The dog was Model, whom Millais had imported from France in 1874, and was shown at the Wolverhampton Dog Show in the following year.
He wrote that having left his hound ‘chained up’ at the Dog Show’s venue, the Agricultural Hall, he went to the nearby Talbot Hotel where he was staying. After dining, he retired to the smoking-room where several gentlemen were discussing the imminent show and other canine matters.
He reported the following conversation taking place:
“Showing Terriers?” He was asked by one of the men.
“Bulls?” said another.
“No,” Millais replied, 'a Basset '.
“A what?” they said.
“A Basset”, Millais repeated.
“What's he like?” asked another, winking at his companion.
“Oh, he's about four feet long and twelve inches high!”
Model (shown above) was exhibited at this and subsequent shows, attracting a great deal of public interest. The Kennel Club officially recognised the breed in 1880. In 1886, Millais judged Basset Hounds at a dog show at the Royal Aquarium, Westminster with 140 entries.
editor Tony Roberts