Billy (dog)

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Poitou Hound from 1915.JPG
Poitou Hound 1915
Country of origin France
Height Male 60–70 cm (24–28 in)
Female 58–62 cm (23–24 in)
Coat Short. Harsh to the touch.
Colour Pure white or off white, with or without orange or lemon patches or mantle.
Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

A Billy is a large scenthound originating from central western France.


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.[1] 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.

History and use[edit]

The Billy was created by Monsieur Gaston Hublot de Rivault in the 19th century, and was named after his home the Château de Billy, in Poitou. Billys we created by combining the three original strains of the Poitevin, the Montemboeuf, Ceris and Larrye. Whereas the modern Poitevin more closely resembles and the original Tri-coloured Larrye line, Rivault was more drawn to the paler colours associated with the Montemboeuf and Ceris lines, and colouration was a major determinant when selecting foundation stock.[2] The pack was dispersed in 1927 and the breed almost faced extinction, only two hounds survived World War II,[3] however de Rivault's son, Anthony, set about reviving the breed by judicious use of the Poitevin, the Porcelaine and the Harrier.[4]

The Billy was one of the foundation breeds used in the development of the Grand Anglo-Français Blanc et Orange in the late 19th century.

The Billy remains a rare breed, although there are several packs in its native France used to hunt the Roebuck, and two packs to hunt Wild boar.[5]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ FCI, Billy
  2. ^ Alderton, Hounds of the World, p 94.
  3. ^ Fogle, The Encyclopedia of the Dog, p 196.
  4. ^ Alderton, Hounds of the World, pp 94-95.
  5. ^ ibid, p 95.