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A native of France and from the hound group of dogs this long backed and short legged breed, which is also called the Blue Gascony Bassett, is named for the colour of its coat, which is often described as a blue 'ticked' coat.
Seen in painting and artworks as far back as the 14th century, this breed of dog is descended from the Grand Bleu de Gascogne and theories on its exact origins range from cross breeds with this dog and other shorter legged varieties to a natural mutation in the genes of the Grand Bleu de Gascogne dog to account for its unusual colouration.
Apart from the coat colours, the physical appearance of the dog is thought to have been developed for the lower classes after the French Revolution for hunting while following on foot, as the hounds previously used for hunting on horseback covered the ground to quickly for a human on foot to keep up with.
Whatever the origins of this dog, it is still today a relatively rare breed and is now recognised as an imported breed by the UK Kennel Club, but still not recognised by the American or Canadian Kennel Clubs.
Average height to withers: Males and females stand between 12-15 inches.
Average weight: Both males and females between 16-18 kg in weight.
Like its Anglicised cousin, the Bassett Hound, the Bassett Bleu de Gascogne has a low slung body which is much longer than it is tall. The characteristic Bassett ears are long, lobular and hang down the sides of the face and complement the melancholy dark brown eyes, which are so full of expression. The sturdy legs are very short but this belies the fact that this dog is light on its feet! The tail is thin and whip like and carried upright when alert and tracking and down when at rest.
The coat is short and course and with the majority of the body being white, the beautiful blue ticked and mottled markings are shown off to maximum advantage. This dog may also display black and tan markings.
Very inactive and almost couch potato like when indoors, this dog can live quite comfortably as part of a family who are not overly active. That said, it can easily gain weight if not enough is received, and when playing or walking, it is surprisingly agile and bouncy. As a hunting breed, two walks a day are optimal and as a scent hound good training and recall are essential if the dog is to be let of the lead. This is one breed that is led by its nose and once on a scent, it will determinedly follow it until it reaches it goal - you have been warned!
The Bassett Bleu de Gascogne is friendly, easy going and so laid back you could place a carpet on it! This makes it an excellent choice for families with children whom this dog seems to have an affinity with. It is relatively easy to train having an even temperament and a good level of intelligence but responds better to firm yet gentle training methods. You will get nowhere shouting at this breed as the stubborn streak may emerge! This dog is suitable to live with other animals provided it has been well socialised from an early age.
On average, this breed will live between 10-14 years and is a hardy and healthy dog. It tends to have problems with ears infections and disease, but this should come as no surprise given the size and length of them. The best course of action is to keep the ears very clean and as dry as possible and inspect them daily for signs of any infections or parasites.
As a low slung dog with a long back, the owner needs to make sure that jumping down from furniture and cars needs to be controlled and could cause injury if it is done too often or enthusiastically.
This dog will need a brush occasionally as the coat is relatively low maintenance, however once a week is optimal for any dog. The ears require daily inspections and do not underestimate the amount of walking this short legged but energetic dog needs! Be aware that weight gain is often found in dogs which do not receive enough exercise and this will inevitably lead to pressure on the heart and joints.