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ABOUT THE BREED
The Basset Hound is a large breed, adaptable for working or as a family pet. They are very loving and loyal and while, in their early months, they require only a little exercise, they will keep going all day long, once fully matured. Bassets like nothing better than to be "doing" family things - going out in the car, "helping" in the garden, lazing about watching TV, raiding the kitchen cupboards, cleaning up any food spills etc. Left alone they can get up to no end of mischief.
The Basset Hound was bred as a hunting dog, to hunt rabbits and other small game. Basset Hounds historically hunted in large packs. His scenting power is renowned and he follows ground and foliage scents.
Excellent information on the Basset Hound can be found by clicking here.
The Basset's ears were developed with some length so that when his head is to the ground the ears create a funnel up which the scent travels from the to ground to his powerful nose. The folds of skin under the chin, called the dewlap, are for trapping and holding the scent so that the hound does not lose the trail. His large feet give him stability and the ability to travel over uneven ground and his heavy bone makes him sturdy and able to carry his heavy body for long periods of time. His speed enables the hunter to follow him apace on foot. The Basset Hound must have a great lung capacity and a large, strong heart so that he can track game for a very long time. A lot of stamina is required to allow him to work for long periods of time. He therefore requires a deep chest and a good barrel shaped ribcage to accommodate the heart and lungs. Basset Hounds are expected to be equipped for endurance and have sufficient stamina to hunt day after day in widely varying terrain, often through dense undergrowth and in all weather conditions. This means that he also has a requirement for a coat which is short, waterproof but is also cool enough to work on long, hot days.
The Basset Hound, as you will realise, is a very different type of dog to most. While he is often referred to as the clown of the canine world, the reason for his unique shape is to enable him to penetrate deep undergrowth and rough terrain and this is also why soundness of construction is so important to his very survival and long term health.