The French Spaniel Dog Breed

The French Spaniel is a muscled and medium size breed. In France this dog also called Epagneul Français and even though it’s a medium sized dog it’s one of the two tallest spaniel breeds. The other tall breed is the English Springer Spaniel.

French Spaniel standing

It is an enthusiastic hunter, sociable with other dogs and an ideal companion in all circumstances. This spaniel breed balances size and stockiness. They have great energy and toughness essential for it’s purpose. Highly intelligent in nature, his enthusiasm and willingness to work hard are his heritage. He is very easy to train, excellent pointing dog, he also has a talent for retrieving.

French Spaniels are a great family dog and love kids. Some dogs may be faced with health challenges in their lives, but the majority of them are healthy and can live up to 10 to 12 years.

The French Spaniel History

The French Spaniel is an old breed and was first mentioned in 14th century in the Gaston III of Foix-Béarn’s work Livre de chasse (The Master of Game) in France.

This dog is designer breed and goes by numerous names, including Epagneul Francais, French Setter, and Canadian Setter. It has been said that French Spaniel is one of the largest breeds. This breed was not known outside in France until it was introduced in Quebec in 1970s.

Where did the French Spaniel Come From?

Breeders developed this Spaniel dog breed to be a hunting dog in France. It has been said that this breed is descendant of the bird dogs by Gaston Febus in 14th century. Some speculate that the French Spaniel originated during Crusades of the 11th century. It was popular during the Middle Ages for falconry and as a settling dog for net hunting. This breed became favorite of French Royalty, Kings and Princes at the royal courts of Versailles.

French Spaniel looking

The first breed standard breed of French Spaniel was established in 1891 by James de Connick. In the 20th century, the number of French Spaniels was dropping so low that it almost vanished but a French priest Father Fournier gathered all the remaining French Spaniels in Saint Hilaire to preserve the breed.

He built the lineages that are representatives of those we now have. In 1921, Father Fournier founded the French Spaniel Club. In such time, the group of French Spaniels was recognized including the Brittany, Picardy and Blue Picardy. French Spaniel is not well-known outside in France until the breed was first introduced in Quebec around 1970s and quickly became famous as a woodcock and grouse hunter.

What Were They Bred For?

The French Spaniel was bred for falconry and net hunting in France and Canada.

Are They a Pure Breed?


French Spaniels at a Glance

Good For Families
Tolerates Other Pets
Prey Drive
Health Score
Energy Level
Space Needs
Good for New Owners

Physical Traits

This spaniel breed has a muscular appearance with deep chest and strong legs. The bone structure is strong without being coarse. This breed has a dark amber eyes color and thick tail. The coat is medium and dense and white color with brown markings rather in shade from a light cinnamon to dark liver. It has a long feather on the ears, back of the legs and tail. It has some waviness on the chest and otherwise lies flat on the body. Originally, the coat is only white but this breed was mixed with other colors of Spaniels during the 19th century.

Breed Standard

French Spaniel Size

This Spaniel Dog Breed is 21.5 – 24 inches at the withers.

Height measurements are always from the ground to the highest point of a dog’s shoulder blades. The highest point on a dogs shoulder-blades are known as the withers.


This Spaniel dog weighs in at 50 – 60 pounds.


French Spaniel

These dogs are fairly easy to groom. Brush them weekly to keep their coat from matting. They shed seasonally and require more brushing during that time. Make sure the check their nails regularly and trim as needed. They will love getting the occasional bath. Make sure to check their ears regularly for wax or debris buildup and clean as needed.

Do They Drool?

Not in General. They can drool somewhat when hot .

Best Climate for the French Spaniel

They can tolerates both warm and cold weather. However these dogs are not great in either extreme.


French Spaniel has a friendly and outgoing personality. Spaniel dog breeds are well balanced and patient. They are eager to please and thus can be trained easily. Excellent pointing dog, it also has a talent for retrieving. This dog is typically working dog and they will form a strong bond with its master. French Spaniels have a high level of stamina and requires vigorous exercise.

How Easy are They to Train?

French Spaniel has highly intelligent in nature. His enthusiasm and willingness to work hard are his heritage and that make this dog very easy to train.

Do They Tolerate Other Pets?

French Spaniel can get along with other dogs in the house or at the park because to their calmness and gentle nature. If trained they can also be friendly with cats and other animals. Raising dogs and cats together from a young age is a good way to form strong bonds between them.

Are They Good for Families?

French Spaniels is a hunting dog and great for families. They can form strong bonds with their owner and they love children of all ages. They do need a lot of space however so if you don’t have the largest back yard or live in an apartment this may not be the dog for you.

Do They Have a Strong Prey Drive?

These Spaniel dogs might be hunting dog but they have an average prey drive. They don’t have a high instinct to chase and chat something like cat, squirrel or any other small animals.

Are They Social With Other People?

French Spaniels always desire to be surround with people and other animals. They are average friendly with strangers. They don’t like to be left alone.

Is The French Spaniel Good for New Owners?

These dogs are a good dog for novice owners. They have a relaxed attitude and are easy to train which makes them great for novice owners.


French Spaniel Puppy

Other dogs may be faced with health problems but the majority for French Spaniels are healthy dogs and they can live 10 to 12 years.

The French Spaniel Lifespan

These dogs typically live for 10 – 12 years. They can have some health issues that they need to be checked for.

Health Issues

French Spaniel is typically healthy dogs. However, some few conditions may occur like Acral mutilation & analgesia, Entropion, Hip Dysplasia, Otitis Externa


Exercise for this breed can be a play time in the backyard or taken for walks several times a day. It can be also come in the form of indoor activities, like hide-and-seek, chasing a ball rolled along the floor, or teaching them new tricks. Certain outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, and retrieving balls or flying discs can provide a good outlet for expending energy.

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