Gascon Saintongeois – General Description
The Gascon Saintongeois is a breed of dog of the scenthound type, recognized in two sizes, Grand (large) and Petite (smaller than the Grand, but not a small dog.) Originating in France, the breed is used for hunting in packs and descends from the old Hound of Saintonge type of large hunting dog.
Classification and Standards
- FCI Group 6, #21; Section 1.1 (Large) #21a, 1.2 (Medium) #21b,
- UKC Scenthound Group
Character & Temperament
The breed is noted for its good nose and excellent voice, important attributes in a hunting dog. It is instinctively a pack dog.
Only three hounds survived the French Revolution, and Count Joseph de Carayon-Latour in the mid-19th century crossed the last of the old Hound of Saintonge with a few of the remaining old type Bleu de Gascogne. The hounds that were white with black ticking were retained and later given the name Gascon-saintongeois.
In the middle of the 20th century, hunters in the south west of France selected smaller dogs from litters of Grand Gascon Saintongeois for hunting hare and other small game. These became the Petite Gascon Saintongeois.
The Grand Gascon Saintongeois is used for hunting big game, but also hare, usually in a pack. The Petite Gascon Saintongeois is a versatile hunter, usually used on hare but also for big game.
Size & Appearance
The breed is a very typical French hound, with a lean and muscular body, long legs, long drop ears and pendulous flews (lips). Size for the Grand is 25.6 to 28.3 inches (65 to 72 cm) at the withers, females slightly smaller; size for the Petite is 22 to 24.4 inches (56 to 62 cm) at the withers, making it still a fairly large dog; females are slightly smaller.
The color of the coat is white with black patches, sometimes speckled or ticked with black. Ears and face around the eyes is black and the cheeks are tan, but there should not be a tricolor appearance. Two tan markings are above the eyes, and sometimes a tan marking is found on the base of the upper thigh, which is called the ‘roe buck mark’. Faults, which indicate the dog should not be bred, include lack of substance, weak back, deviated tail, cow hocked, or legs that are too angulated or straight, which would impede running ability, as well as being off-color or overly aggressive or overly shy.
Health & Maintenance
No unusual health problems or claims of extraordinary health have been documented for this breed.
- Breed Standard
- Clark, Anne Rogers; Andrew H. Brace (1995). The International Encyclopedia of Dogs. Howell Book House. pp. 230–231. ISBN 0-87605-624-9.
- Author releases image into the [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
- W. E. Mason – Dogs of all Nations [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
FCI-Standard N° 21/ 28.03.07 /GB
TRANSLATION : Jennifer Mulholland in collaboration with Raymond Triquet
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD: 06.03.07.
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.
F.C.I. CLASSIFICATION :
- Group 6 Scenthounds.
- Section 1.1 Large sized scenthounds
- Section 1.2 Medium sized scenthounds.
Great G.S. :
With working trial.
Small G.S. :
With working trial.
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.
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.
Height at the withers/scapular-ischial length, ratio 10/10.5
Length of muzzle equal to that of the skull.
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.
The lines of the skull and the muzzle are divergent.
Skull: 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.
Stop: Only slightly pronounced.
Nose: Black, well developed; nostrils well opened.
Lips: Covering the lower jaw; corners discreet. The edges of the lips are black.
Muzzle: Strong; slightly convex.
Jaws: Scissor bite. Incisors are set well square to the jaws.
Eyes: Oval shape; brown. Edges of eyelids are black. Gentle and trusting expression.
Ears: 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.
Back: Very taut, without excess in length.
Loin: Well attached, slightly arched, quite muscular and not too long.
Croup: Of good length, slightly sloping.
Chest: Broad and long, reaching the elbow. Forechest rather broad.
Ribs: Slightly rounded and long.
Flank: Slightly tucked up.
Strong set on; tapering well to the tip, reaching the point of the hock. Carried elegantly like a sabre.
Overall view: Powerful forehand.
Shoulder: Quite long, muscled; moderately oblique.
Elbow: Close to the body.
Forearm: Strong bone.
Feet: Slightly elongated oval; toes lean and tight-fitting. Pads and nails black.
Overall view: Well proportioned.
Upper thigh: Long and well muscled.
Hock: Broad, well angulated and well let down in line with the body.
Regular and effortless.
Supple and not too thick. White with black patches.
Short and tight.
The ground color 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 tricolor appearance. Sometimes at the base of the upper thigh there is a typical dead-leaf marking called “roe buck mark”.
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.
- Broad skull
- Ears: short, high set
- Absence of tan markings
- Lack of substance
- Slack back
- Croup falling away
- Deviated tail
- Bone structure insufficiently developed
- Shoulder too oblique or too straight
- Splayed feet
- Hind angulation straight
- Cow hocked
- 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.
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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