One of the most recognizable dog breeds in America is the Basset Hound. Short, squat and with folds of skin to spare, the Basset is famous for its sad appearance and stellar hunting skills.
But do you know everything there is to know about this hound? The following facts about the breed might surprise Basset fans, even those who currently own a Basset.
1. Popular in America, Originated in France
The name “Basset” comes from the French word bas, which loosely translates to mean low.
French monks were originally responsible for creating the Basset Hound breed through selective breeding.
During the Middle Ages, monks began breeding various types of hounds together to produce a dog with a body frame that was low to the ground.
The monks were looking to create a breed that was low to the ground and capable of following the scent of small game such as rabbit as well as larger game like deer.
The monks ended up being very successful in their quest. The Basset Hound is indeed a dog with a very sharp nose. Owners will know that these short-legged dogs can often be seen snuffling around in the grass, nose to the ground, following a trail.
Basset Hounds became popular in America after the Marquis de Lafayette gave a pack of these dogs to George Washington as a gift in 1785. The American President used the dogs for hunting and was very pleased with their skills in this area.