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If the criteria for improving the breed is the production of a Basset Hound that can succeed in both the breed ring and the field I believe that over the years we have improved the Basset.

I started in Bassets in 1966. At that point there was one Basset who had both the field and breed chanmpionships. Today there are many more dogs holding that honor. I have seen the results of a speciality show where the Best of Breed winner came from the field trial classes. There are many Bassets working on their field titles who are finished breed champions. I believe that there are many people such as myself who would be more active in field trialling if it was a geographical possibility. Unfortunately the closest Basset field trial to me is over 800 miles away. The only opportunity I have to enjoy the field trial is at the National speciality.
Very few Bassets have earned Hunting Titles simply because this is not a title offered by the AKC. One speciality club (Timberline) has offered Hunt Test matchs. Hopefully more clubs will take up those tests and the test will become an AKC reality.
I have seen the quality of the field dogs improve over this time as well. The first Nationals I attended was in 1982. Many of the dogs were as RKL has described. At Nationals this year I saw many 'field' dogs that. with a little work would be extremely competitive in the breed ring
 
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