The Bassschund is a mixed breed, so they don’t have a history like their own breed. Both parent breeds, however, are well known and loved. The first recorded mention of a Basset Hound was in an illustrated book on hunting, La Venerie, written by Jacques du Fouilloux in 1585. From the illustrations in the book, it appears that the beginnings of the Basset Hound breed resembled the current breed. Basset Artésien Normand, a breed of dog known today in France. Basset Hounds were first prized by French aristocrats, but after the French Revolution they became the dogs of commoners who needed hunting dogs that they could follow on foot, as they had no access to horses. They made their way to Britain in the mid-19th century. In 1874 Sir Everett Millais imported a Basset Hound named Model from France. Millais promoted the breed in England and started a breeding program in his own kennel as well as in cooperation with breeding programs established by Lord Onslow and George Krehl. Millais, considered the “father of the breed” by some, first exhibited a Basset Hound at an English dog show in 1875, but it wasn’t until he helped make a grand entrance for the Wolverhampton exhibition in 1880 that the public began to notice the Basset Hound. The year 1928 was a turning point for the Basset Hound in America. That year, Time Magazine featured a Basset Hound on the cover and ran an article about the Westminster Kennel Club’s 52nd Annual Dog Show at Madison Square Garden written through the eyes of a Basset Hound puppy attending the show. The unique beauty and loyal nature of the Basset Hound was discovered, and from that moment the Basset Hound began to gain popularity.
The dachshund was bred in Germany where it was known as the badger dog, dachs meaning “badger” and hund meaning “dog”. Illustrations of dachshund-like dogs date back to the 15th century, and 16th-century documents mention the “earth dog”, “crawling badger” and “dachshund”. A breed of many talents, in the early 20th century, 5-pound dachshunds were used to hunt cottontail rabbits. The breed was refined over many years by German foresters in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, the dachshund is the only breed recognized by the AKC that was developed to hunt both above and below ground. The breed’s short, powerful legs allow dachshunds to penetrate deep into narrow tunnels to pursue prey. Their long, stout tails, extending straight from the spine, provided hunters with a “handle” to pull the dachshund out of the burrow, and the dachshund’s comically large, paddle-like paws aid in efficient digging.