Basset Bleu de Gascogne

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Is the Basset Bleu de Gascogne right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Blue Gascony Basset

The basics:
As their name would suggest, the Basset Bleu de Gascogne originated in the Basque region of Gascogne, France. Bred to hunt wolves and deer, they have a keen nose. Their blue coloring was most likely developed in an effort to help them withstand the bright sunlight in the area. Once the initial breed was refined, their legs were shortened to slow down their speed, leading to the development of the Basset Bleu.

Because this Basset was developed specifically for hunting purposes, their numbers dropped quickly once hunting with packs of dogs became less common.They remain a very rare breed outside of their native France. Nonetheless, they share the easy-going, adaptable personality of the other Bassets, and they can make a great family pet for the reasonably active and attentive owner.

Appearance / health:
With a medium build that rides low to the ground the Basset Bleu de Gascogne resembles the more common Basset Hound in some basic ways. Their long ears are utilized to help them stir and gather scents while out hunting.

Simple brushing is recommended as needed as the breed tends to shed quite a bit. As with most dog breeds, regular care and maintenance of the teeth, nails and ears is recommended to keep the breed healthy and hearty.

Two long walks each day are suggested as the minimum amount of daily exercise for this breed once they reach adulthood. They were bred to participate in lengthy hunts and therefore need more lengthy daily exercise. Walks are also lengthened as the dog stops to smell and use its “scenthound” abilities, which helps with its mental stimulation.

The breed is generally healthy with no known health issues. There has been some evidence of food allergies within the breed, and some history of gastric torsion (twisted bowl) but nothing concrete leading to this being a breed-specific trait. For this reason and others, overfeeding is ill-advised and sometimes it may be better for the dog to eat two smaller meals a day instead of one larger one.

Behavior / temperament:
Typically described as friendly and stable, the Basset Bleu de Gascogne is very much a hound, but a happy one suited for companionship if with the right “human pack”. As consummate hunters, the breed is overwhelmingly alert when out for walks, or simply rambling around their own territory. The breed tends to have a refined air and can be indifferent around strangers in some instances. They prefer to be as active a member of the family as they can, relishing in the time spent with their “pack”.

The nature of scenthounds dictates that they are especially scent driven, and may run off after an interesting whiff down the street. For this reason and others, it’s imperative that the breed is trained from an early age. The Basset Bleu de Gascogne is quick to learn, and eager to please, making them good dogs in a training setting. Also important is socializing the dog, especially if they are to be around other small animals that might be considered prey.

The Basset Bleu can be quite loud, with what is described as a rich, strong howl. They tend to alert their owners to strangers arriving with this howl.

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