Basset Hounds Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
608 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
OK, I know most of us are aware that Bassets were bred wth specific features in order to enable them to be good hunters. The ears for picking up the scent,the wrinkles for holding it and the large nose for smelling it. Even the height and loose skin is so that they could track their prey through the undergrowth and the white tip on the tail makes them easy to spot. Their loud bays also make them easier to follow but what puzzles me is ..why do they have that big bump(occuput???) on the top of their head.

The only explanation I have ever heard for this was from a guy I met in the park recently, who said the reason for it was that bassets were also bred to track
badgers in Europe, and when they had them trapped, the basset would then lower his head and basically"head-butt" the badger in the face with his occuput (bump)thus stunning it.

Now call me cynical if you want, but I have trouble believing that, but the guy assured me he had this on 'good authority'.

I replied that he was either trying to 'rip the p...' out of me, or, this 'good authority was trying to do likewise to him!!!

Anyone have any ideas why bassets do have this bump on the top of their head? I for one would be interested to know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Our neighbor has an older wooden fence that has weaker pickets. Luke uses his bump to repeatedly ram into the fence until one of the pickets give out. So there could be some truth behind that, though if Luke ever met a badger he could not get the traction for a head butt since he would be wetting himself so much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
608 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
That's interesting Lukes, I can honestly say that I have never seen Toby do anything like that. Would be interesting to know if anyone else has ever noticed their basset using their head in a similar way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,244 Posts
I too would like to hear the real answer. I had heard that it was because Bassets would get so into their tracking that they wouldn't even look up. The lump on the top of their head served as a reminder to change directions when it (the lump) ran into things?? :blink:

~Heather
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,271 Posts
This is funny. I'd never heard these explanations before. The bump that runs lengthwise on the top of the head is called a sagittal crest, and it's common to quite a few mammals, mostly carnivores. It's supposedly connected to the muscles that help chew, so it is more prominent on animals that rely on strong biting or chewing (which doesn't make a lot of sense to me, as male sea lions have very prominent sagittal crests, but they swallow their meals whole). I think it is usually more prominent on males than females. Then there's the occipital crest or ridge (also called the occiput), the bump formed where the parietal bones join the occipital bone, across the top, back part of the skull. As far as I know, no animals "use" either of these crests for any purpose other than chewing or keeping their brains from leaking out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,244 Posts
That makes sense to me.

~Heather
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
932 Posts
The sagittal crest also provides an attachment point for the neck muscles that help hold up the head. Many animals that have relatively heavy heads have a prominent one - Gorillas are a good example. The hump on a Rhino's neck performs a similar function - their heads can weigh 500 pounds!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
608 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for that information L&S and Marcia. So the bump is there to support various muscles because of the bassets confirmation. Makes much more sense to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
460 Posts
:lol: that sounds about right for a basset!

That's interesting Lukes, I can honestly say that I have never seen Toby do anything like that. Would be interesting to know if anyone else has ever noticed their basset using their head in a similar way.[/b]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,947 Posts
OK, I know most of us are aware that Bassets were bred wth specific features in order to enable them to be good hunters. The ears for picking up the scent,the wrinkles for holding it and the large nose for smelling it. Even the height and loose skin is so that they could track their prey through the undergrowth and the white tip on the tail makes them easy to spot. Their loud bays also make them easier to follow but what puzzles me is ..why do they have that big bump(occuput???) on the top of their head.

The only explanation I have ever heard for this was from a guy I met in the park recently, who said the reason for it was[/b]

The problem is most of the explaination for why things are they way they are are after the fact. That is the basset hound was not bred for thes specific traits but trather after it was bred the explaination was use to explain why these traits are important to the breed, and most are actual dubious at best

1. the white tail tip is not in the breed standard at all there are occasionally basset born without them and they are not faulted so can it really be that important. The reason for the white tail tip is not because it is important in the field but a matte of biology. That is when the Embryo is young the pigment cells move from custer around the spine to the other areas of the body. Area that get no pigment cell are those areas furthest from the custer the muzzle, frunt of the chest the feet and belly ass well as the tip of the tail. The urban ledgend is so much satisfying and simplier answer than the truth so it still persists.

2, There are many hunting dogs equally effective in the field with much smaller ears and skin flaps Many of the better field hounds have shorter ears and less wrinkles as well there is no indication that those traites actual enhance tracking ability, They more likely come from cross breeding with bloodhounds that was done to and more bone and mass not necessarly the other traits as well. It is also a myth that the original breeders of basset hounss were doing so to improve hunting ability read <a href="http://www.basset.net/balogh2.html" target="_blank">The Early History of the
Basset Hound in England, 1874-1921</a> and you will find early breeder were interest in improving the "look" of the dog not the function, In this case must attributes of the basset are not form follows function but rather Eplainantion of form as it relates to fucntion as a justification for the form. unfortunately most of these explainations are pattently false

3. One trait the does hold up is that dwarf breed in france and england like beagles and the various basset breeds were developed to developed to slow dogs doewn to aid in hunting on foot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
608 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks MikeyT. That link was really interesting.So bassets weren't specifically bred for hunting, more to be pleasing to the eye of these early breeders. Always thought it was the other way round.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,525 Posts
I had heard it called a "smart-bump" too. Moe's smart-bump doesn't appear to make him smarter. In fact, one might wonder if he had a brain at all. ;) I think it got this nickname just because it sits on top of the head. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
608 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Terry, I thought the same thing of Toby for years. Don't let him fool you. Moe is obviously a lot more cunning than most as he hasn't been busted yet!

As for 'The smart bump', never heard that before, but I think a more suitable name for it would be .........'The Crafty Crest'..... or even .........'The Mount Of Manipulation'. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,271 Posts
The Mount of Manipulation is PERFECT! (I hate it when people say bassets are dumb, because Lightning can always get the better of me, so what does that say about me?)
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top