Other names: Epagneul Pont-Audemer, Setter of Pont-Audemer
The Pont-Audemer Spaniel is a rare French gundog breed, which was developed in the 19th century after breeders mixed water spaniels and English Setters. Despite having many suitable qualities, they’re rarely kept as household pets. But these working dogs are loving, gentle, and really easy to train. They’re also very difficult to come by. Potential owners will need to find a specialist breeder.
Key facts about the Pont-Audemer Spaniel
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Origins and history
The Pont-Audemer breed was developed in 19th century France. While it's exact origins are unknown, it's thought that English and French Water Spaniels, as well as English Setters, were thrown in the mix when creating this breed.
Although it never became as popular as some other gun dogs, the Pont-Audemer was still considered as a first-rate tracker and retriever. They specialised in retrieving water birds like wild ducks. They have a real enthusiasm for their work, and a playful nature.
They're also known as le petit clown des Marais, which translates as the little clown of the marshes.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 7 - Pointing Dogs
Section 1 : Continental Pointing Dogs
Physical characteristics of the Pont-Audemer Spaniel
Female : Between 20 and 23 in
Male : Between 20 and 23 in
Female : Between 37 and 44 lb
Male : Between 37 and 44 lb
Brown and white, brown and grey/heather, liver and white.
Type of coat
Mid-length, curly and ruffled. Short and smooth around the face.
Dark amber or hazel.
The Pont-Audemer Spaniel is a vigorous dog. She has a very unique wavy coat, but apart from that she looks very similar to more popular spaniel breeds such as the Springer. She has a long lean body, a high head carriage, and strong sturdy legs. Like most spaniels, they have long floppy ears and eyes filled with a gentle expression.
Good to know
They are very rare and you might have trouble finding one in the UK. Importing dogs can be a lengthy and very expensive process.
It’s really important to remember that these dogs are primarily working dogs. They might sometimes struggle with the “domesticated” life of the modern day dog.
She would make an excellent pet dog for the whole family.
She has high energy and loves to play. The Pont-Audemer is especially playful as a young pup and will still enjoy games of fetch (especially in water) long into her adulthood.
This depends. When she’s working, this dog is constantly on the move. But when work is over, she loves to chill out and relax.
The Pont-Audemer is a quick learner that really enjoys being mentally challenged. She is a well-balanced and obedient dog.
These dogs were bred to hunt, track, and retrieve game. It’s what they’ve been doing hundreds of years. A very good research dog, she adapts to all terrains, but especially likes watery grounds and deep water. She works with great zeal and perseverance.
Fearful / wary of strangers
She is always happy and gets along very well with everyone. She is neither fearful, nor aggressive with strangers.
She is a very affectionate dog with members of her family but who keeps a small independent side like many spaniels.
Behaviour of the Pont-Audemer Spaniel
Pack dogs aren’t comfortable with long periods of solitude. She can be left alone for a short time, but only if her needs have been met.
Easy to train / obedience
This smart dog is naturally obedient and very easy to train. In fact, she has a real willingness to learn.
The Pont-Audemer is a quiet dog that will only bark when she needs to.
Tendency to run away
This dog is a high-flight risk, especially if she’s not getting enough exercise or mental stimulation. A bored Pont-Audemer may go off in search of her own adventures.
She will only become destructive if her needs are not being met.
Greedy / Gluttony
These active dogs have a pretty big appetite but they aren’t excessive overeaters. A treat is always a welcome return for good behaviour.
Social, happy, and quiet, the Pont Audemer is not a great watchdog.
She is the perfect first companion for a master hunter or a sporty family.
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Pont-Audemer Spaniel in a flat
Against all odds, this dog can very well adapt to city life and can even live in an apartment if she has plenty of time every day for long walks in open spaces.
Need for exercise / Sporty
She is primarily a born hunter who needs a lot of exercise to meet all her needs. An enduring and rustic dog, she will gladly accompany her owner in his various activities.
Travelling / easy to transport
Her average size and joyous nature allow her to follow her owners in all their travels as long as she has benefited from good socialisation from a young age.
Pont-Audemer Spaniel and cats
These dogs don’t mix well with cats. A cat living under the same roof as one of these dogs is going to have a pretty rough time unless they grew up together.
Pont-Audemer Spaniel and dogs
Pont-Audemers are pack dogs, and get on really well with other canines.
Pont-Audemer Spaniel and children
Although they’re not really pets, these dogs can still get on really with children. They're loving, affectionate, and very playful.
Pont-Audemer Spaniel and the elderly
Some elderly people may struggle to meet this dog's demands, but those who are still sufficiently active and dynamic can adopt this spaniel.
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.
Regular and weekly maintenance is necessary for this curly-haired dog. Her drooping ears that must be monitored in particular, and cleaned after each hunt.
Some younger pups can suffer from hair loss. It usually occurs between the first 7-18 months. Otherwise, shedding is moderate.
Nutrition of the Pont-Audemer Spaniel
These dogs need 3 to 4 cups of high quality dog food every day. Whether her diet is traditional or industrial, the most important thing for this dog is that she enjoys balanced rations according to her age, lifestyle and daily activities.
Health of the Pont-Audemer Spaniel
This a very healthy dog with an average life expectancy of 13 years.
Strong / robust
This dog was bred to hunt and track game through the dense countryside, meaning she’s tough, durable, and extremely robust.
The Pont-Audemer is comfortable in warmer climates, although she shouldn't be exercised during the hottest part of the day. She loves running and the hot weather won’t stop her. This puts her at risk of overheating and heat exhaustion.
Although she only has a single-layered coat, it is waterproof. Pont-Audemers have no problems dealing with cold and wintery conditions.
Tendency to put on weight
This dynamic lady usually works out enough to stay in shape.