Other names: Épagneul Picard
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.
Key facts about the Picardy Spaniel
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.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 7 - Pointing Dogs
Section 1 : Continental Pointing Dogs
Physical characteristics of the Picardy Spaniel
Female : Between 22 and 24 in
Male : Between 22 and 24 in
Female : Between 40 and 51 lb
Male : Between 40 and 51 lb
Speckled grey, marked with brown.
Type of coat
Single layered. Slightly wavy. Medium length.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Picardy Spaniel is a very intelligent dog. Like many working dogs, they learn quickly and are capable of understanding and following complex commands.
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
Picardy Spaniels are social dogs who love being around people. They will rarely display any nervousness around strangers.
Unlike other more independent hunting dogs, the Picardy flourishes in the company of their master.
Behaviour of the Picardy Spaniel
This well-balanced dog can, in spite of its attachment to its masters, tolerate time alone without any problem.
Easy to train / obedience
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.
They are very discreet, and don’t bark without good reason.