If you are interested in a hunting dog that also makes a great family dog, read on to learn about the Petit Bleu de Gascogne temperament.
The Petit Bleu de Gascogne is also known as the Small Blue Gascony Hound. He is a rather slow-moving, deliberate hunter with excellent nose skills, great stamina, and a “beautiful voice.”
At home, he is calm and relaxed. He is a loyal and devoted companion dog.
Petit Bleu de Gascogne Temperament
This is a very smart breed that learns quickly.
Loyalty is a hallmark of the Petit Bleu de Gascogne temperament. He forms strong bonds and is devoted to his family.
When not hunting, the Petit Bleu de Gascogne temperament is calm and quiet. When indoors, he is happy to spend time on the couch if he is well exercised.
If not, you will see the not-so-good side of the Petit Bleu de Gascogne temperament.
He is loving and affectionate toward family members. He loves to spend time with his people.
The Petit Bleu de Gascogne temperament is sweet and easygoing.
This guy has an independent streak. He is not easy to train. For this reason, the Petit Bleu de Gascogne temperament can be challenging.
7. High Prey Drive
As a scenthound, he is not trustworthy around small animals.
The Petit Bleu de Gascogne traits of gentleness and patience make him a good choice for families with children.
The Petit Bleu de Gascogne temperament is somewhat dependent. He doesn’t like to be left alone and is prone to separation anxiety.
When he’s lonely, you’re likely to see some negative Petit Bleu de Gascogne behaviors.
He doesn’t mind strangers, but he can become reserved if not socialized to them early.
The Petit Bleu de Gascogne temperament is alert and attentive. He will bark as a warning if he senses a threat.
12. Pack Mentality
He’s a pack hunter, so he gets along well with other dogs. The Petit Bleu also respects a firm leader/trainer.
The Petit Bleu de Gascogne is often called a “passionate hunter.” He has an intense work ethic.
Petit Bleu de Gascogne History
The Petit Bleu de Gascogne is a medium-sized scenthound from the Gascony region of France. Historians believe that his ancestors were ancient Gaul and Phoenician hounds.
The word “petit” in the breed’s name is not a reference to size. It’s meant to reflect the smaller game that it hunts compared to the Grand Bleu. The Grand is a legendary wild boar and deer hunter.
The only real difference the two breeds is their size.
Hunters still use the Petit Bleu as a gundog to hunt deer and rabbit. But we also see the Petit Bleu living more as a pet. Their easygoing and loyal dispositions make them good companion animals.
The Petit Bleu de Gascogne fared better in the French Revolution and both world wars than most European breeds. They are rare but not as rare as many others. They have had a presence in the USA since the 1700s but are still considered rare outside of France.
Petit Bleu de Gascogne Training
This breed can be hard to train, with an independent mind and a strong will. He is intelligent enough to learn easily. But he just doesn’t necessarily want to.
The Petit Bleu de Gascogne needs an experienced trainer with a firm and consistent guiding hand. He’s not likely to respond to harsh treatment methods, though. That firmness must be balanced with gentle positive reinforcement.
The Petit Bleu also needs early socialization to different environments, people, and animals.
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Petit Bleu de Gascogne Appearance
The Petit Bleu de Gascogne is a medium-sized dog with a compact, muscular body. His coat is thick, dense, and short.
Petit Bleu de Gascogne color is mottled black and white. From a distance, it appears blue. He commonly has black patches covering the upper half of his head. He also has tan markings on his head, legs, and tail.
His skull is slightly domed. The head is long and narrow with a strong muzzle that’s the same length as the skull.
His ears are pendulous, folded, and low-set. Eyes are brown. He has a large black nose, drooping lips, and a scissor bite.
He has a long, broad chest and powerful legs. His tapered tail is slender with a brush on the tip. He carries it saber-style.
Petit Bleu de Gascogne Size
Average Petit Bleu de Gascogne weight is 40-48 pounds. And Petit Bleu de Gascogne height averages 20-23 inches.
Hunting with a Petit Bleu de Gascogne
The Petit’s ancestor the Grand Bleu is considered the “The King of Hounds” for its noble carriage, hunting skills, and tenacity. He was a legendary deer and wild boar tracker.
The breeders who created the Petit Bleu wanted to reproduce those qualities in the Petit. It appears that they succeeded. The Petit has retained the excellent scenting skills of its ancestor the Grand.
The Petit Bleu is smaller, lighter, and a little faster on its feet than the Grand Bleu. Even so, his hunting style is still slow and deliberate.
The Petit is a versatile hunting dog. He hunts in packs or alone. He normally hunts rabbit, but he is a talented deer tracker as well.
He’s known for his endurance and tenacity in the hunt. Hunters also prize his deep voice that many consider beautiful.
Petit Bleu de Gascogne Health Issues
The Petit Bleu de Gascogne has no breed-specific health issues. Like many other breeds, though, he can be prone to several conditions.
- Hip Dysplasia– A misalignment of the ball-and-socket joint of a dog’s hips. It can cause lameness, arthritis, and loss of function. It’s common in large breeds and working breeds.
- Elbow Dysplasia– Similar to hip dysplasia but with the elbow joints.
- Bloat– A condition where a dog’s stomach becomes twisted and creates a blockage. This is common among deep-chested dogs and is a medical emergency.
- Allergies– These are only occasional diagnoses for this breed.
- Ear Infections– This is common in most breeds with pendulous ears.
- Entropion – A painful condition where an eyelid turns inward and the lash hairs rub on the cornea.
Petit Bleu de Gascogne Lifespan
The life expectancy of this breed is about 10 to 12 years.
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Caring for the Petit Bleu de Gascogne
Petit Bleu de Gascogne Grooming
The Petit Bleu de Gascogne has a short coat that’s low-maintenance. He just needs periodic brushing.
He should be bathed only when necessary with a mild shampoo made for dogs. You can use dry shampoo between baths.
The most important health concern for this breed is the ears. They need to be checked and cleaned regularly because of their high risk for ear infections.
Petit Bleu de Gascogne Diet
The Petit Bleu de Gascogne should do well on any high-quality commercial food. However, if he is an active hunter, you may want to consider an active-dog formula. You will want to keep an eye on his weight if you choose to do this.
Petit Bleu de Gascogne Exercise
He is a hunting breed, but with his smaller size, he does fine with a moderate amount of exercise. He should have at least 45 minutes a day. His ideal form of exercise would be any kind of nose work.
He also enjoys walks, jogs, and hikes, but we don’t recommend walking this dog without a leash. He is very likely to follow his nose with every interesting scent he catches. You may have a hard time calling him back.
As with any intelligent dog, the Petit Bleu needs mental stimulation as well as physical exercise. Again, nose work would be perfect for this. Visits to a dog park may also work.
This breed should also have a large enclosed space to run, sniff, and play in. He does not make a good apartment dog.
Finding a Petit Bleu de Gascogne
Buying a Petit Bleu de Gascogne from a Breeder
Although the Petit Bleu de Gascogne is said to have a presence in the US, at the time of this writing we had no luck with an Internet search for a Petit Bleu de Gascogne breeder in either the US or Canada.
If you’d like to find a Petit Bleu de Gascogne for sale, you might want to start with the UKC and/or FCI. They may be able to help you find a breeder.
Facebook and online user forums would be another good place to look. User groups exist for nearly all breeds. This would be a great way to connect with current owners of the Petit Bleu.
You may be able to get a breeder recommendation. As a bonus, you might also be able to learn more about what’s it like to live with a Petit Bleu de Gascogne.
YouTube is another possible source. Dog owners and breeders often post videos of their dogs there. Sometimes they will publish contact information.
Online magazines and hunting groups would also be a great resource for finding a reputable breeder.
Try Broadening Your Search
If all else fails, you may want to look to Europe for Petit Bleu de Gascogne puppies. Eurobreeder.com is a good place to start. At the time of this writing, there was one Petit Bleu breeder in their directory.
If you or someone you know speaks French, you would probably have better luck locating a breeder in France.
We were not able to find a reliable Petit Bleu de Gascogne price. If you are able to find one, you will need to consider the additional cost of shipment from Europe.
Vetting a Breeder
If you are able to find a breeder, you’ll want to do some research to be sure you’re not purchasing a dog from a puppy mill. Try to get trustworthy recommendations from the sources discussed above.
A responsible breeder will offer a health guarantee for your new puppy. Ask about the health of the parents and even the grandparents. Find out if the puppy will have had all its shots.
Ask what kind of training the puppies get before they are sold and if they allow site visits. (If you can make a site visit, so much the better. But ask even if you can’t. If they don’t allow them, it should be a red flag.)
If you aren’t comfortable with any of their answers, find another breeder. Chances are good that you would not be getting a healthy, well-adjusted puppy.
Petit Bleu de Gascogne Rescue/Adoption
Again, if you’re looking for a Petit Bleu de Gascogne for adoption, you may have a tough time trying to find one. You’re unlikely to find one in your local shelter.
We were unable to find any Petit Bleu rescues, but the hints above for finding a breeder may help you here as well.
You may also consider broadening your search to hunting dog rescues or hound rescues. You may just find a Petit Bleu de Gascogne in a rescue that handles more than one breed.
Is the Petit Bleu de Gascogne the Right Breed for You?
The Petit Bleu de Gascogne is a unique hunting dog. Due in part to his smaller size, he has a more moderate exercise need than his larger relatives.
He does need to be with a moderately active family, though, preferably a hunting family. Room to run and socialization are important for this breed.
A firm, experienced trainer is also important to bring out the best in the Petit Bleu de Gascogne temperament.
Of course, a hunting life would be ideal. But with the right training and enough exercise, this breed could transition to a nonhunting life fairly easily.
If you can meet his needs, the Petit Bleu de Gascogne temperament may be the perfect blend of adventurer and homebody for your family.