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What was the Basset Hound's original purpose?

What was the Basset Hound’s original purpose?

Basset Hounds are descended from the old St. Hubert hounds. Used to trail and drive game away, the Basset has had such famous admirers as King Edward VII and Shakespeare. The Basset was bred for hunting small game. The Basset’s long ears were  developed to stir up and hold the scent for their strong nose to smell. The folds of skin under the chin, called the dewlap, help trap and hold the scent. Wrinkles about the head and face also aid in holding the scent. Their large feet make them steady and the heavy bones make them sturdy. With their short legs they are ideal for slow trailing which allows hunters to follow on foot. The Basset is used primarily to hunt rabbit although they were first used on other small game such as pheasant.