GRAND BLEU DE GASCOGNE INFORMATION
The Grand Bleu de Gascogne may descend from dogs left by Phoenician traders, its ancestors were contemporaries with the St Hubert Hound and English Southern Hound, Comte de Foix kept a pack in the 14th century and Henry IV of France kept a pack in the late 16th & early 17th centuries.
The Grand Bleu de Gascogne has a long history in the US, the first dogs were bred there in the 18th century, there are now more Grand Bleu’s in the US than France. General Lafayette presented a pack of seven Grand Bleus to George Washington in 1785, who compared their melodious voices to the bells of Moscow.
The Grand Bleu de Gascogne is noted for its focus on the hunt as well as a good nose and distinctive sonorous, deep howl, the breed is “instinctively a pack hound”. In the past it was used to hunt deer, wolves and boar, in the field it is considered a rather slow and ponderous worker and today is predominantly used to hunt hares.
The Grand Bleu de Gascogne has had a significant influence on the development of several breeds of Scenthounds, after the French Revolution it was used to revitalise the old Saintongeois, creating the Gascon Saintongeois, the Bluetick coonhound is considered a direct descendant of the Grand Bleu. The Grand Bleu de Gascogne was used by Sir John Buchanan-Jardine in the development of the Dumfriesshire Hound, in Britain any native hound with a blue marbled coat are still referred to as ‘Frenchies’ after this breed.
The Grand Bleu is noble, proud of his sound constructional confirmation and very French. He has much substance and staying power where fat is not mistaken for muscle! His head is somewhat strong and moderately elongated in shape. The slightly loose skin forms one, or sometimes two, slight wrinkles on the cheeks. His back-skull is rather narrow than wide with a well pronounced occiput; his muzzle is comparatively long and strong;his nose is always black and well developed. Eyes are set fairly deep and are dark chestnut brown. His ears are attached low, are quite thin, well twisted inward, tapering to a point. The length reaches at least to the tip of the nose but can be longer. The tail somewhat thick reaching down at least as far as the hock, with a slightish brush toward the tip and carried in saber fashion. His coat colour is mottle black and white, giving a slate blue effect which can be marked with black patches. It has bright tan marking above the eyes, on the cheeks, inside the ears, legs and underside of the tail.
There are no serious health problems that are specific to the Grand Bleu De Gascogne. Some may be prone to developing food allergies, and gastric torsion may be an issue as well. These dogs should not be overfed, as they can gain weight easily. The Grand Bleu De Gascogne will have a maximum life expectancy of 14 years.
maximum life expectancy of 14 years.