The Grand Bleu de Gascogne is one of the oldest scenthound breeds, with its origins dating back to the 14th century in the region of Gascony, France. It's believed to descend from the St. Hubert Hound, also known as the Bloodhound, which was bred by the monks of the Saint-Hubert Monastery in Belgium. The Grand Bleu de Gascogne was primarily bred for hunting large game, such as deer and boar, due to its remarkable scenting ability and endurance.
The Great Gascony Blue is generally healthy breed but can suffer from demodectic mange, ear infections, warts, cysts, gum disease, hip dysplasia, and hemophilia. Genetic testing is recommended, including for the following additional conditions: hyperuricosoria, degenerative myelopathy, and progressive rod-cone degeneration.
Known for their calm and gentle demeanor, Grand Bleu de Gascognes are generally excellent family dogs. They are affectionate and good with children. Despite their hunting origins, they are not typically aggressive. However, their strong scenting ability means they can be prone to distraction and may not always respond to commands when on the scent of something interesting.
Due to their history as pack dogs, they generally get along well with other dogs but may have a tendency to assert dominance. They require ample physical exercise and mental stimulation, given their working background.
The breed's name, "Grand Bleu de Gascogne," translates to "Great Blue Dog of Gascony," with the "blue" referring to its unique coat color.
The breed's unique howl can be heard from miles away – a trait that was prized for hunting purposes, as it allowed hunters to track their dogs from a distance.
The breed appears in artwork as far back as the 14th century, reflecting its long history in French society.