Learn our Breed History.
The Basset Hound originated in sixth-century France, a country known for its many strains of hounds. Most strains had a tall version as well as a short-legged size under sixteen inches, which were called basset (bas in French means low-set). Both the Basset Hound and its long-legged cousin, the Bloodhound, are thought to be descendants of the famed St. Hubert hounds.
St. Hubert, a churchman, was the patron saint of the hunt, who set out to develop a new strain of hound, which looked similar to today’s Bloodhound. Many authorities feel the Basset was a result of a mutation in the St. Hubert strain. This genetic deviation produced a short-legged, dwarfed hound, whose slower movement and low-set form was to prove useful for hunters on foot in search of small game.
With his long ears helping to stir up the scent, packs of Bassets were used to drive small prey, such as rabbit and hare, from dense undercover into open terrain where hunters could move in for the kill with spears, nets or clubs. The sport of pack hunting with Basset Hounds continues to this day in France and England.
A Basset Historian’s Perspective
A special article about the importance of understanding the history and development of the Basset Hound by Randy Frederiksen written for the BHCA Website, 2018.
Basset Hound - A World History
Read more about the history of this fabulous breed. “Basset Hound A World History,” by R.W. Frederiksen, well known breeder and past president of the BHCA, is the book for you.
It’s a great read and includes numerous photos and drawings of many early hounds. Follow the progression of the breed over the years. This book is included in the curriculum for Basset Hound University. This book will open in a new window.