Origin of the Breed.
Bassets originated in France in the 1500s. The word 'Bassets' comes from the French word 'bas' meaning 'low'.
The Basset was bred by medieval monks to hunt in heavy cover. From their physical appearance they appear to be a mix of three breeds, the head, sense of smell and bone of a Bloodhound, the colouring of a Foxhound and the legs of a Dachshund.
Imported into Britain
However, it was in the British Isles in the latter half of the 19th century that the breed fully blossomed. A pair of hounds of the Marquis de Touron were imported to Lord Galway of England in 1866 and then a litter bred from them went to Lord Onslow who proceeded to develop an exceptional pack by crossing with further imports from the Coultreux pack from Normandy. Soon importations were stopped and the English version of the Basset
was developed in it own right.
The first of these dogs appeared at the Wolverhampton Dog Show in 1875 and in 1883 the Basset Hound Club was formed. Queen Alexandra, wife of the Edward VII was a regular exhibitor and in 1909, one of her dogs won at Crufts.