Blue Gascony Basset (Basset Bleu de Gascogne)
The Blue Gascony Basset is a highly effective working breed from France where it is considered to be a great hunter of hares and rabbits. Despite its low stature it’s notable for both agility and excellent robustness. The breed also enjoys the company of its human family and commonly makes a cheerful yet even-tempered pet.
The immediate forebear of the Basset Blue de Gascogne was most probably developed in approximately in the XIV in Gascony, a southwest region of France and near the Spanish border. This very old canine variety was the Grand Blue de Gascogne and the Blue Gascony Basset literally represents its miniature replica.
Nonetheless canine experts haven’t yet arrived at a definite conclusion about its ancestry. Some of them contend that the breed resulted from crossing of the Saintongeois Basset with the Grand Bleu de Gascogne. It’s also very likely that the latter dog was the only progenitor of the Basset Blue de Gascogne that owes its small size exclusively to human selective breeding.
The thing is that during the antique times hunting was the privilege of affluent French people. Ordinary Frenchmen were forbidden to participate in this entertainment. This ban was removed after the French Revolution. But most poor hunters couldn’t afford keeping a horse and therefore hunted on foot. They also required a low-slung hunting dog that can be easily followed afoot. This need became the primary reason of the development of the Basset Bleu de Gascogne.
The dog has extremely keen nose and the large hanging ears help it to fan the prey’s scent during the chase. The coat of the Basset Blue de Gascogne has the speckled blue colour, which protects from overheating under ruthless southern sun. And its compact and lithe body allows the dog to squeeze into narrow burrows of hare and rabbits as well as to follow them in thickets.
In the early XIX century in France hunting went out of fashion and the breed number sharply decreased. Actually it was saved from almost inevitable extinction by Alain Bourbon. The dog got recognition of the United Kennel Club (UKC) in January 1991. Presently it has very few fanciers outside its native land where it mostly plays its original role of a hound.
The Blue Gascony Basset is a companionable dog with very vigorous and inquisitive nature. It wants to live in the pack and its masters always become for this dog the members of the pack. It can’t stand being separated from its human family so if it lacks your attention it will demonstrate its dissatisfaction by destructive behaviour. Correct socialization ensures the dogs’ kind attitude to familiar children. In fact this breed likes spending time with kids and becomes an active participant of their most exuberant games.
Human aggressiveness is very untypical for the specimen of the Blue Gascony Basset. Because of such a mild temperament this dog should never be tasked with guarding responsibilities. At the same time it’s endowed with a loud, musical and very distinctive voice, which the breed loves using unrestrictedly. This makes it a relatively dependable watcher although it also means that your pet must be trained to stop barking upon command.
The breed tolerates well its counterparts and can be kept with other canine pets of any size. Of course it still can show animosity to strange dogs so the master should let his pet off-leash only in a properly fenced territory. The Blue Gascony Basset usually treats other species of animals as prey but it will be very gentle with whose domestic cats with which it was raised since a very young age.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· gastric dilatation volvulus.
The Blue Gascony Basset needs very basic amount of care. Its sleek and short coat should be thoroughly brushed just once a week in order to stay free from dead hair. It’s also vital to systematically examine huge pendulous ears of this dog and clean them as soon as they get dirty.
Trim nails of your pet at least every couple of months and brush its teeth on a weekly basis. This naturally tidy dog also requires very rare bathing.
The training of the Blue Gascony Basset needs moderate investment of time and efforts. This breed has sharp intellect but it’s also notable for a limited range of attention and frequently diverts on some exciting scents. Treat your pet firmly yet fairly and reward its obedience with its favourite treats and generous praise.
Excessively strict approach is totally ineffective in the work with this breed as it can provoke it to avoidance behaviour. Obedience training is highly important for the specimen of the Basset Blue de Gascogne if you want it to fit in well in your family.
The Blue Gascony Basset is a very tough dog with above-average exercise requirements. The adult dog should be taken on a brisk stroll at least twice a day. On the other hand the puppy of this hound has vulnerable bones and joints that can be damaged by too strenuous exercises. That’s why its physical activity should be reduced to necessary minimum.
In spite of its diminutive size the Basset Blue de Gascogne becomes a wonderful hiking companion and enjoys all types of canine games. If it doesn’t receive enough chances to satisfy it need in physical outlets it will exhibit anxiousness and destructive tendencies indoors.