The Artois Hound
is a rare breed
Dog breeds are groups of closely related and visibly similar domestic dogs, which are all of the subspecies Canis lupus familiaris, having characteristic traits that are selected and maintained by humans, bred from a known foundation stock....
The domestic dog is a domesticated form of the gray wolf, a member of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. The term is used for both feral and pet varieties. The dog may have been the first animal to be domesticated, and has been the most widely kept working, hunting, and companion animal in...
, and a descendant of the Bloodhound
The Bloodhound is a large breed of dog which, while originally bred to hunt deer and wild boar, was later bred specifically to track human beings. It is a scenthound, tracking by smell, as opposed to a sighthound, which tracks using vision. It is famed for its ability to discern human odors even...
. A scent hound
Scent hounds are a type of hound that primarily hunts by scent rather than sight. The Scenthound breeds are generally regarded as having some of the most sensitive noses among canines....
22-23 inches high at the withers
The withers is the ridge between the shoulder blades of a four-legged animal. In many species it is the tallest point of the body, and in horses and dogs it is the standard place to measure the animal's height .-Horses:The withers in horses are formed by the dorsal spinal processes of roughly the...
, weighing anything between 55 and 65 pounds, it is a well constructed dog with a slow graceful gait. It has a large, strong head, a medium-length back and a pointed tail that tends to be long and sickle-shaped. Their ears are set at eye level; they have large prominent eyes and quite thick lips.
A well constructed dog, muscled and not too long, giving the impression of strength and energy.
- Cranial Region: Its skull should be strong, broad, quite short, rounded and flat at its upper part but with the occipital protuberance only slightly pronounced. Its stop should be accentuated.
- Facial Region: Its nose should be black, strong, with wide opened nostrils. Its muzzle should be straight and, seen in profile, moderately elongated. Of its lips, the upper lip should largely be covering the lower lip and must be rather important so as to give a square shape to the extremity of the muzzle, (as seen in profile). Its jaws/teeth should have a scissor bite, the upper incisors covering the lower in a narrow contact and are well set squarely in relation to the jaws. Its eyes, in relation to the width of the forehead, should not be very close together; they should be round, level with the head surface, with a melancholic and soft expression; they are dark brown in colour. The mucous membranes of the lower lids must not be visible. Its leathers should be set at eye level, a little thick, broad, round at the tip, almost flat and quite long, reaching the beginning of the nose. Its is moderately long, powerful; very little dewlap.
Its back is broad and well supported. Its loins are slightly arched. The hips give a slight inclination to its croup, which is well muscled. Its chest is broad and long, rather let down so that the sternal line arrives at elbow level. Its ribs should be well sprung. Its belly flanks fully its body.
It is strong and quite long; there should be some longer and coarser, slightly offstanding hairs, (like ears of grain) towards the tip. It is carried in a sickle fashion, never falling forward.
A view of the ensemble indicates that its limbs are strong and vertical. Its shoulders are oblique and muscled. Its elbows are set well in the axis of the body. Its forearm should be lightly oblique.
A view of the ensemble indicates that, (seen from behind), the point of the buttock, the middle of the leg, the hock, the metatarsal and the foot are on the same vertical line. Its upper thighs are let down and well muscled. Its hock
The hock, or gambrel, is the joint between the tarsal bones and tibia of a digitigrade or unguligrade quadrupedal mammal, such as a horse, cat, or dog...
joints are strong and moderately angulated, and the metatarsals are short and strong.
They are slightly elongated, strong but sufficiently tight; the pads are black, tough and compact.
Coat and colour
Its skin is quite thick. Its hair is short, thick and quite flat. The coat pattern is a dark fawn
Fawn is a light yellowish brown colour that is usually used in reference to a dog's coat colour.The first recorded use of fawn as a colour name in English was in 1789.-Fawn in animal breeds:Dog Breeds...
tri-colour, (similar to the coat of a hare
Hares and jackrabbits are leporids belonging to the genus Lepus. Hares less than one year old are called leverets. Four species commonly known as types of hare are classified outside of Lepus: the hispid hare , and three species known as red rock hares .Hares are very fast-moving...
or a badger
Badgers are short-legged omnivores in the weasel family, Mustelidae. There are nine species of badger, in three subfamilies : Melinae , Mellivorinae , and Taxideinae...
), with a mantle or in large patches. The head is usually fawn, sometimes with a black overlay. Its main colours being tan and black and white in any combination.
The Artois Hound is an energetic dog that is brave and loyal. Though it has a large amount of endurance, it is calm and well balanced. It is a moderate sized dog that will feature the best characteristics of the scenthounds. It has a powerful sense of smell, and it is fast and independent. These dogs were bred to hunt rabbits, and they are proficient at this task. These dogs need to be trained by owners who are consistent. They are affectionate and loving to those that care for them. Like all scent hounds they are happiest when on the trail of a good scent.
The Artois Hound, (a Briquet, (of a small type)), is nowadays used especially in hunting
Hunting is the practice of pursuing any living thing, usually wildlife, for food, recreation, or trade. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting, as distinguished from poaching, which is the killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species contrary to applicable law...
with guns, and on horseback. It drives the game closer taking advantage of their faults with ingenuity; its speed is average but maintained.
- In general countryside : Because of its acute sense of smell, it is capable of out manoeuvring many of its prey's tactics.
- In woodland areas : With its ancestral qualities of a hunter, in sparse and well scattered groups of tall trees, it can hunt a deer
Deer are the ruminant mammals forming the family Cervidae. Species in the Cervidae family include white-tailed deer, elk, moose, red deer, reindeer, fallow deer, roe deer and chital. Male deer of all species and female reindeer grow and shed new antlers each year...
efficiently, and in the desired direction of its owner.
- In the thicket : its intrepidity and bravery means that it can stir up and even the most obstinate boar
Wild boar, also wild pig, is a species of the pig genus Sus, part of the biological family Suidae. The species includes many subspecies. It is the wild ancestor of the domestic pig, an animal with which it freely hybridises...
- Additional points: It is a robust animal with a high pitched call which can be heard from as far away as 2 km.
There are no known health problems that are specific to the Artois Hound. Any health problems it may develop can be found in most other dog breeds. These dogs may have a maximum life expectancy of 13 years.
This is a hunting dog that needs extensive amounts of exercise. Without it, the dog could become problematic for its owners. It should be taken on walks daily, and this dog is great for healthy people who love to jog and hike. While it can live in an apartment, it may perform better in a small yard. It is important for owners to make sure this dog is never unleashed in an unsecured area, as it may run off in the direction of the first interesting scent it picks up. It is important for owners to make sure these dogs are given lots of space to move around in.
The Artois Hound does not require a large amount of grooming. The Artois' smooth short-haired coat is easy to look after. Owners will simply want to make sure the coat is brushed on a consistent basis. These dogs should only be given baths when they need it. A wipe down with a damp towel should suffice for the bathing aspect, (although you should bathe it with mild soap only if or when necessary; you should also dry shampoo it occasionally), however a rubber, wire, or hard bristled brush would work best for the brushing aspect.The shedding patterns of these dogs are not known. Be sure to check the ears carefully for signs of infection. The nails of the D'Artois should also be trimmed, (particularly to avoid nail-born infections).
This breed, formerly named Picard, was much appreciated in ancient hunting at the time of Henry IV of France
Henry IV , Henri-Quatre, was King of France from 1589 to 1610 and King of Navarre from 1572 to 1610. He was the first monarch of the Bourbon branch of the Capetian dynasty in France....
and Louis XIII of France, and much sought after. Selincourt already made much of it, wondering and amazed to see these dogs pulling a hare which had passed by one hour ago in dry weather. Le Couteulx de Canteleu, in Manuel de Vénerie Française (1890), (Manual of French Hunting - 1890), praises also the Artois hound. He reports that the artesian breed of his time was crossbred and difficult to find pure but, in spite of that, it still remained one of the best breeds for hare hunting.
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...
, bordering the English Channel
The English Channel , often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about long and varies in width from at its widest to in the Strait of Dover...
, consists of the historical regions of Artois Hound. Hounds from this region stem from some of the earliest types.
The Artois Hound was a favorite by the 17th century. The Prince Alexandre de Gray wrote to the Prince de Galle, in 1609, of his intention to "send a pack of little d'Artois dogs to the king ..." In fact, this small French hound may have contributed to the formation of the Beagle
The Beagle is a breed of small to medium-sized dog. A member of the Hound Group, it is similar in appearance to the Foxhound, but smaller, with shorter legs and longer, softer ears. Beagles are scent hounds, developed primarily for tracking hare, rabbit, and other game...
By the 19th century it became popular among French hunters to avail themselves of the dogs from the British Isles
The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe that include the islands of Great Britain and Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles. There are two sovereign states located on the islands: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and...
. With the importation of many British types, the inevitable crossbreeding resulted in the deterioration of the pure Artois Hounds. Crossing also took place with the taller, more elegant, longer, scroll-eared hounds called Normands (now extinct). During the 19th century, only the packs kept at Chantilly and those of the Prince de Conde retained the ancient type.
In the 1880s, Ernest Levair and his cousin, M. Therouanne, began a 20-year effort to breed the original d'Artois, removing the last of the Normand blood.
Their efforts resulted in great success. At the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th, M. Levoir in Picardy
This article is about the historical French province. For other uses, see Picardy .Picardy is a historical province of France, in the north of France...
had attempted the re-establishment of the old Artois type without really succeeding. During that period and until the beginning of the First World War, it was another Picard breeder, Mr. Mallard, who dominated the raising of the breed. But if he produced very pretty dogs, as witnessed by his numerous awards in canine shows, they were not always in the type conformed with the description given by contemporary authors. For all their efforts however the Second World War was very damaging for the breed and after the Second World War, it was believed that the Artois was all but extinct.
By the middle of the 20th century the breed had nearly disappeared, however in the 1970s a few aficionados
, in particular Mr. Audrechy, (of Buigny les Gamaches in the Somme), decided to reconstitute the breed from a few remaining specimens which they located after along search. Thanks to their efforts the modern day Artois hound closely resembles the original. There are now about 500 dogs registered in their stud books, making a strong comeback since 1975.
- Cassell, The Book of the Dog
- Bonnie Wilcox and Chris Walkowicz, The Atlas of Dog Breeds of the World.
- http://www.ban-artois.org/ The Artésien Normand Basset and Chien d'Artois Club. France.