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Basset Hound: The French talking dog

The Basset Hound is described physically as a dog having short legs, a long body, droopy eyes and flappy long ears. You might be familiar with this breed for often, it is seen in many artworks depicting a floppy- eared dog accompanying French personalities in their everyday lives. This breed was first develop in France from two different French dog breeds and became popular in this country first before coming to other parts of the world.

Bassets are short legged dogs that have keen sense of smell, particularly smelling small games such as rabbits. This breed was intentionally bred to have osteochondrodysplasia or dwarfism in order to reach dug outs and burrows of games. Although short, this breed surprisingly can reach tall heights such as table tops but because of their heavy musculature and short legs, they cannot stay above water and therefore should never be encouraged to swim.

Decades ago, the Basset was a premium hunter but as time went by, people seemed to confine it into show ring, dog sports and household companionship. Through the efforts of some enthusiasts however, hunting clubs such as The American Hunting Basset Association were organized to make use of the old skill of the Basset.

The Basset is an amusing breed in terms of its vocal cords for it can splendidly imitate “talking” sounds whenever it whines about wanting attention. Most whining is the result of wanting for treats or food since this creature is a big treats-as-a-reward fancier. Moreover, the Basset would only respond to training if it is reinforced with treats as a reward.

The best features of the Basset are probably its droopy eyes and velvety, wide and flappy ears. However, as they are lovely, they are possible threats too. The droopy eyes often collect mucus and bacteria which result in eye infections and the long ears are often dangling on the ground and in food so this allows for the development of chronic diseases that sometimes take the life of the Basset.

Weighing 50 to 65 pounds and standing 12-15 inches, the Basset is probably the heaviest in terms of bone mass among other dog breeds. The coat of this breed is utterly short, coarse and velvety yet sheds excessively. Coat colors are often seen in tricolor, red spots and white, solid red with white feet and tail, honey and white, and lemon and white.

Naturally playful, sweet, devoted and friendly, the Basset Hound is a great playmate for children. It is sociable and never aggressive and especially loves to be a part of the family. This dog also howls and barks as a form of warning that something is wrong or that it wants attention.

The name Basset came from the French word “Bas” meaning short. The parent breed of this breed is said to be the Bloodhound Artisien Normand and Basset Artisien Normand, a couple of French dog breeds that are existent to this day. The Basset became popular through the portraits of Emperor Napoleon III, as the portraits are said to depict the royal being surrounded by his glorious Basset Hound pets.

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