At the end of the 2013, the rescue received a call. A sweet Basset Hound girl had been found walking on the side of the road just outside the city. We were asked if we could help. There was no other dedicated Basset Hound rescue in the province and this girl needed us. We stepped in and took her into the rescue. We named her Hope and during her short time with us (she was very sick) she started us on a journey to helping Basset Hounds throughout the province find their forever families.
About the Breed
Basset Hounds are long, low scent hounds that originated from French ancestry. They often have a dignified look about them due in large part to their large, majestic head, long, velvety ears, wrinkled brow, and soulful eyes. It is one of the most easily recognizable of all dog breeds.
With their short legs and somewhat slower movement, Bassets were originally used for hunters on foot in search of small game. The long ears and wrinkles around the face helped to stir up scent. Packs of Basset Hounds were used to drive small prey such as rabbit and hare from dense undercover and into open areas where hunters could take over.
The Basset Hound Personality
Basset Hounds may look comical and perhaps even not that smart, but don’t let that clever facade fool you. Basset Hounds are very intelligent and what may come across as stubbornness may actually be more correctly attributed to ingenuity!
Between their personality and good looks, Basset Hounds are quick to win over everyone they meet. They are generally regarded as gentle and sociable in nature, easy-going, loyal, and able to easily get along with children, and other animals.
Basset Hound Traits
- Pack mentality. While they do have an independent streak to them, Bassets are pack dogs and do well with the companionship of another dog.
- A scent hound. This basset lives to follow its nose. For that reason it must always be in a fenced-in area or on-leash. Once a Basset Hound gets on the trail of a good scent, it can be very difficult to call them off. Well-secured areas are a must.
- Moderate activity level. While they may look docile and low-key, a Basset Hound will do best with moderate activity such as daily walks and play. This helps stimulate them mentally and can help keep them trim and fit – which is important for their physical structure.
- They can shed a lot. Many Basset Hounds will have a dense, short coat that sheds more in the spring, but also moderately throughout the year. Regular brushing will help keep this down. Many new owners are surprised by the shedding and occasionally bassets are relinquished to the rescue for this reason.
- Short-legs are deceiving! Basset Hounds may look like they might not be able to reach that tasty roast or loaf of bread on the counter, but with the proper motivation, you’d be surprised at what this natural-born counter-surfer can accomplish when they set their mind to it.
- Structurally, a Basset Hound’s long, low back makes it susceptible to injury. Care must be taken to make sure the Basset Hound doesn’t do excessive jumping or constantly do numerous stairs.
- Long ears and droopy eyes need regular attention and cleaning. The very nature of their floppy ears mean they don’t allow for good air circulation and are prone to infection. A Basset Hound will need its ears cleaned and eyes wiped weekly.
- Their nails are very thick and will need regular trimming; walking alone will not keep their nails short. Weekly trimming will help prevent the quick from growing out and the nails from curling under. Bassets are notorious for being dramatic about nail trimming. We would encourage you to consider dremeling their nails as they seem to tolerate it much better and it can help keep the nails short and neat.
- Bloat. The deep chest of the Basset Hound makes it more at risk to this condition which occurs when food expands or air is trapped in the stomach and it flips or twists. This is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate emergency medical attention. Care should be taken not to exercise your Basset Hound on a full stomach or let it gulp too much water at one time.