The Griffon Bleu de Gascogne temperament is something special. He is a fiercely passionate hunter who also happens to be a sensitive and affectionate family dog.
He’s a rare French scenthound who is slowly gaining popularity in North America because of his ability to fit into most homes as a loving companion dog.
Griffon Bleu de Gascogne Temperament
Like most hunting dogs, the Griffon Bleu can be an independent thinker. This doesn’t make him challenging to train, though, as it can with other hunting breeds.
But it does make him a versatile hunter. While he is a pack dog, he is also content to hunt by himself and to make his own decisions.
The Griffon Bleu de Gascogne temperament is openly affectionate to his family members. He loves to cuddle on the coach.
This guy has an outgoing and adventurous personality. He is nearly always looking for someone to play with.
This dog is usually eager to please his owner/trainer.
He forms strong attachments with his family members.
The Griffon Bleu de Gascogne temperament is gentle and sweet. He is good with children.
He is friendly with nearly everyone, including strangers.
This is a bright and lively breed. He has lots of positive energy, though he may appear a bit shy at first.
The Griffon Bleu de Gascogne temperament is vigilant. He will bark loudly to alert you to approaching strangers.
The Griffon Bleu gets his feelings hurt easily. He needs to be treated with respect or he will be difficult to train.
The Griffon Bleu de Gascogne temperament is quite social. He has a pack mentality, so he enjoys the company of humans, particularly his family. He also gets along well with other dogs.
The Griffon Bleu should not be left along for long periods of time. He is prone to separation anxiety.
This breed’s personality is go-with-the-flow, on and off the field. He is equally comfortable indoors or outside.
On the hunt, he is comfortable with nearly any terrain and climate. He is also happy hunting independently or as part of a pack.
The Griffon Bleu can be overly enthusiastic at times. You will want to supervise him with very young children to prevent accidents.
Griffon Bleu de Gascogne History
The Griffon Bleu de Gascogne is a scenthound that originated in France. The breed’s ancestors have been around since ancient times. Historians believe they were brought by Phoenicians from the Middle East.
Breeders’ intent was to create a version of the Grand Bleu de Gascogne to hunt smaller game. The Griffon Bleu traditionally hunts both large and small game.
All of the Gascogne breeds are excellent hunters with outstanding senses of smell. They all have a passion for hunting with great energy and stamina.
The Griffon Bleu is specifically prized for his ability to hunt solo or in packs of up to 100 dogs. He is also known for having a “good voice.” The Griffon Bleu is the only one of the four related breeds that have the long, wiry coat.
The Griffon Bleu is a rare dog outside of France, but they are gaining popularity. People are realizing that this breed makes a wonderful family pet. The Griffon Bleu is now being exported to countries outside of Europe.
The Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) recognized this breed in 1963 followed by the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 1991. This Griffon Bleu de Gascogne has not yet been recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Griffon Bleu de Gascogne Training
The Griffon Bleu de Gascogne temperament makes him fairly easy to train. Because of his sensitive nature, he needs gentle training. Harsh methods will cause him to shut down and shy away.
He has an outgoing and friendly nature. Early socialization to strangers is still a good idea to allow for individual difference within the breed.
As above, he does need to be socialized to very young children to prevent accidents due to his excitability.
Remember that he has a sensitive nature. You should also teach children who will be around him how to treat the dog respectfully.
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Griffon Bleu de Gascogne Appearance
General Appearance medium
The Griffon Bleu de Gascogne is a hunting dog of medium size with a strong, muscular body and a rustic look.
The Griffon Bleu is known for his rough, shaggy blue coat. His color is a mottled black and white that looks blue, with black patches and spots. He has tan markings on the face and legs and under his tail.
The underlying skin is thick, black or marbled black with white. This contributes to the overall blue effect of his coat.
His head is slightly domed with a muzzle the same length as the skull. He has the drooping hound’s ears, though they’re not as long as many other hound breeds. They are somewhat pointed and curl slightly.
His oval-shaped brown eyes have a soulful expression. He has heavy brown eyebrows that create what the French call a “quatreoeuille” (four-eyed) effect. The nose is large and black. He has a scissors bite.
His neck is slender with a dewlap. The chest is well-developed with rounded ribs.
His tail is long and curved upward, carried saber style.
Griffon Bleu de Gascogne Size
Average Griffon Bleu de Gascogne weight is 36 to 40 pounds.
The Griffon Bleu de Gascogne height averages 19-1/2 to 23-12 inches for males and 19 to 21-1/2 inches for females.
Griffon Bleu de Gascogne Lifespan
The life expectancy of this breed is about 10 to 14 years.
Hunting with a Griffon Bleu de Gascogne
This breed is an excellent hunter. He is versatile—tracking hare in France and wild boar in Spain. He is able to negotiate rough terrain and has an outstanding nose. Hunters also appreciate his loud voice.
They are fierce and fearless hunters with great endurance. They also have a true passion for their work.
Griffon Bleu de Gascogne Health Issues
The Griffon Bleu is a very healthy breed with no genetic health conditions. However, there are a few conditions that are not breed-specific that you should look out for:
- Allergies. Just like humans, dogs can have allergic reactions to environmental or food allergens.
- Bloat. This is not uncommon with working dogs who may exercise vigorously on a full stomach. This occurs when the dog’s stomach twists around itself, causing a blockage. It is considered a medical emergency that requires surgery.
- Ear infections. The long, pendulous ears of hounds are an ideal humid environment for yeast and bacteria.
- Hip dysplasia. This is a malformation of the ball-and-socket joint of the hip. It can cause lameness, arthritis, and severe pain. It’s not uncommon in large dogs or working breeds.
- Elbow Dysplasia. A malformation of the three bones of the elbow, or front leg. It can also lead to arthritis and severe pain.
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Caring for the Griffon Bleu de Gascogne
Griffon Bleu de Gascogne Grooming
The Griffon Bleu is a moderate shedder. He needs brushing once or twice a week to remove dead hair and vegetation from the field.
His coat should be hand-stripped every six months or so. This can be done by a groomer, or you can learn how to do it yourself from YouTube videos.
He should not be bathed often, maybe every few months or if he gets into something smelly. Use a mild shampoo made for dogs. This will help to prevent stripping the natural oils from his coat.
As above, he is prone to ear infections because of his pendulous hound’s ears. They need to be checked and cleaned regularly. They also need to be dried thoroughly after baths or swimming.
Like all dogs, he also needs his teeth brushed and nails trimmed routinely.
Griffon Bleu de Gascogne Diet
This dog should do well on any high-quality commercial dog food. If he is hunting or otherwise very active, you may want to feed him a working-dog formula, which has more protein and fat.
If you choose this diet, you will need to watch his weight carefully to be sure he is not getting too many calories.
Griffon Bleu de Gascogne Exercise
As a hunting dog, the Griffon Bleu de Gascogne has a moderately high exercise need. Of course, hunting would be the ideal way for him to get that.
If he is not hunting, you will need to substitute another activity to keep him busy and exercised. Long jogs or hikes would work well. He also likes to swim and loves to run.
You will probably not want to exercise the Griffon Bleu off-lead. He has a strong prey drive and is prone to running off to follow an interesting scent.
Your Griffon Bleu would also enjoy activities like any kind of nose work or scenting trials.
Because of his high exercise need, the Griffon Bleu de Gascogne is not suited for apartment living. He should have a large yard to run and play in, particularly in a rural setting.
Finding a Griffon Bleu de Gascogne
Buying a Griffon Bleu de Gascogne from a Breeder
This dog is a rare breed, so finding a Griffon Bleu de Gascogne for sale may take patience. At the time of this writing, we were unable to find any Griffon Bleu de Gascogne breeders in North America.
However, we did find videos on YouTube and groups on Facebook related to the Griffon Bleu de Gascogne. A search may turn up owners, breeders, and group members who can help you find a breeder.
If all else fails, you may wish to import a Griffon Bleu de Gascogne puppy from Europe. You might try Eurobreeder.com. They may be able to help you find a Griffon Bleu breeder.
This rare dog is gaining popularity in North America. In time, they should be easier to find.
When you do find a breeder, be sure to do some homework. Check with the Better Business Bureau. Run the name by the folks you connect with on your online searches.
You need a trustworthy recommendation to be sure you’re not purchasing a dog from a puppy mill.
If you buy a puppy mill dog, you may find yourself with an unhealthy, poorly adjusted dog with no guarantees.
You may also get a dog who doesn’t have the Griffon Bleu de Gascogne traits you’re looking for. Puppy mill breeders don’t concern themselves with keeping the breed “true to type.”
Griffon Bleu de Gascogne Rescue/Adoption
If you would prefer to find a Griffon Bleu de Gascogne for adoption, you could try the tips above to start with.
Another route you could take would be to search European Griffon adoption sites. There were at least two at the time of this writing, Adoptagriffon.org.uk and Adopt-a-griffon.eu. Both of these sites deal with several types of Griffons, not just the Griffon Bleu.
If you’re able to find a rescue, you will most likely be adopting an adult dog. Rescuing an adult has some great advantages over buying a Griffon Bleu de Gascogne puppy.
It would already be spayed or neutered. Someone else would already have gone through those challenging puppy days with it.
Chances are good it would be housebroken. It may even be microchipped.
But best of all, you would have the joy of providing a loving home to a dog who needs one.
Is the Griffon Bleu de Gascogne the Right Breed for You?
The Griffon Bleu de Gascogne is an unusual hunting dog. Unlike most hunting breeds, as long as he is provided with enough exercise, he can make the transition from hunter to family pet quite easily.
If you’re interested in a courageous hunting partner, he is fierce enough to stand up to a wild boar. Yet he has a nearly ideal disposition for family life, too. He is gentle and loving with children and friendly to nearly everyone.
If you would appreciate a rare pet with excellent hunting skills and an enthusiastic, affectionate companion, the Griffon Bleu de Gascogne may be the perfect fit.