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Basset Hound is known as the "happy breed." This breed enjoys life and people. He is enthusiastic and good-natured. Around the house, Basset Hounds are calm and rather lazy. They are loyal to their people and have a pleasant, friendly disposition. Because they originally were bred as pack dogs, they love to be with their families and also do well with other pets. Basset Hounds are among the most pleasant-natured and easygoing of all breeds. Some are dignified, but most are clownish. Almost all are reliably good-natured, sociable, and peaceful with everyone.
Size: The Basset Hound stands no higher than 14 inches at the shoulder but, with his remarkably heavy bone, powerful little legs, and massive paws, he possesses big-dog strength and stamina.
Personality: With their droopy eyes, long ears and short stature, basset hounds can sometimes look like sad, old men. In truth, they are active, affectionate and loyal, and because of their pack nature, get along well with people and other pets, making them an ideal family companion.
Temperament: Sweet-Tempered, Tenacious, Friendly, Affectionate, Devoted, Gentle. Bassets will welcome rumpus playing with children, but will sit quietly on the lap of an adult when it's time to relax for the evening. Basset Hounds may bark to sound an alert that someone is nearing the home, but once they greet a guest, will quietly return to their favorite sun-bathing spot on the floor.
Activity Requirements: Basset hounds need exercise. Not as much as a larger-breed dog, but they are prone to weight problems if they do not get enough outside activity. Basset Hounds are not as active as some breeds, but they do require regular, moderate exercise. Usually a daily walk at a moderate pace will fill the bill. Exercise will help to keep the Basset healthy and prevent him from becoming overweight.
Behavioral Traits: Basset Hounds are often referred to as “clown” dogs. They do their own thing, in their own time, and this can often lead to humorous interactions. They are not aggressive to people or other dogs, and despite their desire for independence, are truly pack animals who love the company of others.
Bassets bark and howl when they are bored. Before leaving a Basset Hound for a long period of time, owners should be sure to exercise their dog to tire him out, and leave him with plenty of chew toys and activities while gone. Bassets will also bark and howl when they sense something is wrong, and often during thunder storms.
Diet: 1.5 to 2 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals. How much your adult dog eats depends on his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level.
Keeping this all in mind, general guidelines are as follows:
2 to 4 lbs. 1/3 to 1/2 cups per day.
5 to 8 lbs. 1/2 to 3/4 cups per day.
8 to 10 lb. adult = 1/2 to 3/4 cups per day.
10 to 12 lb. adult = 3/4 to 1 cup per day.
13 to 16 lb. adult = 1 to 1 and 1/4 cups per day.
Trainability: Training a Basset can be a challenge. Some consider this a sign of low intelligence, but the truth is they are highly intelligent and independent, making them resistant to obedience. This independent nature can make them immune to discipline, and their lack of a desire to please people makes positive reinforcement training difficult. Basset hounds love to eat, so training with treats and a lot of patience will yield the best results. They will walk all over a meek trainer, so a confident nature is important when training a basset hound.
Colors: Most common colors are tri-color (tan, black, and white), black and white, brown and white, or red and white. Lemon and white is acceptable, but rarely seen.
History: Basset Hounds were originally bred in France and Belgium (“basset” is French for “low”). It is thought that the friars of the Abbey of St. Hubert were responsible for crossing strains of older French breeds to create a low-built scenting hound that could plod over rough terrain while followed on foot by a human hunting partner tracking rabbit and deer. Their accuracy and persistence on scent made Bassets a popular choice for French aristocrats, for whom hunting was a way of life.
Origin: France, Great Britain
Life span: 12 to 15 years
Temperament: Sweet-Tempered, Tenacious, Friendly, Affectionate, Devoted, Gentle
Weight: 50 to 65 pounds
Height: 18–20 inches
Colors: White & Chocolate, Black & White, Tri-color, Black & Brown, Lemon & White, Red & White