Grand Bleu de Gascogne

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80-120 lbs
23-26"
France
Bleu de Gascogne, Large Blue Gascony Hound
The Grand Bleu de Gascogne is a large, ancient breed that is believed to have descended from dogs kept by the Gaul and the Phoenicians. Because of their historic roots and genetic prominence, they are considered one of two breeds to lay the foundation for a myriad of other modern hound breeds that have developed over the last millennium, if not more. They are specialized hunters, slow and a bit plodding but undoubtedly methodical and effective nonetheless, as they've been used for centuries to hunt large game such as deer, wolves, and boar - the size of their game denoted by their name, "grand". Throughout their history, they have been hunted in packs, allowing them to develop a very dog-friendly demeanor and an incredibly powerful and almost melodious voice used to alert other members of the pack as well as the hunter. They are well-known to be even-keeled dogs, showcasing friendly and pleasant temperaments in the home but truly showing their zeal when in the field. Because of the dying trend of pack hunting, partially due to lack of necessity, partially due to maintenance costs, the Grand Bleu de Gascogne has become a rare breed, especially after twice having their numbers decimated by warring periods prior to their modern decline, but there are still breed enthusiasts that are keeping their numbers stable, even if in a limited capacity. Although they are a French breed, their near cult-status in the United States has lead many to believe they are more populous and popular in the United States than anywhere else in the world.
Purpose
Hunting, Companion
Date of Origin
Ancient
Ancestry
Local Chiens Courant (Scent Hounds), St. Hubert's Hounds, Phoenician Dogs

Grand Bleu de Gascogne Health

Average Size
Male Grand Bleu de Gascogne size stats
Height: 25-28 inches Weight: 80-120 lbs
Female Grand Bleu de Gascogne size stats
Height: 23-26 inches Weight: 80-120 lbs
Major Concerns
  • None Known
Minor Concerns
  • Ear Infections
  • Hip And Elbow Dysplasia
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Allergies
  • Bloat
Occasional Tests
  • X-Rays
  • Physical Examination
  • Ear Examination
  • Allergy Testing

Grand Bleu de Gascogne Breed History

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.

Grand Bleu de Gascogne Breed Appearance

The Grand Bleu de Gascogne is a large dog, standing an average of 26 inches tall at the withers and weighing up to 120 pounds. Their heads are surprisingly long, their skulls slightly convex and their lengthy muzzles complete with drooping lips, a well-developed black nose, and a marginal stop. Their eyes are between round and almond-shaped and come in a deep brown color. Their ears, one of their most defining features, are low-set, thin, tapering, and twisted inwards. If held out in front of their face, they will reach the nose's tip and often beyond. Their necks are moderate in length and extend down into well-developed and muscular shoulders and an even topline. Their front legs are thick, sturdy and close to their chests, which are long, deep, and broad, extending down to the elbow. Their hindquarters are well-built, showing a good amount of muscle in the thigh and pronounced hips. Their tails are thick and tapered, usually carried sabre-fashion. Their coats, another defining feature, are short, dense, and entirely mottled black and white, giving it a slate blue look, with occasionally black patches.
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Grand Bleu de Gascogne eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black Grand Bleu de Gascogne nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
blue Grand Bleu de Gascogne coat
Blue
white Grand Bleu de Gascogne coat
White
black Grand Bleu de Gascogne coat
Black
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Grand Bleu de Gascogne straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Grand Bleu de Gascogne Breed Maintenance

Grand Bleu de Gascognes are a low-to-moderate maintenance breed overall. Their coats need brushing with a firm bristle or slicker brush a few times a week unless in high shedding season to keep them free of loose hair and dirt and otherwise stay relatively clean. The greatest point of emphasis should be placed on their ears, as their large size and folded style create the potential for a buildup of excess wax and moisture, a combination of which can cause ear infections. Because of it, their ears should be checked and cleaned on a regular basis to prevent any damage to their ears or hearing. Otherwise, they need minimal, if any, professional grooming and unless they get into something particularly offensive smelling or dirty, generally keep themselves pretty clean, necessitating baths only every month at the very most. Like any other breed, their nails should be monitored and trimmed to prevent cracking and breaking, and their teeth should also be brushed on a weekly basis at minimum to help maintain good oral health.
Brushes for Grand Bleu de Gascogne
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Grand Bleu de Gascogne requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Grand Bleu de Gascogne Temperament

Grand Bleu de Gascognes have all-around great temperaments both inside and outside the home, making them a great fit for a wide variety of families as long as they have ample space to burn energy. Because of their history as a pack-oriented breed, they generally do well with other dogs outside of showing the occasional dominance positioning within their canine group but are usually relatively easy-going in social settings. This also makes them an affectionate, loving, and loyal breed, as they often shower their owners and families with a good amount of attention when not distracted by following their noses. However, this also means they need a considerable amount of attention themselves and do no appreciate being left alone for too long or being kept in an isolated kennel and may become frustrated or lonely and therefore potentially loud or destructive. They are an intelligent breed, making them moderately difficult to train, so they do best with at least a semi-experienced dog owner who is able to maintain a firm, patient command. Even after they are fully trained and socialized, which should be done at an early age, they still have a high likelihood of following their noses and should be leashed unless they prove that they can listen even when intrigued by a smell. Like many other large scent hounds, they are relatively friendly to strangers unless trained to be otherwise, making them relatively poor guard dogs, but many will still bark if they feel a potential threat is present, so they still function with moderate watch dog abilities. For their size, they are surprisingly gentle with children and patient to boot, making them good family dogs overall. In the field, they may be somewhat slow compared to other scent hounds, but they take to their duties with vigor and determination, which is part of what makes them such great hunters and trackers. All in all, if they are adopted by an active family with space to run, a larger house, and lots of love to give, they make great pets even if just used as companion animals.

Grand Bleu de Gascogne Activity Requirements

Largely because of the combination of their large size, muscle mass, and overall usage, Grand Bleu de Gascognes are considered high energy dogs that need a considerable amount of exercise on a daily basis to keep them happy and healthy. Their hunting background provides them a significant amount of endurance, so they need either long runs or walks, a good long romp in a fenced yard or better yet, the dog park, where they can follow their noses and run freely. Playing games that force them to run will also help tire them out, so if they are interested in chasing balls, frisbees, or other toys, it can go a long way in exhausting them in any meaningful capacity. Because of all these factors, they are generally best suited for larger households and those with either a large yard or regular access to a dog park.
Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
18 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
80 minutes

Grand Bleu de Gascogne Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3 cups
Daily Cost
$1.5 - $1.9
Monthly Cost
$40 - $52

Grand Bleu de Gascogne Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Grand Bleu de Gascogne size stats at six months
Height: 18 inches Weight: 71 lbs
Female Grand Bleu de Gascogne size stats at six months
Height: 17 inches Weight: 71 lbs
12 Months
Male Grand Bleu de Gascogne size stats at 12 months
Height: 22 inches Weight: 85 lbs
Female Grand Bleu de Gascogne size stats at 12 months
Height: 21 inches Weight: 85 lbs
18 Months
Male Grand Bleu de Gascogne size stats at 18 months
Height: 26 inches Weight: 100 lbs
Female Grand Bleu de Gascogne size stats at 18 months
Height: 24 inches Weight: 100 lbs

Grand Bleu de Gascogne Owner Experiences

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