St. Huberts Hound
The St. Huberts Hound (from La Venerie)
Early Basset (from La Venerie)
The St. Huberts Hound comes from the St. Huberts Monastery in the Ardennes, Belgium around 900AD.
The abbots of St. Hubert's Monastery used to present hounds to the kings of France in token of their allegiance. There were two types of St. Huberts - the white and the black and tan.
These hounds were known for their good noses and in appearance they were were large and majestic. Their heads were broad, ears large, long and pendulous. They were also said to be slow hunters.
They were, in fact, very much like the modern Bloodhound, which is descended from the St. Huberts. Sir Walter Gilbey, in his book Hounds in the Old Days
(1913) quotes the Comte de Couteulx, stating:
… the St. Huberts were celebrated as far back as the eighth century, when they were known as Flemish hounds — St. Hubert's Monastery, the home of the breed, being in the Ardennes …
The St. Huberts Hound is pictured on page 16 in the book La Venerie
(1562), as are early Bassets. It is commonly believed that the St. Huberts Hound is the forefather of a long line of hounds, including The Basset Hound and, as mentioned above, the Bloodhound.
Where in turn the St. Huberts came from is unknown, though Robert Leighton writes in his book The New Book of the Dog
It is more than probable that the Scandinavians when founding their colony in that part of France to which they gave the name of Normandy took with them many of their favourite breeds to become the progenitors of the good chiens de Normandie, the white St. Huberts, the Bassets, Griffons, and those chiens courants à poil ras, of which M. le Comte Lahens owns the few surviving specimens.
However, this is the only reference we have found to Scandinavian ancestry, so although feasable, it has to be discounted for lack of proof.