Photos of basset hounds running

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Nature at its most graceful and elegant.

Thanks, Low!

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  1. I daresay that no breed of dog that has been specifically bred for a specific purpose can be referred to as “natur[al]”…

    Great pic though.

  2. Some are cute. Some look insane. All are worthy of framing in the finest galleries all over the world.

  3. They look and are very low to the ground, but also very long and amazingly strong too. Knew one once who had a habit of bringing steaks home from neighbors grills still hot on weekends such as this one. They can easily remove food from counter and grill height :)

  4. Built for comfort, not for speed. And to drool.

    Actually, they’re built to sniff; even their ears are long in order to stir up ground scents. Some of these guys look a bit possessed.

  5. If ONE is awe-inspiring, try TWO, male and female, meeting in deep green grass, cavorting. The African Great Migration holds NOTHING to Basset hounds in love

  6. You should see the photographs I have of you having sex.

    The “Nature at its most graceful and elegant” ones, or the “Built for comfort, not for speed. And to drool” ones?

  7. I believe the applicable term is “Derp”.

    Thanks for brightening my otherwise crappy day.

  8. Proves that they have been bred to be maladaptive and it should be illegal to breed them.

    I’ll take mixed breed dogs. They haven’t been breed to be weird, unhealthy and unfit. I’m sure beagles might be happy. Sometimes. But they don’t appear to be healthy.

    1. Umm those are bassets not beagles. Bassets are a generally healthy breed. Mixed breed dogs can have as many or more health problems than pure bred dogs especially since they are more likely to be bred by backyard breeders that don’t perform genetic tests to prevent genetic disease. If you take a female with hip displasia and a male with a genetic heart condition, even though they are different breeds, you can end up with pups that have both hip displasia and heart conditions. Granted that is a simplistic example and genetics are complex.

      Oh and maladaptive to where or for what? Bassets are very well adapted to tracking scent, but they aren’t great runners. So what?

      1. Your comments are somewhat misleading, because you are making the assumption that all mutts are bred on purpose. Granted, a backyard breeder with no education or sense who tries to breed the next labradoodle might be doing more harm than good, but nature seldom does. And cases of overbreeding, such as dalmatians, should be a crime. In the AKC realm, if even one dalmatian pup turns up deaf, the entire litter is destroyed. This is a backdoor effort to correct mistakes of the past and is quite reprehensible in my book. Any living creature has the potential to be a ticking genetic time bomb, and in that sense, we all are as death is inevitable. However, I have found mutts to be generally much healthier than a good amount of AKC breeds and they do tend to have less behavioral quirks. I can’t stand it when I see a classified ad for shepherd/chow/lab/border collie mix puppies for $50. Those ads reinforce your point better than anything else possibly could and they are a sign post for ignorance and idiocy. Mixing all those breeds on purpose will not necessarily yield an animal with the best qualities of all of them, and thinking so is the height of stupidity and arrogance.

        1. Sure nature is going to eventually weed out some genetic diseases through selective pressure, but that would be more in a feral population I would think. Two pet dogs getting it on can result in a bad genetic combination just as easily as someone haphazardly trying to make the next labradoodle. The other problem is that some of the genetic diseases aren’t a problem until well into adulthood and a dog with those genetic diseases can breed before selective pressure would impact it. This results in nature not countering a disease through natural selection since it doesn’t impact reproductive ability.

          With regards to your Dalmatian example, it’s not a back door anything. It is a direct and appropriate response by responsible people to repair the genetic damage done by previous generations of breeders. Sure you could flood the market with cheap and deaf dalmations, who are seriously high energy dogs, and subject them to the hazards of traffic without the faculty of hearing but that sounds pretty cruel as well. Or I suppose ban them all together which seems a little extreme but I’m sure it wouldn’t to some.

          But besides those differences, it sounds like we agree on quite a bit.

    2. “Proves they are maladaptive and it should be illegal to breed them…” Was that what you said, allie?

      This is a picture of a basset hound running. They have very loose skin and it tends to move or “flap” a lot when they are running. The loose skin is likely an adaptation effective for hunting dogs so that they can move through underbrush and not snag on thorns and twigs. Bassets also have a sense of smell second only to bloodhounds, also effective for hunting.

      The dog in this picture is overweight (a tendency for inactive bassets) which makes the picture look worse, but that is a fault of the owner, not the dog.

      I had a basset hound who was the best cattle herding dog I ever had. Not agile and it didn’t come naturally, but she was smart enough that she learned, and she was as good at moving a herd, as long as it wasn’t fast, as any border collie I’ve worked with.

      How’s that for maladaptive? Try to keep such narrow-minded and ill-informed comments to yourself in the future.

  9. Bassets sit down funny, too – they flop their back legs sideways, I imagine it’s more comfortable – even our one basset mixed-breed did it – and he also had the basset voice, another wonderful instrument.

  10. These are basset hounds, right?
    So my question is: what makes a hound, a hound?
    I mean, not all dogs are hounds, are they? Maybe they are….I’m not really a dog person!

    Do hounds have characteristics which distinguish them from all other dogs?

    1. > These are basset hounds, right?
      > So my question is: what makes a hound, a hound?
      > I mean, not all dogs are hounds, are they? Maybe they are….I’m not really a dog person!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hound
      Wikipedia’s definitional article on hounds is fairly helpful as a general guideline.

      As the previous anon stated, hounds are bred for hunting. Specifically they’re bred for tracking and/or chasing: dogs such as retrievers and pointers are also bred to assist hunters but they’re categorized differently from hounds.

      1. Anon #31: Oh that does make sense – hounds are dogs which have been bred to hound things. If the breed cannot hound game, it is therefore not called a breed of hounds.

        Son it is function, not form, which determines the nomenclature here. Interesting.

        What’s a “basset”? I mean, did these things hound bassets (whatever bassets are) when originally bred? Or is “basset” where the breed originated? Or is basset actually a colour, like russet?

        Oh never mind, I’ll look it up myself!

        Thanks!

        1. Ah: “basset” derives from Old French, being a diminutive of the feminine form of the word “bas”, which means “low”.

          Thus, these particular dogs have ever been nothing but low-down hounds. Not that that’s a bad thing!

  11. Hounds are hunting dogs, generally speaking. Your beagles, your blood hounds, your basset hounds, if there’s a “hound” in the name or they’re hound family, they’re probably for hunting. Originally, if not today. Bassets are rabbit hunters and track by scent.

  12. I saw a young basset running in our dogpark. I was frankly shocked at how fast he could go. He was keeping up with the faster small dogs in the place, really tearing along. Just goes to show what they’re capable of.

    And of course, it was adorable.

  13. There *are* some breeds of dogs that are Freaks of Nature That Should Not Exist– go look up what they have to do to breed “Olde English Bulldogges” sometime, it’s horrifying– but basset hounds aren’t one of those breeds. Basset hounds just LOOK like Freaks of Nature :)

  14. The cover photo reminds me of how well Scott Kurtz captures the look and essence of his late dog, Kirby in the PvP comic.

  15. I know it can seem a little ridiculous, but a lot of goofy-looking dogs were intentionally bred goofy-looking, not just to be hilarious. Dachshunds are for badger hunting, poodles are water dogs (even that goofy poodle haircut once served a purpose), bassets are for rabbits, and so on. The whole history of dogs is fascinating.

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