Dog Profile Of The Week – Basset Hound

Despite its low height of under 15 inches, the basset hound is a medium to large dog, weighing in at anywhere from 40 pounds for a small female Basset Houndsto 80 pounds for a large male (18 to 36 kilograms).

Bassets are very heavy-boned dogs with a large body on fairly short legs. Because they are bulky, bassets are slow maturing dogs, often not reaching full size until two years old. Bassets are immediately recognizable by their short, crooked legs, their long hanging ears and their large heads with hanging lips, sad expressive eyes, and wrinkled foreheads. The tail curves up and is carried somewhat gaily. The body is long and with the short legs gives bassets a rectangular appearance. The basset has a nice short, tight coat, with no long hair on legs or tail. Colors most commonly seen are tricolor or red and white but any hound color is acceptable.

Personality:

The basset hound is a friendly, easygoing dog. Originally hunting in packs, they tend to be good with other dogs and other pets in general. Bassets are people oriented and get along well with children. Fairly smart dogs, bassets are not easy to train as they are somewhat stubborn. A firm, patient hand with plenty of creativity is required to bring out the best in them. Bassets can be serious barkers and with their sturdy feet and nails they tend to be diggers. The hunting urge is still quite strong and if not safely confined they will go off hunting on their own.

Living With:

Basset hounds need a firm person in charge of their feeding as they have a definite tendency to become obese, which can cause serious problems with their long backs. Bassets are not high-powered athletes who need to run every day, but they should have a good long walk at least once daily to keep them fit. Most bassets live to 12 or 13 years.

Having developed as pack animals, basset hounds do feel a need for company and are happiest when they have their families around. They are not great watchdogs. Although they may bark, but they then greet strangers happily. The loose lips lead to a fair amount of drooling and many owners keep towels strategically placed around the house for cleanup. Bassets left alone to their own devices can easily become nuisance barkers or diggers. Bassets are fairly intelligent dogs, but they are not the easiest to train. Start training right off with puppies and do plenty of positive training to keep them interested. They enjoy tracking and hunting, even if only as a casual pastime. Grooming is fairly quick and easy and involves just a swipe with a brush once or twice a week. In between groomings, the basset may track a great deal of mud or dirt into the house because of their low stature and big feet.

History:

The basset hound comes from as far back as the 1500s when the pre-revolutionary French were using low slung, heavy-bodied hounds to trail rabbits. The word “bas” is French for “low” befitting the basset hound’s stature. A number of the short, bowlegged French hunting dogs and the basset hound we recognize today were fine-tuned in England in the 1800s. With the exception of height and leg conformation, they are similar to the St. Hubert’s hound.

Bassets were selected not only for their outstanding scenting skills, but also because hunters could keep up with the slow-paced dogs. They not only hunted rabbits and hares, but were also sometimes used to track larger wounded game.
In the United States, the Basset quickly moved on from hunting dog to family pet. Familiarized to the public by cartoons, such as “Fred the Basset,” and in commercials, such as Hush Puppies™ shoes, the basset hound is now primarily a companion dog.

Please feel free to contact us here at Falls Road Veterinary Hospital with any questions. (301) 983-8400. http://www.fallsroadvet.com

Dog Profile Of The Week – German Shepherd

German shepherd dogs reach a maximum of about 25 inches in height, and they weigh up to about 95 pounds (41 kilograms).

He is a well-proportioned dog. The head is broad and tapers handsomely to a sharp muzzle. The ears are rather large and stand erect. The back is level and muscular, and German Shepherdthe tail is bushy and curves downward. The coat is thick and rough and may be black, tan, black and tan or gray. The coat should be harsh and of medium length; however, long-coated individuals occur often.

The breed lives about 10-12 years.

Personality:

German shepherd dogs get along well with children and other pets if raised with them, but in keeping with their guarding instincts, they tend to be leery of strangers.

The breed is considered to be smart and easy to train.

Some poorly bred German shepherd dogs can be high-strung and nervous. Coupled with poor socialization and inadequate training, over guarding and aggressive behavior are risks.

Living With:

Because German shepherd dogs are large and powerful and have strong guarding instincts, great care should be taken to purchase German shepherds from reputable breeders. Poorly bred dogs are more likely to be nervous.

To prevent over guarding and aggressive behavior, German shepherd dogs should be carefully socialized from a young age and be obedience trained. They should be with the family and continually exposed under supervision to people and other pets around the neighborhood; they should not be confined to a kennel or backyard either alone or with other dogs.

German shepherd dogs are active and like to have something to do. They need ample exercise daily; otherwise, they can get into mischief or become high-strung.

The dog sheds heavily about twice yearly, and the rest of the time sheds a lesser amount continually. To control shedding and keep the coat nice, brush at least a few times a week.

History:

German shepherd dogs are, as their name implies, a breed that originated in Germany. They were developed beginning in the late 1800s by crossing various herding breeds. The breed was subjected to stringent selection and it progressed quickly. In the United Kingdom, the dogs are known as Alsatians because fanciers of the breed there wanted to protect the dog from anti-German sentiments after World War I.

German shepherd dogs were introduced in the United States by soldiers returning home from World War I. The breed caught the public eye because of movie stars Strongheart and later, Rin Tin Tin. By World War II German shepherd dogs were the military breed of choice. The first guide dogs were German shepherd dogs. Today, they are one of the most popular dogs in America. In 1999, German shepherd dogs were third on the American Kennel Club’s list of the Top 50 Breeds.

The German shepherd dog is a herding breed known for its courage, loyalty and guarding instincts. This breed makes an excellent guard dog, police dog, military dog, guide dog for the blind and search and rescue dog. For many families, the German shepherd is also a treasured family pet.

Please feel free to contact us here at Falls Road Veterinary Hospital with any questions. (301) 983-8400. http://www.fallsroadvet.com.