The Basset Hound are renowned for their extremely good sense of smell and for following a sent with persistence.
The Basset Hound is one of the most easily recognizable dog breeds in the world – a short-legged hound with a long body, large long ears and a fairly large head and feet. It is one of six Basset breeds that originated n France. Most dogs with long, pendant ears are scent hounds and the Basset is one of them. Its original purpose was to hunt hares. It has an impeccable sense of smell second only to the Bloodhound. A Basset has a solid and long body, short legs, strong, active and can endure countless hours of hunting in the field. It hunts by scent and usually works in a pack and lets out a deep melodious voice when on a track. It has a domed head with a slight stop and slight wrinkles at the eyebrows and beside the eyes. There is a substantial overlap of the skin on the upper lips (flews) to the lower lips. Nose colour is either black, brown or liver, depending on the colour of the coat. The lozenge-shaped eyes display calm and serious expression and are usually dark to mid-brown in colour. The long velvety ears reach slightly beyond the end of the muzzle when pulled forward. The long body is supported by short forelegs and hind legs, all muscular with great bones with large well-knuckled up feet and strong thick padding. The coat of the Basset Hound is short, smooth and lay tightly on the skin, free from any feathering. The dog’s colour is generally black, white and tan and lemon and white. It has an average height of 33 - 38 cm from withers.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
Short-legged hunting dogs have been existing for millennia and were first recorded on engravings found in Egypt dating back to as early as 2050 BC. Scent hounds were also used as hunting dogs for thousands of years in ancient Greece and Rome. In France, the earliest known mention of a basset breed was in a hunting manual written by Jacques du Fouilloux in the late 16th century. These dogs were used to hunt foxes and badgers and were great at what they do because of their short clearance to the ground. During the late 18th century, short-legged hounds became valued breeds of the country squires when they hunt on foot. In the 1870s when controlled breeding became the norm, breeders were able to create the Basset Artesien Norman. These short-haired basset hounds were imported into England and bred with the Bloodhound which created a heavier basset breed which became the modern Basset Hound.
Bassets are your typical pack animals, who are often good-tempered, loyal and affectionate. This breed is very sociable, loving the company of both animals and humans. The Basset regards its owners as members of the packed its known for the Basset to want to work his way up in the pecking order, hoping to become the leader. This is tried out in various ways, and part of their charm for many is in their convenient deafness - or stubborn disobedience! They usually don't take 'NO' for an answer the first time - or even the tenth! A Basset is very good at pretending to be fast asleep - but open the oven door when the joint is cooking and he will be there!
It is quite a sensitive dog that does not tolerate harsh training. A puppy Basset Hound should always be trained by a firm but gentle handler who is familiar with the hound temperament. It should be socialised at a very early age to as many experiences as possible, (i.e. meeting a lot of people and other animals) in order to have a well-behaved adult Basset Hound. Playing with the puppy on a regular basis establishes your position as the pack leader which will gradually diminish the dog’s dominant behaviour in due time. Hard rubber toys and good sized balls are wonderful materials to give to a puppy as outlets of boredom especially during times that he is alone. House training can also be quite a challenge so be ready to have a lot of patience.
The short, velvety coat of the Basset Hound is a breeze to maintain. Quick daily brushing is sufficient grooming to keep the coat shiny. The long ears should be inspected regularly and cleaned for wax when necessary. Check for foreign debris to avoid infection. The ears should always be kept dry.
Basset Hounds are a pretty healthy breed, but there a few things that may crop up. Malassezia Pachydermatis - this is a yeast problem which we have learnt a great deal about and seems to be lessening. There is a good shampoo which keeps it under control.
The Basset Hound has long, pendulous ears which are prone to infection and ear mites. They are also susceptible to ear diseases because of their proximity to the ground when the dog is sniffing around. Eye problems include occasional problems with entropion (where the eyelids turn in), Dry Eye and Closed Angle Glaucoma (Gonioscopy can give a good idea if a hound is pre-disposed to this). Slipping Patellas (kneecaps) and growth plate damage on front legs (mainly due to Basset puppies being allowed to jump on and off furniture and up & down stairs while their joints are still growing). Also disc problems can occur if a Basset Hound is obese and not exercised.
Like the Dachshund and the Bulldog, the Basset Hound is an achondroplastic breed (it has an abnormal bone and cartilage growth) which can lead to the development of elbow dysplasia and/or spinal injuries. The droopy eyes of the Basset Hound are also prone to infection. As a breed that sometimes drools, the folds around the mouth can also become a breeding ground for yeast infection so make sure to always keep that area clean and dry every time. The typical lifespan of the Basset Hound is 10 to 11 years. Leading causes of death are cancer, old age, gastric bloating and heart disease.
Exercise requirement should be at least one hour per day. It is a highly adaptable breed. It will do well in an apartment home, in a suburban home with a small or medium garden or in a country house with a large open area for the breed to play and run until it gets tired. However, the Basset Hound is heavily built and should not be exercised in a way as to put strain on its joints to prevent injuries, especially during the growing periods. During puppyhood or until about 8 months, a short amount of play in the yard or a few minutes of walking is sufficient for the breed. However, a fully-grown Basset Hound can be exercised as long as it wants to on a daily basis.
The Basset Hound is a friendly, playful and very loving dog and has a high tolerance for children which makes it a good companion of kids in the house. Being a pack dog means that it also gets quite along well with other dogs and pets in the house.