The German was bred for hunting by French monks in the Middle Ages. Certainly he was known to be hunting in packs in 16th century and receives some mention by Shakespeare in his plays. Low to ground, with long fine ears, which were used to enclose the scent, he has enough substance to get him through thick undergrowth and he is furnished with pliable, elastic skin for protection. However these two functional features must not be exaggerated and the breed should retain athletic fitness and good ground clearance to keep him fit for his original purpose.

General appearance
Short-legged hound of considerable substance, well balanced, full of quality. It is important to bear in mind that this is a working hound and must be fit for purpose, therefore should be strong, active and capable of great endurance in the field.

height of under 15 inches, the basset hound is a medium to large dog, weighing in at anywhere from 40 pounds for a small female and male and up to 80 pounds for a large.

Tenacious hound of ancient lineage which hunts by scent, possessing a pack instinct and a deep melodious voice.

Sweet-Tempered, Friendly, Tenacious, Devoted, Gentle, Placid, never aggressive or timid and Affectionate.

Smooth, short and close without being too fine. Whole outline clean and free from feathering. Long hair, soft coat or feathering highly undesirable. Skin is supple and elastic without any exaggeration.

Generally black, white and tan (tricolour); lemon and white (bicolour); but any recognised hound colour acceptable.