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Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > French Spaniel Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More!

French Spaniel Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More!

French-Spaniel_slowmotiongli, Shutterstock

The French Spaniel is a hunting dog created by French and Canadian breeders. It typically has white fur with brown patches, and the brown will vary in shade from light to dark. It’s a friendly dog with an outgoing personality that makes friends with people and pets quickly.

Breed Overview


22-24 inches


44 -60 pounds


10-12 years


Various shades of brown and white

Suitable for

Active families, experienced owners


Balanced, gentle, friendly, happy

If you are thinking about getting one of these lovely dogs for your home but would like to know more about it first., keep reading while we look at how much these dogs cost, their exercise needs, grooming requirements, and more to help you make an informed decision.

French Spaniel Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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French Spaniel Puppies

french spaniel puppy
Image By: nigel thornton, Pixabay

Higher-quality breeders will charge more for these pups and often have long waiting lists. However, the puppies they produce have less risk of health problems later in life. Higher quality breeders will often let you meet the parents so you will have a better idea of what your dog will look like and what type of temperament you can expect.

If you want to breed your French Spaniel for profit, you will need to purchase breeding rights or get your pet spayed or neutered as part of your contract. You will also need to make several appointments with the vet for vaccinations. However, there are very few other ongoing expenses other than food, toys, and occasional grooming.

Temperament & Intelligence of the French Spaniel

The French Spaniel is an intelligent hunting dog that learns new tricks quickly and can complete complex puzzles and multi-step tasks. It’s an outgoing dog who loves making new friends but is extremely alert and will make a great watchdog. It forms strong bonds with family members and gets along well with children. Most owners describe it as happy and playful.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The French Spaniel is a great family pet. It’s a good-sized dog with just enough fur to be soft and cuddly. It’s energetic and loves to play, so it’s a great choice if you have children who can help your pup burn off some excess energy. It’s also a patient dog that can be trusted when you are not home. The only downside is that it can knock over toddlers due to its size if they get too close, so supervision is important.

french spaniel outdoor
Image By: No-longer-here, Pixabay

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Your French Spaniel will get along well with other dogs, especially if socialized as a puppy. It will often run and play with other dogs, which can help it get the activity it needs. It also does well with cats and shouldn’t chase or bark at them, though it can occasionally chase after a squirrel that catches its eye.


Things to Know When Owning a French Spaniel:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Your French Spaniel is an extremely active dog, so it will require a high-protein diet for strong bones and energy. You can find suitable food by looking at the ingredients list and choosing brands with a protein like turkey, chicken, or fish listed as the first ingredient. We also recommend choosing brands fortified with helpful omega fats and avoiding brands that contain chemical preservatives or artificial colors that can sometimes lead to health problems.

french spaniel
Image By: Wolfgang Horvath, Pixabay

Exercise 🐕

Your French Spaniel is a hunting dog created to run all day. It can be challenging for one person to exercise this dog enough unless you are a runner or avid hiker. We recommend setting aside at least one hour per day for games of fetch, frisbee, tug of war, and other high-energy activities to help burn off excess energy. Children and other family members can also be a big help. If your dog doesn’t get enough exercise, it’s more likely to misbehave, bark, and gain weight, which could lead to several health issues later in life.

Training 🎾

Your French Spaniel is an intelligent dog that likes to please, so it will not be hard to train. Holding short training sessions at the same time each day will help get your dog into a routine, and it will show up each day ready to learn. The best time is after exercising, so your dog will be focused instead of looking to play. Keep plenty of treats in your pocket, and don’t be afraid to give extra praise when your dog does what you want. Even smart dogs can take a while, and some tricks can take several weeks to commit to memory, so patience is critical.

french spaniel training
Image By: Anya Poustozerova, Shutterstock

Grooming ✂️

Your French Spaniel is not difficult to groom and will only require weekly brushing to remove any tangles and keep your pup looking neat. Some owners like to take their pets to the professional groomer once or twice each year for trimming. We also recommend manually brushing the teeth of your French Spaniel as often as possible with a dog-safe toothpaste to help slow the progression of dental disease, which can be a problem for dogs.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Minor Conditions
  • Otitis Externa
Serious Conditions
  • Acral mutilation
  • Entropion
  • Acral Mutilation: Acral mutilation is a genetic condition in dogs that affects the sensation in the extremities of your pet. It’s rare but can occur in the French Spaniel breed. Dogs that lose the feeling in their paws tend to overgroom and can chew their toes until damage occurs. One of the first signs is often red and swollen paws from injuries it suffered while walking. Elizabethan cones and anti-anxiety medication can help manage the disease, but not always.
  • Entropion: Entropion is a condition that causes the eyelids to roll inward, which can cause the hair on the eyelid to scrape against the eye. This rubbing can scratch the eye, which can perforate the cornea. It’s painful and can damage eyesight. Symptoms include holding the eye shut and excessive tearing. In some cases, surgery can help.
  • Otitis Externa: Otitis externa is a condition that affects the ear canal. It’s common in dogs like the French Spaniel with floppy ears because they tend to hold moisture and dirt. Common causes include ear mites and allergies. Symptoms of otitis externa include scratching and rubbing the ear, shaking his head, and a strong odor coming from the ear. If you notice these symptoms, you will need to see a vet who will likely prescribe medication, steroids, and fungicide.

Male vs Female

The male French Spaniel is larger than the female and has slightly more masculine features. However, there are no discernable differences between them in terms of temperament and behavior. This will only be more true if you pay/neuter your French Spaniel.


3 Little-Known Facts About the French Spaniel

1. The French Spaniel was a favorite with royalty during the Middle Ages.

2. The French Spaniel is the largest of all spaniel breeds.

3. The French Spaniel is one of the oldest pointing breeds.


Final Thoughts

The French Spaniel makes a great all-around pet that loves to run outdoors. It’s well suited for families and loves to play around with children and other pets. It makes a great watchdog, and it’s intelligent enough to learn several tricks. The only downside to this breed is that they need plenty of exercise, which can be hard to maintain for someone who already has a busy life.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over our look into this French and Canadian dog breed and found the answers you need. If we helped convince you to purchase one of these lovable pets for your home, please share our guide to the French Spaniel on Facebook and Twitter.

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Featured Image Credit: slowmotiongli, Shutterstock

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