It is easy to tell just by looking at the Ariegeois that he is of the classic French hound type. He has a lean, well-muscled body with a short, close-lying coat, and long floppy ears. What makes this breed unique is the fact that he does just as well as a working breed as he does a family pet. These dogs can sometimes be a little wary around strangers (especially if those strangers are other dogs) but he is loyal and affectionate with family.
It is easy to tell just by looking at the Ariegeois that he is of the classic French hound type.
The Ariegeois comes from the department of Ariege located in the Midi-Pyrenees region of southern France. It is a breed of scenthound and a talented courser, though its skills are also well-suited to hunting deer and boar as well. A medium-sized packing-hunting dog, the Ariegeois comes from a crossing of the Grand Bleu de Gascogne and Grand Gascon-Saintongeois breeds with local Briquet dogs native to southern France. It was first developed in 1912 which makes it a fairly young breed and, in fact, it is still relatively unknown outside its native region. It is, however, recognized by both the UKC and the FCI as a Scenthound.
The Ariegeois is derived from a crossing of the Grand Bleu de Gascogne and Grand Gascon-Saintongeois with local Briquet dogs from southern France.
As a medium-sized dog, the Ariegeois should be fed a high-quality dry food formulated for adult dogs and made with high-quality animal proteins. The Ariegeois can also be a working breed, in which case he may do well on an active or working breed formula as long as you are careful about overfeeding to prevent obesity.
As a breed developed for hunting, the Ariegeois generally responds well to training.
As a breed developed for hunting, the Ariegeois generally responds well to training – especially if he has a strong bond with his owner. These dogs are incredibly loyal and they are affectionate with family, though they can sometimes be aloof or aggressive with strangers – especially with strange dogs. This breed can be a little stubborn at times, but they generally respond well to positive reinforcement training. Just be sure to start training and socializing your dog from a young age and keep reinforcing that training throughout his life.
The Ariegeois is a medium- to large-sized dog, standing between 19 ½ and 23 inches tall. Some breed enthusiasts divide the breed into two classifications by size – the large weighing 35 to 55 at maturity and the X-large 55 to 90 pounds. Males of the breed tend to be larger than females in both height and weight, though not by a wide margin.
As is true for many scenthounds, the Ariegeois is an affectionate and loyal breed with family. These dogs get along well with children because they are gentle and patient – they can also do well with cats and other pets if raised with them from a young age. Although the Ariegeois will never harm a family member, he can be a little aloof or even suspicious around strangers. It is also important to realize that, although the Ariegeois is a pack hunter, he can develop low levels of dog aggression – early socialization and training are particularly important for this reason. When properly trained, however, the Ariegeois makes a wonderful family pet.
Common Health Problems
The Ariegeois is relatively unknown outside its native region, so there isn’t a lot of information about his health status. Generally speaking, the lifespan of the breed is a little short for a medium-sized dog but there are no specific health problems that have been linked to this breed. Some of the health problems the Ariegeois may be susceptible to include ear infections, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, cataracts, and progressive retinal atrophy as well as field injuries.
The average lifespan for the Ariegeois is thought to be about 10 to 12 years which is a little low but not too outside the norm for a breed of its size.
As a breed developed for hunting, the Ariegeois has high needs for exercise. This breed is described as being active, so he may need more than a single walk per day. As a scenthound, the Ariegeois may also appreciate having time and space outdoors to run and follow scents. Just be sure he is in a fenced yard or that you keep him on a leash so he doesn’t follow the trail too far.
As is true for many scenthounds, the Ariegeois is an affectionate and loyal breed with family.
The Ariegeois is not currently recognized by the AKC but he is recognized by the FCI and the UKC. The FCI classifies him in Group 6 as a Scenthound and the UKC as a Scenthound.
The Ariegeois has the typical hound coat which is short, close, and fine. The breed only comes in one combination of colors – a base coat of white with jet black markings. These markings typically appear on the ears, head, and face, though some dogs exhibit mottled spots all over the body. Some dogs exhibit ticking as well and many have tan markings over the eyes and on the cheeks.
The average litter size for the Ariegeois breed is 3 to 6 puppies. Because these dogs grow to a maximum of 90 pounds, they can classify as a large breed which means that you need to be careful about letting your puppy grow too quickly. Overgrowth during youth can predispose your dog to musculoskeletal issues in adulthood. You can prevent this by feeding your puppy a large-breed puppy formula until he reaches 80% of his maximum size – then switch to a large-breed adult recipe. Another thing you need to be mindful of with Ariegeois puppies is that they require a lot of socialization and training to prevent dog aggression.
Photo credit: Photo credit: sonora.ka/Shutterstock
Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.
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