Information about the Grand Bleu de Gascogne
The Grand Bleu de Gascogne (FCI No.22) Is a breed of dog of the scenthound type, originating in France and used for hunting in packs. Today’s breed is the descendant of a very old type of large hunting dog, and is an important breed in the ancestry of many other hounds.
The Grand Bleu de Gascogne is an imposing large dog, a typical hunting pack hound of the oldest type, with a lean and muscular body, long legs, slightly domed head, long drop ears, and drooping lips. Size is 65 to 72 cm (25.6 to 28.3 ins) at the withers, females slightly smaller. Dogs of this breed should show an attitude of calm strength and nobleness.
The colour of the coat is white mottled with black, giving a slate blue overall appearance. There are black patches on either side of the head, with a white area on top of the head which has in it a small black oval. Tan “eyebrow” marks are over each eye. Faults are deviations in appearance that have an effect on the health and working ability of the dog, as well as an absence of expected features of colour, structure, and size, indicating that a dog with such faults should not be bred. Faults include aggression or fearfulness, anatomical malformation, and lack of type.
The Grand Bleu de Gascogne is noted for its focus on the hunt as well as a good nose and distinctive sonorous, deep howl. The breed is “instinctively a pack hound.”
The Grand Bleu de Gascogne’s ancestors were contemporary with the St. Hubert Hounds, and were hunted in packs by the 14th century Comte de Foix on wolves, bears and boars. This type and breed are found in the ancestry all of the breeds of scenthound with “du midi” in their name.
Although these are large dogs, “Grand” does not necessarily refer to the size of the dogs. “In most cases it is simply a label for a pack that is used for larger game”. Today. the breed is used in hunting boar, deer, and other game. The Grand Bleu de Gascogne is a very large dog weighing 80-120 lbs
No unusual health problems or claims of extraordinary health have been documented for this breed. Temperament of individual dogs may vary, but in general dogs bred to be pack hunting dogs do not make good pets.