At all costs, avoid “puppy mills” and those who make claims that are “too good to be true”. Many work with poor quality bloodlines which may be genetically prone to a host of health problems. Beware if a “breeder” is willing to ship you a puppy sight unseen. Many accept credit cards, will ship dogs without meeting you, allow a full registration and encourage breeding. They often say “Champion or Championship Bloodlines” or famous “European Bloodlines”. They infer that the dogs are somehow better or healthier, a catch phrase commonly being used to impress buyers.
The current phenomenon in the United States is called “Euro-Bassets.” It actually began years ago with US puppy mills going to Europe to buy breeding stock because reputable breeders here would not sell to them. Then they had to come up with a legitimate reason so they decided that “Euro-Bassets” were larger and heavier with more wrinkled skin than any in the US. In some cases it is true, but not all. In fact, some will even show a comparison of their claimed “American” line that usually resembles a badly-bred Beagle rather than a Basset Hound puppy. The fact is that the BHCA had policed many puppy mill owner names fairly well and BHCA members would not sell to them so that their puppies would not become the next “cash cow” for a puppy mill.
We do not condemn all dogs from overseas. There are many beautiful dogs that are being exhibited and bred overseas. Some reputable BHCA Member Breeders in the United States and Canada have brought dogs into the country from overseas. Some have come from foreign members of the BHCA. A few have come from other like-minded individuals who have been well-vetted as very reputable breeders.
The Basset Hound is not meant to be a caricature of the Official AKC Breed Standard!
It is now popular to claim that these dogs are DNA clear of Glaucoma. That is not the full truth. There is now a DNA test for Primary Open Angle Glaucoma. Unfortunately, the most prevalent form of Glaucoma in the Basset Hound is Primary Closed Angle Glaucoma. To this date, there is not a DNA test available. The fact is that many puppy mills and backyard breeders are, at best, misleading the general public.
Look and listen carefully to claims of Health Guarantees. These are often misleading and confusing. Ask breeders what problems they have had in the past. If the answer is none, you are probably not hearing the truth.
Everyone begins somewhere and many feel that their young female Basset Hound should be bred before they spay her (not medically true) or, just so “the kids” can raise some puppies. Not good but it is reality. Reputable breeders do not want dogs they have sold as pets to be bred. If they felt that they should be bred, they would keep them for their own breeding program, or placed it with a home equipped with the knowledge and integrity to do responsible breedings.
“Backyard breeders” or “Puppy Mills continually breed their females and never attempt to improve their line through proper breeding techniques or keeping up with veterinary cautions. (Even though they may claim to have imported dogs to improve their program, without the knowledge of all dogs in their backgrounds, it is impossible to breed with any predictability.)
Branch Breeding Programs & Specialty Supplements
If you are encouraged to buy a bitch to breed so you can become a “branch” of the breeder, it is a fair bet that this is a puppy mill. Reputable breeders don’t encourage multiple breedings of their dogs. Also, it is common for many people to require that you use the supplements they sell to maintain your health guarantee. Reputable breeders are not in the business to sell supplements.
There are now listings for "Holistic Breeders." The BHCA does not condemn breeders or owners who prefer to use some holistic applications in their breeding programs. Many breeders have differing opinions regarding the rearing of their puppies and dogs. Take careful note of health guarantees, what shots may or may not have been given and if you are required to feed a special diet. While there is much conversation regarding vaccinations, most responsible breeders would agree that all puppies need to have basic shots. Depending on the part of the country you and your future puppy live in, some other vaccinations may be strongly suggested. This is a controversial subject, so if you are unsure, have a conversation with your trusted veterinarian and make your own decision. Recently many of these breeders have tried to bring in puppies from Rescue to add to their breeding programs. Make sure that you make an informed choice.
Multiple Breed Locations
To raise dogs properly you usually need space so, if you travel into the country to visit a breeder and you notice puppies other than Basset Hounds, more than likely you’ve come upon a “puppy mill.” There are a few reputable BHCA breeders who are involved in a second breed.
Leave graciously as you fast as you can, but get out quick since all puppies will warm your heart. It’s the future medical needs of that puppy that must be your immediate concern.
Buying Puppies through Social Media
Beware of purchasing any puppy online, through a puppy concierge or overseas broker, or through Facebook or other social media. Reputable breeders simply do not do this. Often, the pictures are very professional in their appearance. Beware of puppies or adult advertised in newspapers or various “lists”. Most of these may be from “backyard” breeders.
The Basset Hound Club of America and the American Kennel Club only recognize the Basset Hound as a breed. They do not recognize “Miniature Bassets.” This is just another sales tool. The Basset Hound is defined by the original standard and this is not what a Basset Hound should be.
There are several groups who now offer “financing” for your puppy. Some of these turn out to be rent to own with a large balloon payment or with an extra payment to get your puppy’s papers. If you need to finance your puppy, consider saving until you have the appropriate funds available. Remember, you will also need the funds to take care of your new dog.
Contracts, Bills of Sale, State Law, and AKC Registration Certificates
When you purchase your Basset Hound, you should receive and take the time to review thoroughly a Contract and Bill of Sale. This should clearly identify the dog (with a microchip), and set the parameters of use (Limited Registration, Full Registration, Spay or Neuter, Health Guarantee, and return policy in the event the Basset must be returned to the breeder. Most reputable breeders will offer only limited registration, or full registration with evidence that a dog has been spayed or neutered. Check local and state laws regarding the sale of pets to make sure that your breeder is compliant. Many states limit the age a puppy may be sold and have a "lemon law" which allows a buyer to seek relief from a specific event involving the health of a dog.
I feel sorry for it!
You see a puppy in a pet store, or at a "breeder's home" and you feel sorry for the dog. It's available and it needs a home. You want to rescue it. If that is what you truly want to do, so be it. But you are only contributing to the problem of irresponsible breeders. For every puppy they sell, they will continue to breed more.
No matter how impatient you or your children are to get a Basset Hound, it is always better to wait for as long as necessary to get your new Basset Hound from a reputable breeder or BHCA Recognized Rescue Group.