The Basset Hound (‘Basset’ derives from ‘dwarf’) was bred at St. Hubert’s Abbey in medieval France to trail game. They were bred for sharp noses and short legs to be able to squeeze in under thick foliage, but were not meant to run at fast speeds, so as to prevent them from scaring game away or outrunning human companions. They were especially suited for rabbit hunting. Basset Hounds grew in popularity when Napoleon III kept a few as pets, and became known internationally during the 1863 Paris dog show. They were subsequently brought to America in the late 1800’s. Today, Basset Hounds are a popular pet and remain admired pack hunters. Some American cities, such as Buffalo and New Orleans, have annual Basset Hound-focused festivals and competitions, even crowning King and Queen Bassets. Famous Basset Hounds include comic strip character Fred Basset and the logo for ‘Hush Puppies’ brand shoes.
Size: Basset Hounds have a shoulder height of 28-38 cm (11-15 in) and weigh 23-27 kg (45-65 lbs). They are famous for their deep, emotional brown eyes. The Basset Hound has loose skin over the eyes, very long, low ears, thick bones, and a large, domed skull. Basset Hounds have a slightly curved tail and very large, round feet under strong, wrinkly legs. Coat: The Basset Hound has short, dense, smooth, shiny hair. Any hound color is acceptable; white with brown and black markings is common (‘tricolor’). Basset Hounds shed constantly.