Just like its more popular relative, the Basset Hound, even the Basset Artesien Normand can trace its history back to North France to early 19th century, when French huntsman and dog breeders started developing a various short haired and short legged hunting dogs. Unlike the Basset Hound who was later crossed with the Bloodhound, which gave it heavier and larger appearance, the Basset Artesian Normand remained lighter boned and more athletic.
The Basset Artesien Normand has a very descriptive name. The word Basset is describing to short-legged hounds, which this dog definitely is. And the words Artesien Normand are describing two regions in Northern France – Artois and Normandy - where these dogs were first developed. They got their official name in 1924, before, there was two very similar dogs known as Basset d'Artois with straight front legs and a basset dog called Normand, with crooked front legs.
Today, these dogs are mostly living the spoiled life of family companion, but they are still sometimes used for their original purpose, which is hunting. Their main weapons on the hunt are their excellent sense of smell, determined and pack oriented mentality, higher prey drive and short body, which enables them to penetrate the most dense vegetation. This is not the fastest breed, but they follow the game with great determination and they are known to be quite vocal during the hunt, so the hunter can easily follow them with the gun. These dogs were mostly used for hunting rabbits, but they can hunt other game as well.
As i said, many of these dogs are today the typical companion dogs and they are great at it! The Basset Artesien Normand is known for its laid back and friendly nature. This is just very easygoing, outgoing and affectionate companion. Thanks to their pack mentality, they are typical very okay with other dogs and they are typically great around children. Of course, the kid should be old enough to know how to act properly around dogs. Other smaller household pets might be little bit problematic due to the Bassets higher prey drive, but this is vastly influenced by early socialization.
The Basset Artesien Normand is quite intelligent breed, but it is not a total pushover to train. It is because they know how to be stubborn, plus their strong nose and hunting instincts can make them very easily distracted, especially when they are younger. On the other hand, they tend to be curious and eager to please dogs, but the training sessions should be regular, but rather shorter, so the dog does not get distracted or bored. Just like with all dogs, key to succesfull training is a lot of patience and consistency.
This is short dog with long and quite strong body and with average height between 30-36 cm which is 12-14 inch and weight is usually between 15-20 kg, which is 33-44 pounds. There are no extreme size differences between males and females.
This Basset comes in great looking short and smooth coat and they are either tricolored in black, white and tan or bicolored in fawn and white. Next to the great looking coat, other distinctive features of this breed are the floppy ears, long necks, relatively deep chest and beautiful oval shaped dark colored eyes.
The Basset Artesien Normand exercise needs are not the highest. Of course, they do need daily outdoor walks and playtime, to use its nose and stretch their short legs, but they don't require an excessive amount of activity to stay happy. Few daily walks accompanied by some playtime is enough for these dogs. Mental stimulation is needed as well, which can be fulffiled by some interactive playtime, fun training session or some dog sport.
Great fact is, that this is very low maintenance dog breed. Even without any brushing, their coat will stay good condition. If you want to keep it in best possible condition and reduce the shedding to minimum, regular weekly brushing is recommended. Just like with all dogs, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if need it. Take especially good care about the long folded ears and keep them dry and clean so the Basset do not develop any infection in them.
This is relatively healthy dog breed with average lifespan around 13 or 14 years. Of course, just like all dogs, they may suffer from some health issues. Just like majority of long dogs, they may suffer from Intervertebral Disc Disease. Other health concerns include hip dysplasia, ear infections and entropion. These dogs are also prone to gaining weight and becoming obese.