The Basset Fauve De Bretagnes is a small, stocky dog that was used as a hunting dog by the French in the 1700s. They were descended from the longer legged Grand Fauve de Bretagne breed, a hunting hound used by the aristocracy in the 1500s, when only the aristocracy, who hunted on horseback, were allowed to keep hounds to hunt. When the law changed in the late 1700s, peasants, who hunted on foot, preferred shorter legged dogs that they could keep up with on the hunt.
Dogs have a much more refined sense of smell than their owners, they have an average of three hundred million olfactory receptors in their noses, and the portion of the brain dedicated to smell is approximately forty percent larger than that of a human. Activities like searching for your supper can not only give your hound an opportunity to use their mind each evening, it also makes their meals more entertaining for your dog and may give you an opportunity to eat your own supper without being watched. The Basset Fauve De Bretagnes is, like most hound-type dogs, led by their nose and should find this particular activity extremely diverting.
The sport of Barn Hunt involves placing rats in safety tubes and hiding them in large mazes made up of eighteen-inch bales of hay. The rats are typically family pets that have trained to be calm and relaxed around dogs. This activity is open to any dog that is able to fit through an opening that is eighteen inches tall; deaf dogs, senior dogs, and even dogs with missing limbs are often able to compete at these events. While the Basset was generally employed to hunt larger prey than rats, this activity speaks directly to their need to find and hunt prey.
Another newer dog sport that has recently begun to get some attention is called Fast CAT. Fast CAT, short for Coursing Ability Test, is a competition sport that is similar in nature to Lure Coursing. In Lure Coursing, a lure, usually a white paper bag, is pulled quickly with a pully, with the lure switching directions frequently through the trial in order to emulate a fleeing prey animal. Fast CAT also has a lure pulled along with a pulley, but it is pulled on a straight 100-yard dash, with no twisting. Basset type dogs like the Basset Fauve De Bretagnes are more likely to have back problems than other types of dog, potentially making Fast CAT a safer alternative for this breed.
While Basset Fauve De Bretagnes breed dogs are not generally considered terriers, they do have a strong prey drive and often do quite well at Earthdog events.
Another good game to play with your Basset Fauve De Bretagnes is Hide and Seek, a game this people-loving dog with a hound nose is well-suited for.
The Basset Fauve De Bretagnes is an active and intelligent hound that needs a great deal of exercise to prevent problem behaviors from developing. Activities like Barn Hunt, Fast CAT and Earthdog Trials can help to ensure that your dog gets enough vigorous activity as well as helping to satisfy your dog’s natural prey drive.