The French Spaniel, known as Epagneul Français in French is a medium sized dog and one of the largest spaniels. These elegant-looking dogs with a muscular built are characterized by a round skull, broad chest, broad muzzle, a big brown nose, dark amber colored eyes, droopy ears covered with long wavy hair and a sword like tapered tail. Being remarkable pointers and retrievers, the FS is hardy, sociable, determined and intelligent, emerging as efficient working dogs as well as loyal house pets.
|Other names||Epagneul Français, Canadian Setter, French Setter|
|Coat||Straight, or slightly wavy and of medium length.|
|Color||White with brown markings|
|Lifespan/expectancy||10 – 12 years|
|Height||Male – 22 to 25 inches
Female – 21–24 inches
|Weight||44 to 55 pounds|
|Temperament||Gentle, intelligent, sociable|
|Shedding||Moderate to average|
|Litter size||3 to 7 puppies|
|Good with children||Yes|
|Climate compatibility||Acclimatize well with wet weather conditions|
|Good with pets||Yes|
|Country of Origin||France and Canada|
|Competitive Registration/Qualification Information||CKC, ACR, ACA, AKC FSS, NKC, FCI,DRA, APR|
The French Spaniel has an ancient history, with many experts speculating it to originate at the time of the famous Crusades that commenced in the 11th century. Related to the Small Munsterlander and the Dutch Patridge dog, their ancestry is said to be linked to the 14th-century bird dogs that were mentioned of by one Gaston Febus of the British royalty. The long-haired setter breed, Chien d’Oysel that contributed towards the development of most of the pointer spaniel breeds is also said to have a hand in their origination.
Their agile nature and high prey drive made them extremely popular among the royal families of France in the Middle Ages. They, along with the English Setter were instrumental in the development of Brittany, another spaniel breed in the 1850s. In 1891 James De Connick founded the first breed standard for the French Spaniel.
However, their numbers declined at the start of the 20th century, because of the competition faced by foreign sporting breeds, bringing them close to extinction. The noble efforts of a French priest named Father Fournier to revive this breed saved them from being wiped away completely. In 1921, the French Spaniel Club came into existence with Father Fournier as its president.
The dog was less known outside France and its neighboring countries until 1970 when it was introduced in the Canadian province of Quebec. Presently, this breed belongs to a group of recognized French Spaniels which comprises other breeds like Brittany, Picardy and Blue Picardy.
The French Spaniel is a sweet, friendly dog with an inclination to explore outdoors. They bond well with their masters and may suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for a prolonged period. They are incredibly gentle with kids and can socialize well with other dogs. However keep a keen eye on them if you have cats, rabbits, and squirrels as their innate prey drive might provoke them to chase the smaller animals. They even share a good rapport with strangers, qualifying less as a watchdog.
Training the French Spaniel is easy because of its eagerness to please its master, though he needs a firm taskmaster who could tactfully get things done out of him.
Obedience: Establish some common language between you and your dog and utter commands like SIT and STAY firmly, making sure he obeys them by settling down on the floor. Once he does that, praise him by giving him a treat. Speak out STOP to prevent your dog from dashing off and say COME for calling him back if he has run ahead of you.
Crate training: Introduce your dog to the crate and encourage him to enter it by pointing towards it and giving him treats. Keep soft blankets, towels, and toys inside to make it comfortable. Once he enters, praise him by offering more treats before closing the crate’s door. Stay nearby for 5-10 minutes and then leave him alone for some time. Show up after a while and then let your dog out. Practice it regularly till he gets fully accustomed to staying in the crate all alone.
Leash training: To control his chasing instinct leash train your dog inside a fenced area by using a long line
Feed you French Spaniel high-quality dry dog food, that can be combined with broth, water or canned food. You can offer him human foods like cottage cheese, cooked eggs, vegetables, and fruits, though ensure that the amount does not exceed 10% of its daily intake.