Picardy spaniel

FCI standard Nº 108

Origin
France
Translation
Mrs Kincaid
Revision : Iris Borianne and Prof. Claude Guintard
Official language (FR)
Group
Group 7 Pointing Dogs
Section
Section 1.2 Continental Pointing Dogs, Spaniel type
Working
With working trial
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
Wednesday 08 December 1954
Publication of the official valid standard
Thursday 08 June 2023
Last update
Thursday 24 August 2023
En français, cette race se dit
Epagneul picard
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
Picardie Spaniel
En español, esta raza se dice
Spaniel picardo
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd
Picardië Spaniel

Usage

Pointing dog.

Brief historical summary

The diverse biotope of the Picardy region led local hunters to look for a sturdy, versatile and generous dog.
This ancient breed has mainly been used locally, which explains why it has never quite expanded outside of Picardy.
And yet, going on a hunt with him is utterly delightful! His ability at work is legendary. Both firm and cheerful while pointing, with a keen sense of smell that leaves no chance to his prey.
The main difference between the Blue Picardy Spaniel and the Spaniel of Picardy (the two PICARDY breeds) is the colour of the coat.
The breed has gained some renewed interest, with many hunters happily rediscovering this long-neglected ally, the perfect match for those seeking an auxiliary adapted to small game hunting...
His kindness also makes him an ideal companion at home. A real kid lover, he will happily join in their games without ever outplaying them.

General appearance

Dog of medium size and a Continental spaniel-type (« Braque » in French), well boned with strong limbs; gentle expression; head carriage gay and striking. Very well constructed forequarters.

Important proportions

The length between the tip of the shoulder and the ischium exceeds by roughly 1/10 th the height at the withers.
Chest well developed and let down to the elbows.

Behaviour / temperament

Flexible and gentle dog, with an even temperament, well adapted to family life. An athletic dog, the Picardy Spaniel enjoys a daily walk in order to work off his energy.

Head

Cranial region

Head
Flat at the sides.
Skull
Moderately wide and rounded, with prominent occipital protuberance; parietals not bulging. 
Stop
Sloping to the muzzle, not at right angle.

Facial region

Nose
Brown, medium sized, nicely rounded. Well opened nostrils. Colour of nostrils, eyelid rims and natural orifices in accordance with the coat.
Muzzle
Long, sufficiently wide, tapering from the set on at the skull to the nose; very slightly arched in the middle part.
Lips
Of medium thickness, slightly let down, not hanging too much.
Jaws and teeth
Complete scissor bite.
Cheeks
Not prominent, with tight-fitting skin.
Eyes
Dark amber in colour, well opened; expression frank and friendly.
Ears
Should be set approximately at eye level. Rather thick, framing the skull and covered with beautiful wavy, silky hair. When gently extended forward, the leather must reach the tip of the muzzle.

Neck

Well let into the shoulders, muscular.

Body

Topline
Straight, well sustained when dog is in motion or standing still.
Withers
Dry, well pronounced and broad.
Back
Of moderate length, slightly sloping behind the withers.
Loin
Straight, not too long, wide and full.
Croup
Very slightly sloping, rounded.
Chest
Deep, sufficiently wide, ribs slightly sprung, reaching well down to elbow level.
Underline and belly
Slightly tucked up.

Tail

Set-on not too high. Hanging down in two slight curves, convex and concave. Not too long, furnished with lovely silky feathering.

Limbs

Forequarters

Generality
Forelegs straight; rear side of forelegs is covered in wavy, medium-long feathers above the elbow, and distinctly longer feathers on the forearm down to the metacarpus.
Shoulders
Shoulder-blade rather long, sufficiently muscled.
Upper arm
Well muscled.
Forearm
Straight.
Carpal
Well defined, dry.
Pastern
Very slightly oblique when viewed from the side.
Forefeet
Rather round, a little broad but not flat, well furnished with hair on the interdigital spaces in between tightly closed toes. Colour of the pads should be in accordance with coat genetic colours.

Hindquarters

Generality
Hindlegs well feathered down to the hock. Top of the croup slightly lower than the withers.
Upper thigh
Straight, long, broad, well muscled.
Lower thigh
Long, with visible muscles, and covered in profuse fringes.
Metatarsus
Straight.
Hock
Slightly bent.
Hind feet
Round, large, tight, with a little feathering between the toes.

Gait and movement

Easy, supple, even and strong, yet elegant. Legs should move within the body line, without inducing excessive vertical movement in the top line. When galloping, the top line should display a slight tilting movement.

Skin

Rather fine and supple.

Coat

Hair
Dense and not too silky; fine on head, slightly wavy on the body. Often with undercoat.
Colour
Traditionally referred to as grey mottling with dark brown patches on different parts of the body and root of tail. Most often marked with tan on head and limbs. (« Brown mottling marked with tan and white » resulting in a coat traditionally called « autumn leaves »).

Size and weight

Height at withers
Males : 57 to 62 cm. Females: 55 to 60 cm.
A tolerance of ± 2 cm is permitted yet undesirable.

Faults

• Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and its ability to perform its traditional work.
• Faults listed should be in degree of seriousness.

Serious faults

 Skull too broad or too narrow.
 Ear : too short or triangular.
 Nose : any colour other than brown; lack of pigmentation (nose largely flesh-coloured).
 Eye : light and too small.
 Lack of bone.

Disqualifying faults

 Aggressive or overly shy dogs.
 Overshot or undershot bite.
 Teeth : One missing canine or two missing incisors or more than two other missing teeth (PM or M) with the exception of PM1 and M3.
 Size outside the limits of tolerance of the standard.
 Lack of type.
 Atypical coat (white or black patches).

NB :

• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
• The above mentioned faults when occurring to a highly marked degree or frequently are disqualifying.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.

Bibliography

http://www.fci.be/

 

Detailed history

The Picardian Spaniel is one of the oldest continental breeds, just like the French Spaniel. Like the latter, its ancestor is the "oysel dog" or "sleeping dog" described by Gaston Phoebus and Henri de Ferrieres at the end of the 14th century.

The Picardian Spaniel was long favored by lords and kings, as evidenced by the works of Desportes and Oudry, painters of hunts and royal dogs, who left us many representations of Spaniels, and, moreover, he was one of the only hunting dogs to be finally admitted to the salons. During the nineteenth century, following the abolition of the privilege of hunting, the Spaniel spread much among the bourgeois and even among the peasants.It spread throughout France, but particularly to the northwest, in areas of hedgerow and marsh where the wet and cold climate made it a valuable auxiliary.

Towards the end of the last century, however, there was a real craze for English dogs, especially among dog-lovers and well-off hunters. The fashion of the British races was the expression of a vast Anglomanic current in the ruling classes of our country, which could be observed especially in the field of nature, animals, sport, and especially the horse; it is no coincidence that the first French dog breeders were also "horse people", the Central Canine Society having been, in the beginning, an emanation of the very select Jockey Club. But this attraction of English dogs was not only a matter of fashion, because the British, who, on the one hand, had seen, from the beginning of the nineteenth century, their hunting territories become restricted and the game became scarce and on the other hand, had acquired a great deal of control over dog breeding, had taken a lot of advance in improving their dog breeds.

Nevertheless, anglomania did a great detriment to the old French breeds of sting dogs. Thus, the most typical subjects among the Spaniels became very rare, while the vulgar "Country Spaniels" were less affected at the beginning.

It was then that J. de Coninck, a cynophile who had undertaken the study of all the French dogs, became enthusiastic about a type of Spaniel whom he defined as the French Spaniel, that is, to say like a dog of beautiful size, with white dress stained exclusively with brown. This very restrictive choice, as far as the color of the dress is concerned, was undoubtedly dictated by the desire to eliminate the crossed subjects with English Setters and to prevent any retempes with them, or to allow to to distinguish at first glance the French Spaniel from the British races. But the merit of having saved the French Spaniel later returned to the Abbot Fournier and some breeders, whose history has unfortunately not retained the names.

Despite the selection criteria proposed by J. de Coninck, it is evident that there were well-French Spaniels who possessed a strongly speckled dress with, in addition to the brown patches, fire marks above the eyes, cheeks and limbs. . These colors were often found in Picardy, one of the great fiefs of the Spaniel. Indeed, this region is, especially in the Bay of Somme, a true paradise for migratory birds who also appreciate the coastline bordered by marshes (low fields). Between peat bogs and valleys swamps, Picardy also presents more traditional land, such as groves and groves, trays with rich grain crops and beetroot. Suffice to say that this region is ideal for the Spaniel, who developed his many skills and could only access a career dog.

In 1904, at the dog show in Paris, a certain Mr. Rattel presented for the first time a Picardian Spaniel with perfectly fixed characteristics. He was classified among the French Spaniels since the different families were not yet differentiated and were to be so only with the creation of the Club of the Spaniel, in 1907. As for the Club of the Epagneul Picard, it was founded in 1921.

Many questions have arisen about this breed. In the first place, many wondered if the Picardian Spaniel was not finally a variety of French Spaniel, distinct only by the colors of his dress. Leading experts, including Abbe Fournier, Paul Mégnin and Kermadec, were of this opinion, and it is also indisputable that the two races were very close in their physicality as in their abilities (their history is confused with elsewhere until 1907). However, the differences could only increase with time. Thus, Paul Megnin notes in the 1946 edition of Our Dogs that Picard is "the old French spaniel, lighter, with more endurance and a safer nose. His hair is gray-brown, and a little hard. These differences remain, to tell the truth, quite minimal, and they are more likely to distinguish two varieties than likely to separate two races.

In fact, this discussion is of little interest because, given the practice of not crossing between varieties of the same race, the Picardian Spaniel was considered a variety of French or as a race in its own right could have had little impact from a zootechnical point of view. On the other hand, the desire to discern Picard as a race may have played a role in its diffusion. Still, if Mégnin wrote very affirmatively about the race: "No doubt it will quickly resume in the country the preponderant place to which it is entitled," this prediction turned out to be totally false.

Another question, that of Picard's possible relationship with the English races, agitated the spirits. Indeed, some suspected a British ancestry in this dog, by virtue of his dress with many speckles and fire marks, features rejected in the French precisely to distinguish him from the English races. However, the Picard dress actually has very French colors, although, moreover, it is likely that certain lines have suffered; at a specific moment in their history; a slight overemphasis. That said, the importance of crossbreeding with the races of the English Channel should not be exaggerated by the time British hunters frequented the Somme before the quarantine was established in 1901. In any case, it is mainly the 'Epagneul Bleu de Picardie which seems to have been' vivified 'by a contribution of Setter.

The Picard Epagneul remains curiously unknown to the vast majority of French hunters. However, we can not say that this dog has had to be criticized, because most specialists are unanimous in recognizing a homogeneous set of qualities that allows him to be very effective whatever the circumstances and skill of the dog. master.

Some may have said, "This dog has a reputation for having a short nose and not being early. We think rather that his nose is related to his legs. But the opposite opinion of connoisseurs who say: "They are excellent hunting dogs. Given their country of origin, they excel at the marsh, going very well to the water, reporting well. They are also good becasiers and do not be put off by the most forbidding brambles. They behave very well in plain, so they are versatile dogs. These breeds, the Picardian Spaniel and the Picardy Blue, deserve to be better known and more developed. "

Despite the dynamism and seriousness of the Breed Club, which has more than 300 members throughout the territory, the Picardian Spaniel is struggling to reach a hundred births per year. It would undoubtedly be necessary to insist more on its vocation of polyvalent dog than on that of dog of marsh. Certainly, this specialty requires the dog who practices great qualities: foolproof physical endurance, courage, passion for hunting, great report skills, and resistance to adverse weather conditions. But hunting in the marshes is getting smaller each year: it was first the farmers and horticulturists who drained and dried many marshy areas; then, hunting was prohibited in many areas; lastly, the measures taken (with the support or under pressure of foreign countries) to protect migratory birds when they cross into France do not facilitate the situation. Thus, hunting marsh is increasingly threatened, the original specialty of the Picardian Spaniel can not now be sufficient to ensure its dissemination.

Fortunately, we can remember that this dog has many other strings to his bow. For example, the new followers of the "hunting in front of oneself" will know how to use its multiple qualities; he shows a great activity without having to leave the rifle, and he is easy to handle.

The Picardian Epagneul corresponds perfectly to the French hunter who always attaches great importance to the faculty of the report. This dog stands up without difficulty to this task and accomplishes it, in all circumstances, with passion and brilliance. The hunter ; neophyte or not; who needs a dog that can replace many specialized dogs will be able to take advantage of this gentle and obedient companion as much as passionate.

The Picardian Spaniel is the opposite of a lymphatic or debonair dog. He knows how to explore the field very methodically, showing exemplary obstinacy, and his stops are practically always exploitable. And if he is not an "air drinker" who is only suitable for large open spaces or sports events, that does not mean that he is not able to shine in competitions. Indeed, the Club organizes regular work tests to select the best subjects and to prove the qualities of the race. One thing is certain: it is not out of excess of requirement that many French hunters still sulk the Picardian Spaniel.

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