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Basset Fauve de Bretagne Temperament: Skill and love

Are you considering getting a Basset Fauve de Bretagne to call your own? They are undoubtedly adorable with their intelligent eyes, affectionate demeanour and beautiful coat, but is this the right dog breed for you? Before making any decisions, read our blog post on the Basset Fauve de Bretagne.

We'll help you learn about their history, temperament, exercise needs, and health issues. This information will help you determine if this breed is a good fit for your lifestyle. The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is a busy little dog with a positive outlook on life. However, they come with some breed-specific challenges, like any other dog.

Is the Basset Fauve de Bretagne suitable, and can you overcome the obstacles?

Don't wait any longer – let's dive right in!

Basset Fauve de Bretagne History

No history of the Basset Fauve de Bretagne is complete without understanding the general history of the scenthounds that were the Bassets.

The Basset Fauve de Bretagne's journey starts in France, Brittany, a region in the northwest. Unfortunately, much of their history is lost and clouded due to the sheer amount of different Basset breeds in France. There are also whispers in the industry that the Otterhound resembles the larger ancestor of the Basset Fauve de Bretagne.

We will never know if the Britons in Wales who left England brought their dogs with them when they sailed to Brittany. Either way, the history of the Basset Fauve de Bretagne is fascinating, facetted and a bit of a miracle.

Basset Fauve de Bretagne Temperament
The Yellowish-fawn colour is the trademark of the Basset Fauve

The characteristically short legs are referenced in the dog's name. The word "Basset" can be split into "bas", meaning low and "set", referencing a lower-set dog or a dog low to the ground. There are many hounds today in the Basset family with short legs:

  • Basset Hound

  • Basset Griffon Vendeen (Petit)

  • Basset Griffon Vendeen (Grand)

  • Basset Bleu de Gascogne

  • Basset Artesien Normand

"Fauve" describes the tawny or yellowish-brown colour of the dog.

According to history, hunting with hounds was very popular in the Middle Ages, reaching its peak in France's 16th and 17th centuries. Noblemen and aristocrats had the means to breed hounds for sporting purposes, so the Basset was introduced. The sport was called Venery. These dogs came from Greek and Roman tribes and were large and powerful.

The first mention of short-legged hounds is in the artwork of Jaques du Fouilloux from 1561. "La Venerie" is the first work to describe a short-legged dog that we would refer to as a Basset today.

Why did people start to breed the Basset with shorter legs?

Smaller dogs were better at taking in scent as they were closer to the ground. Additionally, sometimes tracking smaller game on foot rather than on horseback was easier as short legs slowed the dog down naturally. And some part of the population just couldn't afford a horse. Furthermore, due to the disappearance of the wolves, larger hounds weren't required to the same extent as before.

Before the French Revolution in 1789, it is believed that there were more than twelve Basset Hounds breeds in France. But due to the wrath of a starving population, many bassets died and were disbanded with their aristocratic owners. The workers in the castles and villas could save only a few basset-type hounds.

Today's, Basset Fauve de Bretagne had a larger version of himself, like all other Bassets. Their rough coat was perfect for rugged terrain, making them resistant to thorns and brambles. The first short-legged Basset Fauve de Bretagne started emerging towards the end of the 19th century, but they were still relatively unknown, and the Griffon Vendeen was preferred.

Basset Fauve de Bretagne Temperament
The Basset Fauve is a great dog for children

The first actual breed standard for the Basset Fauve de Bretagne was formulated in 1921 at the Paris Exhibition. However, there were still some doubters among Basset lovers. In addition, the tawny colour of the Basset Fauve made them hard to stand out in the bushes, risking them being accidentally shot.

The breed's survival in the Second World War was only down to individuals not wanting the breed to go extinct. The first Club dedicated to the Basset Fauve de Bretagne was established in 1949. Due to the wish to improve the breed and keep the breeding co-efficient small, the existing Fauves were crossed with wire-haired Dachshunds and Basset Griffon Vendeens.

The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is a relatively new dog breed to the UK. The first dog was imported in 1982, and the breed was officially recognised by the UK Kennel Club in 1991.

Still today, their numbers are small, but there are some high-profile Basset Fauve de Bretagne lovers in the UK.

Basset Fauve de Bretagne are a rare dog breed in the UK, so if you're interested in owning one, be prepared for a longer waitlist. The UK Kennel Club recognises 6 breed standard colours.

  • Fawn

  • Gold Wheaten

  • Light Wheaten

  • Red

  • Red Wheaten

  • Wheaten

In Q2 2022, 20 Basset Fauve de Bretagne puppies have been registered with the UK Kennel Club, which is more than last year. The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is certainly not a common sight in the UK but has some loyal followers.

Q1 2021

Q2 2021

Q3 2021

Q4 2021

Yearly 2021

Q1 2022

Q2 2022

Q3 2022

Q4 2022

Total 2022











Source: UK Kennel Club updated March 2023

Now that we have a rough idea about their breeding history, let's dive into how your life with a Basset Fauve might look.

What is a Basset Fauve de Bretagne Temperament like?

Think of a vivacious, affectionate and happy dog, and you will probably have a good idea of the temperament of the Basset Fauve de Bretagne.

Their hunting instinct is strong, as in all Basset breeds. Once they catch the scent of a rabbit, the fixation is real, and recall might be fruitless. You should focus on recall first to teach your Basset Fauve de Bretagne. A longer training lead might be a good investment.

Bassets Fauve de Bretagne love being with their humans and working alongside them. They also generally get on well with other dogs as they used to hunt in packs. The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is a social and cheerful dog not known for aggression.

If you have smaller animals, like cats or rabbits, it's better to introduce them from a young age and only gradually.

Basset Fauve de Bretagne Temperament
The Basset Fauve is a highly skilled scent hunter

Don't be fooled, though, by their happy nature. The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is skilled, brave and takes scent work seriously. They will follow anything when they catch a scent and are not timid. Although not bred for being watchdogs, they bark or react when strangers approach their home and protect you if they feel you're in danger.

Basset Fauve de Bretagne are active and busy dogs. They will do well with a human who loves hiking, cycling or running from time to time. Although they have short legs, they possess great stamina and can likely keep up with you.

Sometimes, novice owners underestimate the amount of exercise these dogs need due to their small frame. Frankly, the Basset Fauve has high energy needs. If this is not met, they can become bored and destructive in the house.

Hounds are known for being a bit stubborn when training. Consistency and positive reinforcement are the two weapons when training your Basset Fauve. They're intelligent dogs and can have a mind of their own sometimes. Once they trust and recognise your leadership, they will likely follow suit and will be eager to please. Training should be started as early as possible.

Their small size makes them good apartment dogs or suitable for small houses. They should be near the countryside, though or at least have weekly access to smell nature and other scents. Basset Fauves can be mentally stimulated by switching walking routes regularly. New scents will excite them and tire them out.

Their compact size makes them easy to take everywhere you go, so in most cases, you don't have to worry about finding a dogsitter if you want to go away for the weekend.

Let's now look at some common Basset Fauve de Bretagne questions.

Are Basset Fauve de Bretagne good with kids?

The Basset Fauve de Bretagne's social skills make them great dogs for growing families with kids. They can be picked up easily, and they enjoy human interactions. In addition, the Basset Fauve appreciates spending time outside; it can be perfectly paired with walking with your children out in the woods or on the beach.

As with all dogs, children should be taught how to approach dogs and read the signs once the dog doesn't wish for interaction. Unfortunately, painful interactions, like pulling tail or ears, will be received poorly by many dogs. In general, though, the Basset Fauve is an excellent dog for children with its cheerful, affectionate and social temperament.

Are Basset Fauve de Bretagne hypoallergenic?

In fact, no dog is truly hypoallergenic.

Basset Fauve de Bretagne's are considered a hypoallergenic dog breed as their shedding level is relatively low. In addition, their tough and harsh-textured coat should be hand-stripped a few times a year to maintain their low shedding qualities. That said, no dog is completely hypoallergenic as they will permanently shed dander or saliva to some extent.

A dog might not be a good choice for people suffering from severe allergies. To minimise allergic reactions, hoover regularly, clean the dog bed at least once a week, create doggy-free zones in the home, and reduce soft furnishings like carpets that can trap dead skin cells.

How to groom a Basset Fauve de Bretagne?

Grooming a Basset Fauve de Bretagne is relatively low maintenance. However, their harsh coat can pick up some odour or leaves from the countryside. Therefore, it is good to brush your Basset Fauve de Bretagne twice a week with a stiff brush and bathe them every so often.

A few times a year, you should hand strip out old hair in the coat to allow for new hair to grow. This will keep the coat healthy and neat throughout the year.

Basset Fauve de Bretagne Temperament in a nutshell

Basset Fauve de Bretagne Temperament
The Basset has a friendly and affectionate temperament

  • People-orientated, loyal and loving temperament

  • Basset Fauve de Bretagne social and kind temperament is perfect for smaller children and growing families

  • Basic knowledge of positive reinforcement training is required

  • Energetic and positive

  • Recall requires training and patience due to the Basset Fauve being a hunting dog attracted to scents

Potential health issues in the Basset Fauve de Bretagne breed

The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is considered a healthy breed, and there are currently no recognised DNA tests in the UK. In addition, there is no indication that the breed suffers from hereditary conditions.

It is a good idea to budget for potential vet bills and the time required to care for your Basset Fauve de Bretagne if they develop a particular condition.

Not all Basset Fauve de Bretagne will experience the below non-hereditary diseases. However, it's essential to be aware of them to spot problems early on so you can follow up with immediate treatment.

The below list does not replace a vet visit. In general, always look for a vet if your dog displays any sort of symptoms and internet research doesn't replace a vet visit.

Based on different health studies and questionnaires conducted in the UK, the following conditions have been found.

Skin conditions: Fungal infections, Impetigo, Lick granuloma, seasonal alopecia, excessive itching (unspecified), allergies

Digestive conditions: IBS, Pancreatitis, Colitis, Lymphangiectasis, food sensitivities

Eye conditions: Like POAG (Prime open-angle glaucoma)

Neurological disorders: Suffered seizures, idiopathic epilepsy, brain tumour

Owners' voices about their Basset Fauve

To follow

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Conclusion: Is the Basset Fauve de Bretagne a wonderful dog to own?

The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is an excellent dog for a family with children, active couples, or singletons. They're an awesome all-purpose dog who is very adaptable.

However, you must show patience and understanding for their heritage as a scenthound. Their need to be outside exploring scents and nature is ingrained in them, and they need regular and versatile walks.

Before getting a Basset Fauve de Bretagne, familiarise yourself with the positive reinforcement training method. Your dog will respond well to it if you use it consistently.

They bond with all family members, the more, the merrier, and they enjoy the togetherness you can give them. Once you provide the Basset Fauve with a home and a pack to be part of, they will protect it with everything they have.

The Basset Fauve de Bretagne temperament is affectionate, loyal and social. If you have the time to dedicate to them, they will undoubtedly enrich your life!

Basset Fauve de Bretagne Summary Breed Info box



Dog Size


Dog Weight


Bitch Size


Bitch Weight

16kg - 18kg



Feeding Need


Tendency to drool


Energy level


Tendency to bark


Tendency to dig


Attention need



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