The Basset Bleu de Gascogne has a long back and long ears that aid it in hunting by stirring up scents on the ground. They have strong muzzles and large brown eyes with a friendly expression.
The Basset Bleu de Gascogne’s short coat appears bluish because of the ticking (small groups of black hairs distributed throughout the white coat). The breed was developed with a mottled look to give the dogs protection from the region’s strong sun.
These dogs are short at the withers and are stocky and sturdy. They have a similar look to the Basset Hound, which is also a French breed.
Contrary to the popular image of a Basset as a lazy dog, the Basset Bleu de Gascogne is a real worker. As scent hounds, they track rabbits and hares and are surprisingly agile and focused. Owners of Basset Bleu de Gascognes must be prepared to give them moderate exercise daily and, ideally, a job to do, even if it’s “hunting” a toy.
The Basset Bleu de Gascogne is a laid-back dog (except when hunting), with a mild and stable temperament. They are very sociable and need to be around their families as much as possible. They are adaptable, living comfortably in urban or rural environments. Grooming them is a cinch.
Without sufficient exercise and socializing, the Basset Bleu de Gascogne can become destructive. That said, they are easily trainable, so basic obedience training is recommended. Always keep them on a leash or in an enclosed area, as they tend to follow scents and could easily disappear from sight.
The Basset Bleu de Gascogne’s howl is distinctive. It is deep-throated, rich, and sonorous, almost musical. But you may find that your neighbors aren’t appreciative.
Basset Bleu de Gascognes can have trouble with their long backs as they age. Otherwise, this is considered a very healthy breed, with only gastric dilatation volvulus (bloat) to be aware of.
This breed (whose name in English is the Blue Gascony Basset) was first recorded in the 14th century in the Basque region of Gascony in southwest France.
Most fanciers agree that the breed came about as a result of selective breeding of the Grand Bleu de Gascogne, shortening the dog so that it could follow smaller prey under brush. (“Basset” is from the French word “basse,” which means short or low.)
This breed was popular for decades, but was almost extinct by the 20th century until a French breeding program was begun. The Basset Bleu de Gascogne is still virtually unknown outside of France.