The Chien Gris was a breed of wire-coated hunting hound native to France. The Chien Gris was one of the most popular scent hounds with the French nobility, and was extensively used by the King of France. Very little is known for sure about the Chien Gris. It was developed in an era long before written records were kept of dog breeding, and almost all of the few records which existed were destroyed in the chaos following the French Revolution. Much of what is known about the breed has been extrapolated based on those breeds which are supposedly descended from it. What is clear is that the Chien Gris was native to France, that it was well-established as a unique breed by the 1200’s at the latest, and that it was one of the earliest known breeds of Griffon.
The Chien Gris itself is often said to be descended from dogs brought back to France from either the Maghreb (the North African Coast west of Egypt) or the Holy Land. Some claim that it became associated with Saint Louis because King Louis brought them back from the Holy Land on his Crusades. The Chien Gris was almost certainly heavily crossed with a number of other French breeds. The dog was probably most influenced by the Chien de Saint Hubert, better known in English as Saint Hubert’s Hound or the Bloodhound. This breed was developed at some point between 750 and 900 A.D. The popularity of the Chien Gris began to decline towards the end of the 1400’s. This was probably due to the changing tastes of the aristocracy who had come to prefer different breeds.
The breed was known to be quite large. It is usually described as being roughly equivalent in size to a Saint Hubert Hound, which means that it probably stood between 20 and 27 inches tall at the shoulder and weighed between 50 and 100 pounds. The Chien Gris was known to have long, straight legs, and a muscular build. It appears that the Chien Gris was substantially more lightly built than most other scent hounds. This dog had the long, drooping ears common among many scent hounds, and also had a long snout. The Chien Gris was most famous for its distinctive coat. The hair itself was short to medium in length and quite wiry. The wire coat on the face may have formed a mustache and goatee. As its name would suggest, the Chien Gris was primarily gray in color. However most of these dogs also had tan or red markings on the feet, legs, underside of the tail, shoulders, chest, and face.
A well-mannered, companion chien-gris can truly be a joy to raise. However, left untrained, your dog will most likely be a pain. Training your chien-gris on the minimums—”Stay”, “Come”, “Down”, “Heel”, “Off”, “Sit”, and “Leave it”—strengthens your relationship with both your chien-gris as well as your friends. If you own a pup, They are strong, full of energy and has endless amount of stamina. This breed is very smart. They are able to read through their master’s facial and body expressions, enabling them to be versatile and adaptable not only to the environment, but to his master as well. When it comes to protective instincts, this breed is on top of the list. He is not keen to strangers and is very protective, making him a reliable guard dog. Chien-gris will enjoy any high energy activity like retrieving games, running, and long walks. They are loyal, brave, sociable, cheerful, and friendly. But, they can also be stubborn and challenging, especially to first time owners.
Chien-griss must have daily physical activity to burn calories, stimulate their minds, and maintain good health. Daily activity also really helps chien-griss fight boredom, which can often lead to difficult behavior. Getting out and about can quench most of your chien-gris’s desires to herd, dig, chase, retrieve and chew. Exercise needs can depend on your chien-gris’s age and his level of health—but ten minutes in back of the house and just a walk down the street every day probably won’t do. If your chien-gris is a 6 to eighteen month adolescent, his requirements will probably be relatively more.
You can help keep your chien-gris clean and reduce shedding with brushing. Check for fleas and ticks every day during warm weather. Most chien-griss don’t need a bath more than a few times during the year. Before giving him or her a bath, comb or cut out any mats from the chien-gris’s hair. Carefully rinse all soap from the coat, or dirt will stick to the soap residue. Although we may simply dislike our chien-gris’s bad breath, we should be aware of what it might be a sign of. Halitosis usually means that your chien-gris is in need of an oral screening. Plaque caused by germs brings a bad smell that can only be eliminated by treatment by a professional.