BASSET HOUND! 5 Incredible Facts About BASSET HOUND
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French Aristocrats bred them from Bloodhounds to use when they went out hunting, specifically in tracking many animals including rabbits and hares. The Basset Hound’s job was to scare the animals out of the brush which then allowed the hunters to quickly snatch their prey. There are many qualities that these impressive dogs have which meant they were a perfect hunting companion which we will be going into a bit more detail in now over our next couple of facts.
Fact number two is that Basset Hounds are the second best sniffers in the canine kingdom, just after their relative the Bloodhound.
Now, what makes their sense of smell so strong is the amount of smell receptors they have and the way their brain works. Bassets have over 250 million scent receptors and the portion of their brain that is responsible for their sense of smell is 40 times than that of a humans’. For some comparison: humans only have 5 million scent receptors, so that is a massive difference. Through using their noses they can take in a huge range of smells at once and still be able to zone in on just a single one of them.
Once Bassets have targeted a scent they can follow it for seriously impressive distances which is one reason why they are one of the top breeds for search and rescue work; working alongside the police and other emergency services.
Our third fact today is that Basset’s recognisable long ears actually serve an incredible purpose to these pups, particularly in regards to their scent capabilities.
As a Basset Hound walks across the ground it’s long ears help bring the smells directly to its face because of the length and the way they move. Plus, the loose skin underneath it’s chin helps to trap the smells. These are another few reasons why these dogs are so good at sniffing out a missing person or being used in hunting.
Also, their short legs mean that they are closer to the ground and, therefore, closer to the scents that they are tracking. Unlike other larger breeds that are used for their sense of smell, Basset Hounds do not have to crane their necks, they can keep their nose on the trail of scent without missing a thing. Basset’s short legs also mean that they don’t tire as quickly when running through brush like a taller dog would. The reason for their short-legged appearance is the result of a form of dwarfism. They are incredibly muscular and are heavy boned so they typically weigh around 50 to 65 pounds – they are big dogs on short legs. Although there are many benefits to their little legs, it does limit how quickly the dogs can travel. However, back when they were used by the French Aristocrats the length of their legs came in handy as it meant the hunters were able to keep up with the dogs on foot rather than having to be on horseback.
Our fourth fact is that, in 2011, a new kind of mayor was elected in Concord, Ontario…
That new co-mayor was Victoria the Basset Hound.
She held office with a very loyal Great Dane named Nelson. Throughout her term she made many appearances in parades, travelled to nearby towns and raised over $1000 for the animals at a rescue centre located in Concord. Both Victoria and Nelson served one term in office until the next election.
Now, for our last fact, fact number five: Bassets are considered to be one of the most melodious dog breeds around.
This is something you should be aware of if you’re looking to add a Basset into the family, particularly for your neighbours. They are known to be especially more vocal when they are left alone for too long – it has been said that this is when they howl the loudest - but with training this is something that can be reduced.
In many children’s movies and programmes Basset Hounds, along with Bloodhounds, can be found howling through the night. It’s a very distinct trait of theirs alongside their dropping ears and short legs. Their loose and droopy skin causes Bassets to have quite a sad expression, most find that this just adds to their charm, but it is most definitely portrayed in the cartoons as a way to make you feel sorry for them. They really are very happy and loving dogs, and like most big pups, they will want to jump into your lap at any possible moment. These dogs are so good with families as they are laid back, affectionate and they love children.
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