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17 Ariegeois Temperament Traits That Makes It a Devoted Scenthound

The Ariegeois temperament is well suited to anyone who is looking for a hunting partner who will also make a good family companion.

But she could also fit into a nonhunting family, as long as she gets the physical activity she needs.

The Ariegeois is a French hunting dog with excellent skills who is even-tempered, lovable, and easy to care for. Unfortunately, she is rare outside of France (although that is beginning to change).

She is also independent and can have a mind of her own, but she is devoted to her master.

Read on to learn more about the Ariegeois traits. She is a rare breed in more ways than one.

Ariegeois Temperament and Personality Traits

1. Eager to Learn

The Ariegeois can be easy to train and enjoys learning.

2. Independent

The Ariegeois temperament can be very independent. She does have a mind of her own. However, the closer she is with her owner, the happier she is to follow commands.

3. Gentle

She has a sweet disposition that makes her an excellent family dog.

4. Affectionate

The Ariegeois temperament is lovable. She enjoys showing affection to her family members.

5. Devoted

This breed is so devoted to its family members that she might ignore her need for exercise. She will instead spend as much time as she can with her people and be content to be indoors if that’s where her family is.

This can lead to obesity in the Ariegeois. She will rely on you to be sure she gets the exercise she needs for a good quality of life.

6. Playful

The Ariegeois temperament is fun. She loves to play and is very good with children.

7. Easygoing

The Ariegeois temperament is easy to get along with. She’s cheerful and content in the home.

8. Loyal

She enjoys family life and is devoted to her family. Some will follow their masters everywhere.

9. Curious

The Ariegeois loves to explore new places.

10. Friendly

The Ariegeois temperament is very friendly. She gets along well with other dogs and with people, though she can be a bit shy with strangers. She does not make a good watchdog.

11. Quiet

The Ariegeois is a breed that does not bark a lot except when they are hunting. She can be a little reserved at times.

12. Sociable

The Ariegeois temperament is very social. She is used to hunting in packs, so she likes to be with other dogs. She also enjoys being with people, especially her family members.

As pack hunters, they are especially happy in homes that have at least one other dog. That said, this is not a requirement. They will be content in a home where they get the attention they need from their people.

13. Athletic

She is a fast and agile hunter, able to run quickly over many types of terrain.

14. Adaptable

If she gets enough exercise, she is content to lie around the house with the family. She also will enjoy participating in any activity you like.

Some hunting breeds would be miserable if they were expected to live a nonhunting life. The Ariegeois would be equally content to get her exercise in other ways. Just see that she gets an hour or so of vigorous exercise a day.

She would still be a great family companion.

15. Hardy

She has great endurance as a hunter. She also adapts easily to any climate.

16. Determined

The Ariegeois temperament can be tenacious. She does not give up easily when she is working.

17. Prey Drive

She can be socialized to cats if they are brought up together. But small household pets may not be safe around the Ariegeois.

You will also need to keep her contained to keep her from the neighbor’s cats.

Ariegeois History

The Ariegeois is a medium-sized scenthound who is a pack hunter. She originates from the Ariege province in southwestern France.

You may also hear this breed called the Ariege Hound, Ariegeois Dog, or Briquet du Midi.

The breed is fairly new, having been around since 1912. It is a favorite hunting dog in its home country.

She is the product of crossings of three French hounds—the Grand Bleu de Gascogne, the Grand Cascon-Saintongeois, and Briquet—local dogs of the Ariege, or Midi, region.

She was once a courser, or sighthound, and was a favorite of the French nobility. She also had the job of driving game to the hunter’s guns.

Following the French Revolution, she became more of a dog for the lower classes. Today she is a scenthound used to hunt deer, boar, and more commonly, rabbits.

From the time of its introduction, the locals in the Ariege province considered the Ariegeois a half-breed because of its mixed ancestry. It wasn’t until the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) acknowledged the breed in 1954 that it earned the purebred designation.

The United Kennel Club (UKC) recognized the Ariegeois in 1993.

Like so many other European breeds, the Ariegeois barely survived World War II. A careful breeding program has restored the breed, and today it is becoming better known outside of Europe.

Ariegeois Training

The Ariegeois is intelligent enough to be easily trained. The closer the relationship with her owner, the more willing she is to obey.

She has the independence of a hunter, so she needs firm obedience training. Luckily, she enjoys the learning process when the discipline is gentle and fair. Positive reinforcement methods work best.

She also enjoys activities with her humans, so using games as training opportunities could be fun for both of you.

As a scenthound, she may need extra training on and off leash to keep her from being distracted and trying to follow her nose.

Helpful Dog Training Resource:

For help with training your Ariegeois dog, you should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.

Ariegeois Hunting

Many feel that the Ariegeois is an “improved version” of her ancestor hounds. She is the smallest of the three “Midi hounds” and is an outstanding hunter.

She was a great boar and deer hunter in the past and still does a little of that now. But today she is more of a rabbit hunter and is highly skilled at that. She is both a courser and a flusher.

Hunters prize her excellent nose, her intelligence, and her trainability. She has more endurance than most hounds of her size and is very fast and agile, even over rugged and rocky terrain.

She is also tenacious, independent, and resourceful in her work.

She needs very little training to do her scent work and does it enthusiastically. She also has a deep, surprisingly powerful voice that adds to her value as a hunter.

Ariegeois Appearance

General Appearance

The Ariegeois is a medium-sized dog who looks like many other French hounds. The major difference is her size. She is smaller than most hounds.

She has a sturdy, muscular build with a deep but narrow chest. Her skull has a slight dome. Her ears are low-set and hanging. She has brown eyes and an alert expression.

Her lips are thin and tight, and she has a scissor bite. She has a long, slender neck.

Her legs are long with hare-type feet. The tail is tapered and held like a saber when she’s active.

Ariegeois Size

Average Ariegeois weight is 55 to 60 pounds. Ariegeois height averages 20 to 23 inches.

Ariegeois Color

Their coats are white and black—usually mottled or ticked. Some have tan markings on the face.

Ariegeois Health Issues

The Ariegeois has no breed-specific issues other than being prone to obesity. You will want to watch her weight carefully, especially if she doesn’t hunt.

Ariegeois Lifespan

Life expectancy of the Ariegeois is 12 to 14 years.

Helpful Health Resource

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Caring for the Ariegeois

Ariegeois Grooming

The Ariegeois has a smooth and short coat that’s low maintenance. She needs regular brushing and a bath only when needed. She is an average shedder.

Because she has pendulous ears, she will need to have her ears checked and cleaned frequently. Like all dogs, she will also need her teeth brushed regularly and nails trimmed periodically.

Ariegeois Diet

If your Ariegeois is very active, she may need a performance-formula food. Otherwise, she should do fine on any high-quality food. As above, be sure to keep an eye on her weight.

Ariegeois Exercise

This breed is not well suited to apartment living, although it could work if she gets enough exercise. Keep in mind that she will follow your lead regarding exercise and needs you to see that she does not become overweight.

The Ariegeois is generally not very active indoors, which could also contribute to obesity. She needs a large yard to run in at the very least. She will do better, though, with regular walks, hikes, or other outdoor activities.

She also loves running, chasing balls, or sniffing out treats hidden in the yard.

Finding an Ariegeois

Buying an Ariegeois from a Breeder

Ariegeois price is around $1100, if you are lucky enough to find one. This is a very rare breed that is rarely seen outside of France. Ariegeois breeders are working to change that, but even in their home region, they are still scarce.

This doesn’t mean that is it impossible to find one, however. Both the FCI and the UKC recognize this breed. You could contact them to ask about breeders they may be aware of.

If you did find a Ariegeois for sale, it may mean importing one from Europe. But as time goes on, the Ariegeois should become more available. More breeders are sure to contribute to the efforts to bring the Ariegeois back to healthy numbers.

Another alternative is to consider the Petit Bleu de Gascogne (also called Small Gascony Blue). This dog is very similar to the Ariegeois. They are both medium-sized dogs. They are the same height, but the Petit Bleu is a little heavier.

They are both low-maintenance French breeds with very similar temperaments. They make equally good family dogs who are gentle with children and loyal to their families.

The only major differences in their temperaments is that the Petit Bleu can be a bit more independent and territorial. This is not usually an issue, however, for dogs who are well trained and socialized from puppyhood.

The Petit Bleu is also a rare dog but may be easier to find than the Ariegeois. Again, the FCI and UKC are good places to start your search.

Another option for either breed is to check online for forums and user groups. There are forums and Facebook groups for nearly every breed.

Ariegeois for Adoption or Rescue

For the same reason, there are no Ariegeois rescues online at the time of this writing. You would also be very unlikely to find an Ariegeois at a shelter at this time.

Again, the FCI and UKC may have information about Ariegeois rescues.

If you are able to find a rescue, the dog would likely be an adult. There are a lot of advantages to adopting an older dog.

Someone else would have gone through the sleepless puppy nights and the housebreaking. The dog would be spayed or neutered already. It would have had its immunizations and any healthcare it needed.

Adopting an adult dog would also cost less than buying an Ariegeois puppy from a breeder.

The best information available on the Internet at the time of this writing is that Ariegeois puppies from breeders cost around $1100. The cost of adoption would probably be anywhere from $75 to $300.

And, of course, you would have the joy of giving a loving home to a wonderful dog who needs one.

Why the Ariegeois?

The Ariegeois is a wonderful dog. Yes, she is rare and hard to find. But the Ariegeois behaviors and temperament make this a breed that is worth the wait.

Her devotion to her family and her ability to adapt easily to either hunting or nonhunting life would make her a wonderful addition to an active family. As long as she gets enough exercise, she will be content to “go with the flow” and just be with her people.

If you do hunt, however, and would like a partner with excellent skills that also makes a great family companion, the Ariegeois temperament will not disappoint.