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Gascon Saintongeois Hound Breed Description

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Breed Organization

United Kennel Club (UKC)

Native Country

Other Names
Virelade Hound

Life Expectancy
No Information Available

Litter Size
No Litter Information Available

Breed Group

General Description

The Gascon Saintongeois is a breed of dog of the scenthound type, recognised in two sizes, Grand (large) and Petite (smaller than the Grand, but not a small dog.) Originating in France, the breed is used for hunting in packs and descends from the old Hound of Saintonge type of large hunting dog.

The breed is a very typical French hound, with a lean and muscular body, long legs, long drop ears and pendulous lips. The size for the Grand is 65 to 72 cm (25.6 to 28.3 ins) at the withers, females at total 24 to 26 inches; the size for the Petit is 56 to 62 cm (22 to 24.4 ins) at the withers, making it still a fairly large dog; females are slightly smaller. Grands weigh 66 to 71 pounds.

The eyes are dark chestnut. It has an elongated head. Its black nose is well-developed and the lips are pendent. It has a deep chest and a strong back. The tail is elegant and saber. The color of the coat is white with black patches, sometimes speckled or ticked with black. Ears and face around the eyes are black and the cheeks are tan, but there should not be a tricolor appearance. Two tan markings are above the eyes, and sometimes a tan marking is found on the base of the upper thigh, which is called the "roe buck mark".

The breed is noted for its good nose, excellent voice and beautiful gallop, important attributes in a hunting dog. It is instinctively a pack dog.

Breed Standard

Head: Chiseled, long. Fairly narrow, domed skull. Slight stop. Bridge of nose large and slightly curved. Cleanly cut cheeks. Well-developed nose.
Ears: Set on below the eyes, long and thin, curled, pendulous.
Eyes: Oval, dark brown.
Body: Long. Neck of medium length and thickness, slightly arched, with slight dewlap. Deep, broad chest. Slightly rounded ribs. Loin slightly arched. Fairly long flank.
Tail: Well-set on and very slender at the tip. Carried in saber fashion.
Hair: Short and dense.
Coat: White background with black spots, sometimes flecked. Two black spots usually appear on either side of the head, covering the ears and eyes and ending at the cheeks. Cheeks are tan, preferably pale in color. Two tan markings above the eyebrows form pips. Tan markings on the inside surface of the ears. Tan speckling on the legs. Sometimes, a dead foliage "deer marking" appears on the lower thigh.
Size: Great Gascony Saintongeois: dog: 65 to 72 cm; bitch: 62 to 68 cm (25,5-28 in). Small Gascony Saintongeois: dog: 52 to 60 cm (24,5-26,8); bitch: 50 to 56 cm19,7-22 in).
Weight: Great Gascony Saintongeois: Approx. 35 kg (77lb). Small Gascony Saintongeois: Approx. 25 kg (55 lb).


Only three old Saintongeois hounds survived the French Revolution, two dogs and a bitch. Count Joseph de Carayon-Latour in the mid-19th century crossed the last of the old Hound of Saintonge with a few of the remaining old-type Grand Bleu de Gascogne. The hounds that were white with black ticking were retained and later given the name Gascon Saintongeois.

In the middle of the 20th century, hunters in the southwest of France selected smaller dogs from litters of Grand Gascon Saintongeois for hunting hare and other small game. These became the Petit Gascon Saintongeois.

The Grand Gascon Saintongeois is used for hunting big game, including wild boar, roe deer and sometimes gray wolf, usually in a pack. The Petit Gascon Saintongeois is a versatile hunter, usually used on hare and rabbit, but it can also be used for big game.


This pack hound par excellence is very fast and has a keen nose and resonant howl. He is considered the best hare tracker. Very versatile, he is also used for large game hunting. He needs a firm owner.

The Gascon Saintongeois Hound is best suited to kennel life. He needs space and exercise, as well as regular brushing.


Hunting Dog, Pet.


No breed specific health information available.

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