In the mid-nineteenth century, Count J. de Carayon-Latour wanted to revive the declining Saintonge Hound population. To do this, he crossed the last specimens of the breed with Baron de Ruble’s Blue Gascony Hounds, thereby creating the Gascon Saintongeois, or the Virelade Hound, named after his chateau. This was the end of the Saintonge Hound, descended from the Saint Hubert and sporting a white coat with black spots and tan markings. The Gascon Saintongeois is a pack hound that comes in two varieties:- The Great Gascon Saintongeois Hound, used in shooting and sometimes in large game hunting. This variety is becoming extinct and is used in the crossbreeding of other hunting breeds; and- The Small Gascon .TheSaintongeois region of France is on the western coast, just north of Gascony and below Poitou. Prior to the French Revolution, the famous hounds of Saintongeois were acclaimed for hunting the wolf. But following the fall of the nobility, the breed fell into disuse and only scattered specimens of the Saintongeois remained, along with tales of the breed's greatness. In the 1840s, Baron de Virelade crossed what few remaining specimens he could find with the robust Grand Gasconies to create the Gascon-Saintongeois breed. Although formally named for the breeds from which they came, this breed (especially the large size) is often called the Virelade after their creator. These dogs are nearly as large as the Grand Bleu but are more powerful with a breathtaking, elastic gallop. Originally used for roe deer, they are strong enough for larger game, and today hunt deer, fox and boar. Their ultra-sensitive sense of smell makes them adaptable to and competent in all forms of hunting. A gentle and affectionate hound off the field, the breed is, unfortunately, quite rare today. In 1986, only ten packs were left in France. 



Breed Description   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).





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

Behavior 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.



FAULTS   The foregoing description is that of the ideal Samoyed. Any deviation from the above described dog must be penalized to the extent of the deviation. Since the Samoyed is a working breed any faults of soundness should be considered serious.

Note *** Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.



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