CHIEN D’ARTOIS: A Rare Profile Breed

If you like to adopt a rare and elegant dog breed that is known for its grace and intelligence. A breed with unique characteristics, great history, bred for hunting and companionship. Then, you can consider this rare breed.

Whether you’re a prospective owner or an enthusiast, delve into the world of the Chien d’Artois to uncover the charm and allure of this exceptional canine companion.

Chien d'Artois

The Chien d’Artois, also known as the Artois Hound, is a breed of French scent hound primarily used for hunting small game. The Chien d’ Artois is a scent hound that was developed to hunt in small packs of six to eight dogs for hare, deer and boar. Due to later crossbreeding that involved gundogs, this breed will sometimes still point when prey is found.

These hardworking dogs, not very fast but able to maintain their pace, direct the game towards the shooting line by closely following the odors, thanks to their very good sense of smell. They are known to be robust, well-balanced and affectionate dogs, both in the field and at home.

Let’s get started to explore.

History

This dog breed has a long history, starting as early as the 15th century, and they are believed to have descended from the dogs of St. Hubert’s, which were highly similar to the modern Bloodhound.

In its earliest years, this breed actually encompassed two breeds, a Basset Hound-type and a larger “Picardy Hound”, the pair of which shared many characteristics but largely differed in overall size and stature.

By the 1600s, however, the larger Picards took the Chien d’Artois name and came in two sizes, large and small, with the latter being much more common. They looked a bit different than the Artois Hounds we know today, as in those days they were white with fawn and grey markings – notably lighter in shade than modern tri-colors.

In the late 1500s and early 1600s, their popularity skyrocketed thanks to French nobility, who revered the breed for their exceptional tracking abilities, especially with fox-hunting. They were often bestowed as gifts to other members of nobility and many accounts of nobles and hunters alike began to flourish in this era, almost all of it including high praise of the breed for its skill set and excellent overall temperament.

Unfortunately, by the 1800s, Artois Hounds took a downturn thanks to the rise in popularity of breeds like the English Foxhound, which were fashionably imported as the next best hunting breed, leaving many traditional French breeds by the wayside. As their numbers fell, so did their purity, as their limited population caused the need for crossbreeding with those like the now-extinct Normand Hounds to help maintain dwindling numbers.

While this did help the population stabilize at least somewhat, the infusion of other larger, taller breeds with scroll-type ears vastly changed the Chien d’Artois’ overall appearance until far removed from their original aesthetic by the late 1800s.  Since then, their numbers have increased to a healthier level and today, around 500 are now registered with the Federation Cynologique Internationale. In 2006, they were finally recognized by the United Kennel Club and continue to be used as both hunters and companions.

Appearance

This dog looks strong and active. It’s medium-sized and has a sturdy body. Its face looks friendly and curious. This dog seems ready to go on adventures and play around, with a happy expression that shows it’s always up for fun. He is a good-looking and lively dog.

Physical Characteristics

Height
  • Male: 21-23 inches
  • Female: 20-23 inches
Weight
  • Male: 62-66 pounds
  • Female: 60-64 pounds
Coat
  • short
  • flat and
  • fairly thick
Color
  • dark fawn tricolor with coat or large markings,
  • tawny  
  • more rarely
  • charcoal head
Eyes

Eyes are not very close together. But round in shape and dark brown in color.

Nose

The nose is black, strong and the nostrils are well open.

Ears

Ears are large and of moderate thickness. Almost flat, long, set at the eye line and at the rounded end.

Tail

Thick, long and carried like a sickle without falling forward.

Life Span

The average life span is 12-14 years.

Temperament

Like their Bloodhound and Beagle relatives, he is not only an excellent hunter, but generally beloved for their friendly, easy-going personalities. Because of their pack-hunting background, they are usually very good with other dogs and tend to do well with children inherently, but will excel with both even more when thoroughly trained and socialized.

If there is any great disadvantage to this breed, it is that their intelligence often turns into a strong-willed stubbornness, as they require an exceptionally firm, patient, and experienced owner to get the absolute best out of their character. That being said, their in-home personality characteristics are still highly desired. They are known to be regularly friendly, playful, loving, affectionate and endlessly loyal, making them excellent companion animals even if not used for hunting.

They are also decent watchdogs (although less so than many other breeds because of their tendency to become distracted) and will often take command of a self-appointed post to keep an eye out for anything suspicious and will alert their owners with a significant bark if they find that anything is amiss.

In the hunt, they are excitable and thoroughly dedicated and employ their seemingly endless endurance to follow a scent for hours or miles if need be. Because of their prey drive, they need to be raised with other non-canine animals at an early age if they are to co-exist without incident. They also do best with active families as their energy level requirements are high for their size and they take a considerable amount of exercise to tire in any meaningful capacity.

Artois hound

Grooming

This hound, like many of its French scent hound relatives, is a low maintenance breed overall. They take little brushing outside of once or twice a week with a firm bristle brush to keep their coats free of dirt, debris, and loose hair.

They generally maintain their own cleanliness well and only need to be bathed when they get into something particularly dirty or offensive smelling but otherwise rarely need true washing over wiping them down with a towel.

Because of the size of their folded ears, they are particularly prone to ear infections, as they often amass extraneous moisture and wax, so they will need to be monitored regularly and occasionally cleaned.

Their nails will also need to be checked and trimmed as needed to prevent painful cracks or breaks, and like any breed; their teeth will need to be brushed at least once a week.

Training

It is important to introduce the Artois Dog to recall from a very young ageAlthough he is not particularly obedient, this dog likes to learn and loves to please his master. His education requires a dose of firmness combined with gentleness.

The hound is bred for hunting and living in the great outdoors. He is less inclined to lead an existence in a narrow habitat. It can adapt to urban life if it is walked frequently and for a long time, while enjoying a large fenced garden.

Exercise

Artois Hounds are considered medium to high energy dogs that need a healthy amount of exercise daily to maintain good health and happiness. When used for hunting, they are usually exhausted by those activities alone and can survive on less exercise on off-days, but if they are adopted purely as a companion, they will need at least 60 minutes of exercise daily.

Since they have such a strong hunting background, they prefer to exercise in open areas so they can both run freely and follow their nose at will but many owners prefer to do so in a fenced area, either a large yard or dog park, as the breed’s stubborn nature and nose-driven curiosity will often have them wandering off aimlessly. They thoroughly enjoy games where they can chase and fetch as well as games that stimulate them mentally, which will further exhaust them and help to prevent boredom or frustration if they are cooped up for large parts of the day

Atois dog

Nutrition

He needs a balanced, quality diet, adapted to its level of physical activity, its age and its size. During the hunting season, its needs are increased. It is then appropriate to increase the quantities of food, and then return to “classic” doses once the hunting season is over.

Health Concerns

This dog is a rustic and robust dog. He enjoys solid health, as long as we pay attention to his care and diet.

Potential health conditions include:

Ear Infections

Many hounds are afflicted with chronic ear infections due to the humid and dark environments created within their ear canals that are ideal ‘mini-incubators’ for micro-organisms. A red, itchy ear that smells bad should be assessed by a vet and will likely benefit from medicated drops containing anti-fungals, antibiotics and steroids.

Hip Dysplasia

A condition that results in progressive lameness and pain, hip dysplasia can be a devastating diagnosis for any dog, though for a working dog in particular. It is prudent that affected dogs are neutered to ensure they do not pass on their faulty genes.

Bottom Line

The Chien d’Artois is a French scent hound known for its hunting prowess, sociable temperament, and distinctive appearance.

Whether you’re seeking a skilled hunting companion, a loyal and affectionate family pet, or a breed with a rich history in hunting traditions.

 He is likely to capture your interest with its exceptional qualities and heritage as one of the oldest French hound breeds.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q. Does the Chien d’Artois get along with other pets?

Generally, Chien d’Artois can get along well with other pets, especially if they are socialized from an early age. However, due to their hunting instincts, caution should be taken with smaller animals, and introductions should be supervised.

Q. How is the Artois hound as a family pet?

Artois hound can make a good family pet, especially for families that enjoy outdoor activities. They require regular exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy. Early socialization and training are important to ensure they are well-behaved.

Q. Is the Artois dog suitable for apartment living?

While the Artois dog can adapt to apartment living with proper exercise, it is important to note that they are an active breed that requires regular outdoor activities. Access to a securely fenced yard or ample opportunities for exercise is beneficial.

Q. Are these hounds good with children?

These hounds are generally good with children, especially if raised with them. However, due to their size and energy level, supervision is recommended to ensure that interactions are positive for both the dog and the child.

Q. What type of living environment suits the Chien d’Artois best?

The ideal living environment for a Chien d’Artois is a home with a fenced yard where they can safely explore and play. Families that enjoy outdoor activities, such as hiking or jogging, may find this breed to be an excellent companion.

Q. Can the Chien d’Artois be left alone for long periods?

While the Chien d’Artois can tolerate some alone time, they are social dogs and may become bored or anxious if left alone for extended periods. It’s important to provide mental stimulation and exercise to prevent behavioral issues.

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