Basset Hound: Breed History & Origin

Basset Hound is a fairly old breed of dog, its history dates back to the Middle Ages. The development of this breed took place in two countries – in France and the UK, and therefore the name consists of the French “bas / basset” – low and English “hound”. Initially, these dogs were used to hunt on the blood trail for a wide variety of games and also helped to search for mushrooms (truffles). However, over time, their specialization narrowed to hunting hares and pheasants, but now they can be found more often in the role of a companion than in the role of a hunter.

Initially, all short dogs were called Bassets in France. Early writers on the breed, and even later, agree that this type of dog originated from the old Talbot Hound, also called St. Hubert. Soon the sign of the short-legged and long body was fixed and became hereditary. Over time, the Bassets gained popularity among the nobility, but the aristocrats not only sought to have such a dog, but they also wanted to add something of their own to the breed so that their animal was unique. As a result, dogs from different kennels were quite different and had different specializations, in the 18th century there were already 12 varieties of them. Dogs from different kennels did not cross, which led to multiple inbreeding (crossing of closely related forms within the same population) and breed degeneration.

The Great French Revolution almost ended in complete extermination for the Basset breed. People destroyed these animals as one of the symbols of the power of the aristocrats. The breed became extremely rare and was on the verge of extinction. But, fortunately for the Bassets, by this time, not horse hunting, but foot gun hunting had become more popular. It was then that the need arose for unhurried hounds with a keen instinct and a strong voice. Of all the varieties of Basset, the Artesian and Norman dogs managed to escape. In the 19th century, dogs were sent to Great Britain, but after merging into the Norman Artesian Basset breed.

In Great Britain, the Norman Artesian Basset was crossed with a Bloodhound, and the resulting type became known as the Basset Hound. Compared to the older types of Basset, his body has become more powerful, his ears are noticeably elongated and characteristic wrinkles have been added.

The Basset Hound was first presented at a show in Paris in 1863. In Great Britain, the breed debuted at shows in 1875. After 8 years, the Basset Hound Club was formed in Great Britain, the first breed standard was created and approved in 1887. The Basset Hound was introduced to the United States no later than 1883. But, it is worth noting that wherever these dogs are, they always attract attention and are very popular.

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