One of the newest breeds, the Gascon Saintongeois was created in the middle of the XIX century by Baron Joseph de Carayon LaTour of the Chateau Virelade. This dog is the “beautiful child” of the beloved french breed Grand Bleu de Gascogne and the extinct Saintongeois Hound.
The Gascon Saintongeois was recognized by the UKC in 1993. The breed is much appreciated by hunters in France, but sadly it has not gained enough popularity and recognition in the USA. These outstanding dogs are on the edge of extinction. Puppies for sale are almost impossible to find and the prices are extremely high.
You will be astonished by the elegant appearance and muscular physique of this animal. The Gascon Saintongeois is a very proud hound, elegant and graceful. The color of the coat is predominantly white with some black spots on the ears and the head. Tan and beige markings can be spotted on the cheeks, eyes and ears. The body is well proportioned, giving this dog a very elegant look.
The head is strong, slightly elongated, the jaws are powerful, forming a scissors bite. The nose is black, the ears are hanging, the eyes are dark and warm. The tail is long, reaching the hock, carried elegantly. Some representatives of the breed have a typical spot on the thigh, called “the roe buck mark”.
The Gascon Saintongeois height is between 65 and 72 cm and the weight is between 30 and 32 kg.
Character and behavior
This is a perfect pack hound – wide-casting, fine-nosed, possessing a distinctive loud voice. The Gascon Saintongeois is mainly appreciated by hunters, but it's gentle and calm character makes it a perfect family dog as well.
The best home for this breed would a house with a large yard. These dogs need a lot of space and time for games and exercises. Do not raise your Saintongeois in an apartment, cause they get easily bored and start to bark.
Training and education
Training shouldn't a problem because these hounds are extremely intelligent and obedient. They respond perfectly to praise and positive methods. They are eager to please their master and execute every command. However, the hunting instincts may sometimes transform into stubbornness, so you should stay alert and confident. We strongly recommend avoiding harsh methods at all costs.
This is a healthy breed and without any typical diseases. However, like most hunting dogs the Gascon Saintongeois could suffer from elbow and hip dysplasia, skin infections and allergies, eye problems and ear infections. The average life span is about 12 years.
Grooming and care
These dogs don't have particularly big needs for grooming. The smooth, short coat cleans itself. Of course, it is good to brush it regularly to remove the dead hair and keep the fur in good condition. Like all hunting dogs, the Gascon Saintongeois is prone to ear infections. You should clean the inner part of the ears at least 2-3 times per week. Regular check-ups to the veterinarian's office are a must.
Children and other pets
A well educated and socialized dog will be a fantastic playmate and companion for both small and older children. It gets along pretty well with other dogs too, but could chase and kill smaller pets, rodents and birds. Representatives of the breed are very friendly with people they know, but sometimes can show aggression towards strangers.
Around 1950 a small group of French hunters selected the smallest specimens from litters Great Gascon Saintongeois and created this beautiful animal, used in the beginning only for hunting hare.