So what of the Bassets at this year's Crufts? The picture above - of a dog that won his class at Crufts on Friday - shows that there is a lot of improvement still needed in terms of eye anatomy (and the same goes for the Bloodhounds' eyes (every Bloodhound I saw had red haws showing). But overall, I believe the Bassets are beginning to ease away from the excesses we documented in Pedigree Dogs Exposed.
I was particularly pleased to see this 22 month old Basset bitch (above). She had such good eyes that I stopped to talk to her owner who told me that she had been bred specifically to meet the new breed standard (which discourages excess). Good news.
There is, however, a way to go yet. Here's the dog that won Best of Breed:
|CH RIBBLERIVER SHOW ME OFF AT SEDONIA © The Kennel Club|
|Picture: Mary Evans Picture Library/Thomas Fall |
From The Basset Hound, by E. Fitch Daglish, a Foyles handbook, first published in 1964
And, of course, you can still see dogs like them - just not in the show-ring. Here are the wonderful Albany Bassets - sadly considered mongrels by most show-breeders (who talk darkly of a cross to harrier...)
Edited 15/3/11 to replace the picture of the 1960s-vintage Basset. The pic I first used (now below) was not a Basset - but a Basset Artesien-Norman - in fact a dog behind many of today's Bassets, brought in post-war to increase the Basset gene pool.
Interesting to note, btw, from a Google image search, how very little this breed has changed over the years in comparison to the Basset.