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Scent Hound

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Like most scent hounds, the Basset Hound has long ears, large nasal passages, and a sturdy body for endurance. Like most scent hounds, the Basset Hound has long ears, large nasal passages, and a sturdy body for endurance.

Scent hounds are hounds that primarily hunt by scent rather than sight. They are generally regarded as having some of the most sensitive noses among canines.

These dogs specialize in following a smell or scent. Most of these breeds have longer, drooping ears; one theory says that this helps to collect scent from the air and keep it near the dog's face and nose. They also have large nasal cavities to better process scent. Their typically loose, moist lips also trap scent particles.

Most of these breeds have deep, booming voices and use them actively when running and especially when following a scent trail. Although this is a distraction when it is your neighbor's hound barking in the back yard, is a valuable trait that allows the dog's handler to follow the dog or pack of dogs during a hunt even when they are out of sight, such as when following a fox through woodland.

Scent hounds do not need to be as fast as sight hounds because they do not need to keep prey in sight, but they need endurance so that they can stick with a scent and follow it for long distances over rough terrain. The best scent hounds can follow a scent trail even across running water and even when it is several days old. Most scent hounds, even when kept as pets, still are happiest when following a scent trail.

Most scent hounds were used in packs, sometimes with hundreds of dogs in a single pack. Longer-legged hounds ran more quickly and usually required that the hunters follow on horseback; shorter-legged hounds allowed hunters to follow on foot.

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See also


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