The Ariégeois dog is one of the youngest dog breeds in France. It originated in the year 1912. They come from the province of Ariege in the southern region of France.
They belong to the scent hounds category and are derived from the Grand Bleu de Gascogne and Grand Gascon Saintongeois hounds that have been crossed with the local dogs in southern France. It is often used as a hunting dog, usually for tracking down hares, deers and boars.
It almost became extinct during the Second World War; fortunately, the hunters have kept the breed. This breed is highly well known for its hunting abilities and good as companion animals throughout France and neighboring countries.
However, it is still not widely known outside its region. It is also known as the Ariege Hound or the Briquet du Midi. The breed is recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale.
Traits and Behavior
Ariégeois dog has personalities typical in a scent hound. They are extremely affectionate and are not shy about showing it. They are also undeniably loyal and would love nothing more than to follow their masters anywhere, which makes them great companions. Their loving and gentle natures are perfect for families with children.
This breed has been made for hunting with strangers (hunters). This is the reason why they have low stranger aggression. They can still be capable watchdogs, but it is more like alerting you that a new friend has arrived rather than a potential intruder.
However, they are poor guard dogs as they will readily welcome strangers to their territory.
Despite the friendly nature of Ariégeois dog towards humans, they are still hunting dogs engineered to chase and catch hunted animals. As a result, they may exude aggression towards other animals. Owners should take caution when exposing Ariégeois dog around other animals as they will chase them down.
Pet Care and Diseases
Ariégeois dog has extremely high energy; therefore, they also need a substantial amount of exercise requirements. They must be given at least one hour of long walks daily, preferably in a large area.
This breed loves to run around in a wide space, so, apartments or similar enclosed spaces aren’t ideal for them. If not given an adequate amount of activity, they may behave badly, become restless and at times destructive.
Ariégeois dogs are fairly easy to maintain in terms of grooming. Weekly regular brushing is sufficient for them. And cleaning their long ears is necessary to prevent infection.
Keep the ears clean and dry at all times, especially after a long walk, or activity outdoors. This breed is believed to be quite healthy, and no health studies on them have been made yet. Ariegeois can be prone to diseases and illnesses like mange, hip and elbow dysplasia, cataracts and retinal atrophy.
The Ariégeois dog looks very much like its predecessor, the Grand Bleu de Gascogne and Grand Gascon Saintongeois. However, they are smaller and have a finer built.
The breed is a medium-sized dog and is generally refined looking. The males stand approximately 20.5-23 inches and weigh 55-70 pounds. The female hound is 19.5-22 inches tall and weighs about 50-60 pounds.
It has a fit and muscular body, ideal for working. Its tail is slender and tapered at the end. It has a proportionate head to its body with a muzzle approximately the same length as its skull.
The Ariegeois doesn’t have excess facial skin or wrinkles like other hounds and its nose is prominent and black. The ears are quite long, droopy and wide and the eyes are usually black. The coat is short and fine with a distinct white color with black markings.
The average life span of this breed is from 11-14 years. The litter size could go up to 3-6 puppies. The Ariegeois is also known as the Ariege Hound, Ariege Pointer, Ariege Setter, and Braque d’Ariege.
Visit this dog club website dedicated to Ariegeois. Click this link: http://clubbleugascogne.free.fr/