Billy

52-70 lbs
23-24"
France
Chien de France-Comte
A beautiful amalgamation of several now-extinct French purebreds, the Billy, also known as the Chien de France-Comte, is a large, elegant dog with a serious penchant for hunting and tracking. As a breed, they are well-tempered, handling other dogs decently well, children even better and being relatively friendly with strangers, although the latter does make them a poor candidate for a watch or guard dog. In the field, they have a lively personality which which translates into enthusiasm, endurance, and dedication during the hunt. Unfortunately, their drive to follow their nose also continues at home, as they will be quick to follow scents if allowed off leash and may tend to wander because of it. They often form strong bonds with their owners, especially if trained by the same individual, and will be endlessly devoted throughout their lifetime. Because of their high intelligence, they are not easy to train and take an experienced owner to get through the process with minimal hangups. Although they are still used as hunting dogs in their country of origins, these canines are considered a rare breed and are more often employed as hunters than as standard companions.
Purpose
Hunting, Companion
Date of Origin
19th Century
Ancestry
French Scent Hounds

Billy Health

Average Size
Male Billy size stats
Height: 24-28 inches Weight: 52-70 lbs
Female Billy size stats
Height: 23-24 inches Weight: 52-70 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hip And Elbow Dysplasia
Minor Concerns
  • Bronchitis
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Ear Infections
Occasional Tests
  • X-Rays
  • Physical Examination
  • Eye and Ear Examination

Billy Breed History

Unlike many European scent hounds that have shrouded histories, the Billy's timeline has quite a bit more clarity. It was created in central France by a man named Gaston Hublot du Rivault who in turn named the breed after his home, Chateau du Billy. His aim was well-defined to begin with, as he looked to take the best aesthetic and character qualities from several established purebred French scent hounds, which are now extinct, and shape them into the ultimate hunter. His ideal breed would be fast with excellent scenting abilities, endurance, and the able to efficiently hunt and track both roe deer and wild boar, but also stand highlighted by a distinct look. For its large yet elegant physique, Rivault chose the Montembouf, a boar-hunting specialist, which also provided large, sturdy bones, the perfect amount of muscle and a striking off-white coat punctuated by orange spots and patches. The Ceris was chosen for its outstanding ability to hunt fox and hare and the Larye for its exceptional nose. Of course, it didn't hurt that many of these extinct breeds had largely been held without outside influence for hundreds of years, creating a bloodline fit for aristocracy. They quickly became popular for both their ability and temperament and rose so prominently in the public eye that a breed standard was established as early as 1886. Unfortunately, the following years would be its undoing, as the pair of World Wars that occurred in the early to mid 20th century devastated their overall numbers, like many others, bringing them to the brink of extinction -- and that's no exaggeration, it was noted that only ten were left by the end of WWII. Fortunately, Rivault's son took to them as well as his father did and bred together those that remained. It is believed that he also crossed in some Poitevins and Harriers to help the revival process without muddying too much of the blood line. Since then, their numbers have risen back up to a safer range and although they are rare outside of France, are still revered for their hunting skills and excellent overall temperament. They were recognized by the FCI in 1973 and by the UKC in 1996.

Billy Breed Appearance

Billys are large dogs, standing an average of just over two feet tall at the withers and weighing around 60 pounds on average. They have a sleek, trim overall build with strong yet light bones and muscle to match. Their coats are short and harsh with a base color of white or off-white and speckled with lemon and orange. They possess a fine, lean head with a slightly domed skull and a squarish muzzle of similar length. Both their eyes and noses are rounded and dark in color, usually ranging between dark brown and black. Their folded ears are medium-sized and relatively high set for the breed type. Their necks are well-muscled and medium length, descending into a straight or slightly sloping topline. Their front legs are vertical and separated by a deep yet thin chest laden with flat ribs. Their back legs are only moderately muscled, mostly in the thigh, keeping with their slim overall profile, and their tails are long and tapered.
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Billy eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black Billy nose
Black
brown Billy nose
Brown
Coat Color Possibilities
fawn Billy coat
Fawn
cream Billy coat
Cream
white Billy coat
White
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Billy straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Billy Breed Maintenance

Billys are extremely low maintenance dogs, as they are only light to moderate shedders and because of their short coat, don't tend to leave all that much behind. Brushing needs only to be done once or twice a week with a firm bristle brush, but otherwise takes very little maintenance. Their folded ears are the only other area of regular concern, as their folded style is more prone to collecting excess moisture and/or wax that can cause ear infections, so they should be monitored regularly.  Otherwise, they only need to have their nails checked and trimmed every so often to prevent cracking or breaking and their teeth brushed once a week to help maintain good oral health in the form of clean teeth and healthy gums.
Brushes for Billy
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Billy requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Billy Temperament

Like other French scent hounds, Billys are extremely well-tempered dogs that seem to do as well in the home as they do while out hunting. In the field, they are lively, energetic, and determined and have no problem staying on a trail for miles or hours at a time. They are quite intelligent and have a well-developed voice that they will change in volume and frequency to tell their owners what they've found. That intelligence can sometimes cause issues during the training process, however, as they tend to be a bit stubborn, especially in the early stages. Because of it, they generally require a patient, experienced owner with good command of consistency and authority to get the best out of them. When they are fully trained, they are ultimately loyal and very responsive to commands. They form very tight bonds with their owners, especially if the owner doubles as their trainer, and they will often grow to the point where they become highly aware of their responsibilities both in and outside of the house. In the home, they are laid-back and friendly, doing equally well with both children and strangers, which does tend to make them a poor guard or watch dog. They usually do well with other dogs but are sometimes contentious with those of the same sex, as their pack mentality allows them to be social but still commands the rigors of climbing the ladder towards being an alpha. The only issues they generally have in or around the home are being around other non-canine animals, as they still possess a high prey drive that can be somewhat easily triggered unless they are raised together from a very early age. Because of their size and high energy level, this breed generally does best in a larger home, preferably with a yard, and with an active family that can give them the proper amount of daily exercise.

Billy Activity Requirements

Billys are considered a high energy dog and therefore do best with an active family, preferably with a big house, large yard, or dog park nearby. They will do relatively well if just walked or run regularly, but because of their noses, prefer to have an open space where they can run and sniff at will. They will need around 70 minutes of exercise a day, around 18 miles of walking or running per week to stay happy and consistency behaving in a positive way. This breed loves a job to do so be sure to involve them in activities while outdoors that will enable them to use their keen mind while expending energy.
Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
18 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
70 minutes

Billy Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3.5 cups
Daily Cost
$1.00 - $1.50
Monthly Cost
$30.00 - $45.00

Billy Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Billy size stats at six months
Height: 18 inches Weight: 43 lbs
Female Billy size stats at six months
Height: 16 inches Weight: 43 lbs
12 Months
Male Billy size stats at 12 months
Height: 22 inches Weight: 52 lbs
Female Billy size stats at 12 months
Height: 20 inches Weight: 52 lbs
18 Months
Male Billy size stats at 18 months
Height: 26 inches Weight: 61 lbs
Female Billy size stats at 18 months
Height: 23 inches Weight: 61 lbs

Billy Owner Experiences

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