Basset Bleu de Gascogne
Basset Bleu de Gascogne – General Description
The Basset Bleu de Gascogne also known as the Blue Gascony Basset is a long-backed, short legged breed of dog of the hound type. A breed with origins in the Middle Ages which descends from the Grand Bleu de Gascogne however it nearly went extinct around the early 19th century and its savior was attributed to Alain Bourbon. A French native breed, it is rare outside of its homeland. It is recognized internationally by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, in the UK by The Kennel Club, and by the United Kennel Club in the United States. The “bleu” of its name is a reference to its coat which has a ticked appearance.
Classification and Standards
- FCI Group 6 Section 1
- KC (UK) Hound
- UKC Scenthounds
Character & Temperament
The Basset Bleu de Gascogne is one of the most popular breeds of pets. This is because of their very calm and gentle disposition. They are loyal companions and are easy to train. This goes well with their need to stay indoors most of the time. The dog is one of the gentlest dogs to have as a pet. They are very calm and hence are good with small children. They need a lot of exercise too. They are susceptible to become very territorial and aggressive about their boundaries. They need to be trained well in their younger age to be less aggressive. They are also good guard dogs. Their instinct to hunt small game means they will chase any small animal including cats.
The Basset Bleu de Gascogne descended directly from the old breed of Grand Bleu de Gascogne. They have been recorded in paintings from the 14th century in Gascony, southwest France. The exact origin of the breed is debated, one theory is that it is a cross of the Grand Bleu with the Saintongeois Basset, another theory is that the Basset Bleu is a natural mutation of the Grand combined with selective breeding for shorter legs in order to slow down the breed. It is thought that Gaston III of Foix-Béarn kept a pack of these dogs to hunt wild boar and wolves. He is known as the writer of the Livre de chasse, considered the classic treatise on medieval hunting.
Prior to the French Revolution, hunting was reserved for the nobility who generally hunted on horseback. Following the French Revolution, hunting was opened up to the common people who would hunt on foot and found following a large hunting dog difficult. From this the slower, shorter legged Basset Bleu de Gascogne may have been created.
During the early 19th century the breed nearly went extinct with a declining popularity in hunting. However, the breed was saved and revived by the work of Alain Bourbon.
Today, the Basset Bleu is one of six types of Basset Hound recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale.
Recognition & Categorization
The Kennel Club of the UK recognizes the Basset Bleu De Gascogne in the imported breed register and in the Hound Group. The United Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1991, and both they and the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) list the Basset Bleu De Gascogne in the Scenthound Group. The breed is also known as the Blue Gascony Basset in the FCI. The Basset Bleu De Gascogne is not recognized by the American Kennel Club or the Canadian Kennel Club. In addition to the major registries, the Basset Bleu De Gascogne is also recognized by many minor registries and specialty registries, including as a rare breed under the American Rare Breed Association which uses the FCI standard.
Size & Appearance
The color of their coat is predominantly white, ticked so as to give a bluish appearance, with brown spots and tan markings above the eyes and on the ears. They are a smooth-coated breed. Height at the withers is usually between 34 and 42 centimetres (13 and 17 in) although the Kennel Club standard specifies 30–38 centimetres (12–15 in). Their general appearance is usually not too heavy, and they weigh between 16 and 18 kilograms (35 and 40 lb). They have dark brown eyes and low-set ears that can reach at least the end of their muzzle. Because of their working nature as a hunting hound, effects of this work such as scars, nicks, notches on the ears and so on are not considered a fault in the show ring.
Health & Maintenance
The Basset Bleu de Gascogne is prone to ear infections, therefore, they must be regularly checked and cleaned. Hunting dogs typically will not require nail cutting, however pets may need regular clippings.
Brushing weekly will maintain their coat.
- Cunliffe, Juliette (1999). “The Hound Group”. The Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds. Parragon. pp. 208. ISBN 978-0-7525-8018-0.
- Hutchinson, Robert (2005-02-07). “The Low-down on Dachshunds and Bassets”. For The Love Of Dachshunds. BrownTrout Publishers. pp. 36. ISBN 978-1-56313-903-1.
- “Basset Bleu De Gascogne Breed Standard”. The Kennel Club. 06-05-05. – http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/10
- “Basset Bleu de Gascogne (Revised January 1, 2009)”. United Kennel Club. 2009-01-01. – http://www.ukcdogs.com/WebSite.nsf/Breeds/BassetBleuDeGascogneRevisedJanuary12009
- “Basset Bleu de Gascogne Information”. Sarah’s Dogs. – http://www.sarahsdogs.com/breeds/basset_bleu_de_gascogne/
- “Le Basset Bleu de Gascogne” (in French). Elevage Amateur Du Mas Gauthier. – http://bassetbleudegascogne.free.fr/historique.htm
- Tuchman, Barbara (1987-07-12). A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century (Reissue paperback ed.). Ballantine Books. ISBN 978-0-345-34957-6.
- Fogle, Bruce (2002). Dogalog. Dorling Kindersley. p. 48. ISBN 978-0-7894-8394-2.
- “Blue Gascony Basset”. Fédération Cynologique Internationale. 1996-01-24. – http://www.fci.be/uploaded_files/035gb2001_en.doc&hl=en&gl=ca&ct=clnk&cd=1
- “Blue Gascony Basset”. American Rare Breed Association. – http://www.arba.org/basset_bleu_d_gascogne.htm
- M.W. Reichert (Eingestellt von Caronna 10:10, 25 January 2006) (http://presperceneige.free.fr/) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Elevage d’An Naoned (Elevage d’An Naoned) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
- Sunkawakan (Own work) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-2.5 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
- W. E. Mason – “Dogs of all Nations” [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Basset Bleu de Gascogne (Blue Gascony Basset)
FCI-Standard N° 35 / 25. 11. 1996 / GB
TRANSLATION : Mrs. Peggy Davis.
ORIGIN : France.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD : 24.01.1996.
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.
F.C.I. CLASSIFICATION :
- Group 6 Scenthounds.
- Section 1.3 Small sized scenthounds.
With working trial.
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 substantial but yet not too heavy.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS :
- Size/Body length about 5/8.
- Depth of chest/size about 2/3.
BEHAVIOR / 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.
CRANIAL REGION :
Skull : 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.
Stop : Hardly accentuated.
FACIAL REGION :
Nose : Black, large; nostrils well open.
Muzzle : Same length as the skull; strong; nasal bridge slightly arched.
Lips : 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.
Jaws/Teeth : Scissor bite. Incisors set square to the jaws.
Cheeks : Lean; the skin may show one or two folds.
Eyes : Oval shaped, seem deep set; brown. Gentle expression, a little sad.
Leathers : 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.
Back : Long, well supported.
Loin : Short, well coupled, sometimes arched.
Rump : Slightly oblique.
Chest : 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.
Flank : Quite deep.
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.
View of the ensemble : Forelegs strong, slight torsion may be tolerated up to semi-torsion (semi-crooked).
Shoulder : Muscled, without heaviness, and oblique.
Elbow : Very close to the body.
View of the ensemble : 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.
Thigh : Long and muscled.
Hock joint : Large, slightly bent; quite let down.
Metatarsal : Short and strong.
Of a slightly elongated oval, toes lean and tight. Pads and nails black.
GAIT / 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 extended 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.
Height at the 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.
- Skull too broad and flat.
- Round eye, globular.
- Leathers set high, broad, thick, round.
- Short neck.
- Long, soft topline; lack of substance.
- Xiphoid appendage drawn in.
- Flat ribs.
- Deviated tail.
- Straight shoulder.
- Out at the elbows.
- Crooked pasterns, knuckling over.
- Splay feet.
- Cow hocks or barrel hocks seen from behind.
- Short (smooth) and fine.
- Tan too pale.
- Timid subject.
ELIMINATING FAULTS :
- Frightened or aggressive subject.
- Serious anatomical malformations.
- Visible disabling effect.
- Lack of type.
- Over- or undershot mouth.
- Light eye.
- 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 behavioral abnormalities shall be disqualified.
N.B. : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
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