Small Gascony Blue

FCI standard Nº 31

Origin
France
Translation
Mrs. Peggy Davis
Group
Group 6 Scenthounds
Section
Section 1.2 Medium sized hounds
Working
With working trial
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
Wednesday 23 October 1963
Publication of the official valid standard
Tuesday 01 August 2023
Last update
Tuesday 29 August 2023
En français, cette race se dit
Petit bleu de Gascogne
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
Kleiner Blauer Gascogne Laufhund
En español, esta raza se dice
Pequeño Sabueso azul de Gascuña
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd
Petit bleu de Gascogne

Usage

Multipurpose hound used for hunting with the gun, sometimes for coursing. His favourite game is the hare, but he is also successfully well adapted for big game hunting.

Brief historical summary

It is a voluntary reduction in size of the Great Gascony Blue, certainly going back to the origin of this breed and linked directly to the utilization.

General appearance

Medium sized hound; well proportioned, distinguished.

Behaviour / temperament

Fine nose, intent in his way of hunting, endowed with a beautiful voice; works well in a pack. Character calm and affectionate. Obeys orders easily.

Head

Cranial region

Skull
Seen from the front, only very slightly domed without excessive width; the occipital protuberance is lightly marked; seen from above, the back of the skull is only slight pronounced ogival shape. The forehead is full. 
Stop
Only very slightly accentuated.

Facial region

Nose
Black, large; nostrils well open.
Muzzle
Same length as the skull, strong, nasal bridge often slightly arched.
Lips
Not very thick and not very developed; the upper lip covers the lower lip.
Jaws and teeth
Scissor bite. Incisors set square to the jaws.
Cheeks
Lean.
Eyes
Oval shape, brown. Gentle expression.
Ears
Moderately fine, curled in; should, at least, reach the extremity of the nose.

Neck

Of good length, with a slight dewlap.

Body

Back
Well supported, firm.
Loin
Well fused, without excess in length.
Croup
Slightly sloping (oblique).
Chest
Long, let down to elbow level; forechest quite broad. Ribs gently rounded.
Side
Flat and let down.

Tail

Slender, reaching the point of the hock. Carried proudly in sabre fashion.

Limbs

Forequarters

Generality
Quite powerful.
Shoulders
Muscled, moderately sloping.
Elbows
Close to the body
Forearm
Good bone structure.

Hindquarters

Generality
Well proportioned.
Upper thigh
Quite long; muscled without excess.
Hock
Large, slightly bent, well let down.

Feet

Oval shape, toes lean and tight. Pads and nails black.

Gait and movement

Regular and easy.

Skin

Supple. Black or strongly marbled with black patches, never entirely white. Mucous membranes (hairless zone) black.

Coat

Hair
Short, semi-thick; dense (profuse).
Colour
Entirely mottled (black and white) giving a slate blue colouring effect; marked or not with more or less extended black patches. Two black patches are generally placed at either side of the head, covering the leathers, surrounding the eyes and stopping at the cheeks. They do not meet up on the top of the skull; they leave a white interval in the middle of which is frequently found a small black oval shaped spot, typical of the breed. Two, more or less bright tan markings are placed above the superciliary arches giving the eyes a “quatreoeuillé” effect. There are also traces of tan on the cheeks, the lips, the inner face of the leathers, on the legs and under the tail.

Size and weight

Height at withers
Males 52 to 58 cm, females 50 to 56 cm.

Faults

• 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 :
 Short.
 Skull too flat, too narrow or too broad.
 Leathers short, high set, insufficiently curled in.
Body :
 Too long; slack topline; lack of substance.
 Croup falling away.
Tail :
 Tail deviated.
Limbs :
 Bone structure insufficiently developed.
 Shoulder straight.
 Cow hocks, seen from behind.
 Splayed feet.
Behaviour :
 Timid subject.

Disqualifying faults

 Frightened or aggressive subject.
 Lack of type.
 Visible disabling defect.
 Serious anatomical malformation.
 Over-or undershot mouth.
 Light eyes.
 Any other coat than that indicated 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.

Bibliography

http://www.fci.be/

 

Additional information from visitors

Directly descended from the Grand Bleu de Gascogne, this hardy French hound was bred for smaller size and greater agility in the Middle Ages as a hunter of hares, rabbits and foxes in the southwestern parts of the country. Although it was prized for its excellent nose, the Petit Bleu de Gascogne was becoming increasingly rare over the centuries and the breed was nearing extinction by the 1970's, when it was succesfully revived by dedicated French enthusiasts. Athletic, trainable and lively, this hound is friendly with people and other dogs, making a good family pet. Still reasonably numerous in rural France, this old breed is a common hunting dog, much more popular than its larger cousin. The flat coat is dense, hard and fully weatherproof, most commonly seen in the blue mottled colourings with tan and white markings. Average height is around 22 inches.

Detailed history

Where does the Petit Bleu de Gascogne come from? To establish the genealogy of this race seems very difficult, even impossible when one knows that the origin of the Great Blues is itself subject to discussion. Were the ancestors of Gascon dogs brought back by Gaston Phoebus when he returned from his expeditions to northeastern Europe? The Count of Foix may have also recovered some black dogs of the Saint-Hubert race during his visits to the abbey of the same name, near Liège. Or, on the contrary, did Phoebus surrender to the monks of the abbey dogs which he himself had raised in Gascony? The fact is that the Blues of Gascony have one day surfaced, probably because of breeders • who worked long ago, and that everyone agrees that their relationship with the Dogs Blacks of Saint-Hubert is obvious. There remains the problem of "Little Blue Dogs of Gascony".

The first reference that can be found on small blue comes from the rally Pindères. It is not listed in the annals of the Central Canine Society, but we can read in the directories of venery of the beginning of the century: "The rally Pindères was founded in 1838 by M. de Lacaze, grandfather of one current masters. Originally, this crew consisted of small Blue Dogs of Gascony, grown by crosses with dogs Gascons and Gascons-Saintongeois, and was kept in the ways of the hare and the wolf until 1870, year of the disappearance of wolves in the moors of Gascony. In 1875, some dogs were added to these dogs from the Côte-d'Or, which acclimated badly. In 1884, Mr. de Lacaze took over the exclusive breeding of the Gascon and Gascon-Saintongeois dogs."

This information is given in 1929 by Henri de Lacaze, which seems to confirm the existence of the "Petits Bleus de Gascogne" in the middle of the last century. But, even if this note is found in several publications of the thirties, it does not already have any more faith. Karl Reille, meanwhile, in the contemporary French Vénerie, a work published in 1914, speaks only of Great Blues of Gascony for the rally Pindères. And still, there must have remained in their veins many traces of sainton and bourguignon blood.

In 1956, the dogs of the Pindères rally were taken over by Edgard Bissières, on behalf of the Piqu'avant les Bleus rally, but at that time they had been crossed with the Virelades of the Marquis de Villeneuve.

The Saintongeois blood was clearly marked. There is also a very interesting source of information on the farms of this period: a "Census for the year 1934" Gascons-Saintongeois and Blues of Gascony. We note, for example, that the subject Jalousie, from Pindères, whose mother was Durandal, of Virelade, measured 0.56 m at the withers, a size that would probably have accepted today under the standard of Les Petits Bleus de Gascogne . Several dogs from the Vielsalm rally, who hunted; and always hunt; deer in Belgium, seem to correspond to the same standard, but it is very difficult, again, to say what was the proportion of healthy blood in their veins.

It must be said that the standard of the Grand Bleu de Gascogne was only elaborated in 1921, by a commission chaired by the Marquis de Mauléon, also president of the Canine Society of Gers, and that, with regard to that of the Petit Bleu de Gascogne, the current president of the Gers canine society, Mr. Bachala, has no previous reference to 1971. In 1974, the breed had only two dogs listed in the Book of French origins. But it is constantly increasing, since one could total 725 subjects on the same register on December 31, 1988, the increase of the workforce then being of the order of 33,5% per year.

The reasons why breeders have looked again at this breed are likely to be twofold. The Bleus de Gascogne are first and foremost dogs whose aesthetics and appearance contrast with those of the Anglo-French generally used for hunting. But above all, at a time when vénerie is more and more denigrated by the public opinion, the hunt for the current dogs knows a growing vogue, mainly in the south-west of France. In the past, the wolf was pursued, but, alas, the animal disappeared, and the Gascon huntsmen fell back on the hare and the deer.

The latter is currently the subject of a spectacular population growth in the Landes forests, where the monoculture of maritime pine seems to have perfectly agreed. On the other hand, many hunters with regular dogs are content, for financial reasons, with the hunting of hares, game that can be "run" on foot, without the horses or large crew trains required by the hunt. traditional.

Now, to hunt the hare, as well as to hunt the deer in the Landes undergrowth, where ferns and gorse abound, it is better to have small dogs: they sneak better into the vegetation, and, if a hare leaves in plain, they are easier to follow by foot hunters. This does not mean, of course, that the Little Blues are less thin-nosed and less glued to the path than their larger ancestors. They seem even more demanding than the Great Blues when, by some ruse, a hare puts the pack in default. With them, we are far from these English dogs, who become discouraged as soon as a difficulty appears.

In many cases, it is more in terms of their hunting qualities than their physical appearance that the dogs that are now recognized as "Petits Bleus de Gascogne" by the Central Canine Society have been selected. The same is true of many common dogs, for which breeders are more concerned with efficiency than standard. The Vielsalm Rally, now led by Baron Janssen in Belgium, claims that his dogs are largely from Saintongeois. The Varena rally (one of the French crews to have one of the most beautiful fanfares) crossed his Little Blues with Anglo-French Tricolores.

In short, the purity of the blood of the Small Blues of Gascony will remain difficult to preserve, especially since, to remain conform to the standard, the size of the subjects must not exceed 56 centimeters at the withers for the females and 60 centimeters for the males.

The great Saint Hubert would certainly find it very difficult to find his dogs, even with the help of Gaston Phoebus. Both would doubtless hesitate in many cases if today they were asked to say precisely whether or not a particular dog has healthy blood. The important thing is to remember that our Blues are excellent running dogs, sticky to the track. Les Petits, without the need to use a meter to measure their height at the withers, are ideally suited for hare and deer. And, if they are 1 or 2 centimeters too much, the bosun can nevertheless keep them, provided they do not pretend to present them in the competitions.

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