Gascon saintongeois

FCI standard Nº 21

Jennifer Mulholland in collaboration with Raymond Triquet
Groupe 6 Scenthounds
Great G.S.:
Section 1.1 Large sized scenthounds
Small G.S.:
Section 1.2 Medium sized scenthounds
With working trial
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
Saturday 10 August 1963
Publication of the official valid standard
Tuesday 01 August 2023
Last update
Tuesday 08 August 2023
En français, cette race se dit
Gascon saintongeois
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
Gascon saintongeois
En español, esta raza se dice
Gascon saintongeois
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd
Gascon saintongeois


Great Gascon Saintongeois: Dog used for shooting and sometimes hunting big game but also hare; generally with the pack or alone as a sleuth.
Small Gascon Saintongeois: Versatile dog used for shooting. Its origins make it a hare specialist but also a good hunter of big game.

Brief historical summary

Great G.S.: In the middle of the 19th century the Count Joseph de Carayon-Latour, wanting to regenerate the declining breed of the Hound of Saintonge, crossed the last descendants with the Bleu de Gascogne of Baron Ruble, thus creating the Gascon Saintongeois but causing the extinction of the Hound of Saintonge.
Small G.S.: In the middle of the 20th century some hunters from the South West of France selected the smallest subjects from their litters of Great Gascon Saintongeois and thus created this variety, intended originally for hare hunting.

General appearance

Great G.S.: Very well constructed dog, giving at the same time an impression of strength and elegance. Very French in type with regard to the head, coat and expression.
Small G.S.: Medium sized dog, well proportioned and distinguished

Important proportions

Height at the withers/scapular-ischial length, ratio 10/10.5
Length of muzzle equal to that of the skull.

Behaviour / temperament

Pack hound par excellence, fine-nosed, wide-casting and endowed with a very sonorous voice. Joins the pack instinctively. Calm, affectionate and amenable to orders.


Cranial region

The lines of the skull and the muzzle are divergent.
Seen from the front, domed and rather narrow; the occipital protuberance is well defined. Seen from above, the back of the skull is of a pronounced ogival shape. 
Only slightly pronounced.

Facial region

Black, well developed; nostrils well opened.
Strong; slightly convex.
Covering the lower jaw; corners discreet. The edges of the lips are black.
Jaws and teeth
Scissor bite. Incisors are set well square to the jaws.
Oval shape; brown. Edges of eyelids are black. Gentle and trusting expression.
Fine and curled, they should reach at least the tip of the nose. Set on below the level of the eye and placed rather backwards, freeing the skull.


Of medium length and thickness. Slightly arched with little dewlap.


Very taut, without excess in length.
Well attached, slightly arched, quite muscular and not too long.
Of good length, slightly sloping.
Broad and long, reaching the elbow. Forechest rather broad.
Slightly rounded and long.
Slightly tucked up.


Strong set on; tapering well to the tip, reaching the point of the hock. Carried elegantly like a sabre.



Powerful forehand.
Quite long, muscled; moderately oblique.
Close to the body.
Strong bone.


Well proportioned.
Upper thigh
Long and well muscled.
Broad, well angulated and well let down in line with the body.


Slightly elongated oval; toes lean and tight-fitting. Pads and nails black.

Gait and movement

Regular and effortless.


Supple and not too thick. White with black patches.


Short and tight.
The ground colour is white with black patches and sometimes speckled but not excessively. Two black patches are generally placed at either side of the head, covering the ears, surrounding the eyes and stopping at the cheeks. The cheeks are tan, preferably pale.
Two tan markings placed above the superciliary arches give the eyes a “quatroeillé” (four-eyed) appearance. Traces of tan are also found on the inner side of the ears and in speckles along the legs. Some fawn hairs may appear on the upper part of the ear but without giving the head a tricolour appearance. Sometimes at the base of the upper thigh there is a typical dead-leaf marking called “roe buck mark”.

Size and weight

Height at withers
Grand G.S.: Males 65 to 72 cm, females 62 to 68 cm.
Small G.S.: Males 56 to 62 cm, females 54 to 59 cm.
With tolerance of +/- 1 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.

General faults

Head :
 Broad skull.
Ears :
 Short, high set.
 Absence of tan markings.
Body :
 Lack of substance.
 Slack back.
 Croup falling away.
 Deviated tail.
Limbs :
 Bone structure insufficiently developed.
 Shoulder too oblique or too straight.
 Splayed feet.
 Hind angulation straight.
 Cow hocked.

Disqualifying faults

 Aggressive or overly shy.
 Lack of type and, in particular, broad and round skull.
 Overshot or undershot mouth.
 Light eyes.
 Any other coat than that stipulated in the standard.

NB :

• 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.



Additional information from visitors

This magnificient French working breed was created in 1846 near Bordeaux by the Baron Joseph de Garayon Latour de Virelade, a hunting enthusiast who crossed the Grand Bleu de Gascogne with the now-extinct Saintongeois hunting dogs, acquired from the Earl of Saint-Legien and the Baron de Ruble, respectively. Very popular and common around the Pyrenees region of southern France, the Grand Gascon-Saintongeois remains virtually unknown outside its native land. Primarily a hunter of roe deer and other large game, this rugged hound could possibly make an acceptable family companion, thanks to its love of humans and obedient personality, but it is still very rarely found as a pet. The short coat is smooth and flat, always white in colour with black-n-tan markings on the head. Average height is around 26 inches.

Detailed history

If the archives offer a large amount of information, even contradictory, concerning the origin of the blue dogs of Gascony used by Gaston Phoebus, there is, on the other hand, little data on that of the dogs of Saintonge. It must be said that until 1714, when the Count of Toulouse, then great huntsman, established the breeding of the royal packs in his hotel in Saint-Germain, the production of a large number of common dogs was entrusted to Farmers or guards: this is where the pickers would select the best elements of the packs decoupled by the lords, senior clergy or the bourgeois possessors of fiefs who, since François 1st, were allowed to practice the hunt. hounds. Thus, a breed of French dogs, slender profile, very fast hunting and very well sip, appeared in some notable Charente. Their dress was white, dotted with black spots or fire. It is possible that this color was left behind by some White Dogs of the King, who seem to have infused a lot of blood into the Vendée breeds that developed in the immediate vicinity of the Saintonge.

M. de Ceris admitted, for his part, to have created (towards the end of the eighteenth century) the race that bore his name from small bitches in the Charente region but of unknown origin. However, after being crossed with Montemboeuf, the Ceris gave dogs considered to be very close to the authentic white of the king. As for Montemboeuf, who is also recognized as a descendant of white "clerks", he was created at the same time in Limousin, a province not far from Saintonge. If his dress was marked with orange spots rather than black, his anatomy also recalled that of the Saintongeois, including its large size, long head, prominent frontal bone, deep chest, kidney harp, etc.

It is therefore possible for the Saintongeois to have king whites among their ancestors, but it is nevertheless very difficult to draw up the genealogical tree of the lice and the two males which Dr. Clémot of Saintes managed to save during the Revolution. he handed over to the Marquis de la Porte au Loup, when the latter was able to return from emigration. After these dogs had made their stock, the race was taken over by the Comte de Saint-Légier, who was hunting in the Chizé forest. The Saintongeois possessed, besides a white dress marked with black, a thin head, a papilled ear, a long and light neck, a deep chest, a harp but narrow kidney, a flat thigh, a low tail and a "hare paw" dry and nervous. Do not we also see in this portrait the trace of the Sighthounds that the huntsmen of the sixteenth and seventeenth century decoupled at the end of hunting to force the deer faster ?

Today, the saintongeoise breed is considered extinct, but it has been used in many crosses. If MM. Hennessy, masters of the crew of the Pas des Chaumes, preferred the English blood supply, and if the race of Virelade, created by M. de Carayon Latour by crossing with Great Blues of Gascony (and which was presented in 1863 to the exhibition in Paris), is now extinct, other types of Gascons-Saintongeois have survived to this day and make the happiness of a number of hares, roe deers and wild boars of the west, south-west and south of France.

At the end of the last century, Count de Chabot and his brother created a pack from "Venus", a stallion (despite his name!) Saintongeois, and Panthère, a Gascon lice. Then a little blood of M. de la Débutrie's dogs, called bastards because they had English and Vendee blood, was inserted into the breeding. After having separated from his brother, Count de Chabot endeavored to find a standard close to that of the Saintongeois, and, with his thirty or so dogs, with a black and white coat, and with patches of fire over his eyes, he took ten deer each year and more than thirty deer in the forests of Vendée and Anjou.

Other breeders have made similar crosses, but not all are known because they sometimes neglected to present their dogs in dog shows. Today, therefore, the Gascons-Saintongeois result from the choice of huntsmen looking for more hunting qualities than the purity of the race. Among these dogs, very few do not have some Fox-Hound ancestors, and, it must be emphasized, it is especially the physical skills which constitute the criteria of the judges when it comes to the primer of a dog or a dog. lot of dogs.

Paradoxically, the Belgian breeders seem to have abandoned the dogs of the Bishop of Liège, the Saint-Hubert, to use Gascons-Saintongeois in the path of the hare and the deer. Thus, for the roe deer in the region of Freux (Belgian Ardennes), the Baron de Firlant-Dormer employs 45 Gascons-Saintongeois of origin Clayeux, Beauchamp, Rouâlle, but also Levesque. The Vielsalm Rally, for its part, uses 60 Gascons-Saintongeois for the same animal, while Chassart Chassant, near, cuts into the path of the hare with the same race, some of whose subjects, moreover, come from Vielsalm.

In France, the Gascons-Saintongeois are at the origin of a certain number of packs, today classified French White and Black, as with the rally Whatever, in Ain, or with the crew of Rochard, in the Mayenne. But the Charentes have kept their race: the rally of Saintonge uses 90 to 100 Gascons-Saintongeois and Vendéens tri-color, to take each year between 15 and 20 deer and wild boar in the forests of Tremblade and Coubre. Leashes are sometimes sporty, because it is not exceptional that a boar is caught at sea.

Like all the big dogs, the Gascons-Saintongeois can not be considered as companion dogs, even if some of them show a demonstrative friendship, overflowing, even invasive, since a human being enters the kennel.

As for their aptitude for hunting, the Gascons-Saintongeois have the qualities and the defects of their ancestors. But their abilities take precedence over their faults, and they are precious. Indeed, these dogs have a fast train, a great smoothness of nose and a certain wisdom in the exchange. Perhaps this is why they show so little enthusiasm for the difficulties ?

The breed was especially appreciated for the run of all the animals, especially for the hare, the wolf and the deer, which require persevering, stubborn dogs, able to raise a very weak way, but which do not go away. For the hunting of deer or wild boar, which requires less caution but requires on the other hand to quickly identify defects, hunters have generally preferred to cross the Saintongeois and Gascons-Saintongeois with English dogs, less wiser and more demanding.

Finally, few French huntsmen are satisfied with French thoroughbreds, but, in fact, to what extent can the blood of common dogs on either side of the Channel be considered pure ?

The English certainly have a lot of French blood in their veins, probably Gascon, moreover, as one can deduce from even the relations that Gaston Phoebus had with the Captal de Grailly, John Chandros or other emissaries of the King of England! But that does not detract from the talent and energy of those who, by dint of selection, try to fix the characters of our dogs of the West.

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