The Basset Hound is not only sympathetic and good-tempered; it is also going through an excellent phase in terms of quality.
What dog is this, who steps on his own ears, the longest of the canine species, inserted on a short body, with short legs, sometimes dragging them on the floor? With an expressive and sad look, he is the Basset Hound.
Clumsy, with the air of a good-hearted animal, he conquers everyone. "Besides stubbling on his own ears, which make him fall flat on his face, he sometimes bites his own ears when he is eating, and then we hear a painful groan," says Daniel Pinto de Oliveira, from Kennel Zuo's, Belo Horizonte. The Basset Hound is at the same time so calm it may act as a pillow during his owner's nap, but also lively and fond of playing. Very much in love with the owner, he becomes his "shadow", and even if owner has been out for just a short period of time, he runs to greet him as if he hadn't seen him in ages. When it seems fit, he uses the intellingent strategy of a "convenient stupidity," as Daniel illustrates: "When I call them to go into the kennel, they pretend not to understand. They turn their backs, and slowly walk away, hiding behind my car." One has to resist his imploring eyes to avoid letting his gluttony bring him spinal problemas, due to overweight. "Don't be surprised if he stands in front of a shelf and smells chocolate," says Thais Cappelano from Kennel Fall's Joy, São Paulo.
The Basset Hound is bicolor, white and tan, or tricolor, if the black is added to these colors. There are several tonalities of tan, and the markings are distributed in various shapes. There are tricolors with great spots, and other with small dots and bigger spots. In the black and tan individuals, the black predominates, with tan only in the eyebrows and parts of the feet, and white at the tip of tail, and normally a little on the chest, abdomen and lateral parts of legs.
The bicolor "orange and white" has a light tonality of tan and orange. The "lemmon and white" is even lighter, almost areia. The "chocolate" has back and head covered by a dark tan coat. "It is fun to watch the broods when they are born. Umpredictable markings make incredible 'drawings'. I had a female with a beret on the head, and a male with a spot in the shape of a flying bird on his back," describes Thais. "The tricolor is genetically dominant, so it is harder to see a bicolor. I've been breeding for 5 years. Three years ago I saw the chocolate for the first time," tells us Alex Franco, from Big Kennel Blue, São Paulo.
Happily for the Basset Hound fanciers, he is currently going through an excellent phase, and this is worldwide tendency. Anita C. Soares, former breeder of these Bassets, and all rounder judge who has judged Basset Hounds in Japan, Argentina, Bolivia, Italy and watched the world championship in Switzerland in 1994, states that the majority of the individuals she saw were excellent. "In Brazil I would put the Basset Hound among the five breeds which have the strongest and most homogenous stock." Alberto Salim Saber Filho, form Big Long Blues Kennel, São Paulo, comments: "we have imported from the USA, and we rigorously selected the dogs bred. Our biggest problems, the high croup, and topline showing a sway, practically don't exist anymore." The success is partly due to the American influence around the world, including England, where the breed has developed. Ann Holdsworth, English breeder from Briarfiel Kennel, says: "A bitch from an American and Dutch bloodline bred with an English dog, produced the best Basset Hounds I've seen in 30 years of breeding, giving a great impulse to the breed in England."
Purchase of Puppy: "The ears, inclined
forward, should surpass the length of muzzle. It is a good sign if the chest
goes up to elbow level, if it is under elbow, even better. In movement, elbows
shouldn't move sideways. Topline must be straight and body should present
wrinkles, and a scissors bite is expected," says Luiz Paulo Raeder, from
Kennel Raeder's, Curitiba.
Colors: "Black and and white, or white and lemmon, but any color recognized as a hound is acceptable," states the CBKC standard. The AKC says that all hounds colors are acceptable and the disbribution of these and markings do not influence the quality of dog.
Special Care: Bathe every other week. Rinse and dry well, so shampoo residues or humidity don't cause dermatities. Clean the ears once a week with cotton and alcohool, to avoid infections. It tends to be overweight, so feeding should be controlled, and he should exercise.
Environment: He adapts well to small spaces, but has to exercise daily.
Official Standard:CBKC No. 163 / 04.26.94, and FCI No. 163 GB / 03.16.89.
Reading Material: The Basset Hound, Marcia A. Foy and Anna K. Nicholas, TFH Publications, NJ, USA; The New Complete Basset Hound, Mercedes Braun, Howell Book House, New York, USA.
We would like to thank our colaborators for the interviews
and text review, also done by Hilda Drumond, ABC all rounder judge, and Maria Glória
Romero, tecnical coordinator of the Paulista Federation of Cynology.
Research and text: Flávia C. Soares. Text editor: Marcos Pennacchi
Picture: Fernando Torres de Andrade
Owner: Tânia de Sá