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St.Hubert Hound

Nowadays used as just another name for the Bloodhound of Britain, the extinct St.Hubert Hound was once a separate strain of hunting dogs from France, although related to the aformention Bloodhound and other scent tracking breeds of Europe. The legendary Chien de Saint Hubert was not developed by, nor was it named after the Bishop of Maastricht (later Saint Hubert), who was supposedly a great hunting enthusiast, by some even considered as a "patron saint" of hunters. The name comes from the Abbey of Andain in Ardennes, whose name was changed to St.Hubert Abbey after the remains of the aforementioned clergyman were laid to rest there, although it was around 600 years after the Bishop's death that the St.Hubert name was starting to be associated with a breed of dog. Just like in other monasteries around the world, the monks of St.Hubert also kept and bred dogs, focusing their efforts on hunting types, most notably scenthounds. Apart from the use of Sleuth Hounds, Talbot Hounds and various local and imported deerhounds, mastiffs and bandogges, the breed's true heritage is uncertain, but what is known is that the dogs produced by the monks at the St.Hubert Abbey were fairly uniformed in appearance, being quite heavy and always black in colour. The Chien de Saint Hubert is believed to had been maintained successfully since the 11th century to the early 1700's, when the breed type practically disappeared due to crossings with other strains, but the preservation of the St.Hubert Hound received the greatest blow during the French Revolution, after which only a handful of examples survived.

While the original incarnation of the breed was already long gone by the time the 1800's rolled around, the St.Hubert name was still being kept alive in France, but had at this point become a misnomer for imported Bloodhounds from England, which were initially going to provide the foundation for an ambitious re-creation programme. However, since no true St.Huberts were available and none of the other local hounds were of the correct type, the idea of reconstructing the French breed was quickly abandoned. Instead, all of the Bloodhounds found in France were simply given a new name and from then on, the mighty Bloodhound has been known as the St.Hubert Hound in quite a few European countries. The explanation given for the decision at the time was based on a theory which proposes that the English dogs themselves had actually been taken from France to the British Isles by William the Conqueror. While the two breeds were indeed related and somewhat mutually influential throughout the centuries, most canine authorities are quick to point out that the modern Chien de Saint Hubert has nothing to do with the original black-coated breed from France, being nothing more than a pure Bloodhound with strictly British roots, which has been conveniently presented as the "preserved" population from the Abbey of Andain and given an arguably ridiculous name of St.Hubert Hound. To this day, most sources incorrectly list the Chien de Saint Hubert moniker as an alternative name for the popular Bloodhound, but another interesting fact is that this so-called Continental Bloodhound isn't recognized as being neither a French nor an English breed, but had actually been assigned Belgium as its country of origin. As mentioned earlier, the original and now-extinct St.Hubert Hound was reportedly a massive and strong dog, but not of great size nor speed.

The thick flat coat was short in length and uniform black in colour. Average height was around 23 inches.

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