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Basset Hound

Tags: hound, Adaptable to apartment life, Kid-friendly, Requires firm, dedicated training, Calm temperament

French monks in the 1500s get credit for first developing the basset (bas means "low" in French) to hunt rabbits and other game through thick underbrush. George Washington received a gift of the French variety from Marquis de Lafayette. Our breed underwent further refinement, from French stock in England in the 1800s, and one of Queen Alexandra's Bassets won at Cruft's in 1909. By then, the British Basset lines had come to the United States and were gaining popularity for 15 years. We're still built low to the ground (14 inches at the shoulders) and we sometimes step on our long ears.

Rave review

  • Adaptable to apartment life -- with ample exercise
  • Affectionate, devoted family friend
  • Calm as a clam
  • Even-tempered, good-natured

Report card

  • Independent thinker
  • Intelligent and ready to learn
  • Lives to work
  • Loves kids and vice-versa
  • Never aggressive
  • Outdoors enthusiast
  • Socialization and training must start early
  • Steadfast and strong
  • Stubborn streak
  • Sweet disposition
  • Training must be firm, patient, consistent
  • Melodious voice

What to expect

You need to understand my passion for following a scent -- on leash or off -- for miles and miles and miles, if necessary. And you need to adjust your definition of "necessary" because I can be stubborn. Start my training early -- you're the boss if you want to be -- and get me involved in competitive activities where I promise to make you proud. However, please don't overdo the exercise in the developmental months of puppyhood or I might have lifelong back and bone troubles. Stairs should be avoided for the first 18 months. And remember my reputation as an escape artist -- fences, gates, door latches all need to be Basset-proof.

Watch for

Possible back problems, ear infections and skin disorders, vision and bleeding disorders, gastric dilation (bloat), some cancers, and cardiac problems.

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