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Hillbilly Basset Hounds Kennels


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About Basset Hounds

The History of The Basset Hound


   The first mention of the word "basset" as applied to a breed of dog appears to have been in an early French text on hunting written by Fouilloux in 1585. This book is illustrated with what is considered the first drawing of a Basset, a woodcut showing a sportsman going out in his charette de chasse accompanied by his "badger dogs".



The word "basset" is derived from the French adjective bas, meaning "dwarf" or "low structure". Prior to the French Revolution, hunting hounds were only used by nobility. After the French Revolution, the peasants were allowed the use of hunting hounds, but could not hunt from horseback, only on foot. They required a shorter-legged, slower hound.

    In the United States, it is thought that George Washington was the owner of Basset Hounds presented to him as a gift by Lafayette after the American Revolution. In 1883 and 1884, English importation's were made by American fanciers of the breed. In 1884, Westminster Kennel Club held a class for the Basset Hound and the English import, "Nemours," made his debut before the American public. The first Basset Hounds were registered with the American Kennel Club in 1885.


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