Basset Fauve de Bretagne: Dog Breed Characteristics and Care

History, Care Tips, and Helpful Information for Pet Owners

<p>Getty Images/<a href="">slowmotiongli</a></p> The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is also often referred to as the Brittany Basset.

Getty Images/slowmotiongli

The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is also often referred to as the Brittany Basset.

The Basset Fauve de Bretagne, also known as a Brittany Basset, is a small to medium-sized hunting dog. As their official French name may allude, this breed originated in France where they were developed to chase down small game, like rabbits. The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is a smart and alert dog that can make as good of a family dog as a hunter.

Learn about the characteristics, history, and care needs of the Basset Fauve de Bretagne.

Breed Overview

Group: Hound

Height: 12.5-15.5 inches

Weight: 23-39 lbs

Coat: Coarse and wiry

Coat Colors: Fawn, wheaten or red wheaten

Life Span: 13-16 years

Temperament: Smart, determined, happy

Hypoallergenic: No

Origin Country: France

Characteristics of the Basset Fauve de Bretagne

It may not look like it at just over a foot high at the shoulders, but this little French dog is fast and courageous. The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is loved for their small stature and hardiness, two traits that are desirable in hunting dogs of any size. They have wiry, low-maintenance fur, are good with kids and other pets, and are a fairly healthy breed.

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History of the Basset Fauve de Bretagne

Originating from the Brittany region of France, the name Basset Fauve de Bretagne means "low set wild animal of Brittany." While this breed is far from being a wild animal, they are high in energy, intelligent, determined, and hardy hunters.

Their short legs are classic of other basset breeds, a characteristic that was purposefully bred by the peasants of France in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Peasants did not have horses to hunt, so there was no need for dogs with long legs. The Basset Fauve de Bretagne's short legs were preferred for closer-range hunting. Over the years, the breed became one of the favorite hunting dogs for Frenchmen, and they eventually found their way over to the United States and other countries.

Basset Fauve de Bretagne Care

Caring for any dog is a responsibility that shouldn't be taken lightly. Mental and physical exercise, training, grooming, and providing for basic needs are things all dogs require—but some require more care than others. The Basset Fauve de Bretagne doesn't need much more than the basics, but a little extra time training and exercising this hound breed is ideal.


Don't let their short legs fool you, the Basset Fauve de Bretagne is full of energy and needs exercise. This is an active breed that was designed to chase down fast rabbits, so they'll need room to run and play. Agility and rally are great dog sports for them to pursue but at minimum, daily walks and the opportunity to safely roam and explore are needed to help keep the Basset Fauve de Bretagne mentally and physically healthy.

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This breed has a low-maintenance coarse and wiry coat. The texture of the coat helps to resist matting and dirt, but an occasional bath and regular brushing are still needed. They do not require hair cuts, but nail trims and teeth brushing are needed.


The Basset Fauve de Bretagne needs exercise but also needs training to keep their minds healthy. This is a very smart breed so they may get into mischief if they aren't given proper mental stimulation through activities, games, training games, and toys. Training sessions to practice and make them think should be continued even after puppyhood but when they are young, these sessions are of utmost importance to harness their strong wills.

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Common Health Problems

The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is typically a healthy breed but in addition to common health problems that can affect any dog, there are some things to be aware of. Responsible breeders should screen their dogs for genetic diseases to avoid passing along these issues to future litters. Always ask your breeder for health information and genetic testing results.

  • Periodontal disease: All dogs are susceptible to dental issues.

  • Ear infections: Floppy eared dogs like the Basset Fauve de Bretagne are prone to having overgrowths of yeast and bacteria in their ears.

  • Progressive retinal atrophy: This is a progressive eye disease that eventually leads to blindness.

  • Primary open-angle glaucoma: This disease results in a slow increase in pressure in the eye that leads to blindness. It is caused by a genetic mutation.

  • Cardiomyopathy: A heart disease that affects the heart muscle, cardiomyopathy can eventually lead to heart failure.

  • Patellar luxation: Also known as loose knees, this problem can affect any dog but is especially common in smaller breeds.

  • Epilepsy: This is a neurological disorder that causes seizures.

  • Thyroid disease: All dogs have a thyroid gland but if it doesn't secrete the appropriate amount of hormones, health issues can arise.

  • Allergies: The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is especially prone to skin allergies.

Diet and Nutrition

Like all dogs, the Basset Fauve de Bretagne should eat a nutritionally complete diet formulated for dogs by veterinary nutritionists to thrive. This may be a store-bought kibble or a specially crafted diet. When feeding, measure out the appropriate amount of food based on your dog's weight, age, activity, and caloric content to prevent obesity and other health issues. If you aren't sure what or how much to feed, ask your veterinarian for recommendations.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Basset Fauve de Bretagne

While not the most common hound breed, the Basset Fauve de Bretagne can be found outside France from reputable breeders. These breeders should genetically screen their breeding stock to help prevent certain health problems and offer potential buyers an opportunity to see the parents and where they are housed.

Meeting breeders at dog shows and utilizing the AKC Marketplace resources are good ways to find available puppies. Expect to pay a few thousand dollars for a healthy puppy from a breeder. Some rescue groups focus on the Basset Fauve de Bretagne, but they are not commonly seen in shelters.

Basset Fauve de Bretagne Overview

The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is a friendly, energetic dog that is good for active families and individuals who hunt. They require a lot of physical and mental stimulation, and they can be hard to find in the United States.

Pros of the Basset Fauve de Bretagne

  • Low-maintenance coat

  • Friendly with dogs and kids

  • Great for active families

Cons of the Basset Fauve de Bretagne

  • Training can be difficult due to their determined spirit

  • Requires a lot of physical and mental activity

  • Will display classic hound dog barking when it sees prey

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More Dog Breeds and Further Research

If you’re interested in breeds that are similar to the Basset Fauve de Bretagne, check out these other breeds:

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Basset Fauve de Bretagne good apartment dogs?

If you are committed to giving them the proper exercise and mental stimulation, these dogs can thrive in an apartment setting. However, they are hounds who like to bark, so plan to spend time training them not to bark at every noise to avoid complaints from neighbors.

Are Basset Fauve de Bretagne good family dogs?

Yes! Basset Fauve de Bretagnes are great with kids and other dogs, which makes them good family dogs. They are friendly and love to play. They do need an active family who is committed to giving them the mental and physical exercise they need.

What were Basset Fauve de Bretagne bred for?

Originating from France, this breed was bred to hunt rabbits. This means they'll naturally bark at and chase any small prey, so having a pet rabbit or other small animal in the same home as a Basset Fauve de Bretagne isn't ideal.

Read the original article on The Spruce Pets.