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Basset Hound Its History and Origin

Babu Banik

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Basset hounds are supposedly named from the French word ‘BAS’ meaning low or dwarfed. This was mainly used in reference to the low slung body feature of the hound. Basset Hound is such a breed that it was rarely known to many dog lovers even few decades back, in spite of it being popular in France. The first documented record of Basset hounds come from the writings of De Fouilloux published in the year 1573.

According to De Fouilloux, Basset d’ Artois (Name of basset hounds in those days) were mainly of two varieties The Artesian which had crooked forelegs and the Flemish which had straight legs. They came originally from areas in and around Flanders. The descendents of the Flemish varieties still exists today in the Fort Noire, Voges and according to some in German dachshund. People who believe that German dachshund is a descendent of Basset hounds claims so because they believe Basset might have been imported to Wurtemberg (home of dachshunds) and made to cross with the terrier to introduce courage that is lacking in hounds. Basset hounds unlike other blood relatives, like the Hounds of Artois, Normandy, Gascony and Saintgone, survived the political turmoil which saw its lesser fortunate relatives go extinct.

For the patronage from some quarters of old noblesse Basset of Artois were preserved in purity. Basset hounds were shown for the first time in the Paris Dog show in the year 1863 and after ten years Sir John Everett Millais brought to England the Hound called ‘Model’ and appeared at the wolverhampton show in the year 1875. The basset hound was officially recognized by Kennel club in 1880, and was given separate classes of its own at the wolverhampton where Basset had made his debut appearance in 1875 when it had appeared in the A. V. foreign dog class. The basset hound club was formed in 1884.

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