Griffon fauve de Bretagne

FCI standard Nº 66

John Miller and Raymond Triquet
Group 6 Scent hounds and related breeds
Section 1.2 Medium-sized hounds
With working trial
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
Tuesday 05 October 1954
Publication of the official valid standard
Tuesday 25 March 2003
Last update
Monday 05 May 2003
En français, cette race se dit
Griffon fauve de Bretagne
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
Griffon fauve de Bretagne
En español, esta raza se dice
Grifón leonado de Bretaña
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd
Griffon fauve de Bretagne


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

Brief historical summary

The fauve de Bretagne is one of the oldest French scent hound breeds and as early as the XIV century a gentleman by the name of Huet des Ventes had a pack of these dogs. Much used until the XIX century for wolf hunting in Brittany, it suffered a decline when these animals disappeared.
Striving to maintain the quality of these hounds, which had become rare, Marcel Pambrun founded the Club de Fauve de Bretagne in 1949. Since the 1980’s, under the direction of Bernard Vallée, the griffon fauve de Bretagne (as well as the derived breed, the basset fauve de Bretagne) has established a place among the French scent hound breeds. The motto “hunting first” continues to guide the club’s conduct.

General appearance

A bony and muscular dog, very resistant to weather and fatigue. A quite active hound, particularly suitable to difficult terrain. It has good scenting ability and the sustained voice of a “chopper” (short and repeated notes).

Behaviour / temperament

Fauves de Bretagne are impassioned hunters but are good natured with people, sociable, affectionate and equable.
They adapt themselves easily to all terrains and to all quarry. When hunting they reveal themselves to be courageous, wily, tenacious and steady. They are enterprising and efficient but show themselves equally capable of harking in. When well conducted, they are obedient and return readily.


Cranial region

Rather long, 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. 
Only slightly marked.

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 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 and are well poised.
Oblique and well set on the thorax.
In line with the body.
Seen in profile, somewhat oblique. Seen from the front, in line with the body.


Well muscled. The limbs are well poised. Seen from behind, the rear legs 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

Supple and even, never bouncy.


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
48 cm minimum (19”), 56 cm maximum (22”) 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

Behaviour :
Head :
 Wide, flat skull.
 Superciliary arches too prominent.
 Short or pointed muzzle.
 Heavy and pendulous upper lips.
Eyes :
Ears :
 Flat and large.
Body :
 Frail in appearance.
 Topline not level enough.
 Too tucked up.
Tail :
 Out of line.
Limbs :
 Poor bone.
 Splayed feet.
Coat :
 Sparse, smooth, fine, soft.

Disqualifying faults

Temperament :
 Aggressive or overly shy.
Lack of type :
 Insufficient breed characteristics, which means the animal on the whole doesn’t resemble other samples of the breed.
Jaws/Teeth :
 Overshot or undershot.
Eyes :
 Overly light.
Pigmentation :
 Totally or partially unpigmented areas on the nose or the edges of eyelids or lips.
Tail :
Dewclaws :
 Presence of dewclaws (this breed is always free from dewclaws).
Coat :
 Long, woolly coat.
 Any coat other than that defined by the standard.
Height :
 Outside the limits defined by the standard.
Defects :
 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

According to the opinion of most authors specialized in cynology, the Griffon Fauve de Bretagne, as well as the Saint-Hubert, the Great White Dog of the King and the Gray of Saint-Louis, is one of the four breeds that would have gave birth to all French common dogs. In fact, Jacques du Fouilloux speaks extensively in his treatise La Vénerie, published in 1573, and indicates that these are "antique dogs" mentioned for the first time in a manuscript relating the exploits of Lord Huet Sales, where one can read: "Your wild dogs, Huet, by the forestz take by darling, deer and deer Toy by futstayes takes over all priz to speak well to the dogs in cries. "

Jacques du Fouilloux was right to judge that this text was old because it is confirmed by the spelling used. The author also tells the story of a lord of Lamballe, who, with tawny dogs, attacked a deer in a forest in the county of Painctieure (Penthièvre, in the Côtes-du-Nord) and managed to take it after four days of hunting, in the neighborhood of Paris (it is not a question of pretending that the dogs of the said lord, whose name has not been delivered to us, have made the change during these four days). Anyway, the Fauves formed the bottom of the packs of dukes and lords of Brittany.

It is therefore before the second half of the sixteenth century, since Fouilloux speaks so long, that blood would have been introduced into the packs used by the King of France: probably following the attachment of the duchy to France, which took place with the weddings of the Duchess Anne with Charles VIII (in 1491), then with Louis XII (in 1499). Francis I, who succeeded Louis XII in 1515, already used the Fauves with ardor. At this same time, the family of Admiral d'Annebauld, who seems to have passed to posterity only under the pen of Jacques du Fouilloux, had preserved a very pure stock of the race.

In the 1850s and 1860s, Charles de Saint-Prix was still hunting the wolf in Lower Brittany with a pack of Fauves who were admired by the English huntsman EW Davies, staying in the region of Carhaix during the winters of 1855 and 1856. In 1860, there remained at Charles de Saint-Prix about twenty Griffons with blood Vendee, but these dogs were "intractable and could only serve to hunt the wolf. This animal becoming rare in Brittany; the last was killed there in 1895, in Finistere; M. de Saint-Prix then sold his dogs to M. Madec de Parceveaux, who was hunting in the Quimper region. And perhaps some of his songs had received English blood from Lanharran or Warrior, the two stallions that Mr. Davies had offered him?

At the same time, Henri de Mauduit regretted, in the correspondence he addressed to his friends, that he had not been able to keep in his pack the purity of the blood of what was one of the four royal races, and this confirms that the Fauve de Bretagne was already in decline.

Then, the Fauve de Bretagne has gradually fallen into a certain oblivion. The Couteulx de Canteleu, at the turn of the century, consecrated only twelve lines against three and a half pages for the Saint-Hubert, and we must ask ourselves, reading this passage, if this specialist still knew where to find Breton dogs . It should be noted, however, that since the Fauves de Bretagne, as a result of various crosses, have "burst", giving rise to two varieties, Lighters and Bassets, the latter being the most widespread.

As for the Griffon, it actually became very rare in the first half of the 20th century, but thanks to a few breeders, including Marcel Pambrun, who was the president of the Club du Fauve de Bretagne before Mr. Vallée, the breed is today it is firmly replanted in France, as the estimates of the current president show: the number of births would be about 300 per year, and these are of course purebred puppies.

Like all Griffons, the Fauve de Bretagne is a very rustic dog, ideal for hunting in the heaths thick and filled with gorse. And for the Couteulx de Canteleu, who did not like this breed or who knew it badly, it is about a very enterprising dog, robust of constitution, brave and intrepid and rather fine nose, but which is not hardly persevering since the hunt presents any difficulty.

However, this opinion is not that of the English huntsman Mr. Davies when he points out that this dog is tall, powerful, strong-haired, well gorged and having a lot of substance, and that he adds, following the About a good English huntsman: "However, in spite of these ancient characters and the total absence of Fox-Hound blood in their veins, I do not think I have seen in my life a more severe train. "It was at the time when, according to Mr. Davies, the last wolves of Brittany still looked hunters" with wild eyes ", from the top of the embankments that bordered the Breton roads, waiting only for the moment when a the horse would crash and fall to rush upon him as on his rider, and it is true that the Fauves of Brittany have always been excellent to force this animal, whose reputation was so bad: many dogs have also left their lives at some difficult hallalli, and it is not impossible that a little bit of wolf blood has entered the line of the race, if only because the Comte de Kergoorlas, a friend of Charles de Saint -Price, "fortified" his pack with such infusions.

Anyway, the Fauves de Bretagne are excellent hunters: a few decades ago, Mr. Pambrun had a Griffon Fawn of Brittany that was able to force a 40 kg wild boar alone, and he sometimes told the story. Tayaut, since that was the name of this dog, had belonged to a fisherman who, with all the risks involved at that time, had gone to Newfoundland. The unfortunate man disappeared at sea, leaving Tayaut to his widow, who agreed to sell it to M. Pambrun. At first, said the latter, he had to feed the dog with a fork, so he refused to be captive, and when he was released, he was sometimes seen coming back with a hare, he had taken alone.

The Fauve de Bretagne remains an exceptional dog, and we can only rejoice to see that current breeders have saved the breed, perhaps even improving its quality. Why not thanks to Tayaut? Today, this dog hunts fox as well as hare, deer or wild boar.

No comments

No comments

Nobody has submitted a comment yet.

Last updated articles

  • Labmaraner -- Labrador Retriever X Weimaraner

    Labmaraner He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Canada <> Germany -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Labmaraner The Labmaraner is a hybrid dog, a cross between a pure-bred Labrador Retriever and a pure-bred Weimaraner. Also known as the Weimador, they are elegant, energetic dogs that love people and have a...
  • Labloodhound -- Labrador Retriever X Bloodhound

    Labloodhound He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Canada <> Belgium -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen This breed is also known as LabhoundLabrador-Bloodhound A brief presentation of the Labloodhound A beautiful and noble breed, this cross between the beloved Labrador Retriever and the energetic St. Hubert's Hound has produced a...
  • Labbe -- Labrador Retriever X Beagle

    Labbe He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Canada <> Great Britain -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen This breed is also known as BeagadorLabeagleLabbe Retriever A brief presentation of the Labbe With two dog breeds as popular and well-loved as the Labrador Retriever and the Beagle, it was inevitable that they would join forces to...
  • Lab-Pointer -- Labrador Retriever X English Pointer

    Lab-Pointer He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Canada <> Great Britain -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Lab-Pointer A mixed breed that was probably developed decades ago, the Lab-Pointer was created by breeding the beloved Labrador Retriever with the athletic Pointer. By retaining the gentle nature of...
  • Miniature King Schnauzer -- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel X Miniature Schnauzer

    Miniature King Schnauzer He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Great Britain <> Germany -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen This breed is also known as Cavalier Schnauzer A brief presentation of the Miniature King Schnauzer The Miniature King Schnauzer, one of the newest hybrids on the market, has many attributes that make it a...
  • King Charles Yorkie -- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel X Yorkshire Terrier

    King Charles Yorkie He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Great Britain -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the King Charles Yorkie The King Charles Yorkie is a hybrid dog, a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Yorkshire Terrier. They are also known as Yorkalier, York-a-Lier and Cava-Yorkie. Known...
  • King Cavrin -- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel X Cairn Terrier

    King Cavrin He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Great Britain -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the King Cavrin The King Cavrin is a lesser-known hybrid, a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Cairn Terrier. These medium-sized dogs get off to a good start with both parents, who have character...
  • Jug -- Jack Russell Terrier X Pug

    Jug He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin England, Australia <> China -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Jug No, not a vase to put your flowers in, the Jug is actually a cross between the feisty Jack Russell Terrier and the calm, confident Pug. As the parent breeds have extremely different personalities,...
  • Jatzu -- Japanese Spaniel X Shih Tzu

    Jatzu He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin China <> Tibet -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen This breed is also known as Chin-Tzu A brief presentation of the Jatzu The Jatzu, also known as the Chin-Tzu, is a hybrid of the Japanese Spaniel and the Shih Tzu. Both parent breeds have an enviable reputation for being wonderful canine...
  • Jatese -- Maltese X Japanese Spaniel

    Jatese He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin Central Mediterranean Basin <> China -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen This breed is also known as Maltichin A brief presentation of the Jatese Cross-breeding the gentle, attention-seeking Maltese with the loyal, affectionate Japanese Spaniel has resulted in a lively, characterful...
  • Jackshund -- Jack Russell Terrier X Dachshund

    Jackshund He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin England, Australia <> Germany -> U.S.A., England and Germany Translation Francis Vandersteen A brief presentation of the Jackshund The Jackshund was deliberately created by crossing the feisty Jack Russell Terrier with the intrepid Dachshund. This small dog with sparkling brown eyes and an...
  • Jackabee -- Jack Russell Terrier X Beagle

    Jackabee He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin England, Australia <> Great Britain -> U.S.A. and Great Britain A brief presentation of the Jackabee Crossing the cheerful, sociable Beagle with the lively, courageous Jack Russell Terrier has resulted in a little hybrid with a lot to offer. The Jackabee's gentle nature and playful behavior make it...
  • Jack-A-Poo -- Jack Russell Terrier X Poodle

    Jack-A-Poo He is not recognized by the F.C.I. Origin England, Australia <> France -> U.S.A. Translation Francis Vandersteen This breed is also known as Jack-A-Doodle A brief presentation of the Jack-A-Poo Jack-A-Poo are the result of crossing the active Jack Russell Terrier with the intelligent Miniature Poodle. They're a sporty little dog with a...