Picardy Spaniel

Other names: Épagneul Picard

Picardy Spaniel
Picardy Spaniel

The Picardy Spaniel is a handsome, athletic dog that was bred to hunt, retrieve, and track prey. These dogs need lots of exercise but become surprisingly docile once they’ve stretched their legs. They have gentle natures and are very affectionate towards young children, making them a great family pet. The Picardy Spaniel is also easy to train and responds best to a gentle hand. They make an excellent “starter” dog for first-time owners.

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Key facts about the Picardy Spaniel

  • Life expectancy : Between 12 and 14 years
  • Temperament : Affectionate, Playful, Hunter
  • Size : Medium
  • Type of coat : Long, Wavy

FCI Group

FCI Group

Group 7 - Pointing Dogs

Section

Section 1 : Continental Pointing Dogs

Physical characteristics of the Picardy Spaniel

Adult size

Female dog Between 22 and 24 in
Male dog Between 22 and 24 in

Weight

Female dog Between 40 and 51 lb
Male dog Between 40 and 51 lb

Coat colour

Speckled grey, marked with brown.

Type of coat

Single layered. Slightly wavy. Medium length.

Eye colour

Dark amber.

Description

The Picardy Spaniel is an active dog with a sturdy, well-balanced frame. They have powerful legs, long streamlined bodies, and a high, proud head framed with wavy-haired ears. Their rich, glossy coats give them an almost regal appearance, while their dark soulful eyes create an endearing and warm expression. 

Temperament

Affectionate

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The Picardy Spaniel is a very affectionate dog. They’ll greet you like you’ve been away for years and often stay as close as possible to their favourite human. 

Playful

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High-energy working dogs love to play and the Picardy Spaniel is no exception. Playing is really important for these active dogs. It helps keep them physically and mentally stimulated

Calm

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The puppies can be extremely active. In fact, they can even come across as a bit hyperactive. But this tends to settle down as they get older, and a well-exercised adult is a surprisingly docile animal. 

Intelligent

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The Picardy Spaniel is a very intelligent dog. Like many working dogs, they learn quickly and are capable of understanding and following complex commands.

Hunter

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These dogs were bred to hunt, track and retrieve, specializing in hares and wild geese. They have an exceptionally high-prey drive. This means they need the right kind of exercise and lots of early socialisation.   

Fearful / wary of strangers

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Picardy Spaniels are social dogs who love being around people. They will rarely display any nervousness around strangers.

Independent

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Unlike other more independent hunting dogs, the Picardy flourishes in the company of their master.

Behaviour of the Picardy Spaniel

Tolerates solitude

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This well-balanced dog can, in spite of its attachment to its masters, tolerate time alone without any problem.

Easy to train / obedience

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Quiet, docile, and intelligent, the Picardy Spaniel is easy to educate, even for novice masters. They are eager to please, and very pleasant to interact with.

Barking

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They are very discreet, and don’t bark without good reason.

Tendency to run away

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Like any dog with a high prey drive, the Picardy Spaniel is a bit of a flight risk. Keep a close eye on them during long walks off the leash and secure all outdoor areas. 

Destructive

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As long as they’re getting enough exercise and companionship, a Picardy Spaniel will rarely become destructive. 

Greedy / Gluttony

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Picardy Spaniels can be quite greedy. They’re also quite good at pulling “puppy eyes” in the hope of getting an extra treat. So stay strong and don’t spoil them too much.

Guard dog

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The Picardy is a hunting dog and companion, not a guard.

First dog

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Picardy Spaniels are excellent starter dogs. They’re easy to train and their gentle nature is ideal for people with little or no experience of handling dogs. 

Lifestyle

Picardy Spaniel in a flat

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Although they would prefer to live in the countryside and hunt alongside their master, these dogs can easily acclimatize to a city life and apartment if their needs are respected.

Need for exercise / Sporty

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These dogs need up to two hours of exercise each day, and they won’t be happy with a gentle stroll around the block. They need plenty of time off the leash to run, track, and explore to satisfy their physical and mental needs.

Travelling / easy to transport

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Picardy Spaniels make really good travel companions. They respond really well to crate training, and should be accustomed from an early age.

Compatibility

Picardy Spaniel and cats

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Despite their very strong predatory instinct, if the Picardy Spaniel puppy grew up alongside a cat, cohabitation could be very harmonious.

Picardy Spaniel and dogs

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When socialised from an early age, Picardy Spaniels get along well with other dogs. 

Picardy Spaniel and children

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These dogs are best suited to families with children who are respectful to animals.

Picardy Spaniel and the elderly

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Picardy Spaniels make excellent companions for elderly people living an active lifestyle. 

Price

We do not have enough data to set an average price. Looking after a dog of this size typically costs between £70 to £100 a month, including food, medical/insurance, and incidental expenses.

Grooming

Their long, silky coats require a weekly brush, and their ears should be checked and cleaned to avoid infection. Apart from that, the Picardy Spaniel is a fairly low-maintenance breed.

Shedding

Moderate shedder.

Nutrition of the Picardy Spaniel

An adult Picardy Spaniel requires around 2-3 cups of high-quality dog food each day. Traditional meals of raw meat, vegetables, etc, are preferable, but otherwise high quality industrial foods should be fine.

Health of the Picardy Spaniel

Life expectancy

The Picardy Spaniel is a very healthy breed with a life expectancy of around 13 years.
 

Strong / robust

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Picardy Spaniels were bred to hunt and track prey through the dense countryside. This means they are tough, sturdy, and very robust.

Withstand heat

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Picardy Spaniels have no problems dealing with warmer weather, although it best to avoid exercising them during the hottest parts of the day. 

Withstand cold

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Their long thick coats do a great job of keeping them warm during colder times of the year.

Tendency to put on weight

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These dogs can be a bit greedy, meaning they’ll quickly put weight on if you overfeed them or they do not get enough exercise.  

Common illnesses

Good to know

Picardy Spaniels are sensitive creatures. They need a gentle hand and lots of love and affection. They have an exceptionally high-prey drive. They shed during spring and autumn.

Origins and history

Considered as one of the oldest and most capable spaniel breeds, the Picardy Spaniel was a prized companion and hunting dog of the French aristocracy. The breed became even more popular after the French revolution. After the revolution, hunting was no longer an exclusive right of the nobility, meaning that many working-class farmers and hunters came into contact with these highly prized working dogs. The Picardy Spaniel is still very much a working dog and is virtually unseen outside of its native France. This means it has yet to be recognised by UK kennel clubs.

Names

Red, Blue, Tess, Belle

Find out more dog name ideas here

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