Who Can Say No To Floppy Ears?
Happy Thursday, everyone!
First off, I have to say- I am so happy it is Thursday. I definitely thought today was Tuesday for some reason and was overly enthused that it was, in fact, Thursday. Next, I want to say that I am kicking off the return with a revival of something I wanted to start doing about twice a month and never got around to. So, without further ado, I give you…
Breed All About It!
This week we are going to focus on a breed that I was originally unfamiliar with- the Petit Bleu de Gascogne!
This rather ancient breed is similar to a hound of a nearly identical name, the Grand Bleu de Gascogne. This French breed’s most direct descendant is the St- Hubert Hound, or what is commonly known today as the Bloodhound. Originally breed to help hunters in the early BC era to find food, this breed excels at hunting game such as deer and rabbits. Although their name includes the word “Petit,” which is French for “small,” they are not small dogs. The word “Petit” instead refers to the size of game that they are bred and used to hunt.
As previously stated, this is not a small breed, despite the naming that would suggest otherwise. They are roughly forty to fifty pounds in weight and of medium build. Although perhaps not in line with the Gascogne’s ancestor, this breed is agile bodied; being described as long, smooth, and thin with finely traced muscles. As with most scenthound type breeds, they have square heads with long muzzles and the trademark hound ears and eyes; long and droopy ears with eyes that give the indication that they look tired. However, appearances are deceiving and this breed is fully alert, despite its tired hound dog appearance. Color wise, the Gascogne is typically seen with spotted grey and blue markings with a white belly, and may have a black masked head and blue spotting on their back.
Typically easy going, the Gascogne is happy to work as a team with whatever other dogs that it is paired up with. While some hounds are well suited towards being a singular hunting dog, the Gascogne excels in the pack setting. Due to an incredible sense of smell, this breed can detect and track even the faintest trail with ease. They have a very strong tracking instinct that tends to run away with them while on the trail or with an inexperienced pack or hunter. For this reason, it would seem that this breed did not step into the role of family dog easily. Their stubborn nature requires a dedicated and patient trainer and their stamina requires a great deal of exercise. With this breed, you must be consistent in training and be willing to dedicate the time that it will take to properly train, as well as the inner strength to stick to the rules and not allow the Gascogne to push them around.
This section is going to be started out with the statement, “Not recommended for apartment life.”
The Petit Bleu de Gascogne is, first and foremost, a working dog. This is not meant in relation to what breed group he is recognized under, but rather his nature. The Gascogne is an active breed, bred for the specific job of hunting alongside a pack and a hunter. As such, they require a great deal of exercise due to an high stamina level. If you are looking for a companion for those extra-long hikes or walks, this breed will keep up with you easily. However, as with any breed, there are some issues that need to be addressed. If this breed is not exercised properly, they will become reckless- as would any person or animal who has nothing to do- and you may find that they entertain themselves in less than desired ways. Again, this breed is not the easiest to train into Obedience. If he were to find a scent on a walk that caught his attention, you might be hard pressed to bring back his focus.
The Gascogne has a short and dense coat that is easily brushed clean if cared for on a weekly basis. Bathing may be done on a monthly basis, or as needed depending on how much mud they get into. This breed has an average life span, living to be about 12 years of age. They have minimal health issues provided that they are given proper exercise and maintained on a healthy diet.
And there you have it! A new breed to add to the repertoire, the Petit Bleu de Gascogne is one that is rarely a common sight, but still is a fascinating breed with ancient origins. If there are any breeds that people would like to see covered or would like to learn a bit more about, feel free to drop me a line and I will get things queued up for the upcoming Breed All About It series!
Have a wonderful Thursday night and look forward to the weekend!