Breed of the Week: Basset Hound
While required to be less than 14 inches at the shoulder, the Basset Hound is not a small dog by any other means. Bassets have a distinctly short, smooth coat and a lot of excess skin that requires moderate cleaning and upkeep. The most distinguishing features of the Basset Hound are their exceptionally long ears and sunken or “sad” eyes.
The Basset Hound is an even-tempered dog that acts freely, but not clumsily. The Basset is often a mild-mannered dog. Due to the Basset’s extra sensitive nose, they often seem difficult to leash train and they can be distracted by scent trails. However, they are intelligent and generally food motivated making them a good companion for hunting as well as at home.
As with many heavy-eared dogs, the Basset is prone to ear infections and eye concerns. Their wrinkles and skin must be kept clean and dry to avoid infection as well. Similarly to Dachshunds, Bassets can also suffer back injuries and should not jump drastic heights.
• Basset directly translates to “dwarf” and they are actually short-statured due to a form of dwarfism- Osteochondrodysplasia.
• While only the typical Basset Hound is popular in America, there are actually several Basset type breeds that exist. Some examples are the Petite Basset Griphon Vandeen (PBGV) and the Basset Fauve de Bretagne.
• Bassets were originally bred to hunt rabbits in France and gained European popularity quickly due to their impressive scent abilities.