Fawn Brittany Basset (Basset Fauve de Bretagne)

Country of origin:
France
Height (cm):
30-40
Weight (kg):
16-18
Life span (years):
11-14
Colour:
fawn (from golden wheaten to red brick)
Size:
small
Hair length:
average
Recognized by:
FCI, ANKC, UKC, KC, UK
FCI code:
36
Intelligence:
Good with kids:
Trainability:
Shedding:
Watchdog:
Adaptability:
Allergy:
No
Pros Cons
  • great companion for a family
  • excellent hunter
  • friendly
  • independent
  • not easy to train
  • requires a great amount of daily exercises

Overview
The Fawn Brittany Basset is a frisky short-legged sporting dog with its homeland in France. The dog is well-known for its outgoing character, peculiar tan colour and stocky build. Up until lately it was threatened with complete disappearance but it has recovered in numbers and today is slowly re-gaining its position in its native country both as a hunting and family dog.

History
As a separate breed the Fawn Brittany Basset came to existence in the XVIII century. At this period the Griffon Fauve de Bretagne was the preferred breed among French hunters so it was bred in great numbers. They intended to produce a Basset version of the Griffon Fauve de Bretagne so they crossed this dog with Bassets and probably some other breed to invent the Basset Fauve de Bretagne. It remains a mystery, which varieties of Bassets were used in the breeding process, but it’s supposed that the Basset Griffon Vendeen and now-extinct wirehaired type of the Basset Artesian Normand are among the most possible candidates.

The French Revolution resulted in serious decline in population of many French hounds some of which eventually died out. However the popularity of Basset breeds roared. Hunting turned into more a public entertainment and majority of new-born hunters couldn’t afford to keep a horse. The Fawn Brittany Basset made it easier for a hunter to chase prey on foot rather than on a horseback so it became one of favourite hunting dogs in France. The dog was valued for its working prowess and relentlessness in pursuing the prey. It proved to be especially skilful in hunting rabbits.

In the wake of the Second World War the breed experienced a significant fall in its number. There is a debate as to whether it was driven to the brink of extinction or it simply faced a tangible shrinkage of its population. Anyway it’s widely suggested that in its post-war restoration breeders repeatedly mated remaining specimens with such breeds as the Basset Griffon Vendeen and wire-coated Dachshund.

Nowadays the primarily role of the Fawn Brittany Basset is hunting but it has already obtained some fanciers that keep it as a companion animal. The breed is practically unknown outside its native France and was brought to the United States only in 2001. It was approved by the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 1996.

Temperament
The Griffon Fauve de Bretagne is notable for its vivacious and communicable temperament so it actually has very good perspectives in the role of a family dog. This gentle and loving dog typically develops very close attachment to its owner and its family. It’s also quite friendly with children and makes a perfect buddy for them provided it has been exposed to their company since an early age. Despite its working background the breed accommodates to the life in a family much better than the vast majority of working breeds.

The Fawn Brittany Basset’s friendliness also extends to unknown people and it’s always excited and happy if it gets a chance to make a new acquaintance. The dog is endowed with enough alertness to notify its owner that someone is coming to the door. Nevertheless it isn’t capable of demonstrating any aggressiveness so it will be an average watchdog. For the same reason it’s ill-suited for the job of a guard dog.

The breed was designed to be a pack hunter so it had to deal with a few of other canines in a hunting trip. The Fawn Brittany Basset is a good option if you plan to introduce it into a household with other dogs. In the group of other canines it prefers to take a dominative stance so it can cause some troubles during the initial meeting of unfamiliar dogs. The dog’s owner should be always present at the first introduction of dogs. The Fawn Brittany Basset possesses very powerful hunting instincts so it isn’t trustworthy around non-canine animals. It doesn’t mean that it can’t get on with a household cat but it should be extensively and timely socialised with it. Be mindful that some specimens will never be able to get over their prey drive even when things concern a familiar cat or other pet.
Health Problems
The most common problems for the breed include:

• kidney failure;
• reproductive problems;
• ear infections;
• eye problems.

Grooming

The Fawn Brittany Basset is rather unpretentious when it concerns its grooming. Its coat should be regularly and thoroughly brushed in order to maintain its neat and healthy look. It also requires plucking minimum twice a year. Most owners prefer to have their dogs professionally plucked, but this procedure can be relatively easy conducted at home.

In grooming this breed the owner should pay special attention to the dog’s big hanging ears since they tend to trap dirt and various particles, which can cause ear infection or irritation. The breed does shed but it sheds rather moderately.

Training
The Fawn Brittany Basset is bred to be an independent thinker and it’s inclined to do what it wants rather than follow somebody’s orders. In order to train it successfully you will have to dedicate substantial amount of your time and efforts. In addition the dog is obstinate and strong-willed and it makes its training even harder.

It’s worth to consider that if you mistreat your Fawn Brittany Basset during a lesson instead of desirable results you will get only an intimidated and resentful creature. Reward-based methods seem to work best with the breed so make sure to have enough supply of patience and its favourite treats when you begin the training process.

Exercise
The Griffon Fauve de Bretagne is a vivid and tough dog with almost boundless reserves of energy. It won’t be satisfied with one potty daily walk and should receive a considerable amount of rather intensive physical exercise on the daily basis. Being a persistent and talented tracker this breed can never resist a good chase so it should be let off leash only in a safely fenced area.

An under-exercised Fawn Brittany Basset usually demonstrates serious behavioural issues including being destructive, over-excited and even aggressive. Despite its rather moderate size this strong and athletic dog shouldn’t be treated as a lap dog and needs a periodical opportunity to burn its excessive energy.
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