The Grand Bleu is an aristocrat among hounds, being tall and possessed of a long head with very characteristic markings. He owns a powerful baying voice, which will certainly persuade the neighbours that there is a new presence among them.
The basic colour is white with black patches, and black-mottled all over, producing a blue tinge, from which the Bleu name is derived.
He gives the impression that he is sad, a quality to which a French canine historian alluded in describing his ‘majestic allure and aristocratic melancholy’. Like all hounds, Bleus are hunters, once of wolves, and in modern times of hares. They do not gallop aimlessly after their quarry so much as pursue it unremittingly. They live in a world of scent and need understanding owners, sensitive to the fact that they are not as easily trained as are gundogs or the herding breeds.
The breed failed to find favour as a hunting dog in Great Britain once the wolf was extinct. His introduction as a show dog is very recent. The attraction is his size combined with elegance. It is to be hoped that his excellence at following a cold scent is not lost in the show-breeding programmes of British breeders.
They are best maintained in outside kennels with their own runs. Definitely a breed for the connoisseur, not for the masses!
Vulnerable Native Breed
How much exercise?
More than 2 hours per day
Length of coat
How much grooming?
Once a week
Town or Country
Type of home
Minimum Garden Size
Over 10 Years
* If you are asthmatic or have an allergy, you should consult your medical advisor before considering obtaining a dog. More information can also be found on
the Kennel Club website
The Hound Breed Group
Breeds originally used for hunting either by scent or by sight. The scent hounds include the Beagle and Bloodhound and the sight hounds such breeds as the Whippet and Greyhound. Many of them enjoy a significant amount of exercise and can be described as dignified, aloof but trustworthy companions.