The Grand Bleu de Gascogne is considered one of the oldest living breeds, one that is known to be at least a few hundred years old with historical evidence pointing towards the strong possibility of being closer to a millennium or more in total development. They are believed to be descendants of several significant canine influences including the hounds Phoenician traders peddled throughout the Mediterranean region, scent hounds developed by the Gaul, native French scent hounds, as well as St. Hubert's Hounds. In turn, the Grand Bleu de Gascogne became an influencer itself, now considered one of two breeds to have impacted hound-type dogs worldwide. Because of their antiquity, there is little documented evidence to prove their existence beyond a few hundred years ago, but thanks to French royalty, there are written accounts of Comte de Foix owning a pack as early as the 14th century, as well as Henry IV of France in the 16th and 17th centuries. Although their history in the United States is a bit more limited, it is still significant in comparison to many other breeds, especially considering that George Washington was gifted a pack in 1785, less than 10 years after the United States officially declared their independence. Their popularity and continual use throughout their history was largely due to a combination of their excellent temperaments as well as their uncanny ability to hunt large game - a necessary ability for both sport and survival. Their name, Grand Bleu de Gascogne, is often misinterpreted, with many assuming the "grand" portion being representative of their size, but in reality, it was attributed as an indicator of what game they were used to hunt. In this case, they were primarily used for large game, such as deer, wolves, and boar, and were highly effective, although they have also been employed to hunt smaller game with slightly less success, as they are more prone to drive small prey into inaccessible, underground areas instead of treeing them like smaller, faster hunting breeds. While their popularity undoubtedly flourished in their earliest years, they have seen significant declines in interest, use and overall numbers over the last hundred years or so. The French Revolution and both world wars had significant impact on their population, the latter of which were the most devastating, as their decreased use for hunting in the early 20th century was already impacting their numbers considerably, let alone external forces such as the rise in other breeds' popularity. Because of it, the Grand Bleu de Gascogne remains a rare breed largely held up by enthusiasts in the United States, where it is estimated that their numbers are greatest.