Basset Hound

Basset Hound

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General Description


Basset Hounds have a body that is twice as long as it is tall. Their limbs are stout and their bodies are low to the ground. The breed’s chest is very deep and sticks out in front of the forelegs. The Basset Hound has a large head with a dome-shaped skull and prominent occiput. The plane of the breed’s muzzle is parallel to the top of the skull. Basset Hounds have very loose-fitting skin that falls in folds across the face and body. They have soft, velvet-like ears that are extremely long and meet beyond the top of the nose. Basset Hounds have large teeth that meet in a level or scissor bite and their lips hang down with loose flews. They have droopy brown eyes and a friendly, mope-y expression. Their dewlaps are prominent and their paws are large. Basset Hounds have a short, glossy coat that exists in a number of colors. White, chestnut, and sand-colored markings occur frequently.

Character


Basset Hounds are good-natured, loving companion dogs with a sweet disposition. They make wonderful companion dogs and family pets. They are known for their mild temperament and affection towards their master and children. Although never aggressive or vicious (they never bite), Basset Hounds may be a bit stubborn. They are also comparatively difficult to housebreak. This breed needs gentle guidance and lots of positive reinforcement, but they are very obedient with proper training. They like to perform tricks for food and they will chase after an interesting scent. Basset Hounds are very good-natured and kind, but they are not timid. They are friendly and fit into family life quite well. This breed is known for its deep, musical bark.

Because of their tendency to chase after scents, Basset Hounds should never be let outside off-leash unless they are in a securely fenced yard. Their ability to find their way back home often does not equal their ability to get lost chasing after interesting scents.

Size


11 – 15 inches

Weight


45 – 65 pounds

General Health


Basset Hounds should not be overfed. Weight gain puts a large amount of strain on this breed’s legs and spine. Because of their short legs and long, heavy body, Basset Hounds are susceptible to lameness and paralysis. They are also prone to bloat. Owners should carefully monitor this breed’s diet. Typically, Basset Hounds live for 10 to 12 years. They average 8 puppies per litter, but it is not infrequent for Basset Hounds to have more than 15 puppies in a litter.

History


Basset Hounds are a comparatively old breed that is a direct descendant of the Bloodhound. There are numerous sources that believe the Basset Hound originated from dwarf dogs that appeared in the litters of other types of French hunting hounds. “Basset Hound” is a name that was coined from the French word “bas” meaning “low”. The breed received popularity in 1863 after it was presented at the Paris Dog Show. Many breeders wished to preserve the hunting traits of the breed, but there were many others who wished to breed the Basset Hound as a companion dog. Through much selective breeding, American breeders developed a Basset Hound that possessed all the attributes of a wonderful companion dog without sacrificing its hunting abilities. In 1885 the Basset Hound was recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Maintenance


Basset Hounds have a smooth, short-haired coat that is easy to groom and maintain. This breed’s coat should be brushed with a firm bristle brush and shampooed only as necessary. Ears should be kept clean and toenails should be clipped regularly. Basset Hounds are constant shedders.


Ideal Environment


Basset Hounds should be given lots of exercise, but jumping and other activities that could put unnecessary stress on their front legs should be avoided. Basset Hounds are content to live in a small household or apartment, as long as they are taken for daily walks or get a chance to play outside on a regular basis. This breed is inactive indoors.

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