The Griffon Bleu de Gascogne: Getting to Know the Dog Breed

The Griffon Bleu de Gascogne is a French scenthound with a speckled, rough coat and impeccable hunting skills against large and small game. 

In this article, we will delve into the fascinating history and origins, physical traits, temperament, and health of the Griffon Bleu de Gascogne.

History and Origins of the Griffon Bleu de Gascogne

The region of Gascony is known for its rugged and hilly terrain, which makes it an ideal location for hunting. The Grand Bleu de Gascogne was developed specifically for this purpose, and the Griffon Bleu de Gascogne is one of several breeds that descended from it.

The Development of the Breed 

The Griffon Bleu de Gascogne is a direct descendant of the popular Bleu de Gascogne, which was mixed with other similar breeds such as the Griffon Nivernais and the Grand Griffon Vendéen. 

The Griffon Bleu de Gascogne quickly became a favorite among hunters because of its excellent nose and loud voice. On the field, the breed was extremely alert and tireless. 

Preservation and Recognition Efforts

While the Griffon Bleu de Gascogne was once one of the most popular hunting dogs in France, the breed’s popularity declined after the French Revolution when aristocratic hunting activities were frowned upon.

Nevertheless, dedicated breeders and enthusiasts have worked hard to maintain the breed’s unique characteristics, and the breed was officially recognized by the French Kennel Club in 1957.

Today, the Griffon Bleu de Gascogne remains a rare breed outside of its native France, but its popularity and population numbers are slowly growing in other parts of the world. 

Physical Characteristics and Appearance

The Griffon Bleu de Gascogne is a medium-sized and well-proportioned dog with a short, muscular body that gives it an athletic appearance. One of the most distinctive physical features of the Griffon Bleu de Gascogne is its dense, wiry coat. 

Size and Weight

The Griffon Bleu de Gascogne is a medium-sized breed that weighs between 35 and 60 pounds. Male breed members stand around 20 to 23 inches tall, while females stand between 19 and 22 inches tall at the shoulders. 

Coat and Color

The Griffon Bleu de Gascogne is known for its dense, wiry coat, which is one of its most distinctive physical features. This coat is designed to protect the dog from the harsh terrain and weather conditions during hunting.

The coat can be blue-gray with black markings or white and black mixed with tan markings. It is a beautiful coat that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Distinctive Features

The Griffon Bleu de Gascogne has long, floppy ears that give it a distinctive look. The breed’s wide head and short, muscular body also contribute to its unique appearance. The eyes are typically brown or yellow and can be quite expressive.

Despite its medium size, the Griffon Bleu de Gascogne is a powerful dog that is capable of hunting in a variety of terrains. This breed is known for its stamina and endurance, which allows it to track and hunt game for long periods of time.

Temperament and Personality Traits

While the Griffon Bleu de Gascogne was bred for hunting, it also makes an excellent companion dog. This breed is intelligent, loyal, and loving, making it an ideal pet for the right owner.

Intelligence and Trainability

Griffon Bleus are highly intelligent dogs and are generally easy to train. They respond well to positive reinforcement training methods, and early socialization is recommended to prevent any aggressive tendencies from developing. 

Energy Levels and Exercise Needs

The Griffon Bleu de Gascogne is a high-energy breed and requires plenty of exercise to stay healthy and happy. They are ideal for active families who enjoy hiking, running, or other forms of outdoor recreation. They also do well in homes with large yards. 

Socialization and Interaction with Other Animals

Like many hunting breeds, the Griffon Bleu de Gascogne has a strong prey drive, and socialization from an early age is essential to prevent any aggression toward smaller animals like cats or rabbits. With proper socialization, they can get along well with other pets.

Health and Lifespan

Overall, the Griffon Bleu de Gascogne is a healthy breed with relatively few genetic health problems. However, as with any dog breed, it is important to be aware of potential health issues and take preventative measures to ensure your dog’s well-being.

Common Health Issues

The Griffon Bleu de Gascogne is prone to:

  • Hip Dysplasia: A condition that affects the dog’s ability to move and can lead to early-onset arthritis and pain
  • Ear Infections: The drop anatomy of the ear increases the risk of infections due to trapping dirt and moisture
  • Bloat: A life-threatening accumulation of gas & liquid in the stomach, making the stomach twist on itself  

Preventative Care and Regular Checkups

To keep your Griffon Bleu de Gascogne healthy, it is important to take preventative measures like daily exercise, a healthy diet, and proper grooming. It is also essential to take your dog for regular checkups with a veterinarian to catch any potential health problems early.

Expected Lifespan

Overall, the Griffon Bleu de Gascogne has an average lifespan of at least 12 years. A healthy lifestyle, proper diet, regular exercise, and preventative care can help your dog live a long and happy life.


The Griffon Bleu de Gascogne is a unique and fascinating dog with a rich history and many positive qualities. The breed makes an excellent hunting dog and companion.

If you are interested in the breed, it is essential to research and understand the Griffon Bleu de Gascogne’s individual traits & needs and find a reputable breeder. 

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