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French Spaniel Breed History

The French Spaniel is a very old breed with documentation of the breed back to the 14th century where 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 extension. However, a French priest gathered the remaining French Spaniels in his kennels. There he rebuilt 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 prodigy 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 providence 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 CKC or Canadian Kennel Club recognition.

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. It is a calm loving hunting companion and makes a wonderful house dog.

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. His gait has been referred to as a trotting, easy going fashion. They are a tough, determined dog that can adapt to all types of terrain.

The French Spaniel is one of the largest spaniel breeds that. They can range in height from 21 to 24 inches . Dogs can range in weight from 50 to 70 pounds.

The hair is medium long and wavy 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 brown markings. There may or may not be brown ticking in the coat. The French Spaniel's coat adapts to hot or cold climates.

Like all long haired dogs some brushing and removal of shedding hair is required to keep the coat in top shape. There can be some matting of the hair around the ears if coat isn't cared for. Dogs can be trimmed for hunting and the feathering will grow back in the off season.

Periodically rinse and clean the inside of the ears out with an ear cleaning solution that can be purchased at any vet hospital.

This history was provided by Paul Fischenich, at

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