The Basschshund is a mixed breed, so they don’t have history as 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 about hunting, La Venerie, written by Jacques du Fouilloux in 1585. From the illustrations in the book, it seems that the early beginnings of the Basset Hound breed resembled the present-day Basset Artésien Normand, a dog breed today known in France. Basset Hounds were first prized by French aristocrats, but post-French Revolution they became the dogs of commoners who needed hunting dogs they could follow on foot, as they had no access to horses. They made their way to Britain by 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 to be the « father of the breed » by some, first exhibited a Basset at an English dog show in 1875, but it was not until he helped make up a large entry for the Wolverhampton show in 1880 that the public started to notice the Basset Hound. The year 1928 was a turning point for the Basset Hound in America. In that year, Time Magazine displayed a Basset Hound on the front cover and ran an accompanying story about the 52nd annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden written through the eyes of a Basset Hound puppy attending the show. The Basset Hound’s unique good looks and loyal nature were discovered, and from that point on, the Basset Hound started growing in popularity.
The Dachshund was created in Germany where they were known as the badger dog, dachs meaning « badger » and hund meaning « dog. » Illustrations of dogs resembling Dachshunds date back to the 15th century, and documents from the 16th century mention the « earth dog, » « badger creeper, » and « dachsel. » A breed of many talents, in the early 20th century, 5-pound Dachshunds were used to hunt cottontail rabbits. The breed was refined over the course of many years by German foresters in the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, the Dachshund is the only AKC-recognized breed that was developed to hunt both above and below ground. The breed’s short, powerful legs enables Dachshunds to go deep into narrow tunnels to pursue their prey. Their long, sturdy 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 and paddle-shaped paws assist in efficient digging.