The Grand Bleu de Gascogne, which is also known as the French Staghound or Large Blue Gascony Hound, is one of the ancient hound breeds in France that dates back to the Middle Ages. It is also considered the foundation of today's hound dogs. Records suggest that the Grand Bleu de Gascogne is a cross between local scent hounds and the dogs that Phoenician traders brought to France. It is also believed that the dog breed's ancestry includes that of the St. Huber Hound, evident with its long folded ears, serious expression and voice.
Grand Bleu de Gascogne dogs were bred as a trail hound to hunt large games such as wolf, bear, deer and board. In the 16th century, a pack of this dog breed was owned by the King of France, Henry IV. In the coming years, the Grand Bleu de Gascogne breed declined in numbers when hunting large games also declined as a popular sport.
January 1991 marked the recognition of the Grand Bleu de Gascogne by the United Kennel Club. Today, the dog breed remains rare despite fanciers around the world.