Other names: Poitevin Hound, Chien de Haut-Poitou, Haut-Poitou
Bred in the French region of Poitou, the Poitevin Hound is primarily a working and hunting dog, capable of travelling up to 60 km a day. Strong, muscular and agile, this dog is a true athlete and thrives living a highly active lifestyle with plenty of mental stimulation. Rarely kept as a companion pet, the Poitevin is now a fairly rare breed outside of its native France.
Key facts about the Poitevin
Life expectancy :
Origins and history
Bred from a combination of two popular French scent hound in Poitou, France, in 1692, the Poitevin Hound was a popular hunting dog throughout the 17th century, but hasn’t had the easiest of times since! Just managing to survive an outbreak of rabies during the 19th century, it is now an extremely rare breed, with some even considering it an endangered species.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 6 - Scent hounds and related breeds
Section 1 : Scent hounds
Physical characteristics of the Poitevin
Female : Between 24 and 28 in
Male : Between 24 and 28 in
Female : Between 66 and 73 lb
Male : Between 66 and 77 lb
Type of coat
Sleek and lean yet muscular, the Poitevin Hound is a true canine athlete. The legs are surprisingly powerful, with noticeable thigh muscles, while the neck is slim and long. The Poitevin’s head is flat and long with a long muzzle and strong jaw, wide black nose and large, round black-rimmed eyes. The ears are long and are set low and floppy.
Good to know
Avid hunters in France used to preach that the Poitevin was the best hunting breed in the world, especially when it came to foxes.
While the Poitevin is certainly loyal to its family, it is not an affectionate dog. This breed shows little interested in human company and instead, prefers to be a part of a pack of dogs.
Despite being rather aloof, the Poitevin Hound can be playful and enjoys sports and setting its clever mind on puzzles and games.
Providing it’s had enough exercise, the Poitevin is gentle and kind within the home.
The Poitevin is an incredible hunter, originally bred to bring down wolves and ‘nuisance’ wildlife. However, this means the breed brings the risk of chasing and even killing small animals such as cats and even livestock whilst out and about.
Fearful / wary of strangers
Very sociable, the Poitevin fears no one and is never aggressive without reason.
Want a truly independent dog? The Poitevin Hound is a great match! This dog is strong-willed, stubborn and independent, highly capable of making their own decisions.
Behaviour of the Poitevin
The Poitevin Hound is a pack dog and won’t cope well with being left alone without other humans or dogs for hours. This breed is likely to become bored, restless and destructive when lonely.
Easy to train / obedience
With an independent nature and strong prey drive, it should come as no surprise that the Poitevin Hound isn’t the easiest of dogs to train. Ideally, this breed should be matched with a highly-experienced handler who understands how to (fairly) set boundaries.
Although an experienced trainer may be able to improve the Poitevin Hound’s barking tendencies, new owners should be aware that this breed is known to be a barker.
Tendency to run away
This breed has an extreme prey drive and will run away without consideration if it spots prey.