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Gascon Saintongeois Dog Breed

Also known as the Virelade Hound, the Gascon Saintongeois was developed in France as a cross between the Blue Gascony Hounds of Baron de Ruble and the Saintonge Hound whose numbers were declining in the mid 19th century. This scent hound comes in two types: the Great Gascon Saintongeois bigger and taller with an average height of 28 inches and weighs 77 pounds ; and the Small Gascony Saintongeois used mainly for hare hunting and has a height of 24 to 26 inches and weight of 55 pounds. The Gascon is a long, lean and muscular dog. It has a chiseled and long head with a slight stop. It has a deep and broad chest with slightly rounded ribs. Its ears are pendulous, thin and set on below the eyes. The eyes are dark brown and oval-shaped. The tail is fairly long, slender at the tip and carried in a saber-like fashion. Its coat is short and smooth and predominantly white with patches or speckles of black. It has two tan markings above the eyes and on occasion the tan marking is also present on the base of the upper thigh (known as a “roe buck mark”).

The Gascon is a natural pack dog, noted for its keen sense of smell, and good resonating howl. It is a favorite as a hare tracker and hunter but is also sometimes used for big game hunting. They are cunning and intelligent dogs with a graceful and dignified air about them. As a family pet, they are obedient to their master and gentle with the younger members of the household.

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