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The Hush Basset - Basset Hound Cocker Spaniel Mix
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The Hush Basset - Basset Hound Cocker Spaniel Mix

Dogs
Life As A Pet Parent

The Hush Bassett is an adorable cross between the Bassett Hound and the Cocker Spaniel and is also known as a Cocker Bassett. It is a relatively new hybrid breed that only emerged this century and known for being extremely affectionate and friendly making an ideal family pet.

Although both parent breeds come from a hunting background, the Hush Bassett is designed purely as a companion dog but can make a hunter with the right training. They have moderate exercise needs but are high maintenance when it comes to their grooming requirements.

With so-called designer dogs or hybrid dogs, there is no guaranteed outcome as there is with a purebred. Their traits are unpredictable as they may inherit more characteristics from one parent breed or a mixture from both.

History of the Hush Basset

There is limited information available as to where or when the Hush Basset originated. However, the two parent breeds have an interesting history.

Basset Hound

The Basset Hound originated in Northern France during the late 1500s and most likely descended from the St. Hubert Hound. They were popular amongst French Royalty and aristocrats. However, after the French Revolution, commoners had no access to horses so required an intelligent but slow-moving hound that could follow hunters on foot tracking small game animals like rabbits, hares and badgers.

This new strain of hound was the result of selective breeding and developed using a genetic mutation in the St. Hubert Hound that causes dwarfism. In 1875, Sir Everett Millais imported a Bassett Hound from France to England where he started a breeding programme. By 1882, the Kennel Club of Great Britain accepted the breed, and in 1884 the English Basset Hound Club was formed. The Basset Hound has an incredible sense of smell that is second only to the Bloodhound. Their floppy ears help direct the scent to their nose as they follow it along the ground.

Cocker Spaniel

The Cocker Spaniel’s exact origins are unclear but are believed to date back to 14th century Spain descending from the Spaniel family. Initially, all types of land and water Spaniels were in the same category. Large types were known for springing game whereas the smaller ones would flush out woodcock birds and is how they derived the names springer and cocker.

In 1892, the Kennel Club of Great Britain recognised the two different types of breeds. By the 1930s, the Cocker was the most popular dog in the UK and kept its number one spot for almost twenty years! By 1946, the American Kennel Club officially recognised the American Cocker Spaniel as a sperate breed to the English Cocker Spaniel.

What Does the Hush Basset Look Like?

To have some idea of the appearance of the Hush Basset, we need to look at the physical traits of the parent breeds. There is no guaranteed outcome as there is with a purebred and even puppies in a litter can differ from one another.

Basset Hound

The Basset Hound resembles a Bloodhound with short legs and has a long body and heavy bones. The head is large with loose skin folds, long, floppy ears and are renowned for their droopy expression and sad looking eyes. They also sport a long tail held high and large feet.

These short dogs stand 28 to 38 cm high and weigh between 20 to 34 kg. Their short coat hair is tri-coloured and usually consists of a combination of black and white with either brown, red or tan.

Cocker Spaniel

The Cocker Spaniel is a well-muscled, compact dog with good bone structure. They have strong hind legs which allow them to run fast. This kind-looking dog has a round head and long droopy ears that are set low along with a muscular neck. Their long tail is carried horizontally and wags continuously!

They are a medium sized dog and stand 38 to 41 cm high and weighs between 13 to 14.5 kg. The silky coat is medium length, slightly wavy and comes in a variety of colours that include liver, black, shades of red as well as orange or lemon. It is also possible to see them with roan markings and parti colour.

Hush Basset

Weight: 9 to 27 kg

Height: 27 to 38 cm

So, what does a Hush Basset look like? Many resemble the characteristics of the Basset Hound with their low set, elongated body and droopy features but featuring the slightly more athletic build of the Cocker Spaniel. As both breeds possess long floppy ears, your mixed breed designer dog will have the same. The coat will be short to medium in length, and a wide variety of colours is possible.

Temperament

Both the Basset Hound and Cocker Spaniel breeds have similar temperaments and are renowned for excessive wagging of the tails when they are happy! The Hush Basset is a friendly, affectionate and sweet-natured dog that gets along with children and other animals making an ideal family pet. They love attention which they find easy to obtain with those sad puppy eyes! This mixed breed thrives in social situations and remains calm even when there is chaos in their household. However, potential owners should understand that the Hush Basset is prone to excessive barking and dislikes being left alone for extended periods.

Training

The Hush Basset is a friendly and intelligent breed that is eager to please, and training is relatively easy if started early enough. However, because of the hunting background of the parent breeds, they can become easily distracted if they pick up a scent. The Hush Basset is both sensitive and stubborn, so you need a delicate balance between kindness and firmness, using positive reinforcement training methods.

Basset Hounds are sometimes challenging to house train, and Cocker Spaniels are known to urinate submissively when meeting strangers or going to new places. With patience, you can house train your Hush Basset by taking them outside every two to three hours and after naps and meals.

Exercise Requirements

Whereas the Cocker Spaniel is an active and playful dog, the Basset Hound is much more laid back and has moderate exercise requirements preferring to do everything at his own pace. A Hush Basset will be somewhere in between bearing in mind their short legs and size so do not require the same amount of exercise as some dogs.

Daily walks are necessary to maintain good health as this breed is prone to becoming overweight as well as preventing destructive behaviours. Due to their hunting instincts, it is advisable not to let them off the leash in open spaces. Some playtime in a secure garden will help keep this well-built little dog happy.

Grooming

Both the Basset Hound and the Cocker Spaniel are heavy shedders, and so is the Hush Basset. They require regular brushing to remove loose hair and prevent matting of the fur. They need their faces wiped and cleaned often as they tend to produce tear stains, and many are prone to drooling. The Hush Basset has skin folds and is prone to infections, so this must be cleaned regularly too as well as their long-folded ears. Like any breed of dog, their nails need trimming every few weeks, and their teeth cleaned every two to three days. Baths are necessary sometimes to keep their coats clean as Basset Hounds can smell due to their oily skin.

Feeding

The Hush Basset requires around 2.5 cups of high-quality dog food per day preferably a feed that is hypoallergenic as this breed is prone to allergies. Monitor the calorie intake too as this is a dog that gains weight quickly.

Health

Life Expectancy for a Hush Basset is approximately 10 to 14 years.

The Hush Basset is generally healthy. Many advocates of designer dogs believe that cross-breeding two different breeds lessen the chances of inherited diseases as they have a wider gene pool than purebreds. However, there are health issues that may affect your Basset Hound Cocker Spaniel mix which includes:

  • Allergies
  • Ear infections
  • Eye problems
  • Elbow and hip dysplasia
  • Skin fold dermatitis
  • Bleeding disorder
  • Glaucoma and gastric dilation volvulus (bloat).

A reputable breeder will provide health screening test results.

Basset Hound

BVA/KC Health Schemes:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Eye Scheme: Primary glaucoma/Gonio dysgenesis (G) tested annually

Cocker Spaniel

BVA/KC Health Schemes:

  • Eye testing
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Gonioscopy

How to find Hush Basset Puppies

When searching for a Hush Basset puppy is vital that you go to a reputable breeder that provides health tests and offers an after-sales policy. Ask to see the parents, so you have an idea of their temperament. The puppies should look healthy and be brought up in a pleasant environment. With a mixed breed dog, you are dealing with many unknowns so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Never buy from pet shops or puppy mills. You may prefer to adopt one from your local shelter.

Is a Hush Basset the Right Dog for Me?

The Hush Basset is an affectionate dog that gets along with children and other animals making him the perfect companion for any family. Their easy-going nature makes them ideal for first-time owners as well. However, although they only require moderate exercise, they do have high grooming requirements and are heavy shedders. Early training and socialisation are essential for a happy and obedient dog.

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