Here’s the lowdown on Basset Hounds

Published 10:30 pm Saturday, September 18, 2010

When you think Basset Hound, you think of his droopy eyes, short legs and long ears. It is those same features that have captured the hearts of many.

Because of its heart warming, all-American look, the Basset Hound has been a favorite for advertisers.

Their droopy look has been a spokesperson for several companies, including the Hush Puppies Shoe Manufacturing Company.

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Bassets definitely are not couch potatoes. Don’t let their mellow looks fool you; they are still a hound dog at heart. Basset Hounds are a scenthound, making them scent obsessed.

This means Basset Hounds might howl, bay, slobber, and follow their sensitive noses right out the front door and clear across the county line.

Basset Hounds are designed to hunt over difficult terrain for long periods of time. They are built for endurance.

Bassets bred for hunting purposes or to compete in field trials, tend to be smaller with lighter bones and longer legs. They are better suited for vigorous exercise than Bassets bred to be show dogs.

Therefore dogs bred for hunting will be more active.

Because of their scenthound instincts, they will go where their nose takes them. For this reason, a securely fenced in yard is a must.

Microchips and identification tags are also important for this breed. Basset Hounds have been known to follow a scent until they suddenly look up and can’t remember how to get home.

Bassets also come with a bonus, the famous hound smell. Basset Hounds have natural oil in their coat. When they get damp or wet, they emit a pungent, houndy smell.

Frequent bathing strips their coat’s oil and can worsen the problem and trigger oil over-production, itching, and can intensify skin allergies.

The Basset belongs to the Hound Group within the American Kennel Club (AKC). They usually live from nine to 11 years and should stand between 12 to 15 inches in height. Ideally they should weigh 55 to 75 pounds. Bassets should have an easy-going temperament and get along well with other pets.

Bassets are prone to bloat, which is an often-fatal emergency condition in which the stomach bloats with gas and twists. Because of this, you should never feed them before or after exercise.

Bassets are best for people who are looking for an easy going dog, but don’t mind a little odor, some shedding, or the occasional drool slung on the wall. For more information on the Basset Hound, the Basset Hound Club of America can be found at Remember, every dog deserves to be treated like a show dog.

Tony and Kate Barker are the owners of The BARKer Shop pet grooming and obedience school in Ironton.