A Basset Historian’s Perspective

By Randy Frederiksen written for the BHCA Website, 2018

"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift.  That's why it is called the present.                                     

As a minor Historian (of Basset Hounds anyway), I can tell you that without knowledge of the past, today and tomorrow have little meaning.  Study your Breed because those of you who purposefully cause Basset Hound offspring, have the future in your hands with every litter and if you're not improving then find out why and change what you're doing.  Breed smart, not often.  Know of what you speak for fools are abundant in the Sport of Dogs and if you dare to bring new life into the world, make sure they have a healthy and sound-structured start.  In the Basset Hound breed, what you do during your time in it, will have ramifications (good and bad) for many generations.

The Basset Hound, as it is known throughout the world today, is a large and majestic dog on short legs. It has a slight crook in the front legs to support the hound’s fore-chest and sternum and a strong, well-muscled rear to ensure “drive.”  It exhibits a particular type (referring to length of ear, loose skin, etc.) that distinguishes it from any other hound.

These are hunting hounds and that heritage needs to be at the forefront of your thought before breeding; not just winning.  You do not need to prove it with the various forms of continued competition made up to keep taking your money, nor in pictures with the most wrinkles or largest bone.  Just produce to the breed Standard, know why it says what says, and where and how the breed got to where it is today.  Be true to it and “the future” will thank you for it.

Within this work on Basset Hound history, you’ll see photos and read valuable information about its beginnings that will empower you within the breed.  Originally written in 1987, this knowledge is gifted to you by the BHCA through its website and the work of the BHCA 2006 Education Committee and the 2018 Website Committee.  Where and how it’s used is up to you.  This is merely a researched over-view of the development of the Basset Hound.  It is not, in any way, a complete or detailed history of certain people, times or places.  There were many events acting upon each other in different parts of the globe that concerned the development of the Basset Hound.  This work attempts to impart a realization of this interrelation to its readers.  With the Internet availability of today (not so 1987), you can and will be able to judge whether things are going in the right direction in anyone’s breeding or showing program; especially, your own.

Enjoy …

Randy Frederiksen