The Basset Hound is a short-legged breed of dog of the hound family, as well as one of six recognized Basset breeds in France; furthermore, Bassets are scent hounds that were originally bred for the purpose of hunting rabbits and hare. Their sense of smell for tracking is second only to that of the Bloodhound. The name Basset is derived from the French word bas, meaning 'low', with the attenuating suffix -et, together meaning 'rather low'. Basset Hounds are usually Bicolors or Tricolors of standard hound coloration.
Bassets are large, short, solid and long, with curved sabre tails held high over their long backs. Everett Millais, founder of the modern Basset Hound, is quoted as saying 'Oh, he's about 4 feet long and 12 inches high.' in reference to his French basset. An adult dog weighs between 20 and 35 kilograms (44 and 77 lb).
The Basset's short legs are due to a form of dwarfism (see: Health). Their short stature can be deceiving; Bassets are surprisingly long and can reach things on table tops that other dogs of similar height can not. Because Bassets are so heavy and have such short legs, they are not able to hold themselves above water for very long when swimming, and should always be closely supervised in the water.
Source of information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basset_Hound
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