This rare breed originated from France and was developed through a selective breeding program using the Grand Bleu de Gascogne. The term “petit” does not actually refer to the size of the breed but to its purpose of tracking down small game. It stands at 20 to 23 inches and weighs between 40 to 48 pounds. It has a long head, a deep chest strong and straight forelegs and oval shaped feet with black pads and tan hair. It has tan “eyebrow” marks over each eye. It has a thick and dense coat and the colour is similar to that of the Grand Bleu de Gascogne. The slate blue appearance comes from the combination of white mottled with black, with black patches on either side of the head.
The Petit Bleu de Gascogne has the reputation of being an excellent scent hound that can trail even the faintest of scents. Intelligent and resourceful they are rather stubborn and independent-minded and may prove to be difficult to train for obedience. However they get along well with other dogs. They have an incredible level of stamina and love to explore, walking for hours on end and picking up interesting scents around. If not provided with enough activity and exercise they can become restless and destructive. They love being outdoors and would be good as hiking companions but best kept on a leash as they tend to wander off when they pick up a scent. Like any other pack dogs, they are not ideal for small space dwelling or for keeping as mere house companions. They have no known health problems and have a life expectancy of about 12 years.