The Basset Bleu de Gascogne is a typical Basset breed with short legs. The breeds name describing the dogs appearance very well. Basset can be translated from French as rather low, which indeed this dog is and the Bleu of its name is a reference to its coat which has a ticked appearance. De Gascogne is describing the place of origin of these dogs.
The breed actually originated and is a small breed version of Grand Bleu de Gascogne and indeed, these two dogs are extremely similar. The Basset Bleu de Gascogne is short, but pretty athletic and agile breed and it should not be very heavy, as for example the famous Basset Hound. The height is usually somewhere between 12-16 inch, which is 30-40 cm and weight between 16-18 kg, which is 35-40 lbs. There are no extreme size differences between males and females.
The coat of Bleu de Gascogne is shorter, smooth and quite dense. Most people think the color of the coat is blue but in reality it is black with white in a mottled pattern, which gives the effect of being a slate blue color. Very typical are brown and tan markings on the ears and above the eyes.
The ears are also similar with other Basset breeds and they are quite long and set low on his head and come to the end of his muzzle when extended forward and the eyes are usually in dark brown color.
The Basset Bleu de Gascogne purpose and work is hunting, and they are excellent at it. They are quite active and agile dogs with very fine nose and strong prey drive. These dogs have strong pack mentality and they love to hunt in group of dogs. It is just a typical hound with an independent mind and great loyalty to its owner and its pack.
When they are not on the hunt, these dogs make very friendly, devoted and affectionate companions. They are typically friendly and patient with kids, but of course, the kid should be old enough to know how to treat dogs properly. Other dogs in the family should not be problematic as well, especially if they are raised together from the puppyhood. On the other hand, other household pets might be problematic, since the Basset Bleu de Gascogne has higher prey drive, but of course, this is also influenced by early socialization.
These dogs are known for their beautiful voice and howling, which is very practical on the hunt, to alert the hunters, but it can be little bit annoying when they are in their homes.
These dogs are not total coach potatoes, but definitely not hyperactive dogs neither. They will be always ready for outdoor walks, some fun training sesion or playtime. Several daily longer walks should be enough to meet their physical exercise needs.
Overall this is happy dog breed which makes excellent loving family companion, but also skilled hunting dog. It is true, that they are not total pushovers to train, mostly due to their independent mind, but they can learn all the basic obedience commands easily, if the training is patient and consistent.
The Basset Bleu de Gascogne is relatively old breed, that evolved directly from even older breed, the Grand Bleu de Gascogne. The breed was developed by breeding down the Grand Bleu de Gascogne, but no one is really sure when it happened, as the first real breed descriptions are from late 1800s. The large Grand Bleu de Gascogne was too large to hunt smaller game, which is a reason why Basset was developed, for the purpose of going into the thick underbrush and flushing out small game such as rabbits.
In the late 1800s, the breed almost dissappeared, which was a result of declining popularity of hunting. However, the breed was saved and revived by the work of Alain Bourbon. The breed was later finally recognized by the FCI in 1991.
Health and grooming
The Basset Bleu de Gascogne sheds some deal of fur all year long, more seasonally, so if you want to minimize the shedding, regular brushing is definitely beneficial. Regular brushing will also remove any dirt from the coat and keep it in best possible condition. No other grooming needs are needed.
You should take extra care about the ears and clean them regularly, so they dont develop any ear infections. You should also regularly check their eyes, nails and teeth and clean them or clip them if needed.
The lifespan of this breed is typically around 12 years and just like all the dogs in the world, they may suffer from some health issues. It is important to feed your dog properly, as they might become obese quite easily. They can also suffer from ear and skin infections, inverterbral disc disease, some eye problems or patellar luxation.