Friday, 28 August 2015

How to Choose a Great Basset Puppy

Basset Hounds are one of the few breeds of dog that stay cute and adorable through adulthood. Their sad eyes tug at the heart strings, but what are they like to own? Big and strong, with a mind of their own, Bassets make extremely loving and loyal companions.

They are good with children but need company, and so for potential owners who may need to leave a dog alone, a Basset is not a good choice. In fact some breeders won't sell a Basset to anyone who is likely to leave it on its own for periods exceeding 4 hours.

Key Attributes of the Basset Hound

  • Basset are loving but headstrong dogs.
  • Normally calm, Basset Hounds pout when they get into trouble and can be stubborn.
  • Bassets love meeting people.
  • Basset Hounds are pack animals and tend to settle well in pairs or with other breeds of dog.
  • Bassets take food from table tops and rummage through handbags.
  • Basset Hounds have a deep bark but aren't aggressive protectors by nature.
  • The Basset hunting instinct takes over on walks - nose down, tail up -sometimes results in poor obedience and selective deafness.
  • Bassets need space to exercise but the area must be secure. Their urge to hunt and tendancy for 'nosiness' means they will wander off if the garden isn't suitably fenced.
  • Basset Hounds can take time to house-train - but once they've got it, they will never forget.
  • Basset Hounds are sensitive and respond best to firm but kind handling.

Adult Basset Hounds - The Facts and Figures

  • An adult Hound will average 33-38 cms (13-15 inches) in height.
  • They are heavy boned with a long back.
  • Adult dogs can weigh up to 50kg but 30-35kg is more usual.
  • Basset Hounds have a smooth coat, with short but not fine hair. They can be tri-coloured (brown, black and white), red and white or lemon and white.

Brief Guide to Buying a Basset Puppy

It goes without saying that it's important to have a new puppy checked out by a veterinary expert as soon as possible after purchase, but there are some basic checks a potential owner can carry out when seeing the puppies.

  • Always use a recommended breeder. Be suspicious of breeders offering other breeds - it could indicate a puppy farm.
  • Basset Hound Clubs are not a guarantee of quality but it's better than a blind search of the internet. They have a code of ethics which breeders must adhered to or be struck off.
  • Pick up the puppy - is it frightened or nervous? Basset puppies are naturally gregarious and love meeting people. Look for a bright happy pup who runs towards you for a hug.
  • Look at the general condition of the puppy. Is its coat in good condition? Are its eyes bright and free from discharge? Are the teeth in line?
  • Feel along the puppy's back and rib cage - you are looking for a strong frame - it's no guarantee but a wobbly or unstable gait could be a sign of hip dysplasia.
  • Never buy a puppy without seeing it in the environment it was reared. If possible see its parents, at least its mother.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of checks or information about Basset Hounds but it should give a prospective owner a basic understanding of the breed and how to select a puppy.

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