The Basset is probably a very old breed of dog, having been known to exist in France for several centuries (BARTON 1910). It was first brought into prominence in England by Sir EVERETMTI LLAIS,w ho imported from France in 1874 a famous Basset, called “Model.”
letter by MILLAIS in which is given a description of the Basset. The letter is undated, but it is clear from the context that it was written in 1880, thus being one of the earliest if not the earliest English description of the breed. To quote from the letter, “Colour of course is a matter of
fancy, although I infinitely prefer the ‘tricolor,’ which has a tan head and black-and-white body.” In the same volume is a colored plate showing three prize-winning Bassets imported by GEORGER . KREHLin 1881. All three have tan-and-white heads, with black patches on the back, but with the black running into tan on the hind quarters. KREHL wrote a description of the breed for “The dogs of the British islands”, edited by “STONEHENG(EJ”. H. WALSH1 886). He gave what he called the “Points of the Basset hound.” These were subsequently
adopted by the Basset hound Club. Point 8 is, “The color should be black, white and tan. The head, shoulders and quarters a rich tan, and black patches on the back.
It is evident from the above that the ideal to be striven for was quite early fixed in the minds of the breeders. In spite of this, however, it was found impossible to get the tricolors (black-white-and-tan) to breed true. Tan-and-whites occasionally cropped out and these when bred
together produced tricolors besides tan-and-whites. In a letter to the author, dated March 22, 1915, J. SIDNETYU RNEeRd,i tor of “The kennelencyclopedia,” writes that tricolors “still throw a considerable number
of tan-and-whites when bred together.” It was this phenomenon which GALTON studied and to which he applied his law of ancestral inheritance. Before going into a more detailed description of the color relations in the breed it is probably best to name and describe those factors pertaining to color which have already been studied in dogs and which may possibly
have some application to color inheritance in Basset hounds. LITTLE(1 914) has made a study of coat color inheritance in Pointer dogs. He finds that two factors by their presence or absence determine all the colors produced. The factors are B and E. B is the factor for black, b for liver (chocolate or brown), E is the extension factor. When E is present it extends the black ( B ) or liver ( b ) so that the pigmented part of the coat is either black (EB) or liver (Eb). When E is absent and B present, i.e., eB, the black is not extended and is found only on the nose, the pigmented part of the coat being tan (red or yellow). When B also is absent, i.e., eb, the pigmented part of the coat is tan and the nose brown. LANG (1910) had previously determined that black is dominant to liver or brown. BARROWaSn d PHILLIP(S1 915) worked with Cocker spaniels. They find that the factors B and E, in addition to others controlling white spotting, dilution, etc., are concerned in the color inheritance of these dogs also. What is of special interest in connection with their work,because of its application to the Basset hound color, is their study of the“bicolor” condition. By “bicolors” they mean black-and-tans, liver-andtans and “red [ tan] -and-lemons.” A black-and-tan Cocker spaniel is a“black dog having dark or light red or lemon spots over each eye, and extended red areas distributed on the sides of the muzzle, inside of the
ear, posterior surfaces of the legs, and on the ventral sides of the chest,abdomen, and tail” (BARROWaSn d PHILLIP1S9 15, p, 395). A liverand-tan is liver (chocolate) -colored where a black-and-tan is black.In a red-and-lemon the body color is red, while those portions which are
tan in a black-and-tan are here lemon in color. BARROWaSn d PHILLIPS
apply the term “bicolor” only to the colors mentioned above and not to dogs showing a combination of one of these colors with white. The black-and-tan pattern as found in Cocker spaniels is probably the one usually found in dogs. Some black-and-tan breeds, as for instance
Airedale terriers, have more than the usual amount of tan. to the Airedale “standard” the “head and ears, with the exception of dark markings on each side of the skull, should be tan, the ears being of a darker shade than the rest.
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