Petit Bleu de Gascogne

40-48 lbs
20-22"
France
Small Blue Gascony Hound
For anyone well-versed in hound dog lineage, the Petit Bleu de Gascogne may look familiar and for good reason: they are essentially a smaller, shorter-legged version of the storied Grand Bleu de Gascogne. Their greatest difference is truly their size, as their overall appearance and even their personality are otherwise uncanny replicas of their larger relative, of which they descended from a few hundred years ago through the selective breeding of smaller-sized Grand Bleus. Their purpose was much like their predecessors, as they were bred to hunt in packs, but instead of hunting the likes of deer, boar, and wolf like the Grand Bleu, they were bred to hunt smaller game such as hare and rabbit. Like their larger relatives, they are not particularly fast hunters, but moderately-paced, determined, and methodical, tiring their prey while staying only just behind them. They are well-known to have even-temperaments, doing as well in the field as they do in the home and because of it, especially over the last century, have been making a transition from primarily hunting dogs to those of companions as well, even if still mostly concentrated in their home country of France.
Purpose
Hunting, Companion
Date of Origin
16th Century
Ancestry
Grand Bleu de Gascogne

Petit Bleu de Gascogne Health

Average Size
Male Petit Bleu de Gascogne size stats
Height: 22-24 inches Weight: 40-48 lbs
Female Petit Bleu de Gascogne size stats
Height: 20-22 inches Weight: 40-48 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hip And Elbow Dysplasia
Minor Concerns
  • Ear Infections
  • Entropion
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Allergies
  • Bloat
Occasional Tests
  • X-Rays
  • Physical Examination
  • Eye and Ear Examination
  • Allergy Testing

Petit Bleu de Gascogne Breed History

While the Grand Bleu has a history that extends deep into both European and American history, the Petit Bleu de Gascogne picks up where the Grand Bleu splits, that is, somewhere around the 1500s, when hunters decided they needed a smaller dog to pursue smaller game. Their development was simple enough: breeders merely selected the smallest Grand Bleus they could find for breeding to highlight the genetic predispositions inherent to their size and bred them accordingly. After a few generations, the Petit Bleu had been cemented and eventually rose in popularity with rabbit hunters. But unlike their larger relatives, the return on investment was relatively limited. Housing a pack of Petit Bleus to hunt rabbit and hare wasn't particularly economical, especially in comparison to the quarry Grand Bleus were able to take down, which could provide a significant amount of both food and supplies, leaving the Petit's numbers and popularity to stay considerably more limited by comparison. Surprisingly enough, even after the French Revolution and two world wars decimated much of nearly all canine breeds, the Petit Bleu stayed relatively consistent thanks to its rabbit hunting prowess. While the Grand Bleu eventually made its way overseas to the United States in the late 1700s and saw a significant rise in both numbers and popularity there while both attributes fell in France, the Petit Bleu de Gascogne saw little demand outside of its home country and eventually began to outrank the Grand Bleu with French hunters and families. To this day, Petit Bleus are still more popular in France than anywhere else and are considered a rare breed outside of their region. They are still unrecognized by the American Kennel Club but they were recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1991 and by the Federation Cynologique Internationale in 1996.

Petit Bleu de Gascogne Breed Appearance

Despite having "Petit" in their name, which is often confused for relating to their size instead of their quarry, Petit Bleu de Gascognes are actually medium-sized dogs, standing just under two feet tall at the withers and weighing an average of about 45 pounds. Their heads are well-refined, long, and narrow, the muzzle being long and thick, complete with drooping lips, a black, well-developed nose, and a marginal stop. Their eyes are deep brown in color and their ears are low-set, thin, folded, and wide and will stretch to their nose and beyond if held out in front of their face. Their necks are moderate in length but muscular, descending into a set of long, well-muscled shoulders and a straight topline. Their front legs boast thick, sturdy bones, that are kept close to the body with their deep, well-developed chests reaching to their elbows. Their hindquarters are stocked with similarly thick back legs that show good muscle, especially in the upper thigh. Their tails are thick and tapering with a slight brush at the end and are usually carried saber-fashion. Their coats are short but dense, coming only in a black and white mottled pattern that gives them their slate-blue appearance that is sometimes accompanied by large black spots.
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Petit Bleu de Gascogne eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black Petit Bleu de Gascogne nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
blue Petit Bleu de Gascogne coat
Blue
white Petit Bleu de Gascogne coat
White
black Petit Bleu de Gascogne coat
Black
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Petit Bleu de Gascogne straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Petit Bleu de Gascogne Breed Maintenance

Petit Bleu de Gascognes are generally considered a low maintenance breed as their coats take brushing only a couple times a week at most unless in higher shedding seasons. A firm bristle or slicker brush should work just fine to help them keep their coats free of loose hair, dirt, and other debris. Bathing is rarely a necessity unless they get into something particularly smelly or dirty and otherwise needs to be done only every month at most. Their ears are definitely the greatest point of concern, as their combination of size and folded style create an ideal environment for excess buildups of wax and moisture which can potentially cause ear infections, a relatively common issue in the breed. Because of it, owners should regularly check and clean their dog's ears, especially if they are outside in high humidity or around water, where their chances of collecting additional moisture are highest. Outside of that, the rest of their care is quite simple. Like any other breed, they need their nails checked and trimmed regularly to prevent any complications with cracking or breaking, and their teeth should be brushed on a weekly basis if not more often, to help them maintain good oral health.
Brushes for Petit Bleu de Gascogne
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Petit Bleu de Gascogne requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Petit Bleu de Gascogne Temperament

While on the hunt or outside in general, Petit Bleu de Gascognes often show their true character, as it is where they are generally happiest, zealously following their noses as far as possible. Even if they are a bit plodding, they are still highly-effective hunters and trackers and will stay on task well if their owners help to reinforce the behavior. If they are not given anything specific to track down, their will likely find something to follow on their own and should be monitored if they are not confined to a leash or fenced area, as although they are generally responsive after training, still often prefer to follow their noses over commands. Training can be a bit of an uphill battle, as these highly-intelligent dogs tend to be strong-willed and at the mercy of stray scents, so they need a consistent, firm, and experienced hand to train them early on to get the absolute best of their behavior. In the home, they are a pretty relaxed breed, happy to join the family in whatever activity they choose to participate in. They are affectionate and not overly playful and will shower their family with love as soon as they feel they are accepted into the familial structure. However, they are a bit attention-happy and thus can easily form separation anxiety out of boredom, frustration or even simple loneliness and can turn destructive if the situation if not resolved in a timely fashion. Because of their pack mentality, they usually do quite well with others dogs outside of some minor skirmishes to determine their canine hierarchy. With children, they tend to be patient but should be trained and socialized early on to prevent any issues that may arise with those who fall into the youngest categories. They are known to be a friendly breed and generally don't mind strangers, so they are not great watch dogs but they do have an intimidating bark they will quickly employ if they feel any danger is present, so they can still be employed as guard dogs with proper training. All in all, if they are adopted by a moderately active family with lots of love to give, are well-trained and socialized, and are housed in a communal area that is not too isolated, they will be happy and loyal companions and hunters.

Petit Bleu de Gascogne Activity Requirements

Although their larger relative, the Grand Bleu de Gascogne, has a significantly high energy level, the Petit Bleu de Gascogne's smaller stature and muscular makeup requires quite a bit less exercise. On a larger scale, their activity needs are moderate, especially by comparison, although they do need a fair amount of exercise on a daily basis to stay both happy and healthy. If they are properly trained, they will do great on walks and runs with their family but should be leashed in case they catch wind of something that will make them want to wander off course. Many experienced owners get the best out of this breed by playing to their interests and strengths - that is, their nose. If they are not used for hunting, they can still be trained to seek out particular smells or taught to play scent-based games, both of which will help to tire them out both physically and mentally. Otherwise, giving them a large yard or dog park to sniff and run around is usually the best way to go, as they love having the freedom to roam. In all, they should receive at least 45 minutes of exercise a day between walks and runs, dog park or yard time, and smaller games and activities that will stimulate them mentally.
Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
14 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
45 minutes

Petit Bleu de Gascogne Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3 cups
Daily Cost
$1.20 - $1.40
Monthly Cost
$34.00 - $45.00

Petit Bleu de Gascogne Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Petit Bleu de Gascogne size stats at six months
Height: 16 inches Weight: 31 lbs
Female Petit Bleu de Gascogne size stats at six months
Height: 15 inches Weight: 31 lbs
12 Months
Male Petit Bleu de Gascogne size stats at 12 months
Height: 19 inches Weight: 37 lbs
Female Petit Bleu de Gascogne size stats at 12 months
Height: 18 inches Weight: 37 lbs
18 Months
Male Petit Bleu de Gascogne size stats at 18 months
Height: 23 inches Weight: 44 lbs
Female Petit Bleu de Gascogne size stats at 18 months
Height: 21 inches Weight: 44 lbs

Petit Bleu de Gascogne Owner Experiences

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