The Grand Fauve de Bretagne: Everything You Need to Know

The Grand Fauve de Bretagne is a now-extinct, large, rough-coated French scenthound once used to hunt wild boar and wolves. 

In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about the Grand Fauve de Bretagne, from history to legacy to extinction. 

History and Origin of the Grand Fauve de Bretagne

The first record of a Grand Fauve de Bretagne is from the 16th century. Namely, in 1520, the Breton Admiral Claude d’Annebault gave King Francis I of France a breed member named Miraud as a gift. 

Breed Development 

The Grand Fauve de Bretagne was highly prized among French nobility for its ability to hunt dangerous prey. The dog was highly skilled and could hunt both alone and in a pack. 

However, the Grand Fauve de Bretagne was also known for its independent spirit, which made it a challenge to train. Breed members were notorious for their unruly nature. 

Breed Decline and Extinction 

The unruliness of the breed eventually became a problem when Grand Fauve de Bretagne dogs started killing sheep and other livestock. This trait reduced the breed’s popularity. 

In the middle of the 19th century, wolves were extirpated from France, and the Grand Fauve de Bretagne’s population declined even more. In the next few decades, the breed went extinct. 

Legacy of the Breed

Before going extinct, several Grand Fauve de Bretagne hounds were crossed with the Briquet Griffon Vendéens, which resulted in a new breed – the Griffon Fauve de Bretagne. This breed is still in existence and looks like a smaller Grand Fauve de Bretagne. 

Physical Characteristics and Appearance

Size and Weight

The Grand Fauve de Bretagne was a medium-sized to large dog breed that was well-proportioned and muscular. Breed members stood around 27 inches tall at the shoulder, and females were typically smaller than males. 

Coat and Colors

The Grand Fauve de Bretagne had a short, dense, and wiry coat that gave the dog a rugged appearance. The coat’s color was uniform and pale golden-brown. 

Distinctive Features

The Grand Fauve de Bretagne’s head was broad and well-proportioned, with a strong jaw that was ideal for gripping prey. The eyes were deep-set and expressive, giving it an intelligent and alert expression. Its ears were medium-sized and dropped. 

Temperament and Personality Traits

Hunting and Working Abilities

The Grand Fauve de Bretagne was born to hunt and had a natural instinct for tracking and retrieving prey. The breed was known for its endurance and stamina and could work on the field for hours without getting tired. 

Intelligence and Training

The Grand Fauve de Bretagne was exceptionally smart but challenging to train. The breed had a mind on its own and was described as unruly and unlikely to follow commands which eventually harmed its reputation and population numbers. 

Health and Lifespan

Common Health Issues

We do not know much about the overall health of Grand Fauve de Bretagne breed members. Based on the breed’s size, it probably had issues with the hips, and based on its hunting nature, it may have been prone to work injuries. 

Average Lifespan 

There are no known records about the exact lifespan of the Grand Fauve de Bretagne, but it is estimated that breed members lived for over 10 years. 


The Grand Fauve de Bretagne was a unique and athletic scenthound from France particularly skilled in hunting dangerous prey. However, it was also hard to control and is now extinct.

Despite its extinction, the Grand Fauve de Bretagne still lives today through its direct descendant – the Griffon Fauve de Bretagne, which is smaller, easier to train, and a great pet. 

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