The Briquet d'Artois is an ancient scenthound, believed to be one of the oldest French breeds and the progenitor of the Beagle. An excellent pack hunter of hares, foxes and other small game, the Chien d'Artois has been bred true to type since the 15th century, but the breed's numbers were reduced during the French Revolution and by the 1800's there were only a few pure bloodlines left, due in part to common crossings with other breeds, primarily the the now-extinct Chien Normand, resulting in a new hunting dog known as the Artesien-Normand, which enjoyed a fair ammount of popularity on its own in the following years.
Some believe that the Chien d'Artois suffered the most from crossings with imported gundogs from England, while others don't acknowledge an outside influence at all. Careful selection methods and a strict breeding programme were successful in reviving the original Chien d'Artois in the 20th century and this lovely hound is now a fairly common hunting dog and an amenable companion for working homes in rural France. Wide-chested and sturdy, the Briquet d'Artois is a tough and healthy breed.
The coat is short and dense, usually tricoloured. Average height is around 21 inches.