Our Latest Champion
Ch. Tradewind’s Caicos
Friday, April 25, 2014
By Don Bullock
The Basset, for its size, has more bone, perhaps, than nearly any other dog.
The skull should be peaked like that of the Bloodhound, with the same dignity and expression, nose black (although some of my own have white about theirs), and well flewed. For the size of the hound, I think the teeth are extremely small. However, as they are not intended to destroy life, this is probably the reason.
The ears should hang like the Bloodhound's, and are like the softest velvet drapery.
The eyes are a deep brown, and are brimful of affection and intelligence. They are pretty deeply set, and should show a considerable haw. A Basset is one of those hounds incapable of having a wicked eye.
The neck is long, but of great power ; and in the Basset a jambes torses the flews extend very nearly down to the chest. The chest is more expansive in the Basset than even in the Bulldog, and should in the Bassets d jainbes torses be not more than two inches from the ground. In the case of the Basset a jambcs demi-torses and jainbes droites, being generally lighter, their chests do not, of course, come so low.
The shoulders are of great power, and terminate in the crooked feet of the Basset, which appear to be a mass of joints. The back and ribs are strong, and the former of great length. The stern is gaily carried like that of hounds in general, and when the hound is on the scent of game this portion of his body gets extremely animated, and tell me, in my own hounds, when they have struck a fresh or cold scent, and I even know when the foremost hound will give tongue.
The hind-quarters are very strong and muscular, the muscles standing rigidly out down to the hocks.
The skin is soft in the smooth-haired dogs, and like that of any other hound, but in the rough variety it is identical with that of the Otter-hound's.
Colour, of course, is a matter of fancy, although I infinitely prefer the 'tricolour', which has a tan head and black-and-white body.
Many people who just want a puppy wonder why breed Standards are important. In reality they are the blueprint of our breed. Yes, breeding two basset hounds together does create baby bassets, but if the breeder doesn’t follow the breed Standard in choosing his breeding stock you get puppies that may not look and act like basset hounds. Just take a look at the average basset hound that you see at the local dog park our at casual basset hound events and you’ll see what I mean. Yes, there are many wonderful, loving bassets that haven’t been bred to the Standard but look at their structure. Do they look like purebred bassets? Some breeders try to get away with their poor breeding practices by saying that their bassets are French Bassets. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read this or heard it from owners. A true French Basset would be bred to the FCI Standard for Basset Hounds and look a whole lot different than those claiming that they breed French Bassets. Our Lucy (shown below right) is an example of what many misrepresent as a French Basset.
Forequarters - The chest is deep and full with prominent sternum showing clearly in front of the legs. The shoulders and elbows are set close against the sides of the chest. The distance from the deepest point of the chest to the ground, while it must be adequate to allow free movement when working in the field, is not to be more than one-third the total height at the withers of an adult Basset. The shoulders are well laid back and powerful. Steepness in shoulder, fiddle fronts, and elbows that are out, are serious faults. The forelegs are short, powerful, heavy in bone, with wrinkled skin. Knuckling over of the front legs is a disqualification. The paw is massive, very heavy with tough heavy pads, well rounded with both feet inclined equally a trifle outward, balancing the width of the shoulders. Feet down at the pastern are a serious fault. The toes are neither pinched together or splayed, with the weight of the forepart of the body borne evenly on each. The dewclaws may be removed.
The illustration, by Mr. C. B. Barber, of Mr. Millais's splendid specimen Model, is, in our opinion, an exact representation of that well-known dog, whose name will never cease to be associated with the introduction of the breed into this country. Mr. Millais imported Model in 1874.
Model has won the following prizes amongst others: Twice first Crystal Palace, first Brighton, second Alexandra Palace, second Agricultural Hall, and third Darlington. Such' performances, taking into consideration that he had to be shown in variety classes against dogs of all sorts of breeds, stamps Model as a remarkably successful competitor in the ring.
Of recent years an emphatic stand has been made against unsoundness, and hounds that at one time would have won prizes on account of their beautiful type would now be sent out of the ring unnoticed. This is quite the right line to go upon, for the Basset is essentially a sporting hound, and every effort should be made to breed out unsound front legs or weak loins and quarters.
Though many people keep Bassets simply for show purposes or as pets, there is no reason why the working properties should occupy a secondary position in the esteem of the breeder.
Indeed, the writer would almost prefer seeing a sporting breed become extinct than suffer the degradation of being propagated simply for so called "fancy" points. We should try for a well-balanced hound, beautiful in head, with the pathetic expression which is so much of his charm, short legs, with feet beyond reproach, well-sprung ribs, and deep chest.
Why some people should wish for longer legs it is difficult to imagine. The Basset was never meant for speed, and, rather than take away one of his chief characteristics, those who want a faster pack should take up Beagles instead. The note of the little hound is deep and melodious.
Mrs Tottie's Smooth Basset Hound Ch. Louis Le Beau.
As a rule, sensational figures are not paid for Bassets, and quite a little excitement was caused at Cruft's Show in 1900 when Mrs. Tottie claimed Mr. A. Croxton Smith's Wantage for the catalogue price of £150. At an earlier day Mr. Krehl obtained a somewhat similar sum.
Bassets vary a good deal in disposition. Some make delightful companions, becoming much attached to master or mistress, while others display a stubbornness which requires considerable humoring. On the whole, it is mainly a question of early training.
Smooth Basset Hound Ch. Xena bred by Mrs. C.C. Ellis.
In choosing a puppy, select one with plenty of bone and substance. See that the ears are set on low and fold gracefully, instead of hanging flat to the side of the skull.
Beware, too, of those with very narrow heads they are likely to become snippy. The skin should be loose and fine to the touch, and the eyes should be deep set and show some haw, as with the Bloodhound.
The legs should be clean at the shoulder, without any tendency to bow out : the writer prefers them wrinkled down to the feet, which should be large and clumsy-looking for the size of the puppy.
BISS CH Lyn Mar Acres Ballyhoo
Bdr/Owner/Hdlr: Lynwood & Margaret Walton