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Key Breed Facts
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Basset Fauve De Bretagne
Average Cost to keep/care for a Basset Fauve De Bretagne
Breed Specific Buying Advice
The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is native to France and has only recently gained popularity here in the UK where their numbers remain low. They are charming little hounds that boast affectionate, lively natures which makes them fun to have around. 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 of all ages. Although the breed is gaining popularity anyone wanting to share a home with a Basset Fauve de Bretagne would need to register their interest with breeders and go on a waiting list, but the wait would be well worth it.
The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is described by Jacques du Fouilloux in 1561 as being a “natural hunter” with a kind and even temperament to match. As such, they are thought to be one of the oldest French breeds around. BFBs have always been highly prized in their native France not only for their hunting skills but also because they had big hearts, always alert and easy maintenance. They were noted for their ability to put up with the cold, but never happy when the weather is too hot.
During the second part of the 19th Century, certain packs of Fauves became real celebrities when they were featured in the French magazine “La Chasse Illustrée”, a hunting journal published in 1869. Breed numbers fell during the First and Second World Wars, but thanks to hunting and breed enthusiasts, the Basset Fauve de Bretagne was saved from vanishing altogether.
The Club de Briquet Fauve de Bretagne was established in 1949 and breed numbers started to rise again with more people in other countries of Europe becoming interested in the hunting skills of the Basset Fauve de Bretagne and they were soon to be recognised by international breed associations including the Kennel Club.
As previously mentioned, throughout time these charming, short-legged hounds have been popular in their native France, but over recent years they have become more well-known and highly regarded over here in a home environment. With this said, the French Breed Club’s moto is “hunting first”. It is worth noting that anyone wanting to share a home with a BFB might have to wait a while for the pleasure of doing so because very few puppies are bred and registered with the Kennel Club every year.
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 for Kennel Club registration being as follows:
It is worth noting that the accepted breed colours for Kennel Club registration can differ from those set out in the breed standard which are as follows:
When a Basset Fauve de Bretagne moves, they do so with a supple, active and easy gait staying sound all the time.
The Kennel Club frowns on any exaggerations or departures from the breed standard and would judge the faults on how much they affect a dog's overall health and wellbeing as well as their ability to perform.
Males should have both testicles fully descended into their scrotums and it is worth noting that a dog can be a little lighter or heavier as well as slightly taller or shorter than set out in the Kennel Club breed standard which is only given as a guideline.
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.
BFBs are a choice for first time dog owners providing they have the time to dedicate to an intelligent, active dog that likes to be kept busy.
BFBs were bred to hunt and even in a home environment, they retain a high prey drive. As such, care should always be taken as to where and when a dog can run off the lead more especially if there is wildlife and livestock close by.
Basset Fauves have a very playful side to their natures and love to entertain and be entertained. They are known to be a little mischievous when the mood takes them and being so clever they quickly learn how to get their own way.
Although BFBs are highly adaptable little dogs, they need a lot of daily exercise and mental stimulation to be truly happy, well-rounded characters. With this said and providing they are given enough daily physical exercise combined with as much mental stimulation to prevent boredom from setting in they would be just as happy living in an apartment as they would be living in a house in the country.
BFBs form strong ties with their families and dogs are never very happy when they find themselves left on their own for longer periods of time. They are better suited to people who either work from home or in households where one person stays at home when everyone else is out, so they are never alone for any length of time which could see a dog suffering from separation anxiety. This can lead to them being destructive around the home which is a dog's way of relieving any stress they are feeling and a way to keep themselves entertained which could include incessant barking to get attention.
Some Basset Fauves like the sound of their own voices a little too much which is something that needs to be gently nipped in the bud when a dog is still young being careful not to frighten them. Others will only bark when there are strangers about or when something they don't like is going on in their surroundings as a way of alerting an owner.
Most BFBs love swimming and will take to the water whenever they can. However, if anyone who owns a dog that does not like water should never force them to go in because it would just end up scaring them. With this said, care should always be taken when walking a Basset Fauve off the lead anywhere near more dangerous watercourses just in case a dog decides to leap in and then needs rescuing because they cannot get out of the water on their own.
BFBs are natural watchdogs always on the alert and ready to take on the world, but rarely would a dog show any sort of aggression preferring to stand their ground and bark.
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.
Like all puppies, the Basset Fauve de Bretagne is very cute when young and it is all too easy to spoil them when they first arrive in their new homes. However, as soon as a puppy is nicely settled in owners must start out as they mean to go on. This means laying down rules and boundaries so that a puppy understands acceptable behaviour and what is not. It also helps establish a “pecking order” and who is alpha dog. The first commands a puppy should be taught are as follows:
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.
For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.
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.
BFB puppies would have been given their initial vaccinations before being sold, but it is up to their new owners to make sure they have their follow-up shots in a timely manner with the vaccination schedule for puppies being as follows:
There has been a lot of discussion about the need for dogs to have boosters. As such, it's best to talk to a vet before making a final decision on whether a dog should continue to have annual vaccinations which are known as boosters.
A lot of vets these days recommend waiting until dogs are slightly older before spaying and neutering them which means they are more mature before undergoing the procedures. As such they advise neutering males and spaying females when they are between the ages of 6 to 9 months old and sometimes even when a dog is 12 months old.
Other vets recommend spaying and neutering dogs when they are 6 months old, but never any earlier unless for medical reasons. With this said, many breeds are different, and it is always advisable to discuss things with a vet and then follow their advice on when a dog should be spayed or neutered.
As with other breed, some BFBs gain weight after they have been spayed or neutered and it's important to keep an eye on a dog's waistline just in case they do. If a dog starts to put on weight, it's important to adjust their daily calorie intake and to up the amount of exercise they are given. Older dogs too are more prone to gaining weight and again it's essential they be fed and exercised accordingly because obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years. The reason being that it puts a lot of extra strain on a dog's internal organs including the heart which could prove fatal.
Some BFBs are prone to suffering from allergies and it's important for a dog to see a vet sooner rather than later if one flares up. Allergies can be notoriously hard to clear up and finding the triggers can be challenging. With this said, a vet would be able to make a dog with an allergy more comfortable while they try to find out the triggers which could include the following:
For the moment, the Basset Fauve de Bretagne is known to be one of the healthiest little dogs around and therefore, there are not health issues known to affect the breed.
Apart from the standard breeding restrictions that are in place for all Kennel Club registered breeds, there are no other breed specific breeding restrictions in place for the Basset Fauve de Bretagne.
Currently, there are no KC Assured Breeder requirements in place for the Basset Fauve de Bretagne.
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.
BFB puppies are boisterous and full of life which means it's essential for homes and gardens to be puppy-proofed well in advance of their arrival. A responsible breeder would have well socialised their puppies which always leads to more outgoing, confident and friendly dogs right from the word go. With this said, any puppy is going to feel vulnerable when they leave their mother and littermates which must be taken into account. The longer a puppy can remain with their mother, the better although it should never be for too long either.
It's best to pick a puppy up when people are going to be around for the first week or, so which is the time needed for a puppy to settle in. Puppy-proofing the home and garden means putting away any tools and other implements that a boisterous puppy might injure themselves on. Electric wires and cables must be put out of their reach because puppies love chewing on things. Toxic plants should be removed from flowerbeds and the home too.
Puppies need to sleep a lot to grow and develop as they should which means setting up a quiet area that's not too out of the way means they can retreat to it when they want to nap and it's important not to disturb them when they are sleeping. It's also a good idea to keep "playtime" nice and calm inside the house and to have a more active "playtime" outside in the garden which means puppies quickly learn to be less boisterous when they are inside.
The documentation a breeder provides for a puppy must have all the details of their worming date and the product used as well as the information relating to their microchip. It is essential for puppies to be wormed again keeping to a schedule which is as follows:
There are certain items that new owners need to already have in the home prior to bringing a new puppy home. It's often a good idea to restrict how much space a puppy plays in more especially when you can't keep an eye on what they get up to bearing in mind that puppies are often quite boisterous which means investing in puppy gates or a large enough playpen that allows a puppy the room to express themselves while keeping them safe too. The items needed are therefore, as follows:
All puppies are sensitive to noise including BFB puppies. It's important to keep the noise levels down when a new puppy arrives in the home. TVs and music should not be played too loud which could end up stressing a small puppy out making them withdrawn, timid and shy.
As previously mentioned, BFB puppies would have been given their first vaccinations by the breeders, but they must have their follow up shots which is up to their new owners to organise. The vaccination schedule for puppies is as follows:
When it comes to boosters, it's best to discuss these with a vet because there is a lot of debate about whether a dog really needs them after a certain time. However, if a dog ever needed to go into kennels, their vaccinations would need to be fully up to date.
Older BFBs need lots of special care because as they reach their golden years, they are more at risk of developing certain health concerns. Physically, a dog's muzzle may start to go grey, but there will be other noticeable changes too which includes the following:
Living with a Basset Fauve de Bretagne in their golden years means taking on a few more responsibilities, but these are easily managed and should include looking at their diet, the amount of exercise they are given, how often their dog beds need changing and keeping an eye on the condition of their teeth.
Older BFBs need to be fed a good quality diet that meets their needs at this stage of their lives all the while keeping a close eye on a dog's weight. A rough feeding guide for older dogs is as follows bearing in mind they should be fed highly digestible food that does not contain any additives:
Older BFBs don't need to be given the same amount of daily exercise as a younger dog, but they still need the right amount of physical activity to maintain muscle tone and to prevent a dog from putting on too much weight. All dogs need access to fresh clean water and this is especially true of older dogs when they reach their golden years because they are more at risk of developing kidney disorders.
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.
Puppies need to be fed a highly nutritious, good quality diet for them to develop and grow as they should. As a rough guide, a Basset Fauve de Bretagne puppy can be fed the following amounts every day making sure their meals are evenly spread out throughout the day and it's best to feed them 3 or 4 times a day:
Once a puppy is 13 months old they can be fed adult dog food.
Once fully mature, an adult dog should be fed a good quality diet to ensure their continued good health. As a rough guide, an adult Basset Fauve de Bretagne can be fed the following amounts every day:
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 £27.018 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £63.32 a month (quote as of March 2018). 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 healthy, well-bred Kennel Club registered pedigree Basset Fauve Bretagne puppy.