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French Spaniel: Info, Pictures, Facts & Traits

Written by: Dogster Team

Last Updated on February 5, 2024 by Dogster Team

French Spaniel: Info, Pictures, Facts & Traits

Quick Facts

  • Weight: 44 to 60 pounds
  • Height: 21 to 24 inches

The Look of a French Spaniel

Just as the French Spaniel has a stable disposition, it also has a stable, sound build. Like other spaniels, it has a medium-length, glossy, wavy coat that is shorter on the head.

The coat is brown and white, with the brown shade ranging from cinnamon to dark liver. Spotting is allowed, while a narrow white blaze is preferred on the forehead but not required. The tail is never docked, and tends to hang low and long with a slight curve. It has flowing, feathered fur which gets shorter toward the top.

Though its gait and looks suggest elegance, this is a hardy, muscular dog, well able to withstand an outdoor life.


  • Versatility as a hunting dog
  • Gentleness with children
  • Stable, friendly personality
  • Large, dark amber eyes
  • Lifespan: 10 to 12 years

Ideal Human Companion

  • Those looking for a good all-round hunting dog
  • Families with children and pets
  • Active owners
  • Those with large yards or acreage for walks
  • Those who don’t mind blatant admiration from other dog people

What They Are Like to Live With

The French Spaniel is a calm, stable family dog that is good with children and other household pets. It is happiest when around its people. French Spaniels are also friendly with strangers, so they make poor watch dogs. Because they are working dog, they need jobs to do, such as retrieving objects or following scent, or a sport such as agility. They also need a lot of exercise, preferably some of it in a pack of other dogs.

Grooming is easy: just brushing twice a week and bathing as needed. Check their ears frequently for burrs and bugs if they are often out in the field.

Things You Should Know

This people-oriented breed may suffer from separation anxiety, which can be resolved with patience and training. Keep in mind this dog’s gentle nature, and use positive reinforcement techniques with lots of praise. However, you must still establish yourself as the kind but firm alpha.

The French Spaniel has relatively few health issues. Be prepared for eye problems, epilepsy, and hip dysplasia later in life.

French Spaniel History

The French Spaniel is one of the oldest of the pointing breeds. It is descended from a birding dog, who is considered the father of all pointing spaniels, in the Middle Ages. Its standard was first documented in 1891 and has been updated several times since then. It is the tallest of the spaniels.

The French Spaniel is known for its versatility in in the field. They flush out fowl, point, and retrieve, and have good noses for tracking. Today, they are often used as hunting dogs but are growing in popularity as excellent family companions.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images/cynoclub

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