With his style of creeping along and freezing to a statue
at the scent of feathers, the breed is regarded as the forerunner of the
modern setters. They were not only used on birds, but were used to hunt
with birds, and teamed with falcons for expeditions.
the 17th century, the French Spaniel was used to search out pheasant and
and drew sufficient attention that he was pictured in the engravings of
Desportes and Oudry. But fashion is fickle, and by the 19th century, the
English hunting dogs were in favour and the French Spaniel was fading from
the scene. It remained for a devoted Frenchman to gather up the best
specimens he could find and embark on a breeding programme to rebuild the
to a breed historian, the first of this old breed to come to
was imported in 1974. An active breed club was formed, the Club de
l'Epagneul Francais du Canada, and the breed grew in popularity,
sportsmen. It was granted CKC recognition on
1 May 1985
of the two largest spaniels, the French Spaniel stands up to 24 inches at
the shoulder and has a medium-long, weather-resistant coat. His coat is
white with brown markings, and he has feathering on the legs, ears, chest,
and tail. An excellent retriever on both land and in water,
he can withstand icy waters, dense undergrowth, and cold temperatures.
The French Spaniel is calm,
gentle and devoted to his family. He bonds closely with his owner and does
not adapt to changes in ownership well. Like most sporting dogs, the
French Spaniel is best suited to an active home where he will be a
cherished member of the family. Friendly, loyal, and energetic, this dog
is patient with children and will happily play with them for long periods.
Although he will sound the alarm when strangers approach, he is much too
fond of people to make an effective guard dog.
An intelligent, willing
and fast learner, the French Pointing Spaniel easily adapts to
different hunting styles. He is easily trained but sensitive too and
should not be harshly corrected. A versatile hunting dog, the French
Spaniel will also hunt hare, rabbit, deer, and even boar. He has a high
energy level and requires lots of exercise, and room to run off-leash. He
should live in a home with a fenced backyard with an active owner who can
keep up with him!