Life span: 10-12 Years
Height: 30-38cm (Male); 28-36cm (Female)
Weight: 50-65 pounds
This unique breed was originally bred for hunting hares due to its amazing sense of smell. Its short legs and long ears along with low hanging eyelids make for a special look that just might make you fall in love with it. They get along with anyone and will never lash out, as it would rather take things slow and calm.
The Basset Hound’s unique appearance consists of short legs with big paws, droopy eyes, long ears that fall down, and a heavy body. The tail is medium length with a slight curve to it and its skin is loose and droops down, although its stance is firm. Its eyes are brown with a black or brown nose. Its coat is short, soft and dense in order to withstand any type of weather. Their coat can be a mixture of black, white, red, and/or brown.
They originated in France in the 1500s with the purpose of hunting rabbits and hares especially with their unique scenting abilities. The Friars of the French Abbey of St. Hubert wanted a slow moving dog in order to follow them during hunts more easily, and therefore developed the breed we now know as the Basset Hound. It also accompanied commoners in their day to day lives as a loving companion. In the 1800s and 1930 these dogs were crossbred with Bloodhounds to achieve a bigger sized breed. Later on, they became very popular, appearing in movies, with Elvis Presley and as the famous “Hush Puppy”. In 1863 it was brought to a show in Paris, following in 1866 in England were it was shown until 1875 and shown in the Westminster Kennel Club in 1884. The Basset Hound of America was created in 1935, getting the breed to be recognized by the American Kennel Club.
The Basset Hound is a calm dog that is likely to never have a bad temper. They tend to get along with any animal or human and love being lazy, except when a scent has caught their attention. However, they tend to be very alert of any strangers within its territory, making it a good watchdog. It can be difficult to train this breed, as they are very stubborn.They respond to training with positive reinforcement. Being lazy does not mean they are not smart, but instead they are very intelligent, managing to convince its owner to give them the affection they want. They should not be left alone for long, since they are pack dogs and need constant company, whether it is from a human or another animal.
This breed can be very healthy, but some dogs of this breed may suffer from:
Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.
Ear Infections, which can be prevented by constant cleaning of any debris or excess wax.
Luxating Patella, in which the kneecaps may dislocate or move from its proper place.
Allergies that produce the same symptoms you see in humans, and depending on the cause, different treatments can be used.
Von Willebrand’s Disease, which is a blood disease that affects the clotting process, its symptoms can be nosebleeds, prolonged bleeding from surgery, occasional blood in stools, etc.
Gastric dilatation-volvulus, or bloat, is a mortal disease in which large chested dogs are affected by eating quickly, drinking lots of water and exercising after. This causes the stomach to inflate with gas and twist, making the dog unable to get rid of the excess air through vomiting, which impedes the normal blood flow to the heart. Its blood pressure then goes down and the dog goes into shock. Without proper, and immediate, medical attention, this could be fatal. Its symptoms may include: retching without vomiting, bloated abdomen, excessive salivation, restlessness, depression, rapid heart rate, weakness, etc.
Panosteitis (Wandering or Transient Lameness), in which young dogs may have limping or other physical problems which can also be called Lameness. This is usually misdiagnosed for more serious problems, but the dog will most likely outgrow it by their second year.
Glaucoma, which causes pressure to build up in the eye and may lead to blindness or cause severe harm in just a few hours. Symptoms can include squinting, red eyes, tearing, eye rubbing, etc. It must be treated as soon as possible.
Thrombopathia, a blood platelet disorder that affects blood clotting.
Entropion, which affects both lower eyelids, is an inward rolling of the eyelid and is treated through various surgeries to prevent ectropion (a rolling out of the eyelid).
Intervertebral Disc Disease, in which the discs that separate the spine bones degenerate, causing pain and back problems.
Obesity, which can be prevented and/or corrected by asking your veterinarian for a diet for your dog.
Cherry Eye, in which the gland from the third eyelid extends and looks like a cherry in the corner of your dog’s eye, which can be surgically removed.
Despite having a short coat, this breed sheds a lot, which means they need to be brushed weekly. This also helps to maintain your dog happy and clean. Nails should be trimmed regularly and baths should only be given occasionally. They are not particularly active, but do need daily exercise, which can be achieved by a walk or play time with other dog companions, after which they will most likely take a nap. Training can be a bit difficult, as this breed tends to be very stubborn. However, it can be done with patience and consistency, along with obedience training with positive reinforcement. They also need early socialization.