Ariegeois

The Ariegeois is a breed of dog from the département of Ariège in the Midi-Pyrenées region of southern France. It is a medium-sized pack-hunting scenthound deriving from crossing of Grand Bleu de Gascogne and Grand Gascon Saintongeois hounds with local Briquet dogs. It is used both as a courser and for driving game to waiting guns. While most successful with hares, it is also used for hunting deer and boar. It is distinguished by its friendly nature with other hounds and affection for human companions. This breed originated in France in 1912, making it a fairly new breed. It is not yet well known outside of its own region. The breed is registered with the Fédération Cynologique Internationale.

Characteristics The Ariegeois normally weighs approximately 28–30 kg. Males should stand 52–58 cm tall, and females 50–56 cm. The coat is smooth and short, white with clearly defined black markings; it is sometimes mottled, and there may be tan points at the head. The head of the dog is lean and elongated. There are no wrinkles. The eyes are dark and gentle. The ears are very soft and medium-length. The muzzle is of medium length, and the nose is black. The neck is slender and arched slightly, to the chest which is narrow and deep. The ribs are well-sprung with a strong, sloping back. It should have straight forelegs and strong, powerful hindlegs. The feet are hard and foxlike. The tail is slightly curved. Overall, the Ariegeois is a talented scenthound, and affectionate and serene in the home. The Ariegeois is now being bred in Italy and used to hunt wild boar, performing well in this endeavour under Italian conditions.


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