The Gascon Saintongeois was bred and developed in the mid 1800's by Baron Joseph de Carayon-LaTour. He did this by breeding the Saintongeois Hound (now extinct) with the Grand Bleu de Gascognes. During the French Revolution only three Saintongeois survived and the Grand Bleu was rare as well. The Gascon Saintongeois was developed to be a typical french hound: muscled, lean body and long legs. It was also a bred to be a great hunting dog with a great nose, gallop and voice. The first type was called the Grand Gascon Saintongeois (or Virelade Hound) and they were used to hunt in packs for large game like roe deer, wild boar and grey wolf.
In the 1900's, in the southwest of France, hunters started breeding the Grand Gascon Saintongeois to be smaller, to hunt small game like hare and rabbit. The smaller breed became to be the Petit Gascon Saintongeois. Although small and bred for small game, they were very capable of hunting large game in packs as well.
In 1993 it was recognized by the UKC and the FCI. It is not recognized in the AKC or CKC. Unfortunately this has not helped the breed grow in popularity outside of France, making their numbers very low.
They are a big hound, standing 22-28" tall and weighing 52-71lbs. Common colors are white with black patches and sometimes ticking or speckling. It can also have tan on the face and a little on the upper thigh called a roe buck mark. They have a smooth, short coat with fine supple skin.