The Basset Artesien Normand dog – a good family pet?

Basset Artesien Normand

A medium sized dog, the Basset Artesien Normand is intelligent and amiable.

This dog breed originated in France, and is one of the 6 recognized French Basset breeds. The origins date back to the 1600s, but the modern day version that we recognize first appeared around 1850. At first there were 2 versions, one with straight front legs, and one with bowed front legs.

The strain with bowed front legs was called Basset Normand, while the straight-legged variant was named Basset d’Artois. They were used as hunting hounds, where their short legs allowed the hunters to keep up on foot. They may not be fast, but they have spectacular endurance and stamina.

A Basset Artesien Normand dog standing on a wet street
A Basset Artesien Normand dog standing on a wet street

Basset Artesien Normand – Temperament

This is a soft, docile breed that is quiet and obedient. They rarely bark, and so are suitable for apartment living. They usually get on well with other pets in the home, although early socialization helps them to accept smaller animals such as rabbits and gerbils. As dogs bred to hunt in a pack, they accept other dogs well.

They make excellent family pets, and do well with children. However the children must be taught NOT to sit on the dog’s back, because it is relatively long and may be damaged by a weight from above.

Bred as a hunting dog, they are energetic and playful when outdoors. They need a decent walk or 2 every a day to burn off some of that energy. After a walk or run outside, they are happy to wander around inside or sleep.

However they really do better if you have a backyard for them to run around it. But be sure that it’s well fenced, as a Basset Artesien Normand will dig its way out if there is an interesting smell to be followed!

A Basset Artesien Normand dog sitting on a chair indoors
A very docile dog at home!

Basset Artesien Normand – Breed History

This dog comes from France, and was bred for hunting small animals. The first records go back to the 1600’s, but the breed as we know it first appeared in 1870. The word “Basset” comes from the French for ‘Bas’ (= low) and ‘Set’ (= set).

At that time, there were 2 strains of the Basset Artesien Normand;  those bred by Henti Count Couteulx de Cantelou, called Basset d’Artois, and those bred by Louis Lane. The dogs bred by Lane had bowed (or crooked) front legs, and were referred to as Basset Normand.

A group of professional breeders including Leon Verrier crossed the 2 strains of the Basset to produce a dog with the best qualities of both breeds. A number of these dogs were taken to England over the following years, and used to start breeding the bigger English Basset Hound.

In 1910 the first breed club was set up in France, and in 1924 the breed was officially recognized as the Basset Artesien Normand. It received recognition by the United Kennel Club in 1955. While popular in France, this breed is not well-known outside of Europe.

The dogs were used for hunting small animals such as rabbits. The dogs would go ahead, hunting by scent, followed on foot by the hunters.

Nowadays, these dogs are mostly kept as family pets owing to their amiable and agreeable nature.

Vital Statistics;

Height; 12 inches to 14 inches tall at the withers.

Weight;  33lbs to 44lbs

Life Span;  13 to 15 years


Fawn, Black and White mix.

A head view of a Basset Artesien Normand
A head view of a Basset Artesien Normand

Ease of Training

The Basset Artesien Normand is very intelligent and smart, but is also a little independent owing to it’s heritage as a hunting pack dog. They are suitable for first time owners, but need careful and consistent training. Sessions should be kept short at first, limited to 5 to 10 minutes at a time, repeated 2 to 3 times a day.

Training should be fun, with lots of praise and treats. Once the dog understands what you want it to do, it will do its best to please you. They may seem a little slow at times, but the secret is to remain consistent, and not accept a half-hearted response.

We have a great page on the 7 best dog training books – take a look for our recommendations!


This breed is low-maintenance as it has a short, dense coat that only sheds moderately. The coat should be brushed 2 or 3 times a week with a slicker brush.

Regular baths are not necessary, unless the dogs gets particularly muddy or dirty, or starts to smell ‘doggy’. The coat is oily, and frequent bathing will dry out the skin excessively.

As with most long-eared breeds, they are prone to getting ear infections, so the ears should be checked every week for any signs of redness and swelling.

Nails should be checked weekly or monthly, and clipped if they are getting too long, to prevent chipping and breaking.

Teeth should be brushed every day, using a small brush and a special dog toothpaste. Do not use human toothpaste, as this contains xylitol. It’s good to get your dog used to tooth brushing from a young age – the earlier the better.

A Basset Artesien Normand dog following a scent on a grassy field
A long back, with short legs


The Basset Artesien Normand is alert and watchful, and makes a good watchdog; They will bark if someone approaches the house, to let you know there is a guest.

However, as a guard dog they are not so good, as they are very friendly and trusting of strangers. They are more likely to give an intruder a tail wag and a face lick to welcome them in! This is not an aggressive breed of dog.

If you need some protection, I suggest you look for an alternative breed.

Health Considerations

Although the Basset Artesien Normand is generally healthy, there are some issues to be aware of. Like all breeds that have relatively long backs and short legs, they may be affected by spinal problems caused by vertebral disc herniation (a ‘slipped disc’). This can lead to pain and possible paralysis. Surgery is an option, but is not always effective.

Other possible health issues include;

  • Hip dysplasia, a condition that can affect almost any dog breed.
  •  Eye entropion or ectropion
  •  Skin infections
  •  Ear infections

Famous Basset Artesien Normand dogs

I couldn’t find any famous dogs of this breed – if you know of one please let me know by using the Contact Me link. Thank you!

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