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French Spaniel

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Is the French Spaniel right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Epagneul Français, French Pointing Spaniel

The basics:
Dating back to the 14th century, the French Spaniel is a bird dog developed for both net hunting and for falconry. The name French Pointing Spaniel refers to the fact that the dog freezes on point when it scents game, rather than flushing it. They are also fine retrievers who can plunge into icy water or deep undergrowth. Once relatively unknown outside France, it gained new popularity for upland game bird hunting when it was introduced to Quebec in the 1970s. Its striking good looks and enthusiasm for its job are a bonus.

Appearance / health:
The French Spaniel is one of the largest spaniels with spaniel features and a medium-sized, setter-like body. The large oval eyes are dark amber in color. The muzzle is slightly shorter than the skull. The feathered saber-shaped tail falls obliquely. The long, well-feathered ears are set well back and are in line with the eyes. The chest is deep.

As with all longhaired dogs, regular brushing and removal of shedding hair is necessary to keep the coat in good shape. Owners may need to clean the ears to prevent infections.

They require moderate to high amounts of exercise. A walk, jog, or a swim is needed to keep them healthy. An active dog is less likely to become destructive or develop health problems.

Ear infections are common in French Spaniels. Hip dysplasia, a condition characterized by badly formed hips, may occur in some dogs.

Behavior / temperament:
The French Spaniel is a versatile and tireless hunting dog that can pursue, point, track and retrieve game on land or water. As with most pointing breeds, their main forte is hunting in fields and forests. They are tough, determined dogs that can adapt to all types of terrain and conditions. The French Spaniel is not fussy and can easily adjust to humans provided they are given sufficient training and socialization.

Similar to most breeds, they may get bored if kept alone for a long time, and can become destructive or expend their energy in excessive barking or chewing.

They are fast learners. Training needs to be interesting and should begin early.

They are gentle dogs who do not bark much.

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