Artois Hounds were bred to hunt foxes, hares, deer and wild boars. In its early years, the breed has been included in the classification Chiens d’Artois together with the Basset Hounds.
But in the 1600s, the category has been divided and Chiens d’Artois mainly referred to the breed alone.
This breed has been prized by the nobles since the late 1600s. It was the time where hunting was popular. They have been used as gifts to kings and other nobles.
However, importing French breeds has become a trend, and in turn, the mixing of breeds have dwindled the numbers of the pure Artois Hounds.
Various attempts have been made to revive the original breed, and successes have been made by Ernest Levair of Picardy and his cousin, M. Therouanne.
Artois Hounds are one of the rarest hunting breeds, with only about 500 dogs registered in the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI). Today, the hounds are mainly used as gun dogs, pets and companions.
Traits and Behavior
Because of their hunting instincts, this breed has high endurance and energy. They have a keen sense of smell and sharp eyes that allows them to spot small animals from a distance.
They are highly intelligent and attentive.
Aside from their eyes and nose, Artois Hounds also has a good sense of hearing which enables them to hear high-pitched voices from a distance.
This breed is affectionate and friendly, which makes them good house pets, too. They are extremely athletic but can be quite serene in their homes.
However, they are very independent and would like to do things their way. They may be affectionate, but they only focus on one to two members, as a result, they ignore other members of the family.
Artois Hounds enjoy any high energy activities like retrieving games, running, and long walks. They are loyal, brave, sociable, energetic, cheerful, and friendly.
But, they can also be stubborn and challenging, especially to first time owners. First-time owners shouldn’t get Artois hounds as their first pet.
Pet Care and Diseases
Artois Hounds thrive well outdoors. They would rather go out and run in the fields than stay at home. Their grooming needs are not as extensive as other breeds.
Daily brushes, with a stiff brush, are sufficient for their coats. Baths can be taken only when needed because wiping off the dirt with a damp towel is enough.
Use dry shampoo when giving them baths.
Artois Hounds are prone to toenail infections. Keep their nails trimmed and dirt-free at all times to prevent any health problems.
Their long ears are also susceptible to infections. Keep them dry and dirt free. Other problems may include hip and elbow dysplasia and sensitivity to anaesthesia.
This breed is considered to be a hardy and healthy breed.
They don’t have any major health problems and can live a healthy 12 to 14 years.
Artois Hounds are a medium-sized breed. According to the FCI standards, they are generally 20.75 to 22.75 inches tall and weigh an average of 55 to 65 pounds.
According to the United Kennel Club (UKC), they should be 21 to 23 inches tall and weighs about 62 to 66 pounds.
Artois hounds have smooth, thick coats. Their color usually resembles the animals that they hunt, which is a dark fawn tricolor. Color combinations may be tan, black, and white.
They have round, dark brown eyes and long, hanging ears. They have a strong, muscular body that enables them to run fast. Their long, sickle-shaped tails are always held up.
The sleek, strong arms and legs are optimal for hunting small animals and basically for running, too.
The Artois Hound has an estimated life span of 12-15 years. Litter size could go up to 3-8 puppies. Other names for this breed are Chien d’Artois, Briquets, Briquets d’Artois, and D’Artois Hound.
Visit this dog club website dedicated to Artois Hounds. Click this link: http://www.ban-artois.org/