The Chien-gris is a dog breed that appeared during medieval times in France but is now considered extinct according to experts. The name itself translates to ‘grey dog’, which describes the color of their wiry coat. This hound was one of the most popular French scent dogs among royalties mainly because of its strong sense of smell.
The Chien-gris was even used by the King of France (Charles IX) in his hunting adventures. According to some, this dog was probably the ancestor of all the present Griffon breeds we see today.
Jaques du Fouilloux said that this breed was very common during those times. However, by the nineteenth century, like St Hubert, the Chien-gris had become virtually impossible to find, because of mixed breeding and the effect of the Revolution on French hunting.
Traits and Behavior
They are strong, full of energy and has an endless amount of stamina. This breed is very smart. They can read through their master’s facial and body expressions, enabling them to be versatile and adaptable not only to the environment but to their master as well.
When it comes to protective instincts, this breed is on top of the list. He is not keen on strangers and is very protective, making him a reliable guard dog.
Chien-gris will enjoy any high energy activities like retrieving games, running, and long walks. They are loyal, brave, sociable, cheerful, and friendly. But, they can also be stubborn and challenging, especially to first time owners.
Pet Care and Diseases
Chien-gris thrives well outdoors. They would rather go out and run in the fields than stay at home. Their grooming needs are not as extensive as other breeds. Daily brushes, with a stiff brush, are sufficient for their coats.
Baths can be taken only when needed because wiping off the dirt with a damp towel is enough. Use dry shampoo when giving them baths.
The Chien-gris is prone to toenail infections. The nails should be trimmed and dirt-free at all times to prevent any health problems. Their long ears are also susceptible to infections. Other problems may include hip and elbow dysplasia and sensitivity to anaesthesia.
This breed is considered to be a hardy and healthy breed. They don’t have any major health problems and can live a healthy 12 to 14 years.
There is little information about the Chien Gris. The breed was described to be a large-sized dog. This dog looks almost like the Saint Hubert Hound, which means that it probably stood between 20-27 inches tall from the withers and weighed between 50-100 lbs. Its legs were long, straight, and quite muscular.
In contrast to other scenthound breeds, the Chien-gris appeared more lightly-build. The long ears were drooped, which is common among many scenthounds. The Chien Gris was most famous for its distinctive coat.
The hair itself was short to medium in length and quite wiry. The wiry coat is gray. Several dogs also had tan or red markings on the feet, legs, underside of the tail, shoulders, chest, and face.
The Chien Gris is also known as the Chien Gris de Saint Louis, the Gray Dog, the Gray Dog of Saint Louis, and the Dun Hound.