UPDATED! Basset Hound: Breed of the Week
Are Basset Hounds Good City Dogs?
The Basset Hound is one of the oldest breeds according to the American Kennel Club. The first appearance of the word “Basset” as applied to a breed of dog appears in an early text on hunting written by French Count Jacques du Fouilloux in 1585.
tThe Basset Hound is a surprisingly agile and active breed, however lazy days are also part of its routine. Don’t let the sad eyes and “Hush Puppies marketing” fool you; these dogs were designed to hunt. Once on the scent, a basset hound goes on autopilot. They are sweet and fairly mild tempered, making them great companions. Tipping the scales at 75 pounds, they are also very powerful dogs. Something families with small children may want to consider.
The Basset Hound is probably best known as the mascot for the Hush Puppies brand of shoes:
The origins of the Hush Puppies name are decidedly low-tech. A company sales manager sat with a friend for dinner of catfish and deep fried corn fritters called ‘hush puppies.’ Intrigued by the name, the salesman discovered farmers also used these hush puppys to quiet barking dogs. At the time, tired feet were known as ‘barking dogs’ and the salesman reasoned that his soft, lightweight comfortable shoes could quiet them too. The rest is history.
In the 1980s the company held a nationwide search for a “spokes-basset.” The winning dog appeared in a series of ads placing him in “unusual situations for a basset hound,” including this commercial paying homage to Marilyn Monroe.
Do Basset Hounds Bark?
Basset Hounds can make good Urban Dogs.
Despite their reputation, Basset Hounds are not considered excessive barkers. UC Davis researchers Benjamin and Lynette Hart devised a chart ranking dogs by the likelihood of barking at inappropriate times. On a scale of one to ten — with one being the least offensive barkers and ten the most excessive barkers — they get a four rating. Click here for more on Urban Dog’s take on barking.
It is important to train your city dog. You don’t want your pooch to misbehave in your building’s common areas. Basset Hounds are among the most difficult dogs to train. They score among the lowest of dogs when it comes to understanding new commands. They obey first commands about 25% of the time according to Stanley Coren, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia who studies dog behavior. That means it takes 80 to 100 or more repetitions for them to learn new commands.
Click here to visit the American Kennel Club’s page on the breed. And here’s a link to the Basset Hound Club of America. They can make great Urban Dogs, just make sure you keep them active and engaged.
For tips on how to find a pet-friendly apartment in New York and other cities read Urban Dog’s guide. Big dogs pose a particular challenge, but don’t worry, you can find places that accept large breed dogs.