The Basset hound comes in numerous variations, though all can excel as scent dogs. There are differences in height, coat colour, coat texture, origin and hunting styles that make each of the breeds unique. The American Kennel Club recognises all but the Basset Bleu de Gascogne.
Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen
The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, referred to as PBGV, is traced to the 16th century as one of the small French hounds of the Vendee region. This is an independent scent dog that is usually friendly, happy, alert and active. Its rough, long coat is typically white with a combination of black, sable, lemon, orange or tricolour. The markings distinguish it in the field, where it is used to hunt rabbit.
Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen
The Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen shares similarities with the PBGV, such as its origins in the Vendee region of France and its use in hunting. However, it differs in head size, ear length and height. It ideally measures 15.5 to 17 inches at the withers, compared with the PBGV, which measures 13 to 15 inches. The GBGV also prefers to be in a pack, rather than working independently.
Basset Fauve de Bretagne
Unlike the PBGV and the GBGV, the Basset Fauve de Bretagne originated in Brittany, France. Its coat colour ranges from solid fawn wheaten to deep red wheaten. It is rather short and wiry, with finer and darker hair on the ears. Its ears do not reach the ground but come only to the end of the nose. Its eyes and nose are dark. This is the Basset breed with the shortest back, according to the French standard. The breed was developed by crossing the PBGV with the standard wire-haired dachshund.
Basset Bleu de Gascogne
The Basset Bleu de Gascogne, sometimes referred to as the Blue Gascony Basset, is a long-backed, short-legged Basset that originated during the Middle Ages in France. Its short, thick, dense fur is mainly white, ticked with black, giving it a bluish appearance. It also has brown spots and tan markings on the ears and above the eyes. It is rare to find a Basset Bleu de Gascogne outside France.
The Basset hound is a scent hound, bred to track down rabbits and hares. It is second only to the hound dog in its ability to hunt by scent. It has short legs. This breed of Basset is generally brown or black and most often spotted, but it can also have a variety of colours. This breed has loose hanging flews with a pronounced dewlap. The skin on its head hangs loosely in folds. Its ears are much longer than those of the Basset Fauve de Bretagne. All colours are accepted for this breed, but generally, it is white, tan, black, red, or white with chestnut and is short, dense and shiny.