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Breeds 101

Grand Bleu de Gascogne

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The Grand Bleu de Gascogne probably descend from dogs brought to France by Phoenician traders. It is certainly one of the oldest of hounds whose ancestry cannot be traced.

Its ancestors were contemporaries with the St Hubert Hound and English Southern Hound. Conte de Foix kept a pack in the 14th century and Henry IV of France kept a pack in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.

The Grand Bleu de Gascogne has developed outside of its native country. It has been bred in the United States since the 1700s.

This breed is now more numerous in the U.S. than in its country of origin. It is believed that there are more Bleu de Gascognes in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world.

On both sides of the Atlantic, this elegant dog is used almost solely as a scent trailing working dog. Historically the Grand Bleu de Gascogne was used to hunt deer, wolves and boar; it is considered a rather slow worker and today is used to hunt hares.

This dog is not particularly fast, but has formidable staying power.

Size:

Large; Males: 25 to 27 inches; Females: 23 to 25 inches. This breed typically weighs between 80 and 110 pounds.

Colour:

Mottled black and white.

Temperament:

It has a typical pack hound temperament; some of them are friendly to family and strangers equally, while some are reserve and distant; some are very affectionate while others are not good with children. In terms of character and personality, some might form a dedicated and well behaving companion household animal, others may tend difficult to keep a family environment.

Energy level:

Medium.

Best owner:

A gentle, patient owner.

Needs:

Needs a lot of space; it needs a lot of care and training and daily exercises, at least 120 minutes daily exercise; difficult to train; rarely grooming and weekly brushing.

Life expectancy:

10 to 12 years.