Archive for the Bassett Hound category

Is a Basset Hound Right for You?

If you melt at the sight of big sad eyes, you may not be able to resist buying a Basset Hound puppy. These dogs have eyes that would melt even the hardest heart and a sweet and loving disposition to boot.

The Basset Hound has a keen sense of smell and can track scents almost as well as its ancestor, the Bloodhound. In fact, this member of the American Kennel Club’s hound group is apt to become so obsessed with a scent that he will ignore commands to come or heel. Basset Hounds were developed to be able to track scents through tight areas where the larger scent hounds could not fit.

The Basset Hound weighs around sixty pounds and stands between eighteen and twenty inches high. These dogs can come in any AKC recognized hound dog color, although a dog with a white base coat with brown and black patches is most common. The Basset has long, droopy ears which almost touch the ground when he is standing. His undershot jaw, broad chest, and short legs combine to give him a comical and clumsy appearance, but this dog can actually move very gracefully.

Basset Hounds are ideal apartment dogs, as long as neighbors don’t mind their mournful vocalizations. These dogs actually don’t care to exercise unless they are tracking a scent, but they must receive daily exercise to stay healthy. To keep your Basset in shape, you will have to walk with him, even if you have a fenced yard.

If you are looking for a pet who does well with children or other pets, then a Basset Hound is a wonderful choice. These dogs adore people and will do anything to be with them. More than one Basset has endured the indignity of dressing up in frilly gowns just so he can spend time with the children he loves.

Although Basset Hounds are loving and devoted pets, they do have a stubborn streak. Some people mistake this stubbornness for an intelligence problem and think that their Basset isn’t smart enough to learn obedience. However, if you look closely at your Basset as he is disobeying, you may just catch a naughty twinkle in his big, sad eyes. Your Basset is more apt to obey commands that mean he is spending time with you than commands that don’t interest him, such as the stay command. Since these dogs are a bit difficult to train, you may want to consider taking your puppy to obedience classes to get professional training help.

Basset Hounds love to eat. Since this chow hound behavior and their disinterest in exercise is a bad combination, you will need to keep a close eye on your Basset’s food consumption. If your Basset becomes overweight, ask your veterinarian to recommend a food that will help him lose some weight.

Bassets require little grooming. Brush through his hair once a week to remove dirt and loose hair. You may also need to check his ears to be sure he doesn’t develop any problems, since the air may not circulate well in such droopy ears. In fact, ear infections are one of the main health problems with this breed. Other common health problems are spinal related injuries and eye diseases.

If you want a dog whose sole purpose is to please his owners, then a Basset Hound may be the perfect choice for you and your family.

Basset Hounds: Ten Things to Know About this Lovable Pet

By Robert Knechtel

Basset Hounds are among the most companionable and lovable dogs on the planet. Here are ten characteristics of the breed you need to know before bringing a Basset into your life.

1. Bassets seem to love everyone: It’s difficult to imagine a sweeter, gentler or more peaceful dog. An adult basset on a walk in the park will try to make friends with almost everyone. Strangers seem drawn to him, will want to pet and coo over him. Emotionally, he sometimes seems almost human. His temperament is very well suited for a family setting. He’s really good with children and other dogs. He loves to play. Aggression is very rare. Don’t expect him to be a guard dog.

2. Sense of Smell: His sense of smell is second only to the bloodhound. Bassets were bred for hunting small game. His nose can lead him into danger. He’s an escape artist and a wanderer. It’s advisable to keep him in an enclosed area and on the leash during walks. Left to his own devices, he’ll follow his nose wherever it takes him.

3. Intelligence: Because of his clown like demeanor, laid back attitude and a streak of stubbornness, there are those who stereotype the basset as dumb. Don’t believe it. On the contrary, he’s a past master at getting his way. Clownishness, soulfulness and contemplative assessment of any situation are all part of his arsenal to win you over.

4. Puppies & Housebreaking: Admittedly, housebreaking is difficult. If patience is not your long suit, you may want to consider a grown hound from rescue. In housebreaking a basset puppy, gentle tolerance and persistence, with plenty of positive reinforcement, will yield success. During his first year, refrain from allowing him to go down long stairs or jump off couches. His lengthy back is prone to problems during the formative stage if too much stress is applied.

5. Drool: OK, he drools. Some bassets drool more than others. You’ll accept drool, because you just love him to death.

6. Weight: Since he’s prone to weight gain and bloat, as is common among all deep-chested breeds, he should be fed reasonable portions only twice a day. Bassets tend to overeat. Remember that they’re long and low, and excess weight can lead to back injury. At a minimum, a daily walk is a must.

7. Ears: Bassets’ long ears do not provide good air circulation and are prone to infection. Cleaning weekly and application of an ear wash solution from a veterinarian are required. While frequent baths are not necessary, the ears drag in everything and may need scrubbing more often.

8. Care and Maintenance: With the exception of the ears and drool, bassets are easy to keep clean. His short, dense coat repels dirt and water. Bassets do shed, but regular brushing and removal will keep it to a minimum. Bathing about once a month is all that’s needed.

9. Compact Big Dogs: His short stature is deceptive. Most bassets weigh in the range of 50 to 65 pounds. He has more bone for his size than any other breed. Because of his short legs, he may have difficulty jumping into some vehicles.

10. Barking: Bassets are not given to excessive barking. Since he is very much a pack animal, he may howl if left alone for long periods. He’s vocal and often makes a variety of sounds in keeping with his mood, especially when excited about the prospect of a walk or play.

If you’re looking for a gentle companion that’s easy to care for and gets along well with everyone, you’d be hard put to do better than a basset hound. Please consider rescuing a basset. Just do a search for “basset rescue” on Google to find dogs in your area.

Robert G. Knechtel maintains several websites, including PetMedShop.Com and Go60.Com

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Basset Hound Complete Profile

Basset Hound Complete Profile

Basset Hound

Image Details:

Key Facts:

Size: Low-slung, but heavy dog
Height: 33 – 38 cm (13 – 15 inches)
Weight: 18 – 32 kg (40 – 70 lb)
Life Span: 11 years
Grooming: Relatively easy
Exercise: Steady but necessary
Feeding: Has a hearty appetite
Temperament: Placid & independent
Country of Origin: England
AKC Group: Hound

The Basset Hound is good tempered, placid and affectionate. Basset Hounds can be disobedient and have a mind of their own. These dogs get on well with children and strangers, but Basset Hounds also happily accept unwanted intruders, therefore they do not make the best guard dog. Basset Hounds can be difficult to house train, but can be obedient with gentle, patient training. Basset Hounds enjoy companionship and make gentle pets with delightful personalities.

Grooming for the Basset Hound is quite straightforward as the coat stays relatively clean without much attention. The loose and dead hairs can be removed with a rubber brush and the ears should be checked weekly and kept clean. The folds of skin may need to be cleaned from time to time and the claws should be kept short.

Basset Hounds do not need a great deal of exercise and they will be quite happy with short regular walks. They can also get exercise by playing in the garden, but they should be kept in well-fenced backyards as they love to explore and wander.

Basset Hound’s have a hearty appetite. They need careful feeding in order to prevent gas forming in the stomach (bloat).

Originally descended from the old French Hound, after a mutation of genes. The Basset Hound’s legs became much shorter, while retaining the substance and general characteristics of the breed. The name Basset is derived from the French word ‘bas’ meaning low. Due to later crosses with the Bloodhound, the breed took on the head structure of the latter and improved it’s scenting powers to be second only to the Bloodhound. In France and Belgium, Basset Hounds were used to trail foxes, rabbits and game birds – their shorter legs resulting in a slower pace and therefore less likely to scare their quarry. Added to that, the heavier bodies (up to 22kg or 50lb) and low stature were an asset when working through dense cover.

Physical Characteristics:

General Appearance: Disproportionately short legs and heavy bones for it’s height, while well-balanced. Smooth free action with the forelegs extending well forward and the hind legs thrusting backwards powerfully.
Colour: Any hound colour. Usually black, white and tan or lemon and white.
Coat: Short, smooth, dense and no feathering. The skin is loose and elastic, with wrinkles between the knee and foot.
Tail: Carried high, rather long in length and tapering.
Ears: Extremely long, narrow and set low. They have a velvety texture and hang in loose folds, curling slightly inwards.
Body: Long, smooth ribs carried far back, level back, prominent sternum, shoulders well back and strong and an overall barrel-like shape.

Additional Comments:

There are a variety of problems associated with the Basset Hound including; eye problems from the drooping lower eyelid, limb problems and ear irritations due to the lack of air circulation in the ear canal.


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