Breeds of dogs: Grand Bleu de Gascogne

Breeds of dogs: Grand Bleu de Gascogne

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Origin, classification and history

Origin: France.
F.C.I classification: Group 6 - hounds and dogs by blood trail.

The Grand Bleu de Gascogne (French Gascony Hound) is a breed originally from Gascony in the South West of France. It is considered a very ancient breed. Upon returning from a military expedition in the Ardennes, Gaston Phoebus brought black-and-white and even black-and-white "dogs of Saint Hubert" to the county of Béarn, who are the ancestors of this breed. In fact, these dogs were then crossed with local Hounds, and the products of these mating gave life to the Grand Bleu, in which some characteristics of the "Bloodhound" are still felt, such as the highly developed sense of smell, but also for the black-and-tan specimens, not allowed by the Breed Standard, which sometimes appear in the litters. It is a dog that has had the privilege of being the favorite breed of many important historical figures. These dogs are part of the moulting of Henry IV, king of France. The livery of the Grand Bleu is increasingly refined, thanks to the careful selection work carried out by the breeders and also thanks to the influence of the hot and dry climate of the area where it has lived for many years. Today it is not a very common breed.

General aspect

Medium-large dog. Its coat and expression form a typical ensemble similar to no other dog. Its characteristics are mainly in the coat and also in the head, which is very noble and very French. Its characteristic blue coat, formed by a mixture of black and white hairs on the whole body with small spots scattered on the trunk, of which only a couple are more evident. His gait is completely unique. It does not trot, but gallops, this involves rolling the back due to the long lumbar region.


It is a docile breed, calm and affectionate. She is a little lazy, scrupulous and brave in her work. The Grand Blue is completely reliable for its great balance. He is capable of dealing with aggressive animals, and is equally incapable of biting humans. The breed has been selected for hunting wolves and large wild animals, but it also proves to be skilled in hunting hare and wild boar, its sworn enemy. It is also used in Italy on these animals.

Grand Bleu de Gascogne (photo

Grand Bleu de Gascogne (photo Grand Bleu de Gascogne)


- males between 65 and 72 cm
- females between 62 and 68 cm.
Weight: varies from 32 to 35 kg.

Trunk: chest very developed in all diameters, high, wide and deep, it reaches at least the level of the elbow. Average rounded ribs. Back rather long, but well supported. Keep a little flat, but without excess. Flat stomach and descended. The hips are protruding. The rump is quite oblique and the tip of the thighs slightly drooping.
Head and muzzle: rather strong and elongated. The skin that covers it is quite loose and forms one or two folds along the cheeks. The front furrow is not very accentuated. Long, strong, slightly sheepskin muzzle. Fairly sagging lips. Very pronounced lip commissure. Skull slightly rounded and not too wide. Occipital crest fairly pronounced.
Truffle: black and well developed.
Teeth: complete in number and development.
Neck: on average long, with an arched upper line and which may present dewlap.
Ears: attacked very low, thin and curled up. If they are placed along the jaw line, they must at least reach the end of the truffle and often go beyond it.
Eyes: covered with thick eyelids, they appear a little sunken.
Limbs: forelegs with strong forearms and large tendons, they offer a good foothold. Efforts should be made to improve the hind limbs, which are often poorly developed in relation to the forelimbs. The hocks close to the ground, wide and a little elbow, follow a long but not too flat thigh. The foot of a slightly elongated oval recalls that of the wolf. Fingers are thin.
Shoulder: well muscled. Elbows directed backwards.
Gait: his favorite gait is the gallop.
Tail: well attached, rather large, quite long, carried in a scythe, sometimes with spike hair.
Leather: black or very marbled with black plates, but never entirely white. The palate, lips, genital parts and plantar pads are black.
Hair: quite large, not very short and thick.
Allowed colors: marked by black spots on a white background entirely flecked with black, which gives it a kind of slate blue reflection. Two black spots are generally found on each side of the head, cover the ears, envelop the eyes and stop at the cheeks. They do not rejoin the top of the skull, leaving a white space in the middle, in which a small oval black spot is frequently found, which is a sign of distinction. Two more or less bright fire-colored markings placed above the eyebrow arch quadruple the eyes. There are also fire-colored traces on the cheeks, on the lips, on the inside of the eye, on the limbs and under the tail. Some subjects have the coat simply spotted in black, always with fire-colored traces.
Most common defects: prognathism, enognatism, colors not allowed, non-standard sizes, lack of premolars, shy character, aggressive attitude, monorchidism, cryptorchidism, incorrect gait, short head, skull too flat or too straight, short ears, ears attached high, light eye, mucous membranes pink, underdeveloped chest, flat feet, delicate limbs, too elusive rump, absence of fire-colored traces, traces of depigmentation.

curated by Vinattieri Federico -

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