French Spaniel

French Spaniel

Infobox Dogbreed

image_caption = A French Spaniel
name = French Spaniel
altname = Epagneul Français
country = France
fcigroup = 7
fcisection = 1
fcinum = 175
fcistd =
ckcgroup = Group 1 - Sporting
ckcstd =
note = United Kennel Club (US) uses the Fédération Cynologique Internationale standard.
ukcgroup = Gun Dogs
ukcstd =

The French Spaniel (Epagneul Français) is a breed of dog of the Spaniel type. It was developed in France as a multi-purpose gundog, capable of pointing and retrieving. The French Spaniel is recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale under Group 7, Section 1, Continental Pointing Dogs, 1.2 Spaniel type; related to the Small Münsterländer and the Drentsche Patrijshond. It is rare outside its native country.



The French Spaniel is one of the tallest spaniel breeds. Males can range in height from 21 to 24 inches, females and inch shorter. Dogs can range in weight from 45 to 60 pounds.

Coat and colour

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 color is always white with liver (very dark brown) markings. There may or may not be brown ticking in the coat. The French Spaniel's coat adapts to hot or cold climates.


The French Spaniel is an intelligent dog that looks to please its owner. It does not take to a harsh handler. It responds well to positive treatment and repetitive lessons. As they mature, they become calm loving hunting companions and makes a wonderful house dog. As puppies and young dogs French Spaniels are like every other spaniel... High energy and exuberant. They need a place to run and exercise regularly and are not well adapted to small living quarters such as apartments.

The French Spaniel is a true versatile or multipurpose hunting dog that will pursue, point, track and retrieve game on land or water but like most pointing breeds the French Spaniel's true strength is hunting in the fields and forests. The French Spaniel is a medium to close working pointing dog that works at a very comfortable pace and distance. The gait is considered easy, supple, regular and energetic while remaining elegant. They are a tough, determined dog that can adapt to all types of terrain.


The French Spaniel was known in the 14th century, when is was used for net hunting and falconry. For net hunting the dog would point with a low elongated, "setting" style which would make it easier for the hunter to throw the net over the dog.

There was a time in the 19th century when the French Spaniel was on the verge of extinction. However, a French priest gathered the remaining French Spaniels in his kennels. There he built the lineages that are representatives of those we now have. The French Spaniel is thought to be related to a number of other hunting breeds. There is some speculation that outcrosses of the French Spaniel make it the cousin of the Small Munsterlander and the Drentse Patrijshond. Also, the Brittany Spaniel is said to be the progeny of pairings with English Setters and French Spaniels.

The French Spaniel was little known outside of France and neighboring countries until it was introduced in the Canadian province of Quebec in the 1970's. It quickly became a popular dog for hunting woodcock and grouse. The Canadians formed a strong breed club to ensure the French Spaniel would continue to meet breed standards. In 1985 the French Spaniel received Canadian Kennel Club recognition.

Registration and breed Clubs

French Spaniels are recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale and in France, the breed club is Club de l'epagneul français. [ Breed history, in French] The French Spaniel also has breed clubs in other Fédération Cynologique Internationale member countries. The Kennel Club (UK) and the American Kennel Club do not recognize the French Spaniel. The Canadian Kennel Club member club for the French Spaniel is the Club de l'Épagneul Français du Canada. [] In the United States, French Spaniels may be registered with the United Kennel Club, as well as through a wide variety of internet based minor dog registry clubs and businesses.

Famous and Fictional French Spaniels

*Smith of the Japanese series and its sequel Ginga Densetsu Weed


External links

* [ Club de l'Épagneul Français] (Canada's French Spaniel Club)
* [ French Spaniel photos]
* [ North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association] (a minor registry for this specific type of hunting dog)
* [ French Spaniel on Canada's Guide to Dogs]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • spaniel — [14] The spaniel is etymologically the ‘Spanish’ dog. The word comes via Old French espaigneul ‘Spanish’ and Vulgar Latin *spāniōlus from Latin Hispāniōlus, a derivative of Hispānia ‘Spain’. The breed of dog was of Spanish origin. => SPAIN …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

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