The First Paragraph in each Section is the AKC Official Standard For The Basset Hound
The Basset Hound possesses in marked degree those characteristics which equip it admirably to follow a trail over and through difficult terrain. It is a short-legged dog, heavier in bone, size considered, than any other breed of dog, and while its movement is deliberate, it is in no sense clumsy. In temperament it is mild, never sharp or timid. It is capable of great endurance in the field and is extreme in its devotion.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
A long, low dog set on heavy, short legs. A dog that has good heart and lung room for following a trail and soundness of leg to enable him to cover any terrain easily, though deliberately. A mild, noble dog with great stamina and covered with elastic skin.
Although not stated in this General Appearance paragraph, when I first look at a class, I look for a dog that is rather long, low and set on heavy, short legs. I want to see the extremely long low-set ears, heavy bone, loose, elastic skin and soft, rather sad expression. All the points must balance, and there should be no undue exaggeration of any point. I want to be able to picture this dog working with a gay tail and nose to the ground, his movement deliberate, but in no sense clumsy.
WHAT TO AVOID:
Lack of overall balance. Unsoundness of legs and/or feet. Lack of stamina. ( The words "in no sense clumsy", should rule out the slobs that cannot make it around the show ring, let alone spend a day in the field.) Any temperament other than mild. A Basset should never be sharp or timid.
This bitch was probably heavier in bone than most dogs you will see. However, she was still feminine and in no way coarse.
This shows a Basset working in the field