Bassett Hounds are calm, intelligent, and usually friendly. These traits in addition to their keen sense of smell made the Bassett Hound a good hunting dog. Although Bassett Hounds tend to be less energetic than other breeds, their high level of endurance helps them compete in tracking, field trials, agility, rally, and traditional obedience as sport. The reputation of Bassett Hounds as a good family dog allows them to be around children; however, as with all dogs, extremely close supervision is needed to prevent accidental injury to the child or dog and avoid the dog's subsequently developing fear-based defensive aggression. Rewards such as treats may be used in training, but should be broken into numerous small pieces to prevent weight gain.
The Basset Hound originated from Belgium when the area was occupied by the French. The breed was developed by the Friars at the Abbey of St. Hubert in the sixteenth century. The goal was to develop a dog that would be able to hunt small game in dense bushes. The breed would also need to keep to a walking pace that could be maintained by humans, who would follow the dog on foot while hunting. The Basset Hound is a direct descendant of the St. Hubert?s Hound, which is now extinct. The St. Hubert?s Hound was also a close relative of the Bloodhound, which is why Bloodhounds and Basset Hounds have a number of characteristics in common. In 1866, the Basset Hound made its way from France to England, where they were used to found the hunting pack developed by Lord Onslow. In 1884, The Basset Hound Club was established in England and in that year the breed was also introduced to the United States. American Kennel Club recognition of the breed took place in 1885 and America founded its own organization, the Basset Hound Club of America, in 1935.