Standard for The Basset Hound by kind permission from The Kennel Club
General Appearance Short-legged hound of considerable substance, well balanced, ful of quality. It is important to bear in mind that this is a working hound and must be fit for purpose, therefore should be strong, active and capable of great endurance in the field.
Characteristics Tenacious hound of ancient lineage which hunt by scent. Processing a pack instinct and a deep melodious voice.
Temperment Placide, never aggressive or timid. Affectionate.
Head and Skull Domed with some stop and occiput bone prominant, of medium width at brow and tapering slightly to muzzle. General appearance of foreface, lean not snipy. Top of muzzle nearly parallel with line from stop to occiput and not much longer than head from stop to occiput. There maybe a small amount of wrinkle at brow and beside eyes. In any event skin of head supple enough as to wrinkle slightly when drawn forward or when head is lowered. Flews of upper lip overlap lower substancially. Nose entirely black except in light-coloured hounds when it may be brown or liver. Large and well opened nostrils may protude a little beyond lips.
Ears Set on low. Just below line of eye. Long, reaching only slighlty beyond end of muzzle of correct length but not excessively so. Narrow throughout their length and curling well inwards. Very supple, fine and velvety in texture.
Eyes Lozenge-shaped neither prominent not deep-set, dark but may shade to mid-brown in light coloured hounds. Expression calm and serious. Light or yellow eyes highly undesirable.
Mouth Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaw.
Neck Muscular, well arched and fairly long pronounced but not exaggerated dewlap.
Forequarters Shoulder blades well laid back. Shoulder not heavy. Forelegs, short, powerful and with great bone, elbows turning nether in nor out but fitting neatly against sides. Upper forearm inclined slightly inwards but not to such an extend as to prevent free action or to result in legs touching each other when standing or in action; forechest fitting neatly into crook when viewed from the front. Knuckling over highly undesirable. Some wrinkles of skin may appear on lower legs but this must on no account be excessive.
Body Long and deep thoughout length, breast bone prominent but chest neither narrow nor unduly deep. There should be adequate clearance between the lowest part of the chest and the ground to allow the hound to move freely over all types of terrain. Ribs well rounded and sprung, without flange, extending well back. Back rather broad and level, withers and quarters of approximately same height, though loin may arch slightly. Back from withers to onset of quarters not unduly long.
Hindquarters Full of muscle and standing out well, giving an almost spherical effect when viewed from rear.
Stifles well bent. Hocks well let down and slightly bent under body when standing naturally. Some wrinkle of skin may appear between hock and foot, and at rear of joint a slight pouch of skin may be present, but on no account should any of these be excessive.
Feet Large well knuckled up and padded. Forefeet may point straight ahead or be turned slightly outwards but in every case hound always stands perfectly true, weight being borne equally by toes with pads together so that feet would leave an imprint of a large hound and no unpadded areas in contact with ground.
Tail- (Stern) Well set on, rather long, strong at base, tapering, with moderate amount of coarse hair underneath. When moving, stern carried well up and curving gently, sabre-fashion, never curling or gay.
Gait/Movement Most important to ensure that the hound is if for purpose. Smooth, powerful and effortless action with forelegs reaching well forward and hind legs showing powerful thrust, hound moving ttue both front and rear. Hocks and stifles never stiff in movement, nor must any toes be dragged.
Coat Generally black, white and tan (tri-colour), lemon and white (bi-colour) but any recognised hound colour acceptable.
Size Height 33-38 cms (13-15 ins) at withers.
Faults Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact propotion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog's ability to perform its traditional. work.
Note Male animals should have two apparently normal testicals, fully descended into the scrotum.
By kind permission from The Kennel Club