The Ariegeois comes from the department of Ariege located in the Midi-Pyrenees region of southern France. It is a breed of scenthound and a talented courser, though its skills are also well-suited to hunting deer and boar as well. A medium-sized packing-hunting dog, the Ariegeois comes from a crossing of the Grand Bleu de Gascogne and Grand Gascon-Saintongeois breeds with local Briquet dogs native to southern France. It was first developed in 1912 which makes it a fairly young breed and, in fact, it is still relatively unknown outside its native region.
The breed is medium in size and considered extremely muscular for its size. The Ariegeois should always appear fit and trim. The Ariegeois normally weighs approximately 28–30 kg. Males should stand 52–58 cm tall, and females 50–56 cm.
As is true for many scenthounds, the Ariegeois is an affectionate and loyal breed with family. These dogs get along well with children because they are gentle and patient – they can also do well with cats and other pets if raised with them from a young age. Although the Ariegeois will never harm a family member, he can be a little aloof or even suspicious around strangers. It is also important to realize that, although the Ariegeois is a pack hunter, he can develop low levels of dog aggression – early socialization and training are particularly important for this reason. When properly trained, however, the Ariegeois makes a wonderful family pet
The average lifespan for the Ariegeois is thought to be about 10 to 12 years which is a little low but not too outside the norm for a breed of its size.
An Ariegeois needs a diet with high fat and carbohydrate content for maintaining proper body weight and promoting optimal performance. You may give commercial dog foods containing fish oils, soybean oil, flax oil, chicken, beef, fish, egg, corn, oats, potato, and barley. The Ariegeois can also be a working breed, in which case he may do well on an active or working breed formula as long as you are careful about overfeeding to prevent obesity.
White with well-defined black markings, may be mottled, pale tan may be present above the eyes and on the cheeks
The breed’s short coat does not need much grooming except for one or two brushings a week. Bathing is necessary only when its fur is dirty. Trimming its nails every month and brushing its teeth on a daily basis are the other grooming requirements. 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.
As a breed developed for hunting, the Ariegeois has high needs for exercise. This breed is described as being active, so he may need more than a single walk per day. As a scenthound, the Ariegeois may also appreciate having time and space outdoors to run and follow scents. Just be sure he is in a fenced yard or that you keep him on a leash so he doesn’t follow the trail too far.