Artesian Norman Basset (Basset Artésien Normand)

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tricolor: fawn with black blanket & white; fawn & white
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Good with kids:
Pros Cons
  • excellent hunter
  • wonderful companion              
  • good watchdog
  • loves children
  • friendly
  • stubborn
  • prone to ear infections
  • requires a great amount of daily exercises
  • chases small animals


The Artesian-Norman Basset is a proficient and dependable hunting dog with its homeland in France. It’s known across the world for its huge floppy ears and short legs. It’s the most widespread breed of Bassets in its native France although it can be fairly rarely met in other countries.

During the Dark Ages hunting in France became a fashionable entertainment as well as it offered a convenient opportunity to set up business and political matters. Passionate hunters required various types of hunting dogs for different style of hunting. Active breeding experiments led to creation of different sporting dogs, many of which survived to the modern days. It’s commonly thought that the Artesian-Norman Basset had been already well established by the beginning of the XVII century in Artois and Normandy. Local breeders used Basset types of the Normand and Chien d’Artois to produce this breed. The strong probability holds that they added to the mix other local Artesian and Norman hounds, and possibly other Basset breeds. More specifically the breed looks very similar to the Basset Bleu de Gasconge, which certainly contributed its genes to the breeds’ development.

The Artesian-Norman Basset successfully outlasted the French Revolution. Actually, its popularity soared in this period. Hunting on a horseback was too expensive for a French average hunter. This short-legged dog kept close to the feet of a hunter so he can enjoy this occupation without a horse. It also acquired lots of noble and even royal fanciers. Emperor Napoleon III was so infatuated with it that he ordered to immortalize his three Bassets in the form of bronze statues. At that point there were four varieties of the breed. Wire-coated dog was nicknamed as the Basset Griffon and smooth-coated specimen was called the Basset Francais. Both types existed in two leg lengths.

The process of standardisation of the Artesian-Norman Basset began in the 70s of the XIX century. Thanks to the accurate and methodical approach to its breeding one unified standard was developed by the end of XIX century and free varieties of the breed ceased to exist. The remained smooth-coated, short-legged type was acknowledged as a singular breed, which was subsequently granted its current name. The two World Wars definitely affected its population but not to the point of a complete extinction. It can be explained by the fact that by that time the dog had already earned big following not only as a pack hound but also as a companion animal and a show dog.

The first specimen of the Artesian-Norman Basset left its homeland in 60s of the XIX and became the foundation of its stock in Britain. Gradually English breeders mated it with other dogs and altered its characteristics in such a way that it eventually turned into a completely new breed, namely the renowned Basset Hound. Nowadays it’s the most recognisable variety of the Basset in the world. However, currently the Artesian-Norman Basset is starting to find fans in both the United Kingdom and the United States. It was given recognition of the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 1995. The dog shared the fate of most modern hunting breeds and is kept predominantly as a pleasant and vivacious family pet.

Although the Artesian-Norman Basset is an adept in hunting but it has also earned a well-deserved popularity as a companion animal. It’s endowed with easy-going, playful and amicable disposition, which makes it the much-preferred pet in its homeland. With its moderate size it will be quite satisfied with an apartment life. The breed has an outstanding reputation with children but it needs certain socialisation, as every other dog.

Strange people are commonly perceived by the Artesian-Norman Basset as potential friends and without timely correction this breed can grow into an inappropriate greeter. Some of its members can demonstrate inborn shyness in the presence of unfamiliar person. On the other hand this behavioural pattern is barely expressed in correctly socialised dogs. The breed is characterised with enough vigilance and alertness to become fairly effective as a watchdog. However, it isn’t suited for the job of a guard dog because of its friendliness and trustfulness with humans.

The Artesian-Norman Basset was widely used in pack hunting so any canine aggressiveness was diligently bred out from its characteristics. It does tend to compete for alpha status in the company of other canines so the interaction of two strange dogs requires close supervision from their masters. This dog was developed as a highly reliable hunting dog so it possesses rather strong prey drive. It poses prominent threat for any street animal of cat’s size. This breed will most likely co-habit peacefully with a familiar pet (including a household cat) provided they have been correctly introduced to each other.
Health Problems

The most common problems for the breed include:
• ear infections;
• hypothyroidism;
• canine hip dysplasia;
• joint pain;
• back pain.

The Artesian-Norman Basset will require minimal attention to its grooming. Its smooth short hair should be brushed regularly and thoroughly. The dog is a light shedder but it does shed so it’s ill-suited for someone who suffers from allergy or just hates cleaning up dog’s hair from the furniture, carpets and clothes.

Sizeable ears of the Artesian-Norman Basset easily catch various infections if its master doesn’t invest some time in its cleaning on a regular basis. It’s imperative to introduce your dog to this cleaning procedure as early as possible since a grown-up animal may be frightened or nervous of it.

The training of the Artesian-Norman Basset poses an average difficulty for an experienced handler. The dog is noted with biddable demeanour and naturally inquisitive mind and it’s usually happy to pleasure. On the other hand, occasionally it prefers to do its own things rather than to follow orders. Furthermore the Artesian-Norman Basset easily loses its focus if it comes upon some attractive trail.

The breeds’ training should be approached with sufficient amount of patience, firm, but respectful attitude and the dog’s favourite treats. Punishments and rude handling won’t bring desirable results with this dog and will only induce it natural stubbornness.

The Artesian-Norman Basset is a very physically capable dog, which evidently requires some meaningful way to channel its energy surplus. It is surely not a lap dog and should receive enough physical stimulation on the daily basis.

The dogs’ exercise regimen should include at least a brisk walk of an hour long although this breed will eagerly accept virtually any amount of intense outdoors activity. The Artesian-Norman Basset is susceptible to back pain and excessive weight can greatly aggravate this problem so it must be provided with lots of vigorous daily exercises.