This section is from the book "All About Dogs - A Book For Doggy People", by Charles Henry Lane. Also available from Amazon: All About Dogs: A Book For Doggy People.
Amongst those breeds which have been taken up a good deal as pets and companions in comparatively recent years, have been the Bassets, both Smooth and Rough-coated. This breed, which has been in fewer hands than most, also enjoys the advantage of royal patronage, both their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales, being successful breeders and exhibitors of them. They are heavy looking, usually hound marked, in colour, that is, white with black and light brown, and hound-tanned markings on body, which is very long shaped on short, strong legs, large, pendulous ears and head, and in expression much like what we used to see in pictures of the "old English Hound." They have a high-class and distinguished look about them, and give you the impression of character and breeding. They have not been used extensively for sporting purposes in this country, to my knowledge.
SMOOTH BASSET HOUND CH."LOUIS LE BEAU" Mrs M.TOTTIE OWNER.
ROUGH BASSET. "BEAUTY" H.R-H. PRINCE Of WALES. Owner.
The following description of the points desired in this breed by my friend, the late lamented Sir Everett Millais, Bart., who was quite an enthusiast in his support of it, may be interesting to those of my readers who admire (and who, that has seen them, can fail to do so?) these very beautiful dogs: - "The Basset, for its size, has perhaps more bone than nearly any other dog. The skull, should be peaked, like that of the Bloodhound, with the same dignity, and expression; nose, black, and well flewed. For the size of the Hound, I think the teeth are extremely small. However, as they are not intended to destroy life, perhaps this is the reason. The ears, should hang, like the Bloodhounds, and are like the softest velvet. The eyes are deep brown, and brimful of affection and intelligence. They are pretty deeply set, and should show a considerable 'haw.' A Basset, is one of those Hounds, incapable of having a 'wicked eye.' The neck, is long, but of great power, and in the Basset a jambes torses, the flews extend very nearly down to the chest. The chest, is more expansive in the Basset, than even in the Bull Dog, and should, in the Basset a jambes torses, be not more than two inches from the ground.
In the case of the Basset a jambes demi-torses, and jambes droites, being generally lighter, their chests do not of course come so low. The shoulders, are of great power and terminate in the crooked feet of the Basset, which appear to be a mass of joints. The back and ribs, are strong, and the former of great length, the stern, is gaily carried, like that of Hounds in general, and when the Hound is on the scent of game, this portion of his body gets extremely animated, and tells me, in my own Hounds, when they have struck a fresh, or cold, scent, and I even know when the foremost Hound will give tongue! The hindquarters, are very strong and muscular, the muscles standing rigidly out, down to the hocks. The skin, is soft in the smooth haired dogs, and like that of any other Hound, but in the rough variety, it is identical with that of the Otter Hound. Colour, of course, is a matter of fancy, although I infinitely prefer the ' tricolour,' which has a tan head, and black and white body".