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Basset Hound

In 1874 an English Dachshund fancier spied the Basset Artesian Normand at a show in France, from there, in England, this original French breed was developed into the Basset Hound as loved the world over today.  Perhaps no dog breed so naturally seems the wonderful clown or doleful waif, than the Basset Hound.  It's loving, laid back temperament thrives in a happy, patient household that appreciates a lower energy dog who naps when left without better entertainment.  Certainly a charmer and always a complete hit at making friends, the Basset Hound has a following that will doubtless only increase with time.

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General Information
Group(s): HoundsScent Hound Height: Less than 15 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 45-70 pounds Longevity: early teens
Colors: any hound color and pattern acceptable Coat type: smooth, straight
Recognized Registries: AKC, UKC, NCA, FCI and others
Overall Appearance: The low slung, long bodied Basset Hound with his pendulous, nearly caricatured ears (in contrast to other scenthounds) seems an unlikely candidate as an exceptional hunter. However, for the walking hunter, the slow ambling gait and exceptional nose of the Basset, prove more than merely acceptable but truly exceptional.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: moderate to low
General Nature: Perhaps the most laid-back and easy going of the Scenthounds, which is saying a great deal since as a group they are gentle and sensitive.
  with Children: exceptional and must be protected from children who may know not proper behavior around dogs
  with other pets: bred to hunt rabbits so probably not ideal with small furry companions
  with dogs: generally exceptional no doubt owing to their pack hunting history
Socialization requirements: minimal though the dog definitely benefits with greater confidence and friendliness if well socialized
Ideal home characteristics: one that recognizes this is not the easiest or most likely obedience or agility partner, ambling walks are the heaviest exercise typically, a fenced yard is nearly mandatory (or dedication to leashed walks) as the recall is rarely reliable, maybe noisy
Temperament Notes: Gentle, sweet, low-key, clownish, frolicsome, without a self conscious bone, the Basset can leave you laughing and loving even while asleep.
Training requirement: minimal although basic manners at least mean your dog can communicate with you and socialization leaves him/her happier and well-adjusted
Trainer notes: Generally very motivated by food, the Basset Hound could be said to lack a certain amount of energy and interest otherwise.  An exquisitely charming if not overly excitable or motivated training partner, extra points must still be offered if only because their genial, laid back nature makes certain retraining of undesirable traits (like excessive chewing or destructive behavior) virtually unneccessary since the most common activity of the Basset (especially when there isn't anything else more interesting to do) is nap!
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: 1880s
Country of Origin: England
Original Function: Scenthound- Rabbit
History: Descended from the Basset Artesian Normand of France, several English fanciers developed the breed most substantially from two studs, Model and Fino de Paris. Virtually all Basset Hounds in the US are descended from these two males.
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard: lightly built, poor dentition, entropion, long coat, knuckled over at the knees, poor topline,
Health Notes: Eye problems, Thyroid issues, hip/elbow dysplasia, thrombopathia platelet aggregation, vWB Disease
Health Testing: OFA (hip/elbow), vWB test, thyroid panel, CERF
Questions to ask Breeder:  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for!

  • How long have you had Bassets?
  • What do you consider the proper Basset temperament?
  • What health clearances do you get for your breeding stock?
  • Do you microchip your puppies?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • How did you choose this particular breeding pair?
  • What titles do you seek for your breeding stock?
  • What suggestions do you offer for training and socializing a Basset pup?
  • What do you consider the ideal Basset home?
  • At what age do you send your pups to their homes?
  • Do you intend to keep a puppy from this litter?
  • How often do you have puppies available?
  • Do you find them difficult to housetrain?


Web Sites: Excellent resource of numerous Basset Hound rescues in the US and Canada Questions you should ask yourself (and expect a breeder to ask you) if you want a Basset Hound

Other Resources
Breed standard: AKC standard for the Basset Hound (warning: loads very slowly)

Breeder Ethics: None listed on the Basset Hound Club of America which is a serious oversight.
Other: The Basset Hound Club of America website lacks any reference to a Code of Ethics for its members, Basset owners or breeders, this must be considered a serious oversite.  Additionally, while there are MANY opportunities to buy additional reference materials on this site, it also lacks (at least without making an investment and waiting to have it shipped) even a copy of their standard.  This does not bode well for the responsibility of the AKC Parent Club in the US for addressing their responsibilities toward educating the average dog loving family that wishes to consider a Basset Hound.
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