The Basset Hound is one of the most recognizable breeds in the United States. Their sad and soulful eyes will melt your heart. But how do you look past those eyes and select the right Basset?
The first step in selecting your Basset Hound is to find a reputable breeder. Inquire in your area to find a breeder with a good reputation. You can rely on a well established breeder to give you advice when asked and take back the Basset Hound if you decide that it's not the right dog for you.
When you first meet your Basset litter, you should look at the temperament of each puppy. Watch how they interact with their litter mates. Beware of the puppies that are shy, overly aggressive, or nervous, as these are undesirable traits. Don't make a quick decision, though; give the Basset time to calm down and warm up to you. A Basset Hound that is well socialized will want to be near you and please you. Another good way to assess a puppy's personality is to interact with his parents. The Basset inherits not only its appearance but also its personality and temperament from his parents.
Once you choose a Basset Hound with a good temperament, it's a good idea to spend time with him away from the litter. Start by looking at the dog's face. Look into his eyes and see that they are clear and free of debris. As you talk and stroke the dog, does he respond? A puppy that doesn't enjoy being petted may have medical or socialization problems.
Next, look at the ears. The ears of a Basset Hound are his most distinctive feature. Check the Basset's ears for mites, irritations, or offensive odors. Keep in mind, a Basset's ears will need to be cleaned 3 to 4 times a month. Next, look at the puppy's body. The most common color is a tri-color (black, white and brown) and you also might see a red and white or lemon, but this is infrequent. A Blue (grey) Basset Hound is acceptable, but is not as desirable because these dogs are thought to carry genetic defects. The Basset should have a well-fed appearance but should not have a distended abdomen. A distended abdomen could indicate worms or overfeeding. Also, the skin of the abdomen should be pale pink and clean.
The Basset Hound is a wonderful companion and would make a great pet in any home.