(As stolen from the Basset Hound Club of America)
The Basset Hound is a long, low, scenting hound of French ancestry. His many admirers consider him to be among the most beautiful and unusual of all hounds, his dignified look owing in great part to a large, majestic head adorned with long, velvety ears, a wrinkled brow and dark, soulful eyes. The Basset Hound remains one of the most easily recognizable of all dog breeds.
The Basset Hound originated in sixth-century France, a country known for its many strains of hounds. Most strains had a tall version as well as a short-legged size under sixteen inches, which were called “basset” (bas in French means low-set). Both the Basset Hound and its long-legged cousin, the Bloodhound, are thought to be descendants of the famed St. Hubert hounds. St. Hubert, a churchman, was the patron saint of the hunt, who set out to develop a new strain of hound, which looked similar to today’s Bloodhound. Many authorities feel the Basset was a result of a mutation in the St. Hubert strain. This genetic deviation produced a short-legged, dwarfed hound, whose slower movement and low-set form was to prove useful for hunters on foot in search of small game. With his long ears helping to stir up the scent, packs of Bassets were used to drive small prey, such as rabbit and hare, from dense undercover into open terrain where hunters could move in for the kill with spears, nets or clubs. The sport of pack hunting with Basset Hounds continues to this day in France and England.
The Basset Hound Club of America adopted the following standards for Basset Hounds in January 1964.