The Basset Hound has captivated the public imagination since the 1920s, appearing on television, cartoons, and even the cover of Time Magazine. The breed gained most of their popularity for their hunting skills and impressive sense of smell. Originating in France, the Basset Hound is just one of several other breeds that are part of the Basset family, which include the Basset Fauve de Bretagne, Basset Bleu de Gascogne, and more. The name Basset comes from the French word meaning "low" or "dwarf," describing the unique appearance of the Basset family breeds. The Basset Hound descended from Spartan Hounds and St. Hubert's Hounds, ancient scenthounds from before 1000 AD, and were commonly used to hunt rabbits and hare. The short-legged body of the breed proved beneficial for hunters to not only keep up with the dog while hunting, but these shorter dogs were better at hunting smaller game than longer-legged hounds. Starting in the 1890s to the 1930s, the Bloodhound was incorporated into the lineage, which resulted in the heavier Basset Hound that we know today.
Easily recognizable for their short body that is low to the ground, droopy eyes, and long ears, the Basset Hound is more heavy-boned for their proportions than other breeds. Regardless of their appearance, these hard-working hounds tend to show great endurance during physical activity, which attests to their excellent hunting abilities. They have a thick, smooth, and short coat that comes in many various color combinations common to hounds. Their dark brown eyes are slightly sunken in, which gives the Basset Hound their unique droopy-eyed look. The ears of the breed, another recognized feature, are extremely long and can be pulled forward well over the end of their nose. They have a heavy muzzle with a black nose that has great scenting abilities, only second to that of the Bloodhound, and a long, slightly curved tail.
Bassets love being surrounded by the company of humans and other animals, making them great companions for families with children and other pets due to their pack-orientated and sociable personality. These good-natured and affectionate hounds will become your shadow by following wherever you go because of their love for human companionship. Although highly intelligent, they are considered fairly difficult to train, but they can excel with a consistent owner who uses lots of love and praise during training to become a very obedient family pet who happens to be an excellent hunter. Nonetheless, the Basset breed has a more laid-back temperament and may not even bark so much as howl or whine while in the home. They also tend to be patient and gentle. Like many hunting breeds, they should always be monitored if not on a leash or confined in a fenced yard when outdoors since they can become distracted once they pick up an interesting smell. Bassets are known to not be a very active breed and short daily walks or long romps in the yard will be enough for this calm, slow-moving dog. In order to be active, they often need a little encouragement or else they will lay around. Mellow and easy-going, the Basset Hound is a naturally well-behaved dog that can make a wonderful family pet or loyal hunting partner.