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Basset Hound Information

 

Description

Known as scent hounds, basset hounds have rounded large skulls with pronounced eyes.  Their loose fitted skin falls over the basset hounds head in folds and they have very long, beautiful, velvety ears.  The basset hounds eyes are brown, sad looking and their face has a kindly expression.  They have a very deep chest, which extends in front of their front legs.  Basset hounds have short front legs, heavy in bone and powerful with rounded, massive paws and tough pads.  Its gait is deliberate and never clumsy.  The coat is shiny, hard, and short and is usually white with sand colored or chestnut markings. 

Temperament

Basset hounds are wonderful, well-behaved, peaceful, devoted, gentle, sweet dogs that never bite and make a terrific family pet.  Many dog owners that have had a basset hound would never consider any other breed for a pet.  They have a musical, deep, loud bark or bay, and love doing tricks for food.  Bassets are sometimes a little difficult to train or housebreak, so do best with people giving positive reinforcement and showing patient, gentle training.  They love to trail, sniff, and investigate, which sometimes gets them lost.  Basset hounds do require regular exercise to keep them in good shape as they have a tendency to overeat if unregulated.     

Grooming & Shedding

The smooth, hard, shorthaired coat requires very little grooming, such as brushing occasionally with a firm bristle brush.  They do shed constantly so some owners prefer to brush them more often.  Because bassets do tend to drool, keep their faces clean, particularly around the wrinkles and mouth area and clean under their ears weekly.  They do not require regular bathing, so only give them one when necessary.  Their toenails do need trimming on a regular basis. 

History

Before the French Revolution, there was very little documentation on the basset hound breed.  Although thought to originate in France, they believe that friars developed the basset hound breed at the French Abbey of St. Hubert.  They wanted a slow moving, low set dog to follow them on foot.  After the revolution, commoners with guns used basset hounds for hunting hares, rabbits, and other animals because they wanted a dog with strong scenting abilities, to follow on foot.  It was not until 1885 that the American Kennel Club recognized the basset hound breed.  In the United States in 1935, they organized the Basset Hound Club.  In 1964, they adopted the current American breed standard.

Health Issues

  • Major Concerns:  gastric torsion, ameness in front legs, OCD, entropion, ectropion, otitis externa, intervertebral disc disease, glaucoma, vWD, CTP
  • Minor Concerns: infections and foot cysts, PRA
  • Occasionally seen: patellar luxation
  • Suggested tests: blood, eye

Characteristics

Height

Males 12-15 inches (30-38cm)

Females 11-14 inches (28-36cm)

Weight

Males 50-65 pounds (23-29kg)

Females 45-60 pounds (20-27kg)

Lifespan

10-12 years

Exercise

Medium to low –tends to be underactive

Apartment

Yes

Families

Yes

Young Children

Yes

Need exercise space

No –regular long walks are OK

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