Basset fauve de Bretagne

FCI standard Nº 36

John Miller and Raymond Triquet
Group 6 Scent hounds and related breeds
Section 1.3 Small-sized hounds
With working trial
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
Wednesday 30 October 1963
Publication of the official valid standard
Tuesday 25 March 2003
Last update
Monday 05 May 2003
En français, cette race se dit
Basset fauve de Bretagne
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
Basset fauve de Bretagne
En español, esta raza se dice
Basset leonado de Bretaña
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd
Basset fauve de Bretagne


Scent hound used for hunting rabbit, hare, fox, roe deer and wild boar.

Brief historical summary

This little basset has the same qualities as the breed from which it is derived: the Griffon fauve de Bretagne. Very popular in its region of origin in the XIX century, it earned a national reputation in the course of the last 30 years of the XX century. Its exceptional aptitude for hunting has allowed it to win the French Cup hunting trophy on rabbit a number of times and it has become very popular.

General appearance

The Basset fauve de Bretagne, is a small, stocky hound, lively, rapid for its size. It benefits from enormous energy coupled with excellent hardiness.

Behaviour / temperament

The Bassets fauves de Bretagne are impassioned hunters but are also excellent companions of man, sociable, affectionate and equable. They adapt themselves easily to all terrains, even the most difficult, and to all quarry. When hunting they reveal themselves to be courageous, wily, and obstinate, which makes them very successful.


Cranial region

Rather long with marked occipital protuberance. Seen from the front, the cranium has the form of a flattened arch and diminishes in width from the rear to the superciliary arches, which are not very prominent. 
A little more marked than with the Griffon fauve de Bretagne.

Facial region

Black or dark brown Well-open nostrils.
Slightly tapering rather than being perfectly rectangular.
Covering well the lower jaw but without excess. Moustaches only slightly furnished.
Jaws and teeth
The jaws and teeth are strong, meeting in a perfect and even scissors bite. The upper incisors cover the lower in close contact. The incisors are set square to the jaws. Absence of first premolars is not penalized.
Neither bulging nor set too deeply in the orbits, dark brown in colour. The conjunctiva is not apparent. The expression is lively.
Finely attached, in line with the eye, just reaching the end of the nose when drawn forward, ending in a point, turned inwards and covered by finer and shorter hair than on the rest of the body.


Rather short and well muscled.


Short for a basset and broad. Never swaybacked.
Broad and muscular.
Deep and broad.
Rather rounded.
Underline and belly
The underline rises only slightly towards the rear.


Carried slightly sickle-fashion, of medium length, large at the base, often bristly and well-tapered at the end. In action, the tail is carried above the top line and makes regular movements from side to side.



The limbs have good bone.
Oblique and well set on the thorax.
In the line with the body.
Vertical or curving slightly in (which is not to be sought after).
Seen in profile, somewhat oblique. Seen from the front, in the axis of the body or slanting slightly out (which is not to be sought after).


Well muscled. The limbs are well poised. Seen from behind, the rear limbs are parallel, neither close nor wide.
Upper thigh
Long and well muscled.
Well let down and moderately bent.


Compact with the toes tight together, arched and with solid nails. The pads are hard.

Gait and movement



Rather thick, supple. Absence of dewlap.


Coat very rough, harsh, rather short, never woolly or curly. The face shouldn’t be too bushy.
Fawn coloured, from golden wheaten to red brick in hue. A few black hairs dispersed on the back and ears are tolerated. Occasionally the presence of a small white star on the chest, something not sought after.

Size and weight

Height at withers
32 cm minimum (12.6”), 38 cm maximum (15.5”), with a tolerance of 2 cm (0.8”) for exceptional specimens.


• Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and its ability to perform its traditional work.
• Faults listed should be in degree of seriousness.

Serious faults

 Head wide, flat skull.
 Superciliary arches too prominent.
 Short or pointed muzzle.
 Heavy and pendulous upper lips.
 Eyes light.
 Ears flat and large.
 Frail in appearance.
 Top line not level enough.
 Too tucked up.
 Tail out of line.
 Limbs poor bone.
 Splayed feet.
 Coat sparse, smooth, fine, soft.

Disqualifying faults

 Aggressive or overly shy.
 Insufficient breed characteristics, which means the animal on the whole doesn’t resemble other samples of the breed.
 Overshot or undershot.
 Eyes overly light.
 Totally or partially unpigmented areas on the nose or the edges of eyelids or lips.
 Tail kinked.
 Excessive crook.
 Presence of dewclaws (this breed is always free from dewclaws).
 Long, woolly coat.
 Any coat other than that defined by the standard.
 Outside the limits defined by the standard.
 Noticeable invalidating defect.
 Anatomical malformation.

NB :

• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
• The above mentioned faults when occurring to a highly marked degree or frequently are disqualifying.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.



Detailed history

The Basset Fauve de Bretagne is the "ras de terre" variety of a larger breed, that of the Fauves de Bretagne, which is itself one of the oldest in France, since it is known since François 1er, as this quotation from Jacques du Fouilloux attests: "It is to be presumed that the Fauve Dogs of Brittany are the old dogs of the dukes and lords of Brittany, of whom the admiral d'Annebault and his predecessors have always kept the race which was first known in the time of the great King François."

In the fourteenth century, a salesman Huet already had a pack of dogs of this type, which we also know thanks to many books of the sixteenth century that he was among the three major groups of original dogs: White Dogs said "Du Roy", the Gris de Saint-Louis and the Fauves de Bretagne.

At present, the breed of Fauves de Bretagne is subdivided into two varieties: Bassets and Griffons. There was a third long, the Lighters, but it is no longer recognized since the National Breeding Exhibition of the Fauve de Bretagne which took place in Fougères in 1980. Wise decision despite everything, because it was better s' attach to renewing and developing the herd of Griffons and Bassets rather than artificially maintaining an intermediate variety that would have only harmed the other two.

The Basset is by far the most common subject, although the popularity of the Griffons has been growing in recent years. Griffon and Basset have the same characteristics as for the shape of the head, the texture of the hair, the color, the wearing of the whip. The Basset is essentially distinguished by its abnormally short legs. True genetic accident at the origin (the "bassetism"), this malformation makes the dog particularly adapted to the displacements in the thickets and the brushwood, which explains that breeders, wishing to join a companion of hunting adapted to difficult grounds as those of the moors and forests of Brittany, have encouraged and fixed.

Despite ; or perhaps because of it; from its antiquity, the race of Fauves de Bretagne had almost disappeared, forty years ago, from the region where it was born. It was for this reason that was created in 1949, under the leadership of Mr. Lessard, president of the Breton canine society, and Count Jean de Pluvie, the Fauve Briquet Club of Brittany, which gave itself among others for mission To protect and to make known these dogs threatened with extinction, it was then mainly the Lighter and the Basset, whose specialist of the time was Mr. Mascaro.

It is to Mr. Marcel Pambrun, successor of Mr. Lessard to the Breton Kennel Society, now gone, that we owe the national recognition of the Fauves de Bretagne. Putting all his skills as a pupil and judge at the service of this cause, he succeeded in bringing to life a quality breeding of which the level of rewards was measured: two French cups on rabbit, then, in 1980 in Verona, during the World Exhibition of the International Cynological Federation, the Best Current Dog Award to Mick, a Fawn Basset from Brittany.

The first Bassets Fauves de Bretagne were raised for hunting shooting and hunting small animals, especially rabbits, in brambles and thickets Breton. This is why most of the subjects have long kept a minimum size, but with the scarcity of small game, due in large part to the ravages of myxomatosis, the common dogs were more and more used to hunt all the game. This phenomenon has created a demand for higher-legged Breton Bassets de Bretagne, endowed with previous rights, especially since the breed, "exported" from its province of origin to other regions, was more and more called to work on different fields from those to which she was accustomed until then. The race club was therefore discouraged to twist legs and to admit a larger size.

The ideal is between 32 and 38 cm, with a tolerance of 2 cm more for exceptional subjects, Force is to recognize that this is a great maximum, because, beyond, the animal does not have much of Basset. In 1979, Marcel Pambrun could write: "Regarding the Basset Fauve, the race is now well fixed, However, it is necessary to produce the maximum number of subjects with straight legs, to avoid them being long (it must be remembered that the Fauve de Bretagne is the shortest of our Bassets), and naked too close. The hair must indeed be half-long, hard, dense, almost flat, and in any case never silky or curly. Beautiful example of adaptation of the fauna to the flora, since this short hair is particularly convenient for the race in a country of thickets cut of high slopes and bristling with gorse. It should be noted that the ears, meanwhile, are covered with a hair much softer and thinner.

If one refers to the nomenclature presented by Professor Denis of the National Veterinary School of Nantes to the Zootechnical Commission of the Central Canine Society, only one class of fawn must be admitted for the dress: red fawn or orange fawn, sometimes marked with white; the presence of a white spot on the chest may be tolerated, as well as that of some white hairs under the belly, but it is not to be found. Similarly, it is preferred not to see white between the fingers and at the end of the tail. The shade of the dress, unicolor, can go from golden wheat to mahogany, excluding black and charcoal. A few years ago, wheat seemed to prevail. Today we see a lot of dark dogs again. Sometimes it appears black hairs, probably resurgence of the dress of the Dachshunds hard hair used in the past fifty years ago. The truffle must be black or dark brown, with, as the standard says, "nostrils well open". The nails should also be black, but the clear nails are not eliminatory, nor the white spot on the chest and the tobacco truffle.

It should be noted that the truffle sometimes fades in the summer to re-color the winter and, moreover, that the color of the hair can vary slightly during the moult. These occasional differences in pigmentation can not, however, encourage breeders to "go to the bad guys", that is, to produce subjects with depigmentation. The British have never given much importance to this defect (which must be considered as an unsightly rather than a sign of degeneracy), which does not mean that they will endorse it. not yet seen a truffle topic too pale win at Peterborough.

On many occasions, Bassets Fauves de Bretagne have been crossed with Bassets Griffons Vendéens. The alliance was considered useful to increase the size of the Breton dog, and especially to calm his temperament particularly fiery. But this retreat is no longer recommended, because the head of the Basset Fauve de Bretagne must not be that of the Basset Griffon Vendéen. Moreover, any recall of the Vendéen on this point excludes the Basset Fauve de Bretagne from the qualifier "excellent"; The skull is rather elongated with a marked occipital hump. It has the appearance of a low semicircular arch, with this characteristic that it decreases width up to the level of the superciliary arches, which are not very marked. The snout is not heavy in chops, rather dry, which does not mean that it is sharp. As for the ears, they are attached at the line of the eye, so high enough, as in Lighters. Much shorter than those of the Vendéen, they end in peak.

The chest should be rimmed while having length. The kidney must be wide, supported, rectilinear. The flank must be full and the belly "not raised". The thighs will be muscular, without the animal being too heavy, because it remains a dog of function, a dog of use which must be able to run without having too much "meat" to transport.

The forelegs are sometimes slightly twisted, but it is necessary to require that this torsion is symmetrical, a condition sine qua non to ensure a good balance. In addition, it should be ensured that this quarter twist does not cause a bad application of the foot on the ground, which would constitute a serious physical handicap. The whip, finally, is usually carried cheerfully. Big at the base, not very long, it tapers well towards the end.

The gradual elimination of hereditary flaws in the breed that has been used by the breeders, without jeopardizing the genetic diversity due to a wide selection base, makes it possible to predict an excellent future for Basset Fauve de Bretagne. Especially since the Club, led by true hunters like Marcel Pambrun, Louis Petro or more recently Bernard Vallée, has powerfully contributed to make known the breed everywhere in France and abroad, especially in Holland, Italy and Spain .

Bassets and Griffin Griffons of Brittany have the same character. Their common ancestors hunted the wolf; so they are brave dogs, ardent, courageous, even foolhardy on the attack. They are thin-nosed, and they resist water and cold. Very active, they hunt gaily and shout well without being talkative, with rather short voices, voices of "hitters". These lively animals, whose ability to fill the woods is well established, have always been a hit with hunters of hares and rabbits, but they have also been able to adapt perfectly to game types and game. new modes of hunting for them, especially in hunting shooting, because they have the eye, the ear, and, important detail in such circumstances, do not fear gunshots.

The only small defect of the Basset Fauve de Bretagne, but which no doubt makes it more endearing: a certain tendency; not to say a certain tendency; to independence. A trait of a very natural character in this "Breton dog, coming from a province to which he looks like", to quote Bernard Vallée's pretty formula to whom the last word will be left: "If these dogs are by nature hunting dogs or and if they can not be transformed without damage into pet dogs throughout the year, they will prove to be excellent companions, affectionate and gentle with children."

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