The Basset Hound is a distinctive breed, recognized and loved for its distinctive, droopy ears and short, stout stature. The Basset Hound breed traces its roots back to France and Belgium in the 1500s, where they were primarily used for hunting small game such as rabbits. The name Basset is derived from the French word bas, which translates to low, a clear reference to the breed's short, low-slung body. Basset Hounds were bred for their scenting abilities, second only to the Bloodhound, and their short stature enabled them to navigate dense brush easily. The breed was imported to England in the mid-1800s and from there to the United States.
Basset Hounds can suffer from degenerative myelopathy and progressive rod-cone degeneration. Genetic testing for conditions such as primary open angle glaucoma, chondrodystrophy and intervertebral disc disease (CDDY and IVDD risk) with or without chondrodysplasia (CDPA), thrombopathia, and severe combined immunodeficiency, X-linked (XSCID) can assist veterinarians with diagnosis and proactive care, as well as help breeders identify affected and carrier dogs.
Basset Hounds are known for their gentle, laid-back, and somewhat stubborn temperament. They are typically great with children and other animals, making them excellent family pets.
Bassets are not a high-energy breed, but they do require regular exercise to prevent obesity. It's essential to remember that Basset Hounds are scent hounds, and they can become distracted if they catch an interesting scent, potentially leading to selective deafness to commands. They can be serious barkers and tend to dig, further reinforcing the need for training and exercise to prevent these urges.
The Basset Hound’s long ears sweep scent from the ground up toward their noses.
In the French language, "basset" derives from the French adjective "bas", which means "low thing" or "dwarf". This part of their name speaks to how close this hound's body is to the ground.
The Basset Hound Club of America was formed in the United States in 1935.