Acquired: Bred dog myself
By Aja Olander
Posted August 29, 2016
When I was a teenager my family bred Basset Hounds for a short time. After several litters, they stopped because our female was a smaller girl and she kept having problems birthing such big headed babies. The last litter is where we got Sherman. He was the only boy in the litter, and seemed a little slow. His sisters bullied him a bit, so I took special care of him. He stayed a member of our family for 14 years, his whole life.
Basset Hound puppies are hilarious. The general image of a Basset Hound is a slow, lazy dog. I assure you this is not exactly the case. Our puppies were always tearing around the yard, smelling -everything- and falling over the long ears they had yet to grow into. With a Basset, you'll find yourself washing the ends of their ears quite often as they spend most of their time being dragged along the ground and dipped in the food and water dishes.
I recall the most frustrating part of training Sherman was trying to get him to stop pulling in whatever direction his nose was leading him. Bassets aren't unintelligent, or slow learners. It's more that they are intensely driven by their nostrils. It is a hard thing to try to dissuade a hound from following a scent that has caught their interest.
Sherman had an incredibly sweet and docile personality. He was very gentle towards people, rarely barking at anyone other than strangers knocking at the door. He sounded intimidating- as long as the person didn't actually see him- being a foot tall and backing away as you bark isn't scaring anyone off.
Health wise, the only problem he ever had is the same problem that eventually caused his passing, and should be known to anyone considering a breed of dog that has a long body like his. The body shape of a Basset tend to lead to problems with their stomach's becoming twisted. For all of Sherman's adult life he would once in a while swallow and then bring back up large and unexpected things. Mostly tube socks. As he got older it would occur more often, and it it because they are trying to fill their stomach up with enough to keep it untwisted. A twisted stomach is what ended up taking him, and it is a very quick death. I had called my mother to tell her i would be home from work in about 10 minutes and she was laughing about how silly Sherman was being jumping and playing in the yard. By the time I got home he was in her lap with a bloated belly, already gone. It's a common issue, and a very expensive one to attempt to treat, so it is a very important thing to consider before committing to this breed.
I loved every minute of life with Basset Hounds. They are a wonderfully loving, loyal and family friendly breed, as long as you are happy with big sloppy kisses from a musky eared pooch.