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Sunday, 22 April 2012

Basset Hound

The Basset Hound originates from France in the late 16th century. It may have descended from some now extinct breed of French hunting dog such as the Basset d'Artois.

The first mention of a "basset" dog appeared in La Venerie, an illustrated hunting text written by Jacques du Fouilloux in 1585. The dogs in Fouilloux’s text were used to hunt foxes and badgers.

The name Basset is derived from the French word bas, meaning "low", with the attenuating suffix -et, together meaning "rather low".

Basset type hounds achieved noticeable public cultural popularity during the reign of Emperor Napoleon III (r. 1852-1870). French bassets were being imported into England at least as early as the 1870s.

In the early days of television, Elvis Presley famously sang "Hound Dog" to a basset hound named Sherlock on The Steve Allen Show on July 1, 1956.


Because of their short stubby legs and thick bodies, basset hounds have trouble swimming.

It is believed that the short legs were originally the result of a congenital bone disease.

                               
Basset hounds have over 220 million smell receptors, and the portion of their brains tied to sense of smell is 40 times that of a human's.

Their sense of smell for tracking is second only to that of the bloodhound.

As a basset hound trots across the ground, its large floppy ears help bring smells directly to its face, while its dewlap (the loose skin underneath its chin) helps trap them.

Median longevity of Basset Hounds in the UK is about 11.4 years, which is a typical median longevity for purebred dogs and for breeds similar in size to Basset Hounds.

Sources Wikipedia, Mentalfloss.com

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