Basset Hounds are heavily boned hounds with long bodies, short legs and large feet. They have beautiful heads with the most wonderful serious expressions and long ears that sweep the ground when using their very keen nose on the scent. They are very sturdy with plenty of heart and lung room to enable them to track and follow a scent for long periods of time
The Basset Hound is an old breed originating in France in the 15th century, bred as hunters, being dwarfed to make them slower and more manageable on foot. The word ‘Basset’ comes from the French meaning ‘dwarfed’ or ‘low-set’. They were around in the 16th century as they are even mentioned by Shakespeare. They became popular when they were imported into England in the 1870’s by Everett Millais. Queen Alexandra was also a great lover of the breed, having several in her kennels. Basset popularity has had its ups and downs, the lowest point was during the 2nd World War when numbers fell to an all time low. The survival of the breed is due entirely to Miss Peggy Keevil, who managed to keep a nucleus of good hounds. In the 60’s there was an explosion in popularity, mainly due to the Hush Puppies shoes - not an entirely happy period for Bassets as many irresponsible people saw this as a way of making money. Luckily numbers have now stabilised, though there is still a big problem with puppy farmers breeding untypical hounds with bad temperaments and selling them to unsuitable homes. If you want a Basset puppy, please make sure you buy from a recognised breeder. The Secretaries of the Basset Hound Clubs are the best people to advise you.