- The word Basset comes from the French "bas," which means low thing or dwarf.
- Basset dogs were mentioned in the 1500s, but it's not known if these were the same dogs we know as basset hounds. That's because it's not known when the name began to refer to a breed, rather than to any dwarf dog. This makes tracing the basset hound's history difficult.
- Short-legged dogs were often used to hunt rabbits in situations where the hunter needed to follow on foot, such as through thick cover or if a horse was not available.
- After the French Revolution in the late 1700s, many commoners took up hunting. They needed a dog with a good nose and a slow pace because they often did not have a horse to ride. Not only could the hunter follow on foot, but it was easier to shoot game that wasn't fleeing at top speed.
- Four different versions of short-legged hounds emerged, with the basset artesien Normand the most like the basset hound.
- Crosses with bloodhounds were made in the late 1800s to increase size.
- The first bassets came to England and America in the late 1800s. The AKC recognized the breed in 1911.
- In 1928, a basset bound appeared on the cover of Time magazine, bringing the breed to the people's notice.
- The breed's most well-known example is the Hush Puppy dog. Basset hounds have also been prominently featured in several cartoons such as Fred Basset and Droopy Dog.
Basset Hound Behavior Concerns
- Makes an easygoing and amiable companion.
- Good with children, but its independent nature and low energy level may be frustrating for children at times.
- Friendly to indifferent toward strangers.
- Good with other dogs and pets.
- Likes to follow its nose, tends to wander, and does not come when called.
- Likes to hunt.
- Often barks and bays loudly.
- Tends to be stubborn and methodical. Does best with reward-based training involving food.
Basset Hound Suggested Exercises
- Makes a calm and reliable housedog.
- Although many of its physical exercise needs can be met with backyard games, it prefers to walk and sniff and explore.
- Care must be taken if allowed off leash because the basset hound tends to get caught up in following scent trails, and it's not overly obedient when it comes to returning.
- Bassets tend to do well at dog parks.
- Does best in moderate climates.
Basset Hound Grooming
- Coat is short, thick and tight.
- Brushing once a week will remove dead hair.
- Shedding is average.
- The mouth and wrinkles should be examined, cleaned and dried regularly.
Suggested Basset Hound Nutritional Needs
- Bassets have a tendency to become obese.
- Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.
- Puppies should be fed a large-breed growth food, which slows their growing rate but not final size. This may decrease the incidence or severity of hip dysplasia in adults.