Congratulations on your Basset Hound adoption. The easily identifiable pups are friendly, loyal, and interact well with adults, children, and other pets. Basset Hound's average size is small, but they're heavier than they look.
The dogs are a powerhouse with a lot of stamina, which is why they've made excellent companion dogs for hunters for decades. Many Basset lovers can't get past the breed's mournful eyes and sad appearance. However, they know these canines are anything but unhappy or mean.
History of the Basset Hound
The breed has a long and rich history dating to sixth-century France and Belgium, which of course, is where its name originates. In the French language, bas means low-set.
The short dogs have powerful legs and a near-perfect scenting ability. Only the Bloodhound, a relative of the Basset Hound, has a more accurate nose.
Basset hounds were bred throughout history for hunting. Experts believe the friars of the Abbey of St. Hubert crossed a Basset breed with the St. Hubert Hound to develop a hunting dog for smaller animals.
The short-legged dogs provide them the perfect advantage for tracking small game, such as rabbits. Basset Hounds are still used today as hunting companions.
The hound's history doesn't end in France. It was the 10th breed recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885. The first Basset Hound Club in America was organized in 1935.
Basset Hound Temperament
The Basset Hound is known for more than its sad eyes. The canine is exceptionally loyal and friendly. However, it's also best to know the breed isn't known for being overly affectionate. That doesn't mean they won't cuddle and spend their time by your side as the ideal canine companion.
Many are happy to lay on the end of your bed at night, and if you're not paying attention, spread out and take all the room. They may not be as excited as a Golden Retriever when you walk in the door from work every day, but they'll still be there waiting patiently.
The Basset Hound is an independent thinker but still excels at obedience and works hard to prove him or herself at every competition.
Owners don't need to worry about the pup interacting poorly with children or other pets. The fiercely protective breed will watch over you and your family like any faithful guard dog. However, when out in nature, such as walking in the woods, all bets are off when it comes to the quiet and docile mood of the Basset Hound.
The fascinating breed may become more stubborn and vocal in their natural habitat. Given their history and natural hunting ability, that's not unexpected.
Although they're excellent hunters and fiercely loyal, their independent nature makes training them a bit more challenging than other pups. It's easier to understand when you look at the breed's history.
Basset Hounds were taught to go ahead of the pack to track animals. The hunter didn't want an obedient canine hanging on their every order. Instead, they needed an independent dog that could get the job done with little direction.
The Basset Hound Diet
The famous breed doesn't require a specialized diet. As with all canines, they need a well-balanced, nutritious meal plan that fits the pup's age. Basset Hounds are prone to excessive weight, which is dangerous given their short legs and stalky appearance.
It's essential to watch your pet's calorie intake and fitness to prevent obesity. Overweight dogs can develop hip dysplasia, a degenerative disease that can be painful, limit mobility, impair gait, and decrease the breed's happy temperament.
Grooming Your Basset Hound
Grooming is an integral part of your dog's health. Their large, droopy ears can reduce air circulation and lead to infections. Regularly check under and around the ears and watch for warning signs, such as scratching their ears or shaking their head more often.
Basset's are shedders. Use a de-shedding tool to remove fur and keep them happy. Use a soft brush once or twice a week to keep them well-groomed and reduce the fur clean-up around your home.
Additionally, make sure to brush your dog's teeth twice weekly to prevent tartar buildup and decay. If you have trouble completing the grooming steps yourself, consider a professional service for their nails, teeth, and coat.
Health Care Needs of Basset Hounds
It's essential to take your dog to the vet for regular health checkups. Younger Basset Hounds should go at least once yearly for a general review, and seniors need biannual exams.
The veterinarian will look for common breed-related conditions, including hip and elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, bleeding disorders, glaucoma, and luxating patella.
Use this information to decide if a Basset Hound rescue is ideal for your family. This amazing breed will be your best friend to the end.
If you're looking for a family pet that's easy to care for and gets along with everyone that enters or lives in your home, a Basset Hound could be the perfect answer.