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Basset Hound Info

Basset Hound Breed Standard

General Appearance
The Basset Hound possesses in marked degree those characteristics which equip it admirably to follow a trail over and through difficult terrain. It is a short-legged dog, heavier in bone, size considered, than any other breed of dog, and while its movement is deliberate, it is in no sense clumsy. In temperament it is mild, never sharp or timid. It is capable of great endurance in the field and is extreme in its devotion.

Head
The head is large and well proportioned. Its length from occiput to muzzle is greater than the width at the brow. In overall appearance the head is of medium width. The skull is well domed, showing a pronounced occipital protuberance. A broad flat skull is a fault. The length from nose to stop is approximately the length from stop to occiput. The sides are flat and free from cheek bumps. Viewed in profile the top lines of the muzzle and skull are straight and lie in parallel planes, with a moderately defined stop. The skin over the whole of the head is loose, falling in distinct wrinkles over the brow when the head is lowered. A dry head and tight skin are faults. The muzzle is deep, heavy, and free from snipiness. The nose is darkly pigmented, preferably black, with large wide-open nostrils. A deep liver-colored nose conforming to the coloring of the head is permissible but not desirable. The teeth are large, sound, and regular, meeting in either a scissors or an even bite. A bite either overshot or undershot is a serious fault. The lips are darkly pigmented and are pendulous, falling squarely in front and, toward the back, in loose hanging flews. The dewlap is very pronounced. The neck is powerful, of good length, and well arched. The eyes are soft, sad, and slightly sunken, showing a prominent haw, and in color are brown, dark brown preferred. A somewhat lighter-colored eye conforming to the general coloring of the dog is acceptable but not desirable. Very light or protruding eyes are faults. The ears are extremely long, low set, and when drawn forward, fold well over the end of the nose. They are velvety in texture, hanging in loose folds with the ends curling slightly inward. They are set far back on the head at the base of the skull and, in repose, appear to be set on the neck. A high set or flat ear is a serious fault.

Forequarters
The chest is deep and full with prominent sternum showing clearly in front of the legs. The shoulders and elbows are set close against the sides of the chest. The distance from the deepest point of the chest to the ground, while it must be adequate to allow free movement when working in the field, is not to be more than one-third the total height at the withers of an adult Basset. The shoulders are well laid back and powerful. Steepness in shoulder, fiddle fronts, and elbows that are out, are serious faults. The forelegs are short, powerful, heavy in bone, with wrinkled skin. Knuckling over of the front legs is a disqualification. The paw is massive, very heavy with tough heavy pads, well rounded and with both feet inclined equally a trifle outward, balancing the width of the shoulders. Feet down at the pastern are a serious fault. The toes are neither pinched together nor splayed, with the weight of the forepart of the body borne evenly on each. The dewclaws may be removed.

Body
The rib structure is long, smooth, and extends well back. The ribs are well sprung, allowing adequate room for heart and lungs. Flatsidedness and flanged ribs are faults. The topline is straight, level, and free from any tendency to sag or roach, which are faults.

Hindquarters
The hindquarters are very full and well rounded, and are approximately equal to the shoulders in width. They must not appear slack or light in relation to the over-all depth of the body. The dog stands firmly on its hind legs showing a well-let-down stifle with no tendency toward a crouching stance. Viewed from behind, the hind legs are parallel, with the hocks turning neither in nor out. Cowhocks or bowed legs are serious faults. The hind feet point straight ahead. Steep, poorly angulated hindquarters are a serious fault. The dewclaws, if any, may be removed.

Tail
The tail is not to be docked, and is set in continuation of the spine with but slight curvature, and carried gaily in hound fashion. The hair on the underside of the tail is coarse.

Size
The height should not exceed 14 inches. Height over 15 inches at the highest point of the shoulder blade is a disqualification.

Gait
The Basset Hound moves in a smooth, powerful, and effortless manner. Being a scenting dog with short legs, it holds its nose low to the ground. Its gait is absolutely true with perfect coordination between the front and hind legs, and it moves in a straight line with hind feet following in line with the front feet, the hocks well bent with no stiffness of action. The front legs do not paddle, weave, or overlap, and the elbows must lie close to the body. Going away, the hind legs are parallel.

Coat
The coat is hard, smooth, and short, with sufficient density to be of use in all weather. The skin is loose and elastic. A distinctly long coat is a disqualification.

Color
Any recognized hound color is acceptable and the distribution of color and markings is of no importance.

Colors and Markings

Basset Hound

Below is a list of the colors and markings available for this breed. Please refer to the breed standard for descriptions and the difference in types.

Description: The name of the color and/or markings.

Type: Standard or alternate. This is the classification of the color for show purposes. Please refer to the breed standard for specifics regarding this breed.

Code: This is the code entered on an application for registration of a dog.
 
Colors
 
DescriptionTypeCode
 
Black & WhiteS019
Black Brown & WhiteS022
Black Tan & WhiteS030
Black White & BrownS031
Black White & TanS034
Brown Black & WhiteS064
Lemon & WhiteS115
Mahogany & WhiteS130
Red & WhiteS146
Black & BrownA009
Black Red & WhiteA027
Blue & WhiteA045
Blue Tan & WhiteA291
Brown & WhiteA063
Tan & WhiteA197
White & LemonA211
White & RedA214
White Black & BrownA360
White Black & RedA361
 
Markings
 
DescriptionTypeCode
 
Black MarkingsA002
Black MaskA004
TickedA013
White MarkingsA014
 

BASSET HOUND HISTORY 

The Basset Hound is of French lineage and has flourished for centuries in Europe where it was used chiefly for the slow trail of rabbits, hare, and deer. The first mention of the word "Basset" as applied to a breed of dog appears in an early text on hunting written by Fouilloux in 1585. The Friars of the French Abbey of St. Hubert played an instrumental role in the development of the breed, where they established a lower set, slower moving dog that could be followed on foot. By the mid-19th century, the two largest breeders of Bassets in France were producing dogs of slightly different type, especially in head and eye. The first strain were primarily lemon and white and had a tendency to knuckling, while the second strain had glamorous tri-colors with a more narrow head and a domed topskull, a softer eye with prominent jaw and a down-faced look that provided more facial expression.

Exportation of Basset Hounds to England began in 1866, where the first Basset was exhibited at an English dog show in 1875. Some of the dogs established in England were eventually exported to the United States in 1883 and 1884. In 1884, the first Basset Hound was exhibited at the Westminster Kennel Club show. In 1935, a national parent club was created - the Basset Hound Club of America. Through the efforts of the parent club, the breed has proven to be a multi-purpose hound that excels in conformation, obedience, tracking, field trialing and pack hunting.

Basset Hound Did You Know?

  • The foremost use of the Basset Hound in the United States is for the hunting of rabbits.
  • In trailing ability, the accuracy of the Basset's nose makes him second only to the Bloodhound.
  • In 1935, the Basset Hound Club of America was organized in the United States.
  • The February 27, 1928 issue of Time magazine carried the picture of a Basset puppy on the cover. The accompanying cover story was a write-up of the 52nd annual dog show of the Westminster Kennel Club at Madison Square Garden as if it were attended and observed by the puppy.
  • "Basset" as applied to a breed of dog derives from the French adjective bas, meaning "low thing" or "dwarf".
  • In the US, it was thought that George Washington owned Bassets presented to him as a gift by Lafayette after the American Revolution.