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STANDARD OF POINTS OF THE SMOOTH BASSET Head.-Is most perfect when it resembles closest a bloodhound's. It is long and narrow, with heavy flews, occiput prominent (la bosse de la chasse), and forehead wrinkled to the eyes, which should be kind and show the haw. The general appearance of the head must present high breeding and reposesul dignity. The teeth are small, and the upper jaw sometimes protrudes. This is not a fault, and is called bec de lièvre.
EARS.- Are very long, and, when drawn forward, folding well over the nose-so long that in hunting they will often actually tread on them. They are set on low, and hang in folds like drapery, the ends inward curling. In texture thin and velvety.
Neck.—Is powerful, with heavy dewlaps. Elbows must not turn out. The chest is deep, full, and framed like a “man-of-war."
BODY.-Long and low.
FORE LEGS. -Short, about 4 inches in length, and close-fitting to the chest till the crooked knee, from whence the wrinkled ankle ends in a massive paw, each toe standing out distinctly.
HIND LEGS.—The stifies are bent, and the quarters full of muscle, which stand out so that when one looks at the dog from behind it gives him a barrel-like effect. This, with their peculiar waddling gait, goes a long way towards basset character-a quality easily recognised by the judge, and as desirable as terrier character in a terrier.
Stern.--Is coarse underneath, and carried hound-fashion.
COAT, - Is short, smooth, and fine, and has a gloss on it like a racehorse's. (To get this appearance they should be hound-gloved-never brushed.) Skin loose and elastic.
COLOUR.-Should be black, white, and tan; the head, shoulders, and quarters a rich tan, and black patches on the back. They are also sometimes hare-pied. Point VALUES—
Head, skull, eyes, muzzle, and flews
Total. . 100 As a comment on this I may quote from an "amended description," issued by Captain Heseltine, the master of a pack of basset-hounds, and an ardent lover of the breed. He would have the normal expression “very sad and full of reposeful dignity." He
specifically debars any suspicion of snipiness, and considers an overshot or underhung jaw distinctly objectionable. “The eyes should be deeply sunken, and of a deep brown colour ; the fore legs short, very powerful, very heavy in bone, close fitting to the chest, with a crooked knee and wrinkled ankle ending in a massive paw. A hound must not be out at elbows, which is a bad fault. He must stand perfectly true and sound on his feet, which should be thick and massive, and the weight of the fore part of the body borne equally by each toe of the front feet, so far as this is compatible with the crook of the legs. Unsoundness in legs or feet should absolutely disqualify a hound from being awarded a prize in the show ring." The coat should be similar to that of a foxhound-not too fine and not too coarse, and only in the closest competition should colour have any weight.
The point values in Captain Heseltine's description of the hound differ so much from those adopted by the Basset-hound Club that I give them in their entirety :CAPTAIN HESELTine's Point Values of the BASSET-HOUND-
Head, skull, eyes, fews, and muzzle
Total . . 100 Lastly, in the American Book of the Dog there is a third scale of point values given, viz.—Head, 25; neck and chest, 10 ; fore legs and feet, 15; ribs and loin, 10; hindquarters and stern, 10; coat, 10; colour, 10; size
Coat and skin
and symmetry, 10—total, 100. This authority also observes, “ Head rather narrow, long and well-peaked, with little or no stop; jaws long, strong, and level ; nose usually black, but some good ones have had considerable white about their's," and admits an “affectionate, intelligent, and good - humoured expression, though occasionally reflective and melancholy.” And with regard to size and symmetry, “bassets come in all sizes from 9 to 12 inches at shoulder, and at from 26 to 48 lbs. in weight. The best size is about 11 to 12 inches at the shoulder, and from 40 to 45 lbs. in weight. The hound has more bone in proportion to its size than any other breed, and symmetry is an important point in its make-up."
The following is the Standard of Points for the rough basset, which differs a good deal from the smooth. Sir Everett Millais describes them as like otter - hounds in form, texture, and colour of coat. There are many varieties on the Continent, but they lack the castey, aristocratic finish of the smooth bassethound, and have never been bred to the same pitch of perfection, or achieved the same popularity, although at one time they attracted the interest of Her Majesty, who used to enter a couple occasionally for competition at the leading shows. In the last four years of the Kennel Club Show the entries of the smooth variety have averaged nearly forty each year, whilst those of the rough come out at less than five entries per show. The Basset-hound Club's Stud Book registers about 1400 of the former and less than 200 of the latter.
STANDARD OF POINTS OF THE ROUGH BASSET
HEAD.-Should be large, the skull narrow but of good length, the peak well developed. The muzzle should be strong and the jaws long and powerful. A snipey muzzle and weakness of jaw are objectionable.