This revered dog is one of the oldest purebreds in the world. They have been a big influence in the development of other dog breeds.
Bleu de Gascogne has been around even before documentation of dog breeds has been made. It was implied that the breed’s ancestry is even older than the Roman Empire. Many believed that the breed came from a mixture of dogs that were brought to Spain and France by traders.
However, this is unlikely. It is also possible that they bred from local dogs that have blue coats. It was in the year 1300 that the breed was established.
Originally, Bleu de Gascogne only has one variety, the Grand. They were used to hunt large animals like deer and wolves. But, some hunters wanted to use Bleu de Gascogne to hunt smaller animals, so, they bred the dogs with smaller breeds until the new variety, Petite, was created.
Traits and Behavior
Grand Bleu de Gascognes have a mild temperament. They are affectionate with their family and friendly with strangers. They are not aggressive which makes them not ideal guard dogs. This dog is usually kept as a companion or a family pet.
Since they are used to being in a pack, these hounds are not aggressive towards other dogs. However, dominance may occur when not properly socialized. Because of their hunting instincts, Grand Bleu de Gascongnes tend to chase and hunt noncanine animals, especially the large ones. With proper socialization and training, this can be controlled.
Like a typical hound, this dog has a great sense of smell. They are good trackers and would tirelessly keep at a trail of scent for hours. They are also independent and stubborn which makes them adamant and focused on a scent.
However, this independence and stubbornness make them challenging to train. But it doesn’t mean that they can’t be trained. This intelligent breed needs a trainer with a lot of patience.
Pet Care and Diseases
This athletic dog needs huge amounts of physical and mental stimulations. They need long hours of vigorous activity and exercise to stay healthy and level-headed. If not exercised sufficiently, they become bored, vocal, and even destructive.
The dog’s short fur doesn’t need any special grooming. Regular brushing and occasional bathing will suffice. However, special care should be given to their ears and skin folds as they may trap moisture and will harbor bacteria. These accumulated bacteria will then give way to infection. Regular cleaning should be done, especially after baths.
Grand Bleu de Gascogne is a very healthy breed with a life expectancy of up to 12 years. Their old ancestry and long lineage give them a diverse gene pool which eliminates most of the genetic diseases. However, they can still suffer from health problems like hip dysplasia, bloat, and tooth decay.
The appearance of a Grand Bleu de Gascogne is that of a typical French hound. This breed is well-known for its beautiful coat that appears blue. Hound owners and experts often consider Grand Bleu de Gascogne the gold standard for comparing other French hounds.
This breed is one of the largest scent hounds. They stand at 25.5 to 27.5 inches and weighs about 80 to 110 pounds. The females are shorter than the males. This dog has a long snout and nose that is optimum for gathering scents.
Like other French hounds, this breed has excess skin which gives them a wrinkled and droopy appearance. It also has a muscular body with a long and upright tail.
The unique coat of the Grand Bleu de Gascogne is the dog’s most distinct characteristic. Its coat is mottled with black and white fur which gives off the appearance of being blue. Its short and smooth fur usually comes in tricolor.
The breed is expected to live for 12-13 years. A litter may consist of 4-7 puppies. Blue Gascony and Basset Bleus de Gascogne are among its few other names.
Visit this dog club website dedicated to Grand Bleu de Gascogne. Click this link: http://clubbleugascogne.free.fr/