The Ariegeois - This Dog Will HuntHome » Dog Breeds » Ariegeois
Although it is relatively new to the world of hunting dogs, this scent hound from the French Pyrenees has earned a reputation as one of the best.
|Here is the Ariegeois at a Glance|
|Other Names||Ariegeois Hound, Ariege Hound|
|Average size||Medium large|
|Average weight||55 to 60 pounds|
|Average height||20 to 23 inches at the shoulder|
|Life span||12 to 14 years|
|Coat type||Short and smooth|
|Color||Black, white, tricolor|
|Popularity||Not well known outside France|
|Tolerance to heat||Average|
|Tolerance to cold||Average|
|Drooling||Not a drooler|
|Obesity||Can get fat|
|Barking||Not a frequent barker|
|Good first dog||Okay|
|Good family pet||Yes|
|Good with children||Very|
|Good with other dogs||Yes|
|Good with other pets||Not always|
|Good with strangers||Reserved but not aggressive|
|Good apartment dog||No|
|Handles alone time well||Not great|
|Health issues||No major issues|
|Medical expenses||$260 average annual|
|Food expenses||$235 average annual|
|Miscellaneous expenses||$65 average annual|
|Average annual expense||$560|
|Cost to purchase||$1,100|
|Rescue organizations||None noted|
The Ariegeois Pointer’s Beginnings
Although the Ariegeois Is a relatively new breed, it has ancient roots. This scent hound is a mix of three others—the Briquettes, the Grand Gascon-Saintongeois, and the Grand bleu de Gascon—all from France. The Briquette hounds have been in France since pre-Roman times, when they were used by the Gauls for hunting. The Grand bleu de Gascon have even older roots. They are believed to have migrated to France with the Phoenicians, whose trading empire covered the Mediterranean Basin and extended into parts of Spain and France.
The Grand bleu was one of the European dogs that crossed the Atlantic in later times. The Marquis de Lafayette, a French officer who fought on the side of the Americans in their war for independence, was a good friend of General George Washington, and gave him a pack of seven Grand bleu hounds. The breed was a great success in its new home, and, ironically, there are now more of them in the United States than there are in France. It is still found in France, however, and is used there to hunt wild boars and wolves.
New Lease on Life
In France itself, in the Ariege neighborhood of the Pyrenees, the Grand bleu, Grand Gascon and Briquette mix produced the Ariegeois in the nineteenth century. While the new breed is not well known away from the Continent, its sharp nose, intelligence and discipline have made it one of the most popular hunting dogs in France and other parts of Europe. It tracks well, is tenacious, and works well in a pack.
That almost didn’t come to pass, however. Like so many other dogs, not to mention people, neighborhoods and entire towns, the Ariegeois suffered in World War Two. By the end of the war, the breed was almost wiped out; but a few dog lovers were determined to rescue it from extinction, and an intense breeding program brought it back from the edge. The Ariegeois was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1998. The American Kennel Club has not recognized it yet, but that should occur in the coming years as the breed becomes better known.
The Dog You See Today
The Ariegeois Pointer is a medium large scent hound. It stands between twenty and twenty-three inches at the withers and typically weights from fifty-five to sixty pounds. It is slender, but strong and muscular, with a long, strong neck that makes it easier for it to put nose to ground for tracking, a deep chest, and straight, muscular forelegs. It has a long nose that could be described as Roman, and large, pendant ears that are remarkably soft to the touch. The Ariegeois’ eyes are dark, its nose is black, and its tail is slightly curved.
Ariegeois do not bark a lot, except when they have treed an animal or feel threatened, but whey they do, the sound is striking—deep, resonant, and gruff.
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The Ariegeois Pointer has earned a reputation as a calm, easygoing dog that gets along well with people. As a working dog, it has plenty of stamina, can run for long periods of time over any kind of terrain, and use its highly developed nose to track and never lose its prey. It is primarily used to hunt smaller animals like hares and rabbits, but can also be successful with deer, although it probably would be dangerous to use it to hunt animals such as wild boars.
Although the Ariegeois has tons of energy when energy is needed, it is also quite content to do nothing at all. It will run for hours if you ask that of it; it will lie around for hours if you let it. Unfortunately, that is likely to lead to a dog that is both ill mannered and fat, so regular exercise is a must.
Living with an Ariegeois Pointer
Properly trained and socialized, the Ariegeois is obedient and generally easy to be with, but without that preliminary work it can become spoiled, stubborn and difficult to handle, even aggressive at times. It can become easily distracted so patience is required. Used to being independent, it can be head strong. Training requires experience needing to be both firm and consistent.
How active is the Ariegeois Pointer?
The Ariegeois is definitely not the pet for someone who lives in, or plans to live in, an apartment. It needs space, at the least a large yard, to run around in and explore. It is basically a country dog, not a city dog, and does not do well without places to roam.
Even though the Ariegeois is happy to be lazy, it actually needs a lot of physical exercise. It also needs tasks to perform. If it is with an owner who does not hunt, it will respond well to skills training such as tracking and agility work. A daily walk, even if it is a long one, is not sufficient for this dog. The owner needs to have the time and energy to spend working with this working dog. Someone who can’t find the time for this needs to be thinking of a different breed.
Caring for the Ariegeois Pointer
Grooming requirementsThis dog has a short and smooth coat that is easy to groom. It sheds an average amount so there will be loose hair around to be dealt with. Use a firm bristled brush to comb and brush the coat removing loose hair and debris and keeping it healthy. Use a dog shampoo when bathing and only do so as required when the dog is particularly dirty or fragrant. Bathing too often is not good for the oils in its skin. Clip the toe nails if they get too long. Often dogs who are active outside a lot especially if they are on harder surfaces, will naturally wear down their nails. But otherwise if they do need to be cut make sure it is done by someone aware of where the quick is in the nail and that they must not cut or nick it. Brush its teeth as part of its oral care at least twice a week. Check ears once a week for infection and give them a wipe clean.
Feeding TimeThis dog will likely need to be fed 21/2 to 3 cups of a good quality dry dog food a day. This should be measured out in two meals. The quality of the dog food reflects how many nutrients are in the food and ensures it is not eating unnecessary ingredients that are put in just as fillers. How much your dog might be eating could change depending on its size, health and level of activity.
Getting along with children and other pets
Given that caveat, theAriegeois is a great family dog. It gets along well with kids of all ages, and loves to play. It is patient with children. It can be watchful and wary around strangers, but seldom, if ever, aggressive. It gets along well with other dogs; it is after all a pack dog, with the plus that it does not appear to have the strong drive for dominance that some pack breeds have.
On the other hand, it is a hunter of smaller animals, and that might create a problem in a family with smaller pets. In that case, early socialization and training will be even more important.
What Might Go Wrong?
At this point in its short history, the Ariegeois Pointer has not shown itself to have a genetic predisposition to any specific medical conditions, and is generally considered a healthy, relatively trouble free dog. No canine is immune to certain common problems such as hip dysplasia or patellar luxation, but the Ariegeois does not seem particularly vulnerable to such things. Its long ears, of course, leave it open to infections and other problems with the ear, but such things are typically minor, usually avoidable, and easy to treat if they do occur. Over the long haul owners of an Ariegeois can expect their pet to have a trouble free life.
Biting StatisticsLooking at data of dog attacks over the last three decades there are no specific mentions of the Ariegeois Pointer. But there is mention of a Pointer Mix which has 1 attack to an adult to its name. Any dog has the potential to be aggressive given poor raising, lack of socialization and training, lack of care, being kept in poor conditions and then given stressers. Make sure you know what your dog requires and that you take things like training and socialization very seriously. It is unlikely that this dog would attack anther person though. Advertisement
Your Pup’s Price Tag
As noted earlier, the Ariegeois Pointer lives and is bred primarily in France and some other places in Europe, so if you are thinking about getting one, the first task will be finding it. There appear to be a few people breeding Ariegeois in the United States, but some shopping around will be necessary. The odds of finding one at an animal shelter are probably minimal to nonexistent, and there are no rescue organizations that specialize in this breed.
If you do locate an Ariegeois Pointer, you can expect to pay at least $1,000 for a new pup, and possibly more than that. This of course does not include the cost of having your new pup spayed, if it is a female, or neutered if it is a male, which will cost in the neighborhood of $220. At the same time, you will want your veterinarian to take care of other routine initial medical tasks such as a first round of puppy shots, de-worming, and the like. That will, depending on what part of the country you live in, usually cost around $70 to $85.
Although the Ariegeois does not seem to be vulnerable to a lot of medical problems, it is true that veterinary fees are rising just like everything else. Many people opt to purchase pet insurance to cover the possibility of unexpected problems. That kind of insurance typically starts at about $200 a year, and can be more, depending on how extensive the coverage is.
Next, of course, you will need a pet license for about $15, and a collar and leash for another $35 or so. If you decide to crate your pup, a crate of the proper size for the Ariegeois will be something in the neighborhood of $125.
Another early need is for obedience training. Unless you are pretty experienced at this yourself, you will be well advised to go to a professional trainer, at least for the first round of training. Because this is a hunting breed, even if you do not plan to hunt with your dog, it is best to find a professional who has experience and skill at working with hunting breeds. These dogs really are different in many ways from other canines. At any rate, you can expect that initial set of obedience lessons to cost in the neighborhood of $110.
Food is next. Because the Ariegeois Pointer is one of the larger breeds, it is a good idea to spend a little extra for dog food that is formulated especially for big dogs. The reason for this is that some dog foods are higher in calories, which can mean that your pup will grow faster than it should. That can give it insufficient time to grow strong bones. High quality dog food will usually cost around $235 a year. On top of that, of course, you will want to be well supplied with treats, both as snacks for your pup and as rewards for training success. You are probably looking at an annual expense of anywhere from $75 upward for treats.
Overall, after the initial expenses tied to purchase, spaying or neutering, puppy shots, and other routine initial costs, you can expect to spend about $560 a year for your Ariegeois.
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The Ariegeois is a French hunting dog that has arrived on the scene relatively recently. It began to be bred in the late nineteenth century, and was only officially recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1998. The American Kennnel Club has not yet recognized it.
But although the breed is new, its roots go far back. One of its progenitors came to the French Pyrenees by way of Phoenicia, and another was a canine known by the Gauls in pre-Roman times.
The Ariegeois is a scent hound, and is considered one of the best of that type, primarily used to track and hunt small game. It has also become popular in France as a companion dog, one that is gentle, playful and easygoing. It is not well known outside of France and some other parts of Europe, but that can be expected to change over time.