The Grand Bleu de Gascogne
The Grand Bleu de Gascogne is an aristocrat among hounds; it is a breed of the scenthound type, originated in France. It was used to track game such as wolves, deer and boar through the forests of Gascony. Today’s breed is the descendant of a very old type of large hunting dog, and is an important breed in the ancestry of many other hounds.
The Grand Bleu de Gascogne is tall with a long head. They are a typical hunting pack hound, with a muscular and lean body, long legs, long dropping ears and lips. It is 65 to 72 cm in height and Bitches 60-65cm.The coat is white coloured, mottled with black and gives a slate blue appearance. It has black patches on either side of its head and a white area on top of the head with a small black oval within it. Any deviations in appearance may have an effect on the health and working ability of the dog, fault in any expected features of a dog indicates that it should not be a bred. Faults include fearfulness or aggression, anatomical malformation etc. The Grand Bleu de Gascogne is noted for its focus on the hunting activities as well as it is a good nose and distinctive sonorous deep howl. The breed is impulsively a pack hound.
The dog’s associates were contemporary with the breed St. Hubert Hounds, and were hunted in packs from the 14th century Comte de Fox on wolves, bears and boars. This type and breed are usually traced in the descent all of the breeds of scenthound with “du midi” in its name. Today, the dog is mostly used in hunting deer, boar, and other game. This is a very giant dog weighing about 80-120 lbs.
Temperament may vary from dog to dog according to their characteristic markings. The breed has a powerful baying voice. The dog is attractive because of his size combined with elegance. The excellence of this dog is also showcased during the show-breeding programmes of British breeders. They are best maintained in outside kennels with their own runs. This breed is for the connoisseur, not for the masses.
Health and Care
No major health problems or conditions have been documented for this breed; however as with most large dogs care should be taken to avoid exacerbating the risk of Bloat and Hip Dysplasia. The Grand Bleu is a large and energetic breed and beyond monitoring their early exercise all that is required is to keep them engaged in exciting activities to stave off their negative behaviour.