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The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is native to France and has only recently gained popularity here in the UK. They are charming little hounds that boast affectionate, lively natures. They are not quite as low to the ground as their Basset Hound cousins, but just like them, the BFB is longer in the body than they are tall. They are a great choice as family pets and love being part of a family, being particularly good around children.
The Basset Fauve de Bretagne was first bred in Brittany, France hence their name. The breed came about by crossing the Griffon Fauve de Bretagne with other hounds that were bred in the Vendee region of the country which boasted being shorter in the leg. They were used to hunt small game and it is thought the original Basset Fauve looked more like a terrier than the dogs we see today. They were highly prized for their hunting abilities in France, but also became a popular choice as family pets and companion dogs thanks to their kind, affectionate and loyal natures.
These charming, short-legged hounds have always been popular in their native France, but over recent years they have become more well-known and highly regarded over here with the breed now being recognised in their own right by The Kennel Club.
Height at the withers: Males 32 - 38 cm, Females 32 - 38 cm
Average weight: Males 16 - 18 kg, Females 16 - 18 kg
The Basset Fauve de Bretagne like their English Basset Hound cousins are short in the leg and rather long in the body. Their heads are moderately long yet well-balanced with the top of their skulls being slightly domed and the occipital point nicely defined. Forefaces are moderately long and slightly arched with dogs boasting a moderate stop and strong underjaw. Noses are black or very dark in colour with nostrils being well open.
Their eyes are slightly oval in shape and dark hazel in colour with dogs boasting an alert, lively expression in them. Ears are set level with a dog's eyes and they fold inwards but end in a point. They are covered in darker, softer and finer hair than found on a dog's body. The BFB has a strong jaw with a perfect scissor bite where their upper teeth neatly overlap their lower ones. Their neck is quite short, but very muscular. Shoulders slope slightly and a dog's front legs are straight and well boned although if a dog has a slight crook in their front legs it is acceptable.
The BFB has a long body with a deep, wide chest and very prominent sternum. Their ribs are well rounded and carried quite well back with dogs having a nice level topline and strong loin. Hindquarters are muscular, powerful and strong with dogs boasting tight feet with firm, hard pads and short nails. Tails are set high and thicker at the base before tapering to the tip which dogs carry very much like a sickle when they are excited or alert.
When it comes to their coat, the Basset Fauve de Bretagne boasts a harsh, dense and flat coat with acceptable colours being as follows:
The Basset Fauve de Bretagne may be short-legged and long in the body, but they boast masses of personality and wonderfully kind and calm natures. They are quite independent thinkers and as a result they have a tendency to wander off if they pick up an interesting scent which includes when they are out on a walk with their owners.
Their training has to start as early as possible and puppies have to be well socialised from a young age for them to grow up to be confident, more obedient dogs. It's particularly important to pay particular attention to the "recall" command, but there's no guarantee a Basset Fauve de Bretagne will listen every time. In short, it is only wise to let them off their leads in places where there are no small animals or interesting scents for them to follow.
The Basset Fauve de Bretagne does not like to be left on their own for long periods of time preferring to be kept busy and involved in everything that goes on in a household. They are a great choice for families where one person usually stays at home during the day when everyone else is out of the house.
The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is an intelligent hound, but they are very good at ignoring things, more especially the "recall" command even when they have been well trained from a young age. Their instinct to track down a scent is so strong that it more often than not gets the better of these hounds.
With this said, they are easy to train, but it should never be forgotten that the Basset Fauve de Bretagne boasts a very strong prey drive and as such care has to be taken as to when and where they are allowed to be off their leads. They are a great choice as a family pet or companion dog for people who boast largish back gardens, but the fencing has to be ultra-secure to keep a BFB in. There's nothing these dogs enjoy more than being able to let off steam in a safe area and the best place is a secure back garden.
The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is an excellent choice as a family pet thanks to their kind and placid natures. They are particularly good around children although any interaction between the kids and a dog should be well supervised to make sure playtime does not get too boisterous.
They generally get on well with other dogs, but they do need to have been well socialised when puppies. However, care has to be take when a Basset Fauve de Bretagne is anywhere near cats or smaller pets and animals because of their high prey drive which usually gets the better of them.
The average life expectancy of a BFB is between 11 and 14 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is known to be a healthy, robust little dog and one that is not plagued by the many hereditary and congenital health issues that plague other breeds. In short, the BFB is considered among one of the healthiest breeds around.
As with any other breed, BFBs need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.
They boast wiry, harsh coats that need to be regularly brushed to remove any dead hair and to prevent any tangles from forming. However, their coats should be hand stripped at least twice a year and this is best left up to a professional groomer. Their coats should not be trimmed, although any hair that grows inside their ears should be removed so that air can circulate through a dog's ear canals which helps reduce the risk of an ear infection taking hold.
It's also important to check a dog's ears and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax is allowed to build up in a dog's ears, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure when it comes to ear infections.
The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is quite a high energy dog and they need to be given at least 2 hour's exercise every day. They also like to be able to roam around a back garden as often as possible so they can safely really let off steam and indulge their scenting skills. However, a garden's fencing has to be ultra-secure to keep these dogs in because if a dog finds a weak spot, they will wander off after an interesting scent.
With this said, young BFB puppies should not be given too much exercise which includes allowing them to jump up and off furniture or running up and down the stairs because their joints and bones are still growing and too much pressure on them could result in causing a dog a few problems later on in their lives.
If you get a BFB puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy or finicky eaters, but this does not mean you can feed them a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
If you are looking to buy a Basset Fauve de Bretagne you could have problems finding a puppy because only 80 were registered with The Kennel Club last year. As such you may have to agree to go on a waiting list and you would need to pay anything from £400 to over £1000 for a well-bred pedigree puppy. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Basset Fauve de Bretagne in northern England would be £25.01 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £61.72 a month (quote as of May 2016). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK and a dog's age and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed.
When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry, to feed your dog throughout their lives making sure it suits the different stages of their lives. This would set you back between £30 - £40 a month. On top of all of this, you would need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a BFB and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying your dog when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over a £1000 a year.
As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Basset Fauve de Bretagne would be between £70 to £120 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a pedigree BFB puppy.
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