The Artois Hound is a French dog breed particularly skilled in hunting. The breed is rare and has existed for about 500 years, but is well-respected among hunters.
In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about the adorable Artois Hound – from history and field skills to personality and role as a household pet.
A Brief History of the Artois Hound
The Artois Hound originated in the Artois region of France, which is located in the north of the country. There is not much information about the breed’s ancestry, but it is believed that it descended from the Bloodhound.
The Role of the Artois Hound in Hunting
Artois Hounds are primarily hunting dogs and were used for tracking prey in packs of six to eight dogs. They have excellent tracking abilities, which make them great hunting companions.
The sense of smell of the Artois Hound is highly developed, and they are able to track prey over long distances and through difficult terrain. They are also known for their courage and stamina, which means they can last for hours on end while tracking game animals.
Artois Hounds were particularly popular among the French nobility, who would often use them to hunt wild boar. The hunt for wild boar was a popular activity at the time, and the Artois Hound was considered the ideal hunting companion.
Near Extinction and Revival Efforts
In the 19th century, breeders started mixing the Artois Hound with hunting breeds from England. This practice had a harmful impact on the breed and reduced its numbers significantly.
World War I and II were also devastating for the breed, and by the mid-20th century, only a handful of Artois Hounds remained in France and Belgium. At this point, the breed was on the brink of extinction.
In the 1970s, a group of breeders began a concerted effort to revive the breed. They worked to identify and preserve the remaining Artois Hounds, and they also started a breeding program to increase the breed’s numbers.
Today, the Artois Hound is still a relatively rare breed, but it is no longer in danger of extinction.
Physical Characteristics of the Artois Hound
The Artois Hound is a large dog with a short, dense coat. Originally bred for hunting, the Artois Hound has a powerful, muscular body that is built for endurance.
Size and Weight
Artois Hounds are medium to large-sized dogs and typically weigh between 62-66 pounds. Males are slightly heavier and taller than females and stand at around 21-23 inches at the shoulders.
Coat and Colors
The Artois Hound has a short, dense coat that is weather-resistant, which makes them well-suited for hunting in all types of weather conditions. The hallmark coat color is dark fawn tri-color – any combination of black, tan, and white is allowed.
One of the great things about the Artois Hound’s coat is that it requires minimal grooming. Regular brushing will keep their coat shiny and healthy, and occasional baths will help keep them clean and fresh-smelling.
The Artois Hound has a broad chest and a deep, sloping back that gives a powerful appearance. The legs are long and sturdy, thus allowing it to keep up with prey and navigate through rough terrain with ease.
The Artois Hound has a distinctive head shape, a long and narrow muzzle that tapers to a point, and deep-set, expressive eyes. The long drop ears are soft and velvety to the touch and hang down to the sides of the face.
Another unique feature of the Artois Hound is its slightly curved tail. The tail is thick at the base and tapers to a point, and it is often held upright when the dog is alert or excited.
Personality and Temperament
Artois Hounds are known for their friendly and affectionate personalities. They are loyal dogs who form strong bonds with their owners. The breed has a curious nature and is always eager to explore new surroundings or chase after interesting scents.
Affectionate and Loyal
Artois Hounds are affectionate dogs that thrive on human companionship. They have a loyal nature and quickly learn to attach to their owners. They also get along well with children and other pets and have a gentle disposition.
High Energy and Playfulness
Artois Hounds are energetic dogs that require plenty of exercise and playtime to stay physically and mentally healthy. They love to play, run, and explore and are always eager to chase after interesting scents or play with their owners.
They are also excellent companions for outdoor activities like hiking or running. If not properly exercised and challenged, Artois Hounds get bored and become destructive.
Intelligence and Trainability
Artois Hounds are intelligent dogs that enjoy learning new things and taking on new challenges. They are quick to learn, and their hunting instincts make them good candidates for obedience and agility training.
Artois Hounds respond well to positive reinforcement and gentle training techniques, and with consistent training, they can become well-behaved and obedient pets.
Health and Lifespan
Artois Hounds are generally healthy dogs with long lifespans. However, like all breeds, they are prone to certain health issues that owners should be aware of.
Common Health Issues
Common health problems in the Artois Hound breed are:
- Hip Dysplasia: An orthopedic genetic condition in which the two bones forming the hip joint do not fit properly. The misfit of the bones causes early arthritis, pain, and impaired mobility.
- Ear Infections: The droopy anatomy makes the ear prone to trapping dirt and moisture, which results in ear infections. Ear infections are painful, and their treatment is often long.
Preventative Care and Regular Checkups
To keep your Artois Hound healthy, it’s essential to invest in regular preventative care. This includes routine vaccinations, parasite prevention, and dental care. Regular veterinary checkups are vital to detect any health issues early and start treatment as soon as possible.
The average lifespan of an Artois Hound is around 10 to 13 years, but with proper care and attention, they can live longer. Owners who invest in preventative care, healthy diets, and exercise can help their dogs lead happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives.
The Artois Hound is an adorable and friendly breed that makes an excellent pet for families or individuals looking for a loyal and playful companion.
With their unique physical characteristics, fun-loving personalities, and impressive hunting abilities, the Artois Hound is a breed that truly stands out from the crowd.
If you’re thinking about adding an Artois Hound to your household, be prepared for a lifetime of love, affection, and adventure. Ensure you get your Artois Hound puppy from a reputable breeder for optimal health.