French Spaniels very much enjoy the company of their owners. They are gentle with children, making great pets. Rustic looking, relatively tall and powerfully built, the French Spaniel trains well but is easily intimidated; training should be gentle, firm and consistent. They need human companionship and lots of exercise.
The French Spaniel is one of the two tallest spaniel breeds, being taller than the English Springer Spaniel. Males can range in height from 22–24 inches, and females are about an inch shorter. Dogs can range in weight from 45–60 pounds . A normal dog has a muscular appearance with a deep chest and strong legs. The French Spaniel has eyes of a dark amber colour, and a thick tail that tapers towards the tip. The hair is medium, dense, with long feathers on the ears, backs of the legs and tail. It has some waviness on the chest and otherwise lies flat on the body. The normal colour of a French Spaniel’s coat is white with brown markings rather in shade from a light cinnamon to dark liver.
The French Spaniel has a friendly and outgoing personality and is well balanced and patient. It is not a naturally aggressive dog, is eager to please and thus can be trained easily. A dog of this breed will form a strong bond with its master, being typically a working dog. It has a high level of stamina and requires vigorous exercise.
AKC group: FSS. The AKC Foundation Stock Service (FSS) is an optional recording service for purebred dogs that are not yet eligible for AKC registration.
UKC group: Gun Dog
Average lifespan: 10-12 years
Average size: 45 to 60 lbs
Coat appearance: Fine, Long, Short, Silky, and Wavy
Coloration: Liver & White
Temperament: Energetic, Intelligent, Loving
Spaniels were first mentioned in France during the 14th century in Gaston III of Foix-Béarn’s work Livre de chasse, later translated into English as The Master of Game.They were speculated to have originated during the Crusades of the 11th century.The French Spaniel was referred to as a specific type of Spaniel by 1660 and was noted as being distinctive from the King Charles Spaniel of the Holland type.
|A drawing of a French Spaniel
being used to hunt Mallards from 1805.
The breed was popular during the Middle Ages with it used for falconry and as a settling dog for net hunting. They became a favourite of French Royalty and Kings and Princes at the royal courts of Versailles favored them over other breeds of hunting dogs. In addition, Catherine I of Russia (1684–1727) was known to have owned a French Spaniel named Babe. During this period, the French Spaniel was known to have split into several regional types.
The Sporting Magazine wrote of the French Spaniel and the hunting of mallards in 1805, “The rough French Spaniel has been found the best companion on these occasions: he watches the conduct of the sportsman, and, with a velocity unequalled, darts on the wounded prey, presents it with all possible speed at the feet of his master.” In the 1850s, the Brittany (formerly known as Brittany Spaniel) was developed from crossing French Spaniels with English Setters.
James de Connick established the first breed standard for the French Spaniel in 1891. At the turn of the 20th century, the numbers of French Spaniels dropped so low that they nearly became extinct due to competition from foreign sporting dogs, in particular as French hunters chose to hunt particularly with English breeds of hunting dogs. A French priest named Father Fournier undertook the task of gathering the remaining French Spaniels in his Saint Hillaire kennels in order to preserve the breed. There he built the lineages that are representatives of those we now have. The French Spaniel Club was founded in 1921, with Father Fournier as the president of the association.
The modern French Spaniel is one of a group of recognised French Spaniels, including the Brittany, Picardy and Blue Picardy.
Calm, even-tempered and intelligent, French Spaniels very much enjoy the company of their owners. They are gentle with children, making great pets. Rustic looking, relatively tall and powerfully built, the French Spaniel trains well but is easily intimidated; training should be gentle, firm and consistent. They need human companionship and lots of exercise. Known and appreciated for its hunting skills, the French Spaniel works very well on rugged terrain and in the water as a flusher. French Spaniels are one of the best retrievers and point very precisely. Hunting at a gallop or extended trot, the French Spaniel has an excellent nose, but has less speed and a more limited search range than the Brittany Spaniel.
They are enthusiastic hunting dogs, persistent, hardy and courageous. This breed gets along well with other dogs. It is important owners are even-tempered, but firm and consistent with the rules set upon the dog. It is also equally important, when the dog is not hunting, that he receives daily pack walks where he heels beside the handler during the walk. When a dog is lacking in either leadership and or proper mental/physical exercise it causes separation anxiety.
The breed is robustly healthy with few issues and adapts well to wet weather conditions. A dermatological condition known as acral mutilation and analgesia may affect French Spaniels. It is a newly recognised disorder, with symptoms becoming apparent between three and a half months and a year of age.
It was first reported in thirteen dogs in Canada and shares symptoms with the acral mutilation syndromes of the German Shorthaired Pointer, English Pointer and English Springer Spaniels. Dogs who are affected will lick, bite and mutilate their extremities resulting in ulcers with secondary bacterial infections. Self amputation of claws, digits and footpads can happen in extreme cases. The majority of the initial dogs identified were euthanised within days to months of being diagnosed.
Care and Grooming
The French Spaniel is an easy to groom breed, it is best to brush the dog twice a week in order to maintain its good look. Regular brushing twice a week of the medium-length, flat coat is really all that is needed to keep it in good condition. Bathe or dry shampoo when necessary. It is generally a low-maintenance dog. Check the ears carefully, especially when the dog has been out in rough or brushy terrain. This breed is a light shedder.
The French Spaniel is not recommended for apartment life. They are very active indoors and will do best with acreage. This breed is resistant to cold and damp conditions.
Though, being intelligent it will rather easy to train, but sometimes can be intimidating, so it shall require very consistent and firm training. It may highly energetic, courageous, non aggressive and eager to please the owner, so it learns obediently. But training should be firm, moderate and consistent. It is very active and vigorous dog that will need an active and potent owner.
Not a breed for apartment livings, it is highly energetic and active indoor so it can do well in a large yards or rural settings with ample areas to run or to do a job. Being a working dog, it likes the daily exercise in order to maintain its best health and fitness. It has a great stamina; therefore, they need ample amount of exercises for their mental and physical satisfaction. Daily exercises include run, jog and long walks with owners.
French Spaniel with children and other pets
Naturally, it is a non- aggressive breed, but it can intimidating, so it should well trained to resolve the intimidating. It can get along with other dogs. Mild, calm and friendly to the children, thus it forms a wonderful family dog.
Things You Should Know
This people-oriented breed may suffer from separation anxiety, which can be resolved with patience and training. Keep in mind this dog’s gentle nature, and use positive reinforcement techniques with lots of praise. However, you must still establish yourself as the kind but firm alpha.
Is the French Spaniel Right For You?
French Spaniels very much enjoy the company of their owners. They are gentle with children, making great pets. Rustic looking, relatively tall and powerfully built, the French Spaniel trains well but is easily intimidated; training should be gentle, firm and consistent
French Spaniels tend to live indoors but are not suitable for small homes such as apartments. Indoors they tend to be very active but thrive with outdoor space and are resistant to cold and damp conditions. They need daily exercise and have great staminaand endurance, and so make great hiking companions.