Thursday, September 16, 2010

Breed of the Week - Basset Hound - Kansas City Dog Photography

*Below information from*

The Basset Hound is a short, relatively heavy dog. The head is large and well proportioned with a rounded skull. The muzzle is deep and heavy with the size being greater than the width at the brow. The brown eyes have a soft, sad look to them and are slightly sunken with a prominent haw. The darkly pigmented lips have loose hanging flews and the dewlap is very pronounced. The skin hangs loose like elastic and falls in folds on the head. The velvety ears are set low and extremely long hanging towards the ground. The large teeth meet in either a scissors or even bite. The chest is very deep extending in front of the front legs. The dogs hindquarters are very full and round. The paws are big. The dewclaws may be removed. The coat is dense, short, hard and shiny. There are no rules concerning color, but it is usually black, tan, white, red, white with chestnut or with sand-colored markings.

The Basset Hound is sweet, gentle, devoted, peaceful and naturally well-behaved. They fit into family life well. Their temperament should always be friendly, and never vicious, moody or harsh, and would only become so if the owners led the dog to believe he was pack leader over humans. They are mild but not timid; very affectionate with its master and friendly with children. It can be a bit stubborn with meek owners and need a firm, confident, and consistent owner who displays natural authority over the dog. Dogs need to know the rules of the house and have the humans stick to them. Bassets like to do tricks for food. It has a deep musical bark. Housebreaking is difficult, but they do well with positive reinforcement and patient, gentle training. With proper training, they are obedient, but when they pick up an interesting smell, it's sometimes hard to get their attention, as they like to follow their noses and may not even hear you calling them back. Only allow your Basset off lead in safe areas.

Height, Weight Height
Dogs 12-15 inches, Bitches 11-14 inches
Weight: Dogs 50-65 pounds, Bitches 45-60 pounds

Health Problems
Do not overfeed these dogs because extra weight places too great a load on the legs and spine. A problem area is possible lameness and eventual paralysis because of short legs and a heavy, long body. As they are prone to bloat, it is also wise to feed them two or three small meals a day instead of one big large meal. If they do eat a large meal keep an eye on them for several hours for any signs of bloat.

To keep the Basset Hound healthy, it should be given plenty of exercise, including a long daily walk to keep the dog mentally stable, but discourage it from jumping and stressing the front legs. This breed will run and play by the hour when given the chance. Because of their keen noses they tend to roam when they pick up a scent. Take care when off lead that the dog is in a safe area. When they pick up a trail they may not even hear you calling them back as their complete focus will be on finding the critter at the other end.

The smooth, short-haired coat is easy to groom. Comb and brush with a firm bristle brush, and shampoo only when necessary. Wipe under the ears every week and trim toenails regularly. This breed is a constant shedder.

Life Expectancy
About 10-12 years

The Basset Hound is an old breed which is a direct descended of the Bloodhound and has a nose that is almost as outstanding. Some sources suggest the Basset Hound may have originated from genetic dwarf dogs which were born in litters of different types of hunting hounds. The name "Basset Hound" comes from the French word "bas" meaning low. The Basset Hounds long ears have been poetically described by Shakespeare as: "Ears which sweep away the morning dew." The breed was first presented at a Paris dog show in 1863 which began the dog's popularity. Their popularity spread to England and feuds soon arose between those who wanted the dog to be more of a show dog, keeping them more as a companion dog and those who wanted to keep it as a hunting dog. The fact that they are relatively slow on their feet means they can be more convenient for hunters who are on foot.

Here is Bella, a Basset I met who has since been adopted!

And here is my friend Cheryl's rescued Basset, Bob.


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