically has its nose to the ground in true hound fashion. The Basset's movement is straight and true with the hind feet following directly in line with the front.

Feet: The Basset's feet are massive with tough, heavy pads. They are well rounded and turned slightly outward. The toes should not appear pinched together or splayed as the body's weight should be evenly placed on them. The rear feet should point straight forward. The dewclaws may be removed.

Tail: The Basset Hound's tail should not be docked. It should appear as a continuation of the spine with only a slight curve and be carried gaily. The coat on the underneath is coarse in texture.

Color: The Basset's coat may be of any recognized hound color. The color and location of the markings is not significant. Their coat is typically a white base with chestnut or sand-colored markings.

Coat: The coat of the Basset Hound is short, smooth and dense with a hard texture. The coat provided protection in all weather conditions. The Basset's skin is loose and elastic.

Basset Hound Facts

Category: Hound, AKC Hound

Life Expectancy: The average life expectancy of the Basset Hound is between 10 to 12 years.

Characteristics: The Basset is a typically hunting dog used for hunting fox, hare, opossum and pheasant. They can hunt alone or in packs. Their sense of smell is impeccable but the reflexes can be a bit slow. Their slow pace helps to avoid scaring the small game they are hunting.

Celebrity Owners: George Washington

Basset Hound Health

Health: Basset Hounds have a problem with possible lameness and eventual paralysis due to their long, heavy body and short legs. They should be discouraged from jumping due to the added stress it can put on the front legs.

Litter Size: The Basset has an average of 8 puppies per litter but large litters up to 15 puppies are not uncommon.

Basset Hound History

History: The origin of the name 'Basset Hound' is from the French word "bas" meaning low. It is believed that the Basset Hound may have originated from genetic dwarf dogs which were present in litters of other types of French hunting dogs. This breed also has direct relation to the Bloodhound. The Basset Hound reached its true fame in 1863, when it was presented at the Paris Dog Show. Its popularity continued to grow and spread to England where it faces some debate as to whether it should be continued to be bred as a strictly a hunting dog or bred as a companion dog. In America, breeders continued to develop the Basset Hound as a companion dog with all of its previous hunting characteristics intact. In 1885, the Basset Hound was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club.

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