WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
A tail of sufficient length to provide good balance with the length of the dog, strong and thick at the base, tapering slightly towards the end but continuing strong and thick. It should be carried gaily, in a gentle curve up and out from the body. There should be coarse hair (sufficient brush) on the underside. As the tail serves as a flag to aid in identification of the hound that is on the trail, it is nice if it has a white tip, but this is in no way required.
WHAT TO AVOID:
A thin, spindly, rat tail without brush. It has become the custom to trim the tip of the tail to neaten its end, but some handlers take this a step further and trim the brush off the underside. The brush is a breed characteristic and SHOULD NEVER be trimmed. Also, we have been seeing quite a few sickle tails in the breed ring; these are totally incorrect. At no time should a Basset carry his tail curved over the back. Also to be avoided is a dog who carries the tail down.
Allowances can be made for a young or novice Basset who, because of age or inexperience, may carry his tail low or at half mast, but a dog who has its tail down and tucked between his legs should not be considered for a placement, as this is a sign of bad temperament. Please remember however, that although our Standard says that the tail should be carried gaily, it does not say that it is a fault if it is not.
See the Tail pictures of the Illustrated Standard