Basset Hounds are descended from the old St. Hubert hounds. Used to trail and drive game away, the Basset has had such famous admirers as King Edward VII and Shakespeare. The Basset was bred for hunting small game.
The Basset’s long ears were developed to stir up and hold the scent for their strong nose to smell. The folds of skin under the chin, called the dewlap, help trap and hold the scent. Wrinkles about the head and face also aid in holding the scent.
Their large feet make them steady and the heavy bones make them sturdy.
With their short legs they are ideal for slow trailing which allows hunters to follow on foot. The Basset is used primarily to hunt rabbit although they were first used on other small game such as pheasant.
The Basset Hound is considered one of the best dogs available for a family to love. They are extremely tolerant and love everyone in the family equally. They are a very gentle, sweet, loyal and affectionate breed, although they are quite stubborn at times. They get along well with other pets of various species.
Bassets are not an aggressive watchdog but will learn to give a deep bark as a warning if praised when sounding off. Otherwise, they will accept visitors with a sniff and return to a favorite corner.
The Basset Hound is a versatile pet who will play with children, make a skilled hunter, and sit by their owner’s side during quiet times.
Some Basset Hounds have a tendency to howl when left alone for long periods of time. They will also wander away from home if not kept in a (securely locked) fenced area. When a good scent reaches their nose, there is no telling where they will end up, and unfortunately, the Basset is not good at finding the way home.
A Basset with its large deep flews tends to be more “slobbery” than other breeds. Some individual Bassets are “drier mouthed” than others, but as a whole the breed is judiciously described as “wet mouthed.”. To the prospective Basset owner, this means that the dog will drool quite a bit, and tend to make a mess while drinking.
If you are a fastidious housekeeper, and have an aversion to dog drool on your floors (and occasionally your walls), then the Basset Hound is probably not the breed for you.