Pont-Audemer spaniel

FCI standard Nº 114

Origin
France
Translation
Mrs. Peggy Davis
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 15 December 1954
Publication of the official valid standard
Tuesday 01 August 2023
Last update
Tuesday 05 September 2023
En français, cette race se dit
Epagneul de Pont-Audemer
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
Pont-Audemer spaniel
En español, esta raza se dice
Spaniel de Pont-Audemer
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd
Epagneul Pont-Audemer

Usage

Pointing dog.

General appearance

Stocky and vigorous dog.

Head

Cranial region

Skull
Round and developed at the top, occipital crest prominent; the parietals are rather round. The forehead rising towards the topknot which must be very curly and well placed on the top of the skull, leaving the forehead bare.  
Stop
Forming a weak angle, although marked.

Facial region

Nose
Brown, protruding perceptibly above the front of the lips, rather pointed.
Muzzle
Long, arched in the middle part.
Lips
Fine and slightly let down, making the muzzle rather pointed.
Eyes
Dark amber or hazel, rather small, well set into the socket; kind and frank expression.
Ears
Medium thickness, flat, set on rather low in such a way as to keep them away from the cheeks; long and furnished with long silky very curly hair, joining the top knot to show a beautiful curly wig really framing the head.

Neck

A little arched, neat, well muscled, joining finely to the head and solidly to the shoulders.

Body

Back
Straight or slightly convex.
Loin
Quite short, broad, solid, muscular.
Croup
Very slightly oblique.
Chest
Deep, broad, going down fully to level of the elbow; ribs ong and protruding, the last rib close to the hip.
Side
Flat and a little raised.

Tail

Set almost at the level of the loin line, carried quite straight, generally docked to one third of its length; thick at the base, well feathered with curly hair which should surround the tail completely. When the tail is not docked, it must be of medium length, carried a little curved.

Limbs

The legs must be rather short, the dog being rather low to the ground, yet without falling into the Cocker type.

Forequarters

Shoulders
Strong, long, sloping, close at the poi nt where they join the spinal column.
Upper arm
Strong and muscled.

Hindquarters

Generality
Prominent and reaching the height of the back.
Upper thigh
Straight, well let down, muscular, fleshy, with culottes. Point of buttock prominent.
Metatarsus
Rather short, furnished especially at the back with a curly fringe. Dewclaws to be avoided.
Hock
Broad and straight, without deviation either in or out.

Feet

Round, set true, furnished with long, curly hairs between the toes.

Coat

Hair
Curly and slightly ruffled.
Colour
Brown, preferably brown and grey mottled, with dead leaf glints.

Size and weight

Height at withers
52 - 58 cm.

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.

General faults

 Skull flat on the sides, forehead parallel to the muzzle; lack of topknot, topknot reaching to the superciliary arches or topknot formed by hanging hair.
 Stop forming a weak angle, although marked.
 Nose black, pale, dudley nose or round.
 Muzzle short or too convex.
 Lips thick, with flews.
 Eyes too light, set level with the head surface or too sunken.
 Look unfriendly or vicious.
 Ears thick, folded, too short, set too high, carried either forward or backward.
 Neck too heavy, flat on its top line, too thick inits junction with the head.
 Back long, narrow or hollow.
 Loin long, narrow or flat.
 Croup falling steeply away, too straight.
 Chest insufficiently let down, too round or hollow; ribs flat or too close together.
 Flanks too fleshy, too deep.
 Tail set too high or too low, too curved, carried sabre fashion with a plume.
 Shoulders short, straight, wide apart at the summit.
 Upper arm thin.
 Haunch low set.
 Thigh flat.
 Hock joints deviated, straight, too wide apart or too close together.
 Hocks long, oblique from back to front or deviating to the right or the left, without fringes.
 Feet narrow, much too broad, too hairy; fleshy pads.
 Coat too flat, too curly, too hard or too fine; top knot not curly or falling as in the Poodle.
 Colour black or black and white, presence of tan markings.

Disqualifying faults

 Aggressive or overly shy dogs.

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

Are water dogs, created to hunt in swamps, doomed to disappear? There is every reason to ask the question with anxiety, for, of the few races having this specialty; one of the most demanding; no one can boast of having a comfortable position. Among them, the Spaniel of Pont-Audemer is without a doubt today the most threatened race, even appearing in real danger of extinction.

Swamps, peat bogs and seashores were true paradises for hunters until the nineteenth century, but these lands gradually became restricted, mainly because many marshes dried up in order to increase the area of arable land. The scarcity of these areas, which are so rich in fauna and flora, has led to the introduction of nature protection measures that have reduced hunting opportunities. Thus reserves were created, particularly ornithological, given the regular passage of many migratory birds that find shelter. Today, swampy areas where hunting is still allowed are very small, and this evolution is probably not over.

In the nineteenth century, the marshes of the coastal regions of the English Channel attracted the wealthy hunters of England a great deal, as the cultivation and industrialization of their country had already come to an end. Until 1901, when the quarantine was instituted, they came periodically to the French coast with their specialized dogs, the English Water Spaniels and the Irish Water Spaniels.

The Norman waterfowl did not fail to notice the many qualities of these races, and they used them to improve the local Spaniel, a dog that resembled the French Spaniel, but smaller and more compact. This kind of dog was widespread in Upper Brittany and all of Lower Normandy, whereas the dissemination area of the Picard Epagneul's ancestors stretched as far as Upper Normandy. The common points among all these dogs were their liveliness and average size.

According to the opinion of some, the Epagneul de Pont-Audemer would therefore be a Franco-British dog. Others have claimed that it would be more of the same strain than the British water spaniels, but the hypothesis is as seductive as it is risky, and R. Gréaume, the former president of the breed club, has Refuted elsewhere: "He comes down from the Irish Water Spaniel, which is neither disputed nor questionable. "

Obviously, the Pont-Audemer existed, in small numbers certainly, in the nineteenth century. In 1886, the Le Havre canine society undertook to select it and it was at this moment that it left its soil to be noticed by specialists who began to make great case of its qualities. It seems that the breed was the object of various crossings at the end of the century and that it was then somewhat neglected.

According to Paul Mégnin, "Pont-Audemer would be in first place, if we knew, at home, appreciate it at its fair value." The breed aroused the enthusiasm of P. Bellecroix, a great admirer of British dogs: "More rustic, more rigorous, more ardent than the French Spaniel, Pont-Audemer has the same qualities: intelligence, flexibility, sweetness. Both are also good-natured, very easy to handle. The pursuit of the Norman dog is more lively, more sustained than that of the French; he stops well too. For the hunt, I prefer the first to his rival; in the grassy marshes where a dog has to deploy a lot more strength and depth, I have seen the second falter, the Pont-Audemer never. It is also an excellent dog pout brusailleur, an intelligent activity that has often been valuable. I saw some Pont-Audemer who could have rivaled the most ardent Cocker. This excellent dog represents, in my opinion, one of our most valuable breeds. It may be the one whose use could be the most generalized. This is the one I would most regret losing. "

Despite all the superlatives that qualify it, the breed did not spread equally in France, since it was really only present in the northwestern part of the country. After the First World War, the numbers even began to shrink, and in 1945, only a few survivors remained of the Pont-Audemer Spaniel. It was then necessary to carry out a retreat with the Irish Water Spaniel to avoid its disappearance, and a renewed interest for the race was moreover noted, but this new expansion does not seem to have continued, because, in 1981, the Club de I'Epagneul de Pont-Audemer had to link to that of the Picard Epagneul because of the low number of births.

Here is a race that, despite the efforts of amateurs, could never win in French hunters, probably because we had not done enough publicity about him. However, the best authors did not fail to praise the Pont-Audemer, stating that his original specialization of water dog did not prevent his real qualities as a versatile dog. On the other hand, many articles recall for several years the critical situation of the race, several times threatened with permanent extinction. But nothing works, and it is clear that the French may have to regret their neglect of the Pont-Audemer.

Pont-Audemer is neither a soft or lymphatic dog, nor a dog whose nerve impulse is skin deep. It is not difficult to handle and is suitable for a large majority of hunters. Similarly, it adapts to all kinds of terrain. In fact, the specialist dog for work in the water needs a great resistance and a lot of energy to make a good auxiliary in the marshes. And we know that swimming is for a dog more tiring than the quest on earth. Who can do it the least, and the Norman Spaniel has rarely equaled abilities to hunt in the coldest, wettest weather. Thanks to his oily hair, he is never "wet to the bone". Pont-Audemer still has a fairly firm stop, "very firm", said Paul Mégnin, undeniable gifts of retriever and an unbeatable bushman temperament, because he is never rebuffed in front of a thicket.

Moreover, its appearance is not lacking originality: his head, surmounted by a tuft of curly hairs, just as curly as those of his ears, gives him a great look. It looks like wearing a wig great century that has the most beautiful effect. It does not go unnoticed, although it is not a sophisticated dog, because, like all Spaniel, it is a rustic dog. The sweetness of Pont-Audemer makes him an excellent house dog, a role in which he can easily replace a Grand Poodle. Affectionate, patient, even with the children, he also knows how to defend "his" family, without however barking excessively or aggressively.

If only for his dog skills, he deserves a more enviable place. In the face of the threat to the fate of the Pont-Audemer Spaniel, the Race Club advocates raising awareness of its hunting qualities in the work trials for which it is made: field-trials of wild game and NAT (natural aptitude tests). By the way, in 1987 and 1988, a few subjects tried it and did very well.

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