A Billy is a breed which originated in central western France in the 19th century and it is a large hunting dog. Billys are crossbreed of these extinct breeds Ceris, Montemboeuf and Larye. The breed was named after the name of the breeder, Monsieur Gaston Hublot de Rivault, who resided at the Chateau de Billy, Poitou. So as to keep the Billy’s bloodlines fresh Fox blood was initiated. They were mainly used for pack hunting, in order to track wild boar and roe deer, which is still continue to happen in France. In 1886, the standard for the breed was established. They are very courageous and intelligent.
The Federation Cynologique Internationale standards recommend that dog should gallop effortlessly in its movement.
The past of the scent hound type has been documented since the middle ages, when the monks of St Hubert monastery, Belgium, urbanized dogs from Gaul to be superb breed, slow but conscious hunters, capable scent trackers with yelling voices and an imposing appearance. Billy is one of the most elegant of all the French dog breeds, also known as the Chien de France-Comte. This breed is last dog breed to descend from a large scent hound that was fashionable with the French royalty from the reign of King Francois I to the time of King Louis XIV’s rule.
The Billy is powerful, beautiful and well built breed, with strong bones; it is large in size, but has light-weight. The breed has floppy ears, alert and open eyes and sleek fur; though the most outstanding feature of the breed is its dazzling off-white coat. The Billy breed can weigh between 52 to 70 lbs and is 23 to 27 inches tall. The tail of the dog is long and powerful and feathering in the fur covers the tail. It has a short coat with coarse hair that may feel harsh when touched but the appearance of the fur is glossy. The coat is of pure white, off white and milk-coffee white colour along with light orange coloured spots on the base.
The Billy is hunting bred and are used to hunt big games. The breed has been described as intellectual and cunning. They own an inherent hunting instinct and are keen and have sensitive nose. The breed bonds strongly to their masters and are aware of itself and its responsibilities as a hunter and companion. They are gentle, loyal, brave, social and trusting breed. They are friendly, even with strangers, thus are poor guard dogs but excellent hunters. The Billy is generally polite with other dogs, but can have contention sometimes.
Training for a Billy should start in its early stages. It is an intelligent and trainable breed, and if trained properly with attention, they will excel as a family companion. Some patience will be required to train a Billy as they stubborn, difficult to train, and get unfocused by scents easily. The breed can excel in obedience training and hunting competitions as it is a versatile and independent dog.
The breed requires lots of daily exercise to be happy and healthy. They are difficult to control when off its leash and are built for speed. The Billy is not an apartment dog and needs a lot of exercise, like most large hounds they are tricky off the lead and extremely fast. The ideal home for a Billy would be spacious and large, with a fenced yard for the dog to run and play. The breed is happiest when allowed to live outdoors.