The Grand Bleu de Gascogne is the original of the Bleu Gascogne breeds and has existed for many centuries. Once a comparatively common breed, the Grand Bleu de Gascogne fell out of favor after extermination of wolves from France. Quite large and expensive dogs, few people could afford to keep them to begin with and even fewer were willing to do so with their prime purpose now gone. The French Revolution and both World Wars also did substantial damage to the breed’s numbers. The Grand Bleu de Gascogne is now quite rare. However, unlike many French hound breeds which have gone extinct in the last three centuries, the Bleu de Gascogne still exists, and without the need for the addition of new bloodlines from other breeds.
Unlike the vast majority of French hounds, the Grand Bleu de Gascogne has developed a following outside of its native country. The breed has long had a small but dedicated following in the United States. It is believed that there are more Bleu de Gascognes in the United States than anywhere else in the world. The Bleu de Gascogne’s popularity as a hunting dog is still limited in America because the dog is poor at treeing animals, preferring to drive them to a burrow or catch them on the ground. This means that the Bleu de Gascogne is not well-suited for raccoon hunting. However, the Bleu de Gascognes superior nose and hunting ability is ideal for many other species of game as hunters around the globe are beginning to discover. Packs of this large hound are being exported to several countries around the globe. There is even a pack of Grand Bleu de Gascognes in Africa which specializes in Leopard hunting.
The Grand Bleu de Gascogne is not currently recognized by the American Kennel Club even as a Foundation Stock Service Breed. However, the breed was recognized by the United Kennel Club in the scenthound in 1991. Despite the Grand Bleu De Gascognes fanciers around the world, the breed remains rare.
The Grand Bleu de Gascogne has the typical appearance of a large French hound. Many hound fanciers consider the Grand Bleu de Gascogne to be the gold standard by which other French hounds are compared. These beautiful dogs are known for their striking coats, which give the breed the appearance of having blue fur.
The Grand Bleu de Gascogne is one of the largest breeds of scenthound in the world. This is a very, very large breed. Males are between 25½ and 27½ inches tall at the shoulder, and females are between 23½ and 25½ inches tall at the shoulder. Although breed standards do not include a weight, this breed typically weighs between 80 and 110 pounds.
The Grand Bleu de Gascogne has a long snout and nose, which give the breed the maximum possible area for scent receptors. These dogs have seemingly extra skin around the lips and face, giving the dog a droopy and wrinkled appearance. The ears are low-set on the head and are the stereotypical droopy hound ears. The Grand Bleu de Gascogne has chestnut-colored eyes. The lower eyelid is always slightly loose, allowing for some red to be seen under the eyes. This breed is known for having a sad, but trusting expression.
The most distinctive feature of the Grand Bleu de Gascogne is the dog’s coat. The breed’s coat is almost entirely mottled with black and white fur. This gives the dog the appearance of having blue fur. However, there are also some patches which are predominantly black, usually around the ears and cheeks. Despite what many dog fanciers believe, the Grand Bleu de Gascogne is actually a tri-color dog, and has bright tan markings around the eyes, cheeks, lips, ears, legs, and tail. The Grand Bleu de Gascogne has short, smooth fur.
The Grand Bleu de Gascogne is a muscular breed as befits its role as a hunter. The legs of this breed are particularly well-muscled. The Grand Bleu de Gascogne has a long, thick tail which is often held in an upright, saber-like position.
The temperament is fairly uniform across the three types please see the "Bleu de Gascogne Main Page" for more information.
The grooming requirements are fairly uniform across all three types please see the "Bleu de Gascogne Main Page" for more information.