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Petit Bleu from Gascogne, from the name it is immediately clear that this petit chien comes from France and is well placed in the group of bloodhounds and dogs for track. Its livery improves from year to year, since the times, because it is a dog that has been able to enjoy a lot of attention that has put it at the center of a careful selection work.
French breeders and enthusiasts have made sure that this breed became known and widespread and so it is. In Italy the Petit Bleu from Gascogne is quite widespread, even compared to his other colleagues in the "Blue de Gascogne", Different in size, similar in appearance if not almost identical.
Petit Bleu de Gascogne: origin
The one of the Petit Bleu de Gascogne which in Italy we can also find cited as French Gascony Hound. Native to the South-West area of France, Gascony, in fact, the Petit Bleu da Gascogne has as ancestors the "Dogs of Sant’Uberto”.
I'm black and tan hounds, and also whites, arrived in the County of Béarn together with Gaston Phoebus who took them with him while returning from a military expedition in the Ardennes. Once in France this breed was crossed with local Hounds and the result was double. The Grand Blue and Petit Blue, both have retained the significant and useful characteristics of their ancestors, first of all, being hounds, the well-developed sense of smell of the "Bloodhound ".
Among the fans, and the celebrity owners of the Petit Bleu from Gascogne we find many historical characters that stand out Henry IV, king of France, but he is not the only one. Modern VIPs who carry it in their purse, at the moment there are none, fortunately, but never say never.
Petit Bleu de Gascogne: characteristics
The Petit Bleu from Gascogne it is a medium-sized dog, the males at the withers measure between 52 and 60 cm, the females a couple of cm less, and its distinctive characteristics are above all the coat and the head. The cloak deserves a separate paragraph.
The head has a particular elongated shape and at first glance you notice how the skin that covers it forms folds along the cheeks that seem to lengthen the muzzle. The skull is slightly rounded but not too wide, a rather evident black nose appears, ears also appear, attached very low, thin and crumpled, and then obviously the eyes, a little sunken and dark.
The neck of the Petit Bleu from Gascogne it is sturdy but elegant, it combines the head with the body, all well proportioned, with a long but not slender back. The limbs of this dog in front are a good point of support but the rear ones in most of the specimens are a little lacking in muscles.
It is not considered a defect if this does not create imbalances, but a particularity of the breed. The feet look like those of a wolf, due to their oval and elongated shape, the tail is finally sickle-like, rather large and long, occasionally with spiked hair.
Petit Bleu de Gascogne: photo
In the photos it is the appearance of the hair, quite thick, not very short and thick, that attracts attention and it is in fact the hair one of the characteristics of the Petit Bleu from Gascogne which more makes it a unique dog of its kind, or almost. Its blue coat is made up of a mixture of black and white hair that continues along the entire body and may show the presence of small spots on the trunk.
They appear in various sizes and usually two or three stand out from the others because they are larger. The result is a white background continuum “flecked with black” that creates a slate blue halo. On the head, one on one side of the other, two other black spots cover the ears, envelop the eyes and reach the cheeks. Always close to the eyes, fire-colored, others two specks are inserted above the eyebrow arch and of the same color, other signs may appear on the cheeks as well as on the lips, on the inside of the eye, on the limbs and under the tail.
Not all Petit Bleu from Gascogne they have this third color so evident, some seem simply white speckled with blacks and the fire appears little, but it must appear, otherwise it goes out of standard. Black is also the skin, if not 100%, almost, with a "marble" effect, but never entirely white, and the palate, lips, genital parts and plantar pads are also always black.
Petit Bleu de Gascogne: character
Docile, affectionate and calm, the character of the Petit Bleu da Gascogne he is very pleasant and makes him an optimal companion dog as well as a good hound. Another important aspect for this animal to be well received at home and in the family is its well-known balance: it is not prey to anger, it is not presumptuous or particularly shy. If anything, we can blame him for the laziness he occasionally shows, but once he is convinced to get to work, carries out his work with care and determination.
Once convinced, then the Petit Bleu from Gascogne he is also courageous even though he will never dare to bite man, whether he is his master or a stranger. Its specialty, if used in hunting activities, is to hunt small wild animals, such as rabbits, but it can boast of knowing how to face even the wild boar, his true enemy.
The only aspect that conditions Petit Bleu from Gascogne in its status as a companion dog it is the need to move and be outdoors. For those who know a little about dogs, it is obvious, especially when it comes to hunting dogs, that these animals need to have large spaces available. If we don't have a garden but we want a Petit Bleu from Gascogne, we must commit to taking long walks with him, even in winter.
Petit Bleu de Gascogne: farms
In Italy the ENCI site reports four farms for the Petit Bleu da Gascogne breed, fortunately located in various areas. There is one in Calabria, in the province of Cosenza, and going up the boot a second in Lazio, near Latina, and another in Emilia Romagna, near Modena. The fourth breeding of Petit Bleu from Gascogne it is in the Pavia area, in Lombardy.
In Italy this breed is today rather present and appreciated but about ten years ago we must admit that it was much more so, I can't say why this collapse of presence but the ENCI site from 2006 to 2015 marks an almost halving of the number of specimens. Over 300 to 150.
Petit Bleu de Gascogne: price
The price of a puppy's Petit Bleu from Gascogne it is around 500 - 700 euros, a lot depends on the single specimen and on the litters. Certainly it is not a dog worth a thousand euros or more, but not even to be sold off. We are therefore wary of online offers at bargain prices, better to refer to ENCI certified farms.
It is also useful to know the more recurring defects of the race of Petit Bleu from Gascogne including non-standard sizes, lack of premolars, incorrect gait, a skull that is too flat or too straight, ears short or set high. Or the clear eye, a poorly developed chest, flat feet and the absence of fire-colored traces.
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