A popular cartoon image is that of the Basset Hound with a deerstalker and his magnifying glass to signify his skills as a detective.
This short legged dog is quite heavily built with a sad expression, loose folds in the mouth and skin and long hanging ears. The coat is short and shiny and they come in a variety of colours. They also have a deep and ringing bark.
The breed is a direct descendent of the Bloodhound and has excellent scenting ability, helped by the fact that his shape makes it easy for him to keep his nose to the ground. They are reported to have been bred by monks to hunt hare and pheasant.
The Basset Hound is devoted and naturally well behaved, but like all hounds, they're inclined towards selective deafness when they catch an interesting scent.
They have a sweet and gentle nature and are good with children and generally get along well with other animals too. They tend to be sedentary indoors but outdoors they are capable of long distances and it's important to give them plenty of opportunity for outdoor walks to keep them fit.
The short coat is easy to maintain but it's important to monitor the health of the ears too. Because they have short legs and a long heavy body, they can suffer lameness so it's important to be careful not to overfeed them.