ABOUT FRENCH SPANIELS
The French Spaniel (Epagneul Français) is best described as a spaniel-like setter. It was developed in France and Canada as a hunting dog, descended from dogs of the 14th century. Popular with royalty during the Middle Ages, it nearly became extinct by the turn of the 20th century but was saved by the efforts of Father Fournier, a French priest. One of the largest breeds of Spaniel, it typically has a white coat with brown markings. It is a friendly breed that has few health issues. The breed is recognised by Canadian and international kennel clubs but not yet by The Kennel Club (UK). The American Kennel Club has included the breed in its Foundation Stock Service, the first step to full recognition.
French Spaniels are unusual in that they are Hunt, Point and Retrieve dogs so they work like a setter or pointer. As Spaniels they are larger and less busy than a springer or cocker spaniel and calmer at home, they are great as family pets or as working dogs. They are real head turners, we are always being asked on walks about them!
There are about 170 French Spaniels in the UK, a group of dedicated owners and supporters are working towards having the breed recognised by the UK Kennel Club.