Basset hounds are Scent Hounds and fall under the Hound group. The Basset hound is one of the 6 French Short legged Scent Hounds or Basset breeds. These include the Basset Hound; Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, Grand Basset Griffon VendeenBasset Artesien NormandBasset Blue de Gascogne and the Basset Fauve de Bretagne. Of these 6, only the first 3 is currently found in South Africa, with the Petit and Grand being very rare.

The Basset Hound is an old breed which originated in France in the 15th century. They are even mentioned by Shakespeare. They were bred as rabbit hunters, being dwarfed to make them slower and more manageable for hunters on foot. The word “Basset” comes from the French word “dwarfed” or “low-set”.  They were prized for their extremely good sense of smell and for following a scent with great persistence.
The controlled breeding of the short haired basset began in France in the year 1870. From the existing Bassets, Count Le Couteulx of Canteleu fixed a utilitarian type with straight front legs known as the Chien d'Artois, whereas Mr. Louis Lane developed a more spectacular type, with crooked front legs, known as the Basset Normand. These were bred together to create the original Basset Art├ęsien Normand.
French bassets were being imported into England at least as early as the 1870s. While some of these dogs were certainly Basset Art├ęsien Normands, by the 1880s line breeding had thrown back to a different heavier type. Everett Millais', who is considered to be the father of the modern Basset Hound, bred one such dog, Nicholas, to a Bloodhound bitch named Inoculation through artificial insemination in order to create a heavier basset in England in the 1890s. The litter was delivered by cesarean section, and the surviving pups were refined with French and English bassets. The first breed standard for what is now known as the Basset Hound was made in Great Britain at the end of 19th century. This standard was updated in 2010. Even though the Basset hound of today is a far cry from the Basset hound of yesteryear, the persistent side of the breed must always be remembered as it still dominates the breed.


ORIGIN: Great Britain.
UTILIZATION: Scent Hound. 
FCI-CLASSIFICATION:    Group  6 Scent hounds and related breeds.
                                           Section   1.3     Small-sized hounds.
                                           With working trial. 
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: The Basset was reputedly bred by monks in France in the Middle Ages to hunt in heavy cover and is able to hold its nose close to the ground. Though closely related to the entire family of French Bassets the breed was developed to perfection in Britain. He is a dog capable of hunting his natural prey, the hare, persistently at a relatively slow pace over prodigious distances. 
GENERAL APPEARANCE: Short-legged hound of considerable substance, well balanced, full of quality. It is important to bear in mind that this is a working hound and must be fit for purpose therefore should be strong, active and capable of great endurance in the field.  
BEHAVIOUR AND TEMPERAMENT: Tenacious hound of ancient lineage which hunts by scent, possesses a pack instinct and a deep melodious voice. Placid, never aggressive or timid. Affectionate. 
There may be a small amount of wrinkle at brow and beside eyes. In any event skin of head supple enough as to wrinkle slightly when drawn forward or when head is lowered. 
CRANIAL REGION: Top of muzzle nearly parallel with line from stop to occiput and not much longer than head from stop to occiput.
Skull: Domed, with prominent occipital bone, of medium width at brow and tapering slightly to muzzle.
Stop: Moderate. 
Nose: Entirely black except in light-coloured hounds, when it may be brown or liver. Large and well-opened nostrils, nose may protrude a little beyond lips.
Muzzle: General appearance of foreface lean, not snipy.
Lips: Flews of upper lip overlap lower substantially.
Jaws / Teeth: Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Eyes: Lozenge-shaped, neither prominent nor deep-set, dark but may shade to mid-brown in light-coloured hounds. Expression calm and serious.  Light or yellow eye highly undesirable.
Ears: Set-on low, just below line of eye. Long; reaching only slightly beyond end of muzzle of correct length, but not excessively so. Narrow throughout their length and curling well inwards; very supple, fine and velvety in texture.
NECK: Muscular, well arched and fairly long with pronounced but not exaggerated dewlap. 
BODY: Long and deep throughout length; withers and quarters of approximately same height.
Back: Rather broad and level. From withers to onset of quarters not unduly long.
Loin: May arch slightly.
Chest: Forechest fitting neatly into crook when viewed from front. Breast bone prominent but chest neither narrow nor unduly deep.  Ribs well rounded and sprung, without flange, extending well back. 
Underline and belly: There should be adequate clearance between the lowest part of the chest and the ground to allow the hound to move freely over all types of terrain. 
TAIL: Well set-on, rather long, strong at base, tapering, with moderate amount of coarse hair underneath. When moving, stern carried well up and curving gently, sabre-fashion, never curling or gay.
General appearance: Upper forearm inclined slightly inwards, but not to such an extent as to prevent free action or to result in legs touching each other when standing or in action. Some wrinkles of skin may appear on lower legs, but this must on no account be excessive.
Shoulder: Shoulder-blades well laid back; shoulders not heavy.
Elbow: Turning neither in nor out but fitting neatly against side.
Forearm: Forelegs short, powerful and with great bone.
Carpus (Wrist): Knuckling over highly undesirable.
Forefeet: Large well knuckled up and padded. Forefeet may point straight ahead or be turned slightly outwards but in every case hound always stands perfectly true, weight being borne equally by toes with pads together so that feet would leave an imprint of a large hound and no unpadded areas in contact with ground. 
General appearance: Full of muscle and standing out well, giving an almost spherical effect when viewed from rear.
Some wrinkles of skin may appear between hock and foot, and at rear of joint a slight pouch of skin may be present, but on no account should any of these be excessive.
Stifle (Knee): Well bent.
Metatarsus (Rear pastern): Hocks well let down and slightly bent under but turn neither in nor out and just under body when standing naturally.
Hind feet: Large well knuckled up and padded.  In every case hound always stands perfectly true, weight being borne equally by toes with pads together so that feet would leave an imprint of a large hound and no unpadded areas in contact with ground. 
GAIT / MOVEMENT: Most important to ensure that the hound is fit for purpose. Smooth, powerful and effortless action with forelegs reaching well forward and hind legs showing powerful thrust, hound moving true both front and rear. Hocks and stifles never stiff in movement, nor must any toes be dragged.
SKIN: Supple and elastic without any exaggeration. 
Hair: Smooth, short and close without being too fine. Whole outline clean and free from feathering. Long hair, soft coat or feathering highly undesirable. 
Colour: Generally black, white and tan (tri-colour); lemon and white (bi-colour); but any recognized hound colour acceptable.
Height at the withers: 33 - 38 cms. 
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on its ability to perform its traditional work. 
·         Aggressive or overly shy
·         Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities
      shall be disqualified. 
N.B.: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum. 
The latest amendments are in bold characters.




BREED STANDARD WITH PICTURES - COURTESY KENNEL BOHEMIA HORRIDO -If you are interested to learn the breed standard this is a VERY informative read!!

Popular Posts