The Chien d'Artois has a long history, starting as early as the 15th century, and they are believed to have descended from the dogs of St. Hubert's, which were highly similar to the modern Bloodhound. In its earliest years, this breed actually encompassed two breeds, a Basset Hound-type and a larger "Picardy Hound", the pair of which shared many characteristics but largely differed in overall size and stature. By the 1600s, however, the larger Picards took the Chien d'Artois name and came in two sizes, large and small, with the latter being much more common. They looked a bit different than the Artois Hounds we know today, as in those days they were white with fawn and grey markings - notably lighter in shade than modern tri-colors. In the late 1500s and early 1600s, their popularity skyrocketed thanks to French nobility, who revered the breed for their exceptional tracking abilities, especially with fox-hunting. They were often bestowed as gifts to other members of nobility and many accounts of nobles and hunters alike began to flourish in this era, almost all of it including high praise of the breed for its skill set and excellent overall temperament. Unfortunately, by the 1800s, Artois Hounds took a downturn thanks to the rise in popularity of breeds like the English Foxhound, which were fashionably imported as the next best hunting breed, leaving many traditional French breeds by the wayside. As their numbers fell, so did their purity, as their limited population caused the need for crossbreeding with those like the now-extinct Normand Hounds to help maintain dwindling numbers. While this did help the population stabilize at least somewhat, the infusion of other larger, taller breeds with scroll-type ears vastly changed the Chien d'Artois' overall appearance until far removed from their original aesthetic by the late 1800s. Numerous intense breeding efforts were undertaken by experts and enthusiasts alike but any semblance of success was short-lived, as both WWI and WWII decimated their numbers to near extinction. Fortunately, in the 1970s, a man named M. Audrechy took to the task of finding as many pure specimens as possible and began a new breeding program aimed at returning the breed to its original look. While modern Artois Hounds still maintain darker shades than the originals, Audrechy's efforts largely paid off, taking the breed back to the original characteristics first written about in accounts from centuries before. Since then, their numbers have increased to a healthier level and today, around 500 are now registered with the Federation Cynologique Internationale. In 2006, they were finally recognized by the United Kennel Club and continue to be used as both hunters and companions.