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The invention of Basset Hound: History and Facts

Basset Hound were notably documented by publications when this breed was created in France, thanks to Everett Millais who gave us abundant information of the ones imported to England, the names of the parents and even the number of puppies in the first litters, as well as the different experiments carried out by pioneers, such as the mating with Bloodhounds and Mr. Canteleu. Basset Hounds are known for their great sense of smell, but many people also know them for their short legs and stubborn nature, although most don’t know that they are descendants of the St. Hubert Basset Hounds and were developed by monks who were looking to develop a powerful sense of smell. The Basset Hound was beginning to take a firm root when Mr. Everett Millais of South Kensington became an enthusiastic admirer and spared no money in his endeavors, providing us with some practical information.

The Basset Hound is a breed of the hound family: a scent hound originally bred for hunting hare, as its smell and ground-scent is second only to the Bloodhound. The Basset Hounds are of every color and rough, and there are more varieties than the Dachshund, having sprung from the local breeds and therefore connected with the Saintonge and Normandy types. So don’t let their looks fool you.

Basset Hound originates from France, in the 16th century, and it is able to easily locate scent by keeping the body close to the ground, but it was introduced to America three centuries later. Eventually, one line became a mutation of the St. Hubert Hound, dwarf hound, known as the Basset Hound because of its proximity to the ground (“bas” means low, so it basically means low-set hound). The name is derived from French bas, with the suffix meaning “rather low” and they are usually tricolors, large and solid with curved tails weighing between 20 and 35 kilograms as it is heavier-boned than any other breed.

Aside as hunting dog, it is often kept as pet, reaching 11 to 15 inches in height, with smooth coat that can be black, tan and white, or lemon and white, and its name refers to the short stature and deep muzzle due to loose skin and very long ears. There are many characteristics that make them an ideal dog for hunting, such as the thick coat protecting it from being hurt by items while traveling and following a trail, making it easier to stay on the trail of what they are tracking, and the loose skin helps to trap the scent, although their short legs do not allow them to travel for long. The dewlap loose skin and the ears which are the longest help trap the scent, while its neck is wider than its head, meaning that flat collars can easily be pulled off.

Basset Hound has excellent smell and strong instinct, which is why it can easily wander off, and is popular among hunters that walk, as it cannot run due to its legs and howls a lot.

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