Everything You Wanted To Know About Basset Hounds
Basset hounds are heavy boned dogs with a fairly large body that’s supported by fairly short legs. Surprisingly, they are slow maturing dogs that take at least 2 years to achieve full physical maturity. You will recognize a basset by his crooked and short legs, long hanging ears and a large head with hanging lips as well as wrinkled foreheads.
Basset hounds are loving and gentle dogs, and you can count on seeing a cheerful waging tail in the basset hound ring. From the moment you gaze into the soulful and sweet eyes of a basset pup, that will gradually grow into a continuously serious hound; your life will change; of course to the better.
This article offers a general idea of what a basset hound is and what you can expect from them.
History and Origin
The basset hounds date as far as the 1500s; a period when the revolutionary French were using the breed for hunting. The breed was known to hunt in packs and receives significant mention by Shakespeare in his plays.
It’s however, believed that the basset hound was a direct descendant of the Hubert Hound in the Ardennes forest in the 7th century. The dog was a popular hunting breed especially for people who couldn’t meet the cost of horsebacks.
In the mid-1800s, it was brought to England with Lord Galway, but he didn’t popularize the breed where it remained unpopular for quite some time.
It wasn’t until 1874 when Sir Everest Millais introduced the Basset to England and even promoted the adorable breed to his fellow countrymen. History records him as the real father of the Basset Hound.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the bassets as an official breed in 1885, but it’s believed that the breed has already been introduced to some colonies long before this time. In 1928, the Time Magazine presented the Basset Hound on its top cover, where the breed gained remarkable interest from both the breeders and the general public alike.
Today, the Bassets are very popular especially in the US and is currently ranked 28th most popular dog breed.
With their extremely long ears, droopy eyes, innocent nature, and short stature, the basset hounds may sometimes look sad, just like old men. In contrast, however, they are affectionate, active, stubborn and incredibly loyal, and for their pack nature, get along exceptionally well with other pets and more so with people.
As ideal family companions, bassets will welcome rumpus playing children, but with adults, they sit quietly on their laps to relax for the evening. They have known noisemakers when someone is nearing their home, but once the stranger greets them, they will quickly return to their favorite sunbathing spots on the floor. Note that their deep voices carry a long way and the howling may get your neighbors to call the cops and report the nuisance.
However, like any other dog, the bassets need proper training to avoid undesirable behaviors like excessive barking and digging. You can train a basset hound puppy even at eight weeks old because he’s capable of learning everything you teach him.
The good thing is beneath their sleepy expression; there is an independent and intelligent thinker who is ruled by his nose. In fact, their love for any exciting scent is too much that it may land them in all kinds of trouble: like into the path of a speeding car. It’s therefore essential to keep them in a well-fenced yard
Beware to discuss with the breeder and describe to them exactly what you’re looking for a dog so that they can recommend to you the right puppy depending on your lifestyle and personality. After all, they see and spend time with the puppies daily.
It’s a low maintenance dog, they said. However, the basset hound may need routine grooming to maintain excellent health.
First, his loose elastic skin needs to be kept dry and clean. A weekly brushing session is vital as it helps to maintain healthy skin and will minimize shedding. Their short coarse hairs may easily come off on your hands and stick tenaciously to your clothing and carpeting.
Remember to exercise regular baths as the dog can produce an undesirable odor from their skin and coat and most people will find it disagreeable.
The dog breed has hugely long but cute ears which need inspection and has to be cleaned to get rid of dirt as well as debris. If they are unattended, they may develop serious ear problems. Make sure you dry them probably after baths.
A Bassets’ nails may also need to be trimmed regularly to prevent problems with his feet. And finally, the teeth need routine brushing as recommended by your vet to prevent oral disease.
Basset hounds have a low activity level compared to other breeds. They boast a laid back, easy going nature and may be exceedingly demanding. But as a social dog, daily interactions and attention are needed from you.
While many people think that the bassets are lazy, it may surprise you to learn that they enjoy long walks, romping around outside and ample playing time. A walk or two a day is enough, but it has to be enough to achieve his exercise needs. Note that sometimes, you will have to drag him off the couch to take him for a walk.
Bassets tend to become obese, but you have to draw the fine line between over exercise and under exercise. It’s fine if you miss a walk due to bad weather but keep in mind that enough exercise is good for basset hounds.
Note that as much as it’s okay to take them for a walk, it’s important to keep them on the leash as their obsession with sweet smells may drive them to places until they find what they are looking for; thanks to their hunting background.
Compared to many other breeds, a basset is reasonably healthy. However, every dog breed, just like humans may develop some genetic disorders. Therefore, responsible breeding is essential as well as screening to identify genetic disorders.
Bassets are prone to obesity and ear infections, but these can be controlled. Other diseases and conditions that are common with basset hounds include:
– Bleeding disorders
– Cherry eye
– Elbow Dysplasia
– Hip dysplasia
Basset Hounds are considered less intelligent than other breeds which make it a bit challenging to train them. It may take time and patience not to mention creativity, but a well-trained basset is adorable and fun to be with.
He may want to please himself than the owner especially when there’s a pleasing scent. He’s independent and sometimes may ignore the owner’s commands especially when he’s outside and finds a favorite spot in the sun.
You may call him, and unlike other dog breeds, he may take his time to obey the command. It’s probably the reason why most people believe he’s not intelligent. That’s not correct whatsoever! For centuries, the dog breed was bred to work independently as hunters, following a scent without distraction. Therefore, much of its behavior stems from its hunting origin.
Living Space Needs
Whether in a city, a suburb or a country, a basset will be comfortable, but his exercise and attention needs must be met. When busking outside, the basset hound needs to be confined in a fenced yard or be kept on a leash.
If left on his own, he may follow his nose and wander off only to get lost. Always get your dog microchipped and also make sure the collar has identification on it.
Final Thoughts”It may be a challenge to train your Basset Hound, but with a gentle hand and some patience, you may realize an ideal pet for your family. Such dog breed isn’t that expensive either as its price ranges from $950 to $2000.“
Remember that your basset can swim in cool water especially in the summertime, but you may need a life jacket to ensure they do not drown.
At the end of your tiresome day, there’s nothing as sweet as curling up with your big basset on the couch.