The Basset Bleu de Gascogne, or Blue Gascony Basset, is a rare breed outside of France. Descended from the Grand Bleu de Gascogne, a much larger and older hunting breed used in the 14th century for large quarry, such as wolf and boar, the Basset Bleu de Gascogne is a smaller, long dog with shortened legs and long ears, similar to the Basset Hound. Originating from the region southwest of France, the Basset Bleu de Gascogne is classified as a scenthound that came into popularity following the French Revolution, when hunting on foot was taken up by common people, and required slower but hardy and effective dogs to track their prey.
The breed’s name is due to its heavy and distinctive ticking, which lends a blue sheen to its coat. The Basset Bleu de Gascogne is primarily a white-coated dog, with brown and tan sports and marking in the eye area and on the ears.
The coat is a single layer, smooth and flat, close to the skin.
The Basset Bleu de Gascogne is a high-spirited animal that can switch off and display a calm, steady temperament when not on the hunt. It is sociable and people-oriented, but will do better in the company of other Bassets, and will be happy sleeping in separate quarters as long as it is with its “pack.” It is great for children, as its great reserves of energy can be diverted to play, and its intelligence and athleticism means it can be depended on for tricks and amusing antics. Most of the breed is friendly towards strangers, and will not make good watch dogs. A few can be shy and reserved in the company of unknown people. An excellent scenthound, the Basset Bleu de Gascogne can be single minded when it catches an interesting scent, and may ignore its owners’ commands until it has been satisfied following the scent.
The Basset Bleu de Gascogne requires minimal maintenance for its short coat. A weekly brushing will keep it clean and smooth, while the ears need to be checked for moisture and infections.
Obedience training is necessary for the Basset Bleu de Gascogne, as this breed can be stubborn at times. Amiable and tractable enough, it is also used to working far from its owner, and this independence gives rise to a tendency to ignore commands at times when it thinks it is working.
The Basset Bleu de Gascogne has good stamina and is a tireless worker. It needs to be taken out daily and indulge its desire to walk and explore, although a leash is recommended, as the Basset Bleu de Gascogne is hard to recall once it decides to follow a scent. It can be inactive indoors, and must have regular exercise for at least an hour in duration each time to keep it toned and help maintain an ideal weight.