Description & History

The Basset Hound came from Belgium and France and is descended from hounds bred in the sixth century by Saint Hubert.

Bassets are scent and pack hounds whose ancestors were used in continental Europe for hundreds of years for trailing deer, hares and rabbits.

Lord Galway first introduced Bassets to Great Britain in 1866. British breeders added the Bloodhound strain to the imported French Bassets to create the British Basset Hound, These hounds possess the same characteristics as their French cousins, but differ slightly in their conformation; they have a slightly longer head and shorter ears and longer straighter legs.

Bassets have exceptional scenting ability, stamina, patience and determination which enables them to hunt all day until they finally track down their prey. It is the slowest of the hound breeds and for anyone who wishes to follow a Basset pack, it is not difficult and can give many hours of pleasure.

They are the most melodious of all British hounds and their sound in full cry is not easily forgotten.

The Basset Hound Club was inaugurated in 1883, the same year as the breed was recognised by the British Kennel Club. Towards the end of the nineteenth century a number of packs were formed in the British Isles. As the twentieth century draws to a close there are still 10 packs in existence.

They are inclined to be lazy and therefore should be given plenty of regular exercise - which they thoroughly enjoy - as they can become obese.

Rosamund Walters.

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