Depicted by cartoonists the world over as a kindly but worried canine buffoon, the Basset deserves his popularity as a family dog. Happy by the fireside or on the moors, he is a dog capable of hunting his natural prey, the hare, persistently at a relatively slow pace over prodigious distances.
The Basset was reputedly bred by monks in France in the Middle Ages to hunt in heavy cover and is able to hold its nose close to the ground. Though closely related to the entire family of French Bassets, the breed was developed to perfection in Britain.
Standing only 38 centimetres (15 inches) at the shoulder, but weighing some 32 kilograms (70 pounds), he can present quite a problem if he has to be picked up to be put into the back of a hatchback.
His skin, especially on his head, is rather wrinkled, and his ears, which are set low, should be long, reaching beyond the length of his muzzle. He loves to paddle his way through the wet and mud of a winter field, but he cleans up remarkably easily because
of his short, close coat.
He is possessed of a deep, sonorous bark, which might suggest he is unfriendly, but nothing could be further from the truth. He has not gained the army of friends he has without good cause.