The Artois Hound, also known as the Chien d'Artois, is a rare breed that has a lineage that dates back to the 15th century in France, making it one of the oldest scent hound breeds. They were primarily bred and utilized for hunting in the Artois region of France, hence their name. The breed was especially appreciated by French nobility for their hunting abilities. They were originally used for hunting small game, but their excellent scenting abilities and persistence made them efficient for larger game as well, like deer and boar. During the 19th and 20th centuries, the breed nearly went extinct due to crossbreeding with other breeds, particularly the English Foxhound, to improve their speed and stamina. Efforts to resurrect the breed began in the late 1970s, and since then, the Artois Hound has been slowly recovering, although it remains a rare breed.
Currently, there are no known genetic conditions tightly associated with the Artois Hound. As for all breeds, genetic screening is recommended to assist veterinarians with diagnosis and proactive care, as well as help breeders identify affected and carrier dogs.
Artois Hounds are known for their courageous, tenacious, and intelligent nature. They have a keen sense of smell and a natural instinct to track, making them excellent hunting dogs. Despite their hunting background, they are also gentle, friendly, and sociable dogs that get along well with humans, including children, as well as other dogs. However, their strong prey drive might make them unsuitable for homes with smaller pets.
Being energetic dogs, Artois Hounds require plenty of physical and mental stimulation to keep them happy and prevent destructive behaviors. They tend to be stubborn at times, so they require consistent training from a young age. Artois Hounds are loyal and affectionate towards their families, and can make great companions for those who understand their needs.
According to the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), the Chien d'Artois can outmaneuver the "tricks of the hare" and point the hunt in the direction of a deer with their acute sense of smell and "incontestable qualities of a hunter".
Fogle, Bruce. The New Encyclopedia of the Dog. Doring Kindersley Limited, 2000.