I am writing this post not necessarily because the basset hound is one of my absolute favourite breeds, but because it is a favourite of a good friend of mine who provides excellent target digital marketing services and according to Pottermore, is his patronus. Which is very important. (My patronus, in case anyone cares, is a dolphin. Unexpected, but not disappointing. Like when your catering company shows up with salmon instead of chicken.) Also, I really like the basset hound from the animated Disney movie, The Great Mouse Detective. At least, I’m fairly sure he was supposed to be a basset hound. Either way, his name was Toby, and I think that if I should ever get a basset hound, his name will very likely be Toby, too.
As demonstrated in the brilliant Disney classic, basset hounds have a pretty fantastic sense of smell. In fact, they were originally bred to sniff out and hunt hare. The basset hound actually falls into the category of scent hound, which I honestly didn’t even know was a thing until like fifteen minutes ago. Scent hounds, as you can imagine, are dogs that are bred to track their prey using their scent. The basset hound has the most powerful sense of smell of all the scent hounds save the bloodhound. Still, second best is pretty impressive.
Lots of people find their droopy faces and long, dragging ears adorable, and they are! But believe it or not, these features, the droopy skin and ears, I mean, actually help them track their prey. Apparently, the folds of skin on their faces help to capture whatever scent they’re tracking, and their long ears further aid in the picking up of scents as they drag across the ground. Who knew! An important thing to note, if you’re looking at adding a basset hound to your family, is that they become rather obsessed with whatever scent they’re working on, and thus have a tendency to wander away pursuing their quarry if they’re not on a leash. So be sure to keep an eye on your little friend!
Basset hounds make really lovely pets. They were bred as pack dogs, so they love being around their human family and around other pets. They are very friendly and loyal, but, be warned, they can be stubborn. Training can be a challenge. Unless it’s something the basset wants to do, or he can see something tasty for him in return for the task that you want him to perform, you might have a hard time convincing him to do it.
Because bassets love their family so much, they have a tendency to get very lonely if they’re left alone for too long. When this happens, they are likely to let loose quite the howl, often called a bay. But that’s just because they miss you. As long as you exercise patience and kindness with your basset hound, you can absolutely succeed in house-training him, and get a really gentle friend out of it in the process. Just make sure that you’re nice to him. Bassets respond best to positive reinforcement, and don’t respond well to roughness. So be nice to your pupper!
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