Basset Hounds Forum banner
41 - 51 of 51 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
1,570 Posts
I'm glad I amused you.:) Any breed can be over done. Much of what you state on the traits you describe sound like your own opinion,of which mine differ. The standared is nothing but a description of what the ideal basset is suppose to look like ,obviously I am looking at it from the conformation side.It must be prooved by science for you to consider something and I don't need that proof. When someone will not even contemplate any other way, they end up locked into just one train of thought and no other can possibly have merrit. Unfortunately,that limits their ability to see many more possibilities. You have a lot of good information to give to people having problems with their dogs but on some issues there is still something lacking. Oh,and since Bloodhounds ears do swirl the scent and the folds help keep the scent why wouldn't the same happen with a basset,never mind,:rolleyes:I'm sure there is no scientific evidence of that either. I'm done now.Poke a fork in me!
 

· Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,082 Posts
Lets talk head wringkles and long ear as trap scent and stiriring it up simultaniously. The is no evidence that they actual do nor that it actually improves performance.
And there is no evidence that it does not. Obviously the creators believed that it does.

Lets us take a look at England's and the world's more popular short legged scent hunting dog the beagle. The beagle does not have wrinkles and shorter ears yet it is the preferred rabbit hunting dog.
Lets take a look at the breeds which have long ears. Bloodhound (considered to have the best nose, hands down) Basset Hounds are generally considered second only to the Bloodhound in scenting ability. Coonhounds. Bleu de Gacscogne, Griffon Vendeens. All dogs considered to have superior scenting abilities - I don't think that there are any non-scenting dogs with very long ears. Beagles may be popular, but that could easily have more to do with their small size and ease of maintenance compared with the other, larger rabbit dogs, or the fact that the Beagle's "job description" is more in keeping with how the majority of rabbit hunters prefer to hunt.

You will in generally that hunting or field trialing dogs have shorter ears and less wrinkles than those winning in the conformation ring. So at the very least this suggest such trait ar not as important as the breed standard makes them out to be and they may actual be of some detriminent or these trait are genetical tied to some other trait that is not benefitial.
Really?

Like these?



(Oh look, a fluffy! I LURVE fluffies!)



AHBA Basset


Another AHBA dog - hmmm, I see very long ears and wrinkled front legs


And to make sure that the dead horse is truly well beaten, more AHBA bassets


These just happened to be the first 3 "hunting basset" kennels that popped up in my search.

At any rate, do not make the mistake of confusing what happens in the show ring with what the STANDARD actually says: The ears are extremely long, low set, and when drawn forward, fold well over the end of the nose. It does not say that they are so long that an adult dog will be stepping on them or tripping over them - excessively long ears are just as faulty as ones that are too short. Wrinkles are only REQUIRED on the front legs, and on the head when lowered. A Basset is not supposed to resemble a Shar Pei.

So at the very least this suggest such trait ar not as important as the breed standard makes them out to be
Actually, I think you are giving them more importance than the standard does. It devotes 3 lines to the ears, wrinkling is mentioned twice in passing. OTOH, paragraphs are devoted to front and rear assemblies and movement. Whenever I attend breeding/judging seminars at Nationals, there is little or no mention of ear length, wrinkle etc. The focus is primarily on front end assembly, along with rib cage, length of nec, rears, toplines and they all contribute to correct movement.


The breeders in England goals were to produce a more "massive" dog than the French stock that it started with. The did so by adding bloodhound to the mix
Actually, according to the reading I was doing this morning the Bloodhound cross was done because the breeders considered the Basset stock to be too inbred, since they were all based on one or two French lines. The Bloodhound was used because they considered a desireable Basset head to be similar to the Bloodhound's.

so the longer ear more wrinkles ect were more or less along for the ride.
Original French imports. Plenty of bone and ear, and even wrinkle on the front legs.


Fino de Paris, French import, one of the founding dogs of the breed - plenty of ear, wrinkle, and bone.

"Fino de Paris deserves a few words to himself, so potent has his influence been upon the breed. Mr. Krehl showed excellent judgment in acquiring him in 1880. Mr. Millais, who could have had him at an earlier date, believed him to be Model's brother, but he had the bloodhound type of head to which we have bred since, while Model's was more on the lines of a Foxhound's. "

Is there any evidence that a more massive dog is an asset in the field? Does it perform better than the french hounds that proceeded it. It has it purpose and advantages but in most cases the advantages are simply that of massivness that makes it even slower moving. Such a dog is an asset for the more atheletically challenged hunter but not so much for any others. In the same vain basset tend to work much closer to the Hunter, again this is more of a stylistic choice and not one performanced based.
I was given to understand that a slower hunting dog was the point of the exercise. He is specifically for those who are slower and want an easier dog to follow. But remeber, even though he should be "heavier in bone, size considered, than any other breed", the standard also states that he is "in no sense clumsy" and that his movement is "smooth, powerful and effortless".

IMHO if one objectively looks at the breed standard of most pure bred dogs there is a lot of justifcation of why a breed looks like it does because it was bred that way intentional ,but in fact the breeding for a look either came first or was just happened to be tied to another trait and was simply along for the ride. Most of the justifcation is after the fact and basied on no to little substance that the trait actual improves function.
Even assuming that this is true, the fact that the "unnecessary" trait accompanies the "necessary" trait would make the former an indicator for the latter, and therefore desireable.:D


 

· Registered
Joined
·
9,873 Posts
The standared is nothing but a description of what the ideal basset is suppose to look like ,obviously I am looking at it from the conformation side.
Un no you atribbiting enhanced of performance reasons for a particular conformation trait. Something the actual breed standard does not do. I do not dispute that the standard is a discription of the look of the Ideal basset. Nor do I think that it sould be changed etc. Nor as some have suggest abolishing conformation standard all together and breed strictly on the basis of performance to correct some of the fatal flaws the see in breeding for conformation, ie lack of genetic diverisity, increase in genetic faults etc. Breeding strickly for performance is not without flaws as well. In reality the boom in purebred dogs over the past few centures has actual increased bio diveristy of dogs in general. Yes there may be less biodiversity in individual breeds but dogs have a whole are much more biodiverse as a result of selective breeding the the occurance of much more homogenious gene pairs than would natural occur through random breeding patterns,

For some reason many people do not find compeling the reason for breed standard on purely athesthics grounds, but for a large portion of dogs that is the reason behind the origination of the breed. Basset hounds being one of them. Hunting and other performance motivation only came for the the ability after the fact to certain performance model. It is not a matter of form following fuction in the basset but the other way round. Form came first the functionality of the dog and what it was somes time used for later on was determined by its form.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
9,873 Posts
Actually, I think you are giving them more importance than the standard does. It devotes 3 lines to the ears, wrinkling is mentioned twice in passing
Actually the breed standard does not atribute any particular atribute other than size both height and weight to purpose. The purpose of my discourse is examine some common Memes about basset hounds which ears length and fold and wrinkles about the head improving scenting ability is one.

obviously the creators believed that it does.
Not actual sure who you mean by the creators, that of the standard or the breed, or that anonimous source for the meme. If you mean either of the first two, creators of the breed and or standard, I have not seen any evidence to suggest that. Only evidence I see is an aesthetic preference for longer ears and wrinkles and a host of other traits as well that similar to a bloodhound head ie prominient haw. Not once have I seen mention that the creators/founders of the breed sought longer ears etc because of better field performance.

If you mean the later it doesn't really matter what they believe it only matters if it is true or not.

I was given to understand that a slower hunting dog was the point of the exercise. He is specifically for those who are slower and want an easier dog to follow.
Again not from what I read the aesthetic came first followed by the purpose. That because he is slower and easier to follow ( which is probably as much a personality trait than physical one) they are sought out by individual seeking the same. One could say it is much a chicken vs the egg debate, but in this case the motivation of the early founders is much clearer. The imports of foundation stock were not hunters/gamesmen but arristocrats interest in the sport of purebred dogs, conformation, producing hounds that looked good.

At any rate, do not make the mistake of confusing what happens in the show ring with what the STANDARD actually says:
The standard is open to interpretation, I think how that interpretation manifests itself is more reveiling than what it actual says. Keeping in mind the breed standards for "show dogs" and "field dogs" are virtually the same with any differences being quite minors and across idiver sanctioning bodies. If long ears and/or loose skin and wrinkles about the head had real( read noticable) effect on performance I would expect those for which performance was a premium to naturally bias toward that norm. That is as the best performing hounds would naturally have longer ears and more looser skin about the head they would be the preferred breeding stock and hence the performance dogs would tend to have longer ears. This is not the case.

Lets take a look at the breeds which have long ears. Bloodhound (considered to have the best nose, hands down) Basset Hounds are generally considered second only to the Bloodhound in scenting ability. Coonhounds. Bleu de Gacscogne, Griffon Vendeens. All dogs considered to have superior scenting abilities - I don't think that there are any non-scenting dogs with very long ears
First the ranking of scenting ability is again a meme, Given the meme that bloodhounds are the best scenter would it not be most reasonable to assume that second best scenter is the dog with the head that most resembles a bloodhound when there is no other evidence? But this is simply a leaf of faith, that with no other conlicting evidence gets repeated and believed ad nauseum. There is scant research on the study of various breed actual scenting ability and even those studies one can only reliably make judgements based on the the condition of the study. Under different condition different results are likely. There is no single skill representing scenting ability. Also research has clearly shown that training is an important aspect of this ability as well.

I don't think that there are any non-scenting dogs with very long ears
Is there a non-scenting dogs? There certainly a number of dogs used to do scenting work that do not have long ears. An there is certainly some Scientific evidence to back-up a superior scenting ability of them over some traditional scent hounds based on the size and number of receptors in the olafactory mucus theory of Scent However there is also conficting evidence based on other scenting studies Which show the beagles superior scenting ability with smaller nose " As part of this research, they tested the scenting abilities of various breeds by putting a mouse in a 1-acre (4,000 m2) field and timing how long it took the dogs to find it. The Beagles found it in less than a minute, while Fox Terriers took 15 minutes and Scottish Terriers failed to find it at all. Beagles are better at ground-scenting (following a trail on the ground) than they are at air-scenting, and for this reason they have been excluded from most mountain rescue teams in favour of collies, which use sight in addition to air-scenting"


Non-sure you would consider them non-scenting a quite a number of sporting breed in particular the various spanial have ear length to muzzle ratio that rival or exceed that of all but the bloodhound and basset.

Even assuming that this is true, the fact that the "unnecessary" trait accompanies the "necessary" trait would make the former an indicator for the latter, and therefore desireable
Not necessarily true. But desirable is not in question here. The very fact that a trait is called for in the breed standard makes it "desireable" by definition. Whether is increases performance or is indicator of increased performance is in serious question however.

Really?

Like these?
When explicitly talking in generalities the condition does not apply to a dogs in this case a trend.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,570 Posts
Thank you Soundtrack,you articulated much of what I came back to say but the site would not recognize my I.D. In any case the beagle is so short faced why would it need long ears.The basset's muzzle is definately longer, so longer ears make more sense. To me the English improved what the French started,no matter how it came about.
 

· Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,082 Posts
This is too much fun to quit yet, but it's hard to argue properly by BlackBerry.

1) Spaniels do not really have very long ears - it's the hair fringes. Shave that off and the ears are not much longer than a Beagle's.
2) The wrinkle and droopy eyes called for in the standard are indicators of the necessary loose skin, which is needed to work in the thick cover. Dogs with tight skin are more easily torn by thorns etc. (Just look at how easily dogs like Greyhounds get skin tears). Theoretically the skin falling forward on the head blocks the hound's peripheral vision, keeping him focused on the job at hand, but I'm willing to concede that might not function as advertised.
3) Although the modern Basset Hound may have been primarily a show dog (need to check on that...) The French dogs from which it was developed were hunting dogs with long ears, loose skin and relatively heavy bone.
4) If other breeds have more olfactory receptors than the Bloodhound, something else must be giving him the edge. .aybe the ears? ;)
 

· Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,082 Posts
This is too much fun to quit yet, but it's hard to argue properly by BlackBerry.

1) Spaniels do not really have very long ears - it's the hair fringes. Shave that off and the ears are not much longer than a Beagle's.
2) The wrinkle and droopy eyes called for in the standard are indicators of the necessary loose skin, which is needed to work in the thick cover. Dogs with tight skin are more easily torn by thorns etc. (Just look at how easily dogs like Greyhounds get skin tears). Theoretically the skin falling forward on the head blocks the hound's peripheral vision, keeping him focused on the job at hand, but I'm willing to concede that might not function as advertised.
3) Although the modern Basset Hound may have been primarily a show dog (need to check on that...) The French dogs from which it was developed were hunting dogs with long ears, loose skin and relatively heavy bone.
4) If other breeds have more olfactory receptors than the Bloodhound, something else must be giving him the edge. Maybe the ears? ;)
 

· Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,082 Posts
This is too much fun to quit yet, but it's hard to argue properly by BlackBerry.

1) Spaniels do not really have very long ears - it's the hair fringes. Shave that off and the ears are not much longer than a Beagle's.
2) The wrinkle and droopy eyes called for in the standard are indicators of the necessary loose skin, which is needed to work in the thick cover. Dogs with tight skin are more easily torn by thorns etc. (Just look at how easily dogs like Greyhounds get skin tears). Theoretically the skin falling forward on the head blocks the hound's peripheral vision, keeping him focused on the job at hand, but I'm willing to concede that might not function as advertised.
3) Although the modern Basset Hound may have been primarily a show dog (need to check on that...) The French dogs from which it was developed were hunting dogs with long ears, loose skin and relatively heavy bone.
4) If other breeds have more olfactory receptors than the Bloodhound, something else must be giving him the edge. Maybe the ears? ;)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,258 Posts
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

I totally agree with Miriam about how the breed is explained, but - like Mike - I've always been a bit curios about which came first, the chicken or the egg? And whether all the features are really working?

Features I'm a bit uncertain about...


  • I've not been hunting, but I've spent many days in the forest with my bassets. I don't think loose skin or the ears help a lot with the scent tracking. Mine use the nose close to the ground, as a matter of fact, into the ground if something really interest them.
  • It's also said that a basset has short legs so they can follow a scent without have to bend the head down so much. I don't think any dog will be tired of letting their head down...
  • I'm not really sure the nose is so much better than any other breed, but they give the smelling highest priority. When another dog will look for an owner, or hear after him, the basset will just follow the scent. I think this is something in the brain.
  • Even though my bassets have enough loose skin, also on the head - it actually not blocking their eyes. But - as I say - they block every other sense out when following a scent. They are like blind and deaf, but that's virtual.
  • I'm not sure a loose skin is any advantage if they meet a vicious rabbit, dogs breed to fight often have tight fitting skin.

Features I buy...


  • It's very convenient with short legs and low pace when you want to follow them by foot. I would never be able to keep up with a beagle, but I walk faster than mine run.
  • The sable shaped tail with the white tip comes handy when in high grass, a feature that helps keeping track of them.
  • Their massive and powerful bark also help following them.
  • Their shape and their powerful legs and huge paws make them able to follow the terrain very good, just steep hills make them in need of a push in the butt.
Steinar, Emma and Doris
 

· Registered
Joined
·
973 Posts
My basset has a much better sense of smell than any other dog breed I've owned. Just this week she sniffed out a package of vacuum-sealed, unopened beef jerky packed inside a suitcase. So that is a trait that I definitely believe is true.
 
41 - 51 of 51 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top