A hunting hound from France
The Billy was created in central France by Mr Gaston Hublot du Rivault who in turn named the breed after his home, Chateau du Billy. His aim was to take the best aesthetic and character qualities from several established purebred French scent hounds, which are now extinct, and shape them into the ultimate hunter. His ideal breed would be fast with excellent scenting abilities, endurance, and the able to efficiently hunt and track both roe deer and wild boar, but also to have a distinct look. He used the Montembouf (a boar hunting dog) and the Ceris (hare and fox hunters). These extinct breeds had largely been held without outside influence for hundreds of years, creating a bloodline fit for aristocracy. They quickly became popular for both their ability and temperament and rose so prominently in the public eye that a breed standard was established as early as 1886. Unfortunately, the World Wars that occurred devastated their overall numbers, bringing them to the brink of extinction – it was noted that only ten were left by the end of WWII. Fortunately, Rivault’s son bred together those that remained. It is believed that he also crossed in some Poitevins and Harriers to help the revival process without effecting the blood line too much. Since then, their numbers have risen back up to a safer range and although they are rare outside of France, are still revered for their hunting skills and excellent overall temperament.
OTHER NAMES – Chien de France-Comte
LIVING WITH THIS BREED
Billys are extremely well-tempered dogs that seem to do as well in the home as they do while out hunting. Their intelligent can sometimes cause issues during the training process, as they tend to be a bit stubborn, especially in the early stages. Because of it, they generally require a patient, experienced owner with good command of consistency and authority to get the best out of them. When they are fully trained, they are ultimately loyal and very responsive to commands. In the home, they are laid-back and friendly, doing equally well with both children and strangers, which does tend to make them a poor guard or watch dog. They usually do well with other dogs but are sometimes contentious with those of the same sex. The only issues they generally have in or around the home are being around other non-canine animals, as they still possess a high prey drive that can be somewhat easily triggered unless they are raised together from a very early age. Because of their size and high energy level, this breed generally does best in a larger home, preferably with a garden, and with an active family that can give them the proper amount of daily exercise.
This information is taken from kennel clubs and other reliable sources
|COUNTRY OF ORIGIN||France|
|PURPOSE BRED FOR||Hunting|
|TEMPERAMENT||Intelligent, Courageous, Lively|
|EXERCISE NEEDED||90 minutes per day|
|HEIGHT – MALE||60-70 cm / 23.5-27.5 in (to shoulder)|
|HEIGHT – FEMALE||58-62 cm / 22.8-24.5 in (to shoulder)|
|COAT TYPE||Short and Harsh|
|LIFE EXPECTANCY||11-14 years|
DID YOU KNOW?
- A Billy may be pure white, off-white or grey, sometimes with orange or lemon spots on the head and body.
- These dogs are extremely loyal so once they build a bond with their human companion they will want to be with them during most of the day.
LINKS TO KENNEL CLUBS
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