Basset Bleu De Gascogne

Basset Bleu De Gascogne

Temperament: Affectionate, Cheerful, Curious, Energetic, Lively

Size: Small

Life span: 14

Weight: 18 kg

Breed Group: Hound Dogs

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Overview

The Basset Bleu De Gascogne is a curious, bold and enthusiastic breed, with an affectionate and happy disposition. As with all hound breeds, basic obedience training is a necessity and owners must never loose sight that this is a hound.

The Basset Bleu De Gascogne is a scent hound with a strong determined nature when following a scent. Despite its size it has been known to climb trees and travel fast and very far when on a scent. this breed is a brave dog on the hunt, often taking on larger animals than itself.

The Basset Bleu De Gascogne is a medium-sized dog that originated in France. It is characterized by a long back with short legs distinguished by a black and white mottled body giving it a slate blue effect, hence the name “bleu”. This active and agile dog hound has a slightly domed skull with a well-pronounced occiput, a square muzzle with slight stop, a black nose and lean cheeks with folds of skin. The teeth form an evenly fitting scissors bite. It has oval eyes that are deep brown in colour with slightly sad expression. The long, fine ears are set on low and nearly the length of the muzzle. The neck is rather long, arched and with dewlap. It has well-muscled forequarters and hindquarters characterized by short legs with elbows that are very close to the body and short rear pasterns. The tail is rather long and carried in a saber fashion. The body is longer than it is tall and covered in short, dense and semi-thick coat of black or white colours speckled with black dots. Adults are between 30 cm to 38 cm in height and weigh in between 16 kg and 18 kg with dogs on the heavier side.

History & Origin

The Basset Bleu De Gascogne is a direct descendant of the ancient breed of Grand Bleu de Gascogne. Basset is derived from the old French word “bas(se)” which literally means “low” or “short”. This long-bodied, short-legged breed originated in Gascony, in the southwest portion of France. It was used in hunting hares and rabbits. It was purposely bred to have short legs to slow the pace of the dog so that hunters can easily follow it, while the long, low slung body enables the Basset Bleu De Gascogne to follow the prey into its lair or under thick shrubs. The earliest appearance of a breed similar to the Basset Bleu De Gascogne was in paintings done in Gascony during the 14th century. As the years past, interest and the lure of hunting began to dwindle and with this, the popularity of the breed also began to decline which nearly brought the breed into extinction. Thanks to the effort of French breeder Alain Bourbon, the Basset Bleu De Gascogne was saved and revived, although it still remains a rare breed in the United Kingdom.

Temperament

The Basset Bleu De Gascogne is a real working dog – agile and active while hunting and typically docile when at home. It is a sociable breed that loves being with the family at all times. It has a nice howling voice and will let out a deep throated howl to warn the hunter if it locates a scent. It is a fairly good dog to have for children because this breed loves to play and can easily learn very amusing tricks.

Training

It is an easy breed to train and excels very well in obedience training because of its intelligence. Training must be done by a firm but gentle owner with positive encouragement. Yelling and harsh training will only make the dog stubborn. As a scent hound with an impeccable sense of smell, it has a tendency to follow interesting smells so it needs to be kept in a well-fenced yard.

Grooming

The Basset Bleu De Gascogne is a very easy dog to maintain not only because of its small size but because it has an almost groom-free coat, with no trimming or stripping necessary. The soft and smooth coat naturally wards off dirt but a once-a-week brushing will help remove dead hair and will make the skin healthier because brushing promotes blood flow. Check and clean the ears regularly as they are prone to infections because of their proximity to the ground.

Health

There are no major health issues associated with the Basset Bleu De Gascogne. It is an extremely healthy breed that typically lives between 10 to 12 years but there are documented breeds that lived up to 14 years.

Exercise

It is an ideal pet to have whether in an apartment setting in a city or in a house set in rural areas as long as it gets a dose of daily long walks on leash. Do not let this breed on its own or it will follow any interesting smell it might encounter along the way. A dormant Basset Bleu De Gascogne can have a tendency to become destructive and will channel its boredom into other activities.

Children and other pets

The friendly, mild and easy going temperament of the Basset Bleu De Gascogne makes it an ideal household pet and fitting playmate and companion of children. In its native setting, this breed used to hunt in a pack so it gets along very well with other pets in the house although it may occasionally give chase to small animals such as rabbits, hares, and guinea pigs but early socialization can curtail this attitude.

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