Did you know?
Barking Sands Beach on the island of Kauai in Hawaii is known for its unusual sand that squeaks or “barks like a dog.” The dry sand grains emit a canine call when rubbed with bare feet.
French Spaniel (Épagneul Français)
The world was conquered through the understanding of dogs; the world exists through the understanding of dogs. – Nietzche
Historians agree that this tall and handsome spaniel has been around a long time. The French Spaniel gained fame during the Middle Ages as a setting dog used for net hunting.
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.
By the 17th century, the French Spaniel was used to search out pheasant and partridge at Versailles 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 French Spaniel.
Photos displayed courtesy of Leslie Jonkov, Élevage des Perdrioles, Quebec
According to a breed historian, the first of this old breed to come to Canada was imported in 1974. An active breed club was formed, the Club de l’Epagneul Francais du Canada, and the breed grew in popularity, particularly with Quebec sportsmen. It was granted CKC recognition on 1 May 1985 .
One 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!