Billy (Chien Blanc du Roy)

Country of origin:
Height (cm):
Weight (kg):
Life span (years):
white, milk-cofee white, white with light orange or lemon patches or mantle
Hair length:
Recognized by:
FCI code:
Good with kids:
Download standard:
The Billy is a graceful, clever dog that is endowed with exceptional hunting abilities. This excellent, somewhat slow but assiduous hound possesses sonorous voice, unique scent and impressive look. The Billy is the last descendent of a large scent hound that was popular among members of French royal families from the realm of the king Francois I to the time of King Louis XIV.

The progenitor of the Billy and breeds that constitute its early genealogy appears to be the King’s White Dog, that was utilized as a pack hound by the French nobility over hundreds of years. In the wake of the French Revolution, in the XVII century, hunting with packs of dogs ceased to be royal privilege, which led to full extinction of King’s White Dog. Though its genes kept living, as the breed participated in first breeding experiments, which preceded the creation of the first Billy dog in the XIX century in central and western France.

Gaston Hublot du Rivault crossed the King’s White Dog with smaller Swiss hound to breed a new kind of dog, the Ceris. He mixed genes of the Ceris, Montembeouf and Larrye breeds to design a breed with superb scenting talents as well as an unbelievable stamina and firmness of spirit. The dog was called in honor of the place of its origin, Château de Billy in Poitou.

Since then the Billy was successfully engaged in hunting activities throughout the French countryside. Such a broad and eager recognition of the breed resulted in its standardization as early as in 1886. Gradually the Billy gained real popularity in France not only for being an exceptional hunter, but because of its spectacular look and obliging character.

In the early XX century due to the two World Wars the number of Billys dwindled drastically and by the end of the World War II only ten dogs outlasted. The son of the breed’s original founder du Rivault used these ten to recreate the breed later in the XX century.

Fortunately, owning to vigorous participation of devoted breed fans in the last few decades, Billy’s increase in number no longer leaves it in peril of extinction. The dog is still very scarce outside its homeland, nevertheless in France the Billy is greatly treasured and employed for its original intention as a pack hunter even today. The dog was officially accepted as a distinct and individual breed by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1973, and then by the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 1996.

The Billy was destined and developed as a hunting dog, specifically exploited to hunt in packs during XIX century in rural suburb of France. As such, the dog has well-established voice, it can modulate in amazing way to pinpoint for its master the sort of game it has found. The Billy has been complimented for being smart and crafty. Since the breed has been bred as a hunting partner for a long time, it tends to develop tight connection with its master and requires lots of his attention and care.

The Billy is devoted and credulous dog, soft and pleasing in every way. Its demeanor is notable for obedience and civility, what makes it an ideal friend for a child and desirable family member. The Billy is always amicable, even with strangers, so it’s considered to be a bad guard dog but supreme hunting partner and home pet.

The Billy gets on well with other dogs, though, being a pack hound, it can express some rival feelings towards the dogs of same sex in attempt to assert its alpha status. The Billy has well-formed prey instinct, so it would be wise never to leave it unchecked within the presence of such home pets as cats and other smaller animals.

Health Problems
The most common problems for the breed include:

• colds and bronchitis;
• ears problems.

The Billy has a short, rough coat, which needs little grooming and attendance. The owner should brush it weekly in order to get rid of dead hair and help to spread the natural skin oil on the dog’s coat, maintaining it shiny and appealing. With the use of a wet cloth the Billy can be cleaned of filth and debris from its trunk. Bath is recommended occasionally, approximately once a month.

Eyes, ears, nose, nails, teeth of the dog should be regularly investigated and taken care of if necessary. Special attention require Billy’s ears, as they tend to get infected very easily. Clean it with wet soft mop every other week.

In general, this breed is a perfect choice for one who doesn’t want to fuss around with brush every day and prefers other types of communication with the dog.

Training practices should be applied to Billy at the early stage of its life for it to become fully fledged and well-behaved member of a family. The breed shows high level of intelligence and trainability. At the same time as a scent hound and a pack dog it is predisposed to get carried away by scents easily therefore should be granted some admission to instinctual conduct. In this case the trainer can get the Billy on track by gentle persuasion and reinforcement.

Trainer who is capable of exercising patience and strength during learning sessions is the most appropriate one for this dog. Steady learning process, clearly outlined rules and firm, but encouraging trainer are key ingredients of successful training experience. The Billy can outperform in obedience training and hunting contest.

As a hunter, the Billy is used to long, energetic types of outdoors activities. Consequently, the breed demands substantial amount of exercise to stay cheerful and fit. The dog emanates with power and excessive energy, so it can be hardly led on the leash for a long time. The master should provide between 45 minutes and 60 minutes exercise every day to sustain the Billy’s health. It’s important to replicate somehow hunting and pack experience if the dog is deprived of it in order to reduce its hunting drive.