Blue Gascony Basset
FCI standard Nº 35
|Mrs. Peggy Davis
|Group 6 Scenthounds
|Section 1.3 Small sized scenthounds
|With working trial
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
|Wednesday 30 October 1963
Publication of the official valid standard
|Wednesday 24 January 1996
|Monday 25 November 1996
En français, cette race se dit
|Basset bleu de Gascogne
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
|Blauer Basset der Gascogne
En español, esta raza se dice
|Basset Azul de Gascoña
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd
|Basset bleu de Gascogne
|Hound used to hunt with the gun, sometimes for coursing, as much on his own as in a pack. His preferred quarries are the rabbit and the hare.
Brief historical summary
|The breed was reborn at the end of the 19th century, under the instigation of some huntsmen from the West. Since then its evolution has been constant as much in the plan of necessary morphological improvement as in the preservation of the qualities of the dog from “the South (Midi)”.
|Really typical Basset, denoting the great breed he comes from; quite substancial but yet not too heavy.
|• Size/Body length about 5/8.
• Depth of chest/size about 2/3.
Behaviour / temperament
|Very fine nose. Active, agile and lively. Intent in his way of hunting; endowed with a beautiful howling voice. Works perfectly in a pack. Affectionate and happy dog; need to frisk about.
|Seen from the front, slightly domed and not too broad; the occipital protuberance is marked; seen from above, the back of the skull is ogival in shape. The forehead is full.
|Black, large; nostrils well open.
|Quite drooping, covering well the lower jaw; giving the front part of the muzzle a square profile. The corner of the lips is well marked without being loose.
|Same length as the skull; strong; nasal bridge slightly arched.
Jaws and teeth
|Scissor bite. Incisors set square to the jaws.
|Lean; the skin may show one or two folds.
|Oval shaped, seem deep set; brown. Gentle expression, a little sad.
|Characteristic of the “Blue” : they are fine, curled in, ending in a point and must at least go beyond the extremity of the nose. The leather is narrow at its set-on, which is well below the eyeline.
|Quite long, a little arched; dewlaps developed without excess.
|Long, well supported.
|Short, well coupled, sometimes arched.
|Roomy, well developed in length; comes down below elbow level. Sternum quite prominent in front and well extended to the back.
|Ribs quite well sprung.
|Strong set-on; carried sabre fashion; sometimes there should be some longer and coarser, slightly offstanding hairs (like ears of grain) towards the tip. At rest, its tip must just touch the ground.
|Forelegs strong, slight torsion may be tolerated up to semi-torsion (semi-crooked).
|Muscled, without heaviness, and oblique.
|Very close to the body.
|From behind, a vertical line going from the point of the buttocks passing through the middle of the leg, the hock, the metatarsal and the foot.
|Long and muscled.
|Short and strong.
|Large, slightly bent; quite let down.
|Of a slightly elongated oval, toes lean and tight. Pads and nails black.
Gait and movement
|Balanced and quite easy.
|Not too fine; supple. Black or strongly mottled with black patches, never entirely white. Mucous membranes (hairless zones) black.
|Short; semi-thick; dense.
|Entirely mottled (black and white) giving a slate blue effect; marked or not with more or less exended black patches. Two black patches are generally placed on either side of the head, covering the leathers, surrounding the eyes and stopping at the cheeks. They do not meet on top of the skull, they leave a white interval in the middle of which is frequently found a small oval shaped black spot, typical of the breed. Two more or less bright tan markings are placed above the superciliary arches, giving a “quatreoeuillé” effect to the eyes. Also tan traces are found on the cheeks, the lips, the inner face of the leathers, on the legs and under the tail.
Size and weight
Height at withers
|Male and females : 34-38 cm.
|• Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and its ability to perform its traditional work.
• Faults listed should be in degree of seriousness.
| Skull too broad and flat.
Round eye, globular.
Leathers set high, broad, thick, round.
Long, soft topline; lack of substance.
Xiphoid appendage drawn in.
Out at the elbows.
Crooked pasterns, knuckling over.
Cow hocks or barrel hocks seen from behind.
Short (smooth) and fine.
Tan too pale.
| Frightened or aggressive subject.
Serious anatomical malformations.
Visible disabling effect.
Lack of type.
Over- or undershot mouth.
Body too long.
Deformation of ribs, absence of xiphoid appendage.
Frontlegs with more than semi-torsion.
Any other coat than that indicated in the standard.
|• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
• The above mentioned faults when occurring to a highly marked degree or frequently are disqualifying.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.
|The appearance of the Basset Bleu de Gascogne is relatively recent, since the first indisputable evidence available on this breed, which nearly disappeared several times, refers to the end of the nineteenth century: "In a family of dogs running from Gascony appeared, seven years ago (so in 1886), a pair of Bassets dogs from which was pulled a race of Bassets Gascons that did not exist before, "notes Pierre Mégnin in the January 1893 issue of the journal Breeder: And in fact, we had hardly heard of the Basset Bleu de Gascogne, a "low ground" variety of the Grand Chien de Gascogne, himself a descendant of the black Saint-Hubert, the dog of Gaston Phoebus. knows that the bassetism results from a mutation that gives birth in a litter one or more puppies correctly typed but with abnormally short legs.
And if, what is statistically probable, Blue Bassets were born before this date, their appearance proceeded more from chance than from necessity, so that most sources pass them over in silence. One exception, however, reported by Léon Verrier: Renfort and Rigolette, a couple of Bassets Bleus who hunted very well and who, in the 1890s, belonged to Mr. Leseble, director of the Garden of Acclimation. These were probably very heavy subjects that came from Mr. d'Heudières of Chateau de Bois-David in Normandy.
It is the breeder Mayennais Alain Bourbon, big huntsman of hares and author of a very interesting treaty entitled Nos Bassets French, which, towards 1910, fixed the race and saved it from the disappearance. He reconstituted the primitive type in a pack of a dozen dogs he obtained by combining his Bassets Saintongeois Blanc and Noir, the last representatives of the variety, to the most beautiful blue bitches of the great Gascon variety that he was able to gather at from the dismount of several dissolved crews.
After the Second World War, the scarcity of subjects made the crossing with the Norman Artisan Basset inevitable. Dog heavy enough and with very twisted limbs originally, Basset Bleu de Gascogne has lightened over the years. Successive repetitions with the Blue Lighter of Gascony have, moreover, oriented towards a type with almost straight legs, better adapted to its current use, hunting shooting of all game.
At the length of the legs close (its size today varies between 34 and 42 cm and that of the large dog running between 63 and 72 cm), Basset Bleu de Gascogne has retained the morphology of the Grand Bleu de Gascogne. His head, very distinguished, resembles that of his cousin, but less heavy and with chunks less accentuated. The skull and the chamfer are of almost equal lengths, and their general lines are parallel, defining a "rectilinear" profile. The ears, generally supple, are attached finely. They never stay flat but instead tend to wrap around their major axis: we say what "turn inside" (this characteristic is very accentuated in the Blues of Gascony, whose ears "flicker"). Their attachment is below the line of the eye.
The symmetry of the forelegs is important, especially when they are slightly twisted, because it is from it that depends the good balance of the fore-hand. The brevity of the legs leads to a "low ground" conformation, with a distance from the sternum to the ground, which, measured immediately behind the tip of the elbow, is on average equal to one third of the total height of the animal. The maximum size allowed since 1963 in the Basset Bleu de Gascogne was increased in 1971 and increased to 42 cm, so that it can hunt various game including the hare. However, we can question the merits of the name "basset" awarded to a dog with straight legs up to half a meter. The back is elongated and well supported like all Bassets which should never be too compact. The foot should be oval, with good pigmentation of the sole as in the Big Blue. The nails are black, as is the rest of the palace vault.
The hair, big enough, is well supplied. The dress is that of the Gascons: blue with black spots, trout or speckled, with or without coat. The main defects to fight are the clear eyes, the prognathism, the pointed muzzle and, naturally, the stains of mordant (depigmentation) which are at least unattractive in a dark dog.
The Club du Bleu de Gascogne, under the leadership of its chairmen like Mr. Boulous in the 1950s and, more recently, since 1968, Mr. Bachala, has sought to develop in quantity and quality the breeding of this species. Basset focusing on the hunting skills of this magnificent breed. It organizes each year numerous work and beauty trials which are a growing success: in 1986, there were 525 dogs registered in the LOF for the Club, including 169 Bassets Bleus de Gascogne, 149 Petits Bleus, 125 Ariégeois and 82 Grands blues.
A magnificent little dog, the Basset Bleu de Gascogne possesses extraordinary hunting qualities, as evidenced by the enthusiastic appreciation of Mr. Leseble, director of the kennel of the Acclimatation Garden: "I have never seen any Bassets gorged as powerfully, finer nose, more straight in the way. They cleared the way with extraordinary safety and were always able to put up their animals. They put the time, it's true, but we had so much fun to follow their work closer! If, therefore, you want some demanding Bassets, with a lot of game, Basset de Gascogne will not suit you. If on the contrary bring it closer to a hare or deer and the beautiful music of the dogs are, for you, full of attraction, I would strongly advise you this race. And, in fact, the music of all the races produced by the terroir of Gaston Phoebus is always extraordinary. Of course, you can not sing a lot and be very fast; the Basset Bleu de Gascogne is perhaps less swarming than the Basset Fauve de Bretagne, but it has the qualities of finesse nose and throat dogs of the South. He excels in difficult ways and is in his element if the terrain is arid, rocky and hot. If the path is bad because of the frozen ground or very dry, or if the rain dilutes the quality, it hunts calmly and wisely. He is sometimes a walker, for he is a little slow, but his magnificent voice of howler easily redeems this little defect.
If its vocation remains the rabbit, Basset Bleu de Gascogne is also very popular for shooting hare as well as for deer. Fashion has recently seized, after so many others, Basset Bleu de Gascogne, and promoted him pet, a role he holds not without talent, but it would be regrettable that he lost his qualities essential: those of a hunting dog above all.