Pet Advisor Blog

Gascon Saintongeois – Dog Breed Guide

Breed summary

Size: Medium
Weight: Varies from the different breeds
Height: Varies from the different breeds
Longevity: 12
Bark Tendency: High
Aggression: High
Compatibility to other pets: Medium

Adopt a Gascon Saintongeois, Dog Breed Guide


The Gascon Saintongeois or also known as the Virelade Hound comes in two varieties:

The Grand Gascon-Saintongeois and the Petite Gascon-Saintongeois.

Official Name

Gascon Saintongeois
Other Name:
Virelade Hound


Date – 19th Century Revival of Modern Breed
Country – Germany
Family / Group – Scent Hound, Hound

Recognized By

Fédération Cynologique Internationale
United Kennel Club


The Gascon Saintongeois’ origins are unclear and perhaps lost during the French Revolution, an event which nearly eradicated the breed. After the revolution, only three of the original Gascon Saintongeois remained. There are two recognized sizes and variety of the Gascon Saintongeois. The Grand and Petite Gascon-Saintongeois. Grand variety is believed to be the result of breeding between the now extinct Saintongeois and Grand Bleu de Gascognes in the years following the French Revolution. The Petite variety is a reduction of the Grand sized Gascon-Saintongeois and believed to be crossed with Ariegeois and other briquet hounds. To save the dying dog breed, Count Joseph de Carayon-Latour led their revival. He crossed the last of the old Hounds of Saintonge with a few old types Bleu de Gascogne which survived the revolution. The revival efforts was a success and by the middle of the twentieth century, both Petite and Grand dog breeds flourished in numbers. Both varieties are pack hunters and differ not only in size but also in hunting specialization. The Petite are specialists when it comes to hares while the Grand are capable hunters for both small and large game.


These are hardworking, enthusiastic dogs. They are good-natured and friendly toward everyone but may be somewhat reserved when around people and animals that are not family or friends. They get along well with other domesticated canine breeds.

Bred For

Both varieties were bred to hunt in packs. Petite are specialist in hunting hares. Grand is capable of hunting both small and large game.


These are not apartment type dogs and they do not do well in city environments. They will thrive in rural areas with lots of space to roam.


Both varieties short coats require minimal care


Fairly easy to train but will take time like all other scent hounds who are easily distracted by various scents around them.


Both Petite and Grand Gascon-Saintongeois are very healthy and show no health issues plaguing them.


These are pack hunters who are highly energetic. They need vigorous exercise sessions, regular socialization and daily activities such as group walking or hunting to thrive.