A very impressive large bronze study of a standing basset hound with excellent rich brown patina and finely finished hand chased surface detail, raised on a naturalistic base and signed J Moigniez
Bassets are large, short, solid and long, with curved sabre tails held high over their long backs. An adult dog weighs between 20 and 35 kilograms (44 and 77 lb). This breed, relative to size, is heavier-boned than any other.
This breed, like its ancestor the Bloodhound, has a hanging skin structure, which causes the face to occasionally look sad; this, for many people, adds to the breed’s charm. The dewlap, seen as the loose, elastic skin around the neck, and the trailing ears which along with the Bloodhound are the longest of any breed, help trap the scent of what they are tracking. Its neck is wider than its head. This, combined with the loose skin around its face and neck means that flat collars can easily be pulled off. The looseness of the skin results in the Basset’s characteristic facial wrinkles. The Basset’s skull is characterised by its large Dolichocephalic nose, which is second only to the Bloodhound in scenting ability and number of olfactory receptor cells.
The Basset’s short legs are due to a form of dwarfism. Their short stature can be deceiving; Bassets are long and can reach things on table tops that other dogs of similar height can not. Because Bassets are so heavy and have such short legs, they are not able to hold themselves above water for very long when swimming.
The earliest-known depictions of short-legged hunting dogs are engravings from the Middle Kingdom of Egypt. Mummified remains of short-legged dogs from that period have been uncovered in the Dog Catacombs of Saqqara, Egypt. Scent Hounds were used for hunting in both Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome.
The modern Basset Hound was bred to hunt rabbits and hare in France, a country known for its development of many breeds of scent hound. Hunting with a pack of bassets is still not uncommon in France and the UK, although it seldom occurs in the United States.
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