A Billy is a large hunting dog originating from central western France in the 19th century. Billys are a combination of Montemboeuf, Ceris and Larye breeds which are now extinct. Foxblood[clarification needed] has been introduced to the Billy to keep bloodlines fresh. The Billy is named after the home of the breeder who created them—Monsieur Gaston Hublot de Rivault, who lived at the Château de Billy, in Poitou.
They were mainly used as pack hunting dogs to track roe deer and wild boar, which they still continue to do in their native France. The standard for the breed was established in 1886. The Billy is not an apartment dog and needs a lot of exercise, like most large hounds they are difficult off the lead and extremely fast. They have been known to be same sex aggressive and do not always get along with other dogs, they are very intelligent and courageous, and have been used in obedience competition.
Billys can come in pure and off-white, possibly with orange or with lemon spots on the head and body; their coat is short and smooth. They can weigh between 52–70 lbs and they stand around 60–70 cm at the shoulder for males and 58–62 cm for females. The Fédération Cynologique Internationale standard suggests the dog should gallop easily in its movement.