Basset Hound – The Endearing Scenthound
The Basset Hound is a breed of dog that has captured the hearts of many. Its unique long body, short legs and droopy ears make it easily distinguishable from other hounds and dogs alike. In this article, we will take an in-depth look into the history, physical characteristics, temperament, health problems, exercise needs as well as training regimens required for this charming breed.
The origins of the Basset Hound can be traced back to France in the 16th century. It was initially bred for its exceptional sense of smell which made it ideal for hunting small game such as rabbits. The word ‘basset’ means low-to-the-ground or dwarfed making reference to its short legs relative to its body size.
As earlier mentioned, the Basset is a scent hound with short legs giving it a distinctive shape that distinguishes it from other breeds within its category. On average male bassets weigh between 50-65 pounds while females weigh between 45-60 pounds with males standing at about 12-15 inches high and females ranging from 11-14 inches high. They have loose skin around their head which forms wrinkles on their face when they are excited or alert making them quite endearing pets.
Their coat type comes in two varieties; smooth-coated (short hair) or rough-coated (longer hair). Coat colors range from tri-colors like black/brown/white and lemon-white combinations among others.
Bassets have been described as loyal and friendly companions who enjoy being part of family activities but tend to be stubborn during training sessions due to their strong sense of independence resulting in occasional disobedience if they find an activity uninteresting.
They are not aggressive dogs but do possess some hunting instincts hence should always be kept on leash when going out so they don’t run off chasing a scent they pick up. They get along quite well with children, other pets and strangers due to their docile nature which makes them great additions to any household.
As cute and endearing as these dogs are, Basset Hounds suffer from certain health problems like any other breed. They have a lifespan expectancy of 10-12 years on average which is slightly shorter than that of larger breeds.
Bassets are prone to ear infections due to the shape of their ears causing limited air circulation in the ear canal making it easier for bacteria build-up resulting in inflammation or an infection if left untreated over time.
Other health issues include obesity, hip dysplasia (abnormal growth/deformities within the hip joint) and gastric torsion (commonly known as bloat where gases build up in the stomach causing it to twist). Regular veterinary check-ups can help detect early signs before they develop into serious conditions.
Even though bassets do not require vigorous exercise routines like some other breeds, regular walks with durations between 30-45 minutes per day can greatly improve their overall physical and mental wellbeing since most hounds need moderate daily activity. However, care should be taken not overwork older or less active dogs.
Special Grooming Needs:
Due to its long ears as well as wrinkles around its face – especially when it comes to rough-coated varieties -, Basset Hounds require special grooming attention such as weekly brushing/bathing sessions depending on coat type using appropriate cleaning products and brushes suited for each respective type.
Additionally trimming nails bi-weekly/monthly also helps keep paws healthy avoiding unnecessary injuries during playtime/walks etc.
Bassets can sometimes be stubborn during training requiring patience by owners/trainers but positive reinforcement methods work best rather than punishment-based techniques. Housebreaking could take longer compared to smaller breed puppies hence persistence is key without resorting to using harsh methods.
Socialization from an early age helps prevent shyness and aggressive tendencies towards other pets, people or children. Advanced obedience training can also be done to improve their listening skills and overall behavior especially in social settings.
Compatibility with Children/Pets:
Basset Hounds are naturally friendly dogs who get along well with all ages including children since they enjoy human companionship – even when on a hunt! They also tend to form close bonds with other household pets if introduced at early stages hence helping eliminate potential conflicts later on.
A common personality quirk of Bassets is the tendency of overeating resulting in obesity which shouldn’t always be viewed as an act of gluttony but rather part of their instinctive ‘survival’ mechanism during hunting where meal frequencies could vary depending on successful hunts.
Another endearing trait that owners have experienced first-hand is their ability to sense moods leading them into comforting anyone feeling down or upset!
A notable dog belonging to this breed would definitely be the famous “Cleo” character featured on television commercials for Hush Puppies shoes. Other famous examples include basset hounds featured in Disney’s Aristocats movie series as well as cartoon characters like Droopy Dog – known for its melancholic look and demeanor despite being comically entertaining.
In summary, Basset Hounds make great family pets due to their loyal, friendly nature coupled with minimal exercise requirements making them easy-to-care-for options for those seeking companion animals. Early health screenings ensure timely detection/management of any conditions while grooming/training routines should not prove too difficult considering they boast some endearing quirks worth experiencing up close!