Basset Artesien Normand: Short Dogs That Can Fulfill Any Tall Order

Basset Artesien Normand lying on grass
John Walton
Written by John Walton

Are you looking for a well-mannered, friendly, and affectionate dog to be a part of your family? A dog that loves to play but is not hyperactive and a dog that is highly intelligent but doesn’t become destructive when left alone throughout the day? Finding the perfect dog breed for your specific needs is often a challenge, but if that’s what you’re looking for, we may have the breed for you: the Basset Artesien Normand.

The Basset Artésien Normand is a highly underrated dog breed that brings a ton of great things with it. This breed is perfect both for lone dog owners, as well as for whole families, and it can just as easily live in an apartment as a house.

In this article, we’ll go over all of the specifics of the Basset Artésien Normand breed—their history, personality, potential health issues, as well as all the care you’ll need to give them. Hopefully, by the end of it, you’ll not only know how best to care for a Basset Artésien Normand, but you’ll also want one of these awesome dogs.

Breed Characteristics

Basset Artesien Normand head

  • Adaptability: Very High

  • Trainability: Good

  • Health and Grooming: Good; watch out for back problems

  • All Around Friendliness: Good

  • Exercise Needs: Above Average Needs; need long walks

Dog Breed GroupScenthound (UKC), Purebred
Height10 - 14 inches (25 - 36 cm)
Weight15 - 55 pounds (7 - 25 kg)
Lifespan13 – 15 years

Basset Artésien Normands are very friendly and affectionate dogs overall, which make them perfect for families of any size. They are also highly intelligent and obedient, so training is almost never an issue with these dogs, at least as long as it’s done properly.The Basset Artésien Normand is often confused with the more common Basset Hound, even though there are some physical and behavioral differences between the two.

Health-wise you are also unlikely to encounter issues with a Basset Artésien Normand. Even though their physique is a bit strange, they are quite a healthy breed.

Back problems are the main thing to look out for, as is the case with other short-legged and long-bodied dogs, but if you keep your Basset Artésien Normand from getting overweight, even back issues will be less likely to appear.

Main Highlights

  • The Basset Artésien Normand is a relatively new breed, with its inception going back only to the end of the 19th century. Past that, it isn’t really clear what its ancestors are.

  • Basset Artésien Normand is a very healthy breed. As long as you got your dog from a reputable dog breeder and you keep him/her from becoming overweight, your Basset Artésien Normand shouldn’t have many health problems.

  • Trained to work side by side with people, Basset Artésien Normands are not only highly intelligent but also very obedient. This makes them perfect for all kinds of training.

  • This breed is very friendly and affectionate. When they are raised properly, they will get along with all family members, with guests and strangers, as well as with most other dogs and cats. However, small pets are still ill-advised around these dogs, as they are a hound breed.

Breed History

Basset Artesien Normand puppy

The Basset Artésien Normand (Norman Artesian Basset), just like the more commonly known Basset Hounds, has a common ancestry with the short-legged scenthounds from the northern regions of France. Both the Basset Artésien Normand and the other northern French breeds exhibit the condition known as achondroplasia dwarfism.

Still, there are several key differences between Basset Hounds and Basset Artésien Normands. While the Basset Hounds were mixed with Bloodhounds in the late 19th century to become a more substantial dog breed, the French breeders who worked on the breeding of the Basset Artésien Normand focused on keeping the breed more lighter-boned and with a focus on its hunting abilities.

The first official documents of these French Basset dogs date all the way back to 1870. Back then, French breeders formed two different types of Basset dogs from a common ancestral type—the Basset d’Artois, who had straight frontal legs, and the Normand, who were characterized by their crooked front legs.

It wasn’t until 1910 that the official breed club for the Basset Artésien Normand was formed. The breed was given its modern name even later in 1924.

As to the ancestry of the Basset Artésien Normand before the 19th century, it is shrouded in mystery. The same applies to all Basset dogs, whether French or British.

Most people believe the Basset dogs to be descended from the interbreeding of various mutated hound breeds in the Middle Ages. This is entirely speculative, however, as there is virtually no evidence for this theory.

Another theory states that some French hounds were crossbred with breeds such as Dachshunds, Drevers, Beagles, or Corgis.

It is also unknown as to whether all Basset breeds come from a single, original Basset breed that was formed before the 19th century, or whether there were several similar Basset breeds developed simultaneously in a similar manner by different breeders.

Once again, neither theory is supported by much evidence, but the former (of a single Basset origin) seems significantly more plausible and has the support of most modern breeders.

Still, it is up for debate as to which Basset breed was the original one, or is closest to the original one. A lot of breeders are of the opinion that the Basset dogs were initially bred from a mutation in the Saint Hubert Hound breed in the Saint Hubert Monastery.

This theory is likely just the romantic side of French breeders talking, as the Saint Hubert Monastery in France is famous as one of the first—if not the first—major dog breeding ground in the early Middle Ages (750 AD – 900 AD).

The oldest known Basset dog breeds are the Basset Bleu de Gascogne and the now-extinct Basset Saintongeois, neither of which can be conclusively connected to the Saint Hubert Monastery or to any other point of origin.

Either way, the Basset Artésien Normand is one of the surviving Basset breeds, and even though it was bred as a hunting dog, today the Normand makes for a great apartment pet.


The Basset Artésien Normand is a medium-sized dog. The short legs of the breed don’t make it a “small” breed at all, with most dogs still reaching 10 to 14 inches in height.

In terms of weight, an adult Basset Artésien Normand can be anywhere between 15 and 55 pounds, with the vast majority of dogs falling in the 33 to 44 pounds range.

Still, some breeders differentiate between the different sizes of Basset Artésien Normands and break the breed into two sub-breeds: Medium Basset Artésien Normand that’s under 35 pounds of weight and Large Basset Artésien Normand that is above 35 pounds.

Even big Basset Artésien Normands aren’t very heavily-built, however, as their original French breeders focused on keeping the breed more lighter-boned than its cousin breed the Basset Hound.

The Basset Artésien Normand has a classical-looking, elongated hound head that is not un-similar to that of a French Hound. The long snout and nose of such hound dogs give them superior scent receptors, which make them even better at their job as scent hounds.

Also, similar to other scenthound breeds, the Basset Artésien Normand has very long and low-hanging ears. It is still not clear as to why so many scenthound breeds have such ears, but it is believed that the shape of the ears help the air to stay around the dogs’ noses for a little longer, giving them time to sniff for the scents they are looking for.

Personality and Character

Basset Artesien Normand puppy running

The reason the Basset Artésien Normands have made the transition from hunting dogs to family dogs lies precisely in their personality. These dogs are highly obedient, as well as very intelligent. These traits make them truly great for training.

Whether you want to teach your dog some fun tricks and ways to play, or if you just want a dog that will quickly and easily learn the house rules, the Basset Artésien Normand is a breed to look at.

These dogs are far from just smart, however. They are also very loving, gentle, and affectionate, which isn’t really something that can be attributed to their hunting days but is a part of the breed nonetheless.

It’s their affectionate nature that makes the Basset Artésien Normands so perfect as pets. Whether you live by yourself and you’re looking for a four-legged pal to keep you company, or you have a bigger family, a Basset Artésien Normand will likely get along with everybody there (as long as you treat and raise the dog properly, of course).

If you also socialize your Basset Artésien Normand well, the dog will get along with strangers and guests too. Some people train their Basset Artésien Normands to become watchdogs. With proper training, this can be done, but the breed really isn’t specialized for it. Instead, their friendly nature makes them simply good companions, and for most people, that’s plenty.

See Also: Best Guard Dogs for Families

The Basset Artésien Normand also isn’t very prone to excessive barking. If you are looking for an apartment dog that won’t bother your neighbors by barking 24/7, this is a suitable breed.

Of course, as with all dogs, you should still make sure to raise the dog properly, or he/she may develop the habit of barking at the window, but it’s much easier to train a Basset Artésien Normand not to bark than it is with most other breeds.

As for their energy levels, Basset Artésien Normands are far from being hyperactive. They are calm and relaxed dogs that aren’t prone to destructive behavior when they are home alone. Their medium size also makes indoor exercise very doable, so the winter months won’t be that much trouble.

Still, being medium-sized, short-legged, and with a calm character, doesn’t mean that these dogs don’t need exercise—far from it. Basset Artésien Normands need a moderate amount of exercise.

Even short-legged, they are still hounds, so be prepared to give your dog at least a couple of long, extensive walks every day. This is very important for the overall health and mood of the dog. Still, outside of the walking, most of the play-time can be done indoors, which offers good flexibility for the owner.

Health and Potential Problems

Basset Artesien Normand standing in the yard

The Basset Artésien Normand is a relatively healthy breed, especially considering the breed’s unorthodox physique and unknown history. The Basset Artésien Normand has a long and healthy lifespan of 12 to 14 years.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the Basset Artésien Normand is immune to diseases and health issues. As with any other dog, there is a number of health problems that can befall your dog.

As with any other long-bodied and short-legged dog breed, the Basset Artésien Normand can be prone to back problems. Such problems can come from injuries, extensive physical activity, or just ruptured spine disks.

See Also: Best Orthopedic Dog Bed

Weight gain, in particular, can result in very serious back problems for a Basset Artésien Normand, for obvious reasons—the breed’s back is strained enough already, thanks to their long bodies and short legs, but with the added pressure of an overly heavy body, back problems are much more likely to develop.

Aside from their back problems, Basset Artésien Normands don’t have any other inherent breed problems. Still, if you want a healthy dog, it’s important to get your Basset Artésien Normand puppy from a reputable breeder only.

Always ask for a health certificate for the puppy, as well as health certificates for the pup’s parents and ancestry. This way you’ll be certain that there aren’t any genetically inherited health problems in the dog’s lineage.

Care Features

two Basset Artesien Normand dogs sitting on snow

The Basset Artésien Normand is not a particularly difficult breed to take care of. As we have mentioned, these dogs are relatively healthy. So long as you give your Basset Artésien Normand enough exercise and maintain a good diet, your pet will likely stay healthy.

Being short-haired, Basset Artésien Normands also don’t require too much grooming. Keep in mind that the breed is not hypoallergenic, however, so if there is an allergic person at home, regular cleaning will still be required.

Aside from that, you only need to pay good attention to your dog’s general health. Keep his/her eyes and ears clean by removing any dirt or contaminants with a wet cloth. Also, it’s important to clean your dog’s teeth at least weekly, if not daily, as this will greatly improve his/her dental hygiene.

Keep in mind that as is the case with all other dogs, these dogs also tend to keep to themselves when it comes to toothache, so if you don’t take good care of your dog’s teeth, it’s very likely that he/she will have to live with pain for a while.

Feeding Schedule

Basset Artesien Normand standing on grass

Feeding a Basset Artésien Normand is not complicated, but it is essential. Since this breed is even more harmed by an overweight physique than other breeds, it’s vital that you don’t overfeed your dog.

See Also: Overweight Dogs: Signs and Solutions

Set a strict schedule of 3 to 4 well-portioned meals per day and keep to that schedule. Feeding your dog 3 or 4 times per day rather than just twice is essential, as it means smaller meals and much less intensive craving for food.

If you are working outside of the home and you worry that you can’t feed your dog once every 6 or 8 hours, keep in mind that said 3 to 4 meals per day don’t need to be spaced out by equal intervals. It’s perfectly ok to feed your dog on a 12-6-6, 11-7-6, 10-7-7, or 8-6-5-5 hour intervals—as your work schedule allows.

As for the food itself, it’s important for the food to be diverse and to be a mix of wet and dry food. The higher quality of food you give to your dog, the healthier he or she will be.

Coat, Color, and Grooming

Basset Artesien Normand standing

The color of a Basset Artésien Normand’s coat is usually fawn, fawn & white, or black & white.

Basset Artésien Normands are short-haired dogs, so taking care of their coat is not as much of a trouble as it is with other breeds. Still, for a healthy coat, it’s important to brush your dog’s fur a couple of times per week, as well as to groom it properly when the coat gets dirty after a walk outside.

See Also: Best Tick Repellent for Dogs

Children and Other Pets Compatibility

two Basset Artesien Normand dogs sitting together

Basset Artésien Normands fit very well in apartments with kids of all ages. These dogs are gentle and loving, so they will be happy to play with your kids, as long as you’ve taught your kids how to treat a dog.

Being quite friendly and affectionate, Basset Artésien Normands typically get along well with other dogs, as long as they have been raised together or they’ve been properly introduced to each other.

Cats are also often not a problem, but some more effort from your side is often required if the cat and the Basset Artésien Normand haven’t grown up together. They need to be introduced in a careful manner.

Other small pets are ill-advised. These dogs may be calm and affectionate, but they are still hounds, so living together with a hamster may not turn out too well for the hamster.

Wrap Up

Basset Artesien Normand puppy sitting in grass

Basset Artésien Normand dogs are smart, friendly, playful, gentle, obedient, and healthy—pretty much all of the characteristics that most people look for in a dog. They have a rather curious and unorthodox physique, which may turn some people away, but for a lot of others, it only makes these dogs even cuter.

If you are looking for a medium-sized dog to bring some joy and spice into your life, without overcomplicating it, a Basset Artésien Normand is definitely a breed we would recommend.

Now that you know most, if not everything, about this dog, do you think a Basset Artésien Normand will make the perfect addition to your family? Please share your decision, opinion, or any extra information in the comments section!

If you do decide to adopt a Basset Artésien Normand puppy, do check out our article on elegant dog names. This unique French breed deserves an elegant name.

About the author
John Walton
John Walton

John Walton lives in Somerville, MA, with his two dogs, two sons, and very understanding mate. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a mentor trainer for the Animal Behavior College, an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator, and the Training Director for the New England Dog Training Club.