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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Basset Hound

Basset Hounds are the lovable curmudgeons of the dog world. The Basset Hound breed has captivated the public imagination since the 1920s, appearing on television, cartoons, and even the cover of Time magazine. The dogs make great pets, especially for families with children, even though they are a bit hard to train.

Here are the characteristics of the Basset Hound breed as determined by the American Kennel Club's published breed standard.

The Basset Hound's Behavior

Recommended for: family pet, hunting.

Basset Hounds tend to show great endurance in physical activity. Nonetheless, the Basset Hound dog breed tends toward a more laid-back temperament, and may not even bark so much as howl or whine. According to Wikipedia, Basset Hounds often need a little encouragement to become active or else they will laze around. They also tend to overeat and gain weight if their diet is not regulated. Fortunately, Bassets typically enjoy playing with children, so a large family should be able to keep a Basset Hound dog in shape. Also according to Wikipedia, Basset Hounds tend to be harder to train than most other dogs, since they are "stubborn."

Remember that breed only provides a general clue as to any individual dog's actual behavior. Make sure to get to know dogs well before bringing them into your home.

Basset Hound's Physical Characteristics

* Size: 14 inches
* Coat: hard, smooth, and short
* Color: According to the official American Kennel Club breed standard, coloration is not essential to the Basset Hound breed. Basset Hounds can be any hound color. But, most commonly Basset Hounds are tricolor (black, tan, and white), red and white, closed red and white, or lemon and white (according to Wikipedia).
* Eyes: brown, slightly sunken
* Ears: extremely long, low set
* Skull: domed
* Muzzle: deep, heavy
* Nose: Black, with wide open nostrils
* Tail: long, tapering, curved, and standing upright

The Basset Hound's Origins and History

The following historical facts come from Wikipedia.

Country/Region of Origin: France

Original purpose: originally used to hunt rabbits and hare

Name: "Basset" comes from the French word "bas" meaning "low" or "dwarf".

Historical notes: The breed is descended from the St. Hubert's Hound, which is similar to today's Bloodhound. How did Basset Hounds get so short? The friars at St. Hubert's Abbey in medieval France deliberately bred the dogs for achondroplasia, a genetic disorder that causes dwarfism. (Humans with achondroplasia are usually around four feet tall.) The friars wanted a dog that could follow a scent under the brush in dense forests. The Basset Hound became a popular icon in the USA after being featured on the cover of Time magazine in 1928. Since then, Basset Hounds have remained popular in the US mass media.

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