FCI standard Nº 30

Brought up to date by Dr. Paschoud
Group 6 Scenthounds and related breeds
Section 1.2 Medium sized hounds
With working trial
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
Monday 26 October 1964
Publication of the official valid standard
Monday 19 October 1964
Last update
Tuesday 22 April 1997
En français, cette race se dit
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
En español, esta raza se dice
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd



General appearance

Hunting dog for small game ( driving game to waiting guns ), very distinguished, very French looking and showing top quality in all details of its structure.


Cranial region

Must be very typical, lean and finely sculptured ; rather long altogether.
Wide at the top between the leathers, occipital protuberance rounded. The forehead is flat, with a median furrow not too much marked. 
Marked, without exaggeration.

Facial region

Well developed and very black. Nostrils well open.
Of good length, neither square nor pointed; the nasal bridge, at first straight, ends very slightly arched.
The upper lip covers the lower without being drooping or thick. Mucous membranes black.
Normally developed, dark in appearance, well sheltered under the superciliary arches. Expression intelligent and sweet.
Leather thin, well curled inwards, ending rather in a point, reaching the end of the muzzle. Set on narrow, never above the line of the eye.


Fairly long, light, showing a little dewlap of tense and lean appearance.


Withers well prominent, back broad and straight.
Wide, very muscular, well coupled, not excessive in length.
Slightly slanting; haunches placed well apart and slightly prominent.
Average width, but deep.
Corresponding to the chest described above, rather long without being flat.
Slightly tucked up, but full.


Well attached, fairly strong at the root, thinning at the tip, of average length. Without any longer and coarser, slightly offstanding hairs ( like ears of grain ). Carried slightly curved.



Forelegs fairly long, lean but not too fine; straight and parallel; tendons well attached.
Constructed for gallop, long, well sloping, well muscled without being heavy.


Upper thigh
Well descending; muscles very apparent and clean; of moderately strong development.
Strong and well let down, normally angulated.


Typical for a French hound, with rather elongated and fine but tight toes; pads hard and tough.

Gait and movement

Lively and gay; gallop light and tireless.


Fine and supple, marbled with numerous black spots.


Smooth, thin, close lying and shining ; without bare patches.
Very white, with roundish orange spots, never extended to a mantle. These spots usually superimpose other black pigmented spots of the skin. Orange ticking on the ears is highly characteristic of the breed.

Size and weight

Height at withers
For dogs between 55 and 58 cm (22 to 23,5 inches).
For bitches between 53 and 56 cm (21,5 to 22,5 inches).


• 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.

Disqualifying faults

 Aggressive or overly shy.
 Lack of type.
 Eyes or nose light; excessive lack of pigment.
 Tail furnished with some longer and coarser, slightly offstanding hairs (like ears of grain).
 Coat harsh and thick.
 Orange mantle.
 Orange spots too bright, tending to mahogany, greyish or mingled with black hairs.
 Distinct orange spots but too pale, and even the absence of spots are not sought after, but are not considered as a eliminatory fault.
 Excess or lack of height at withers, an exeption may be made for males which, excelling in their quality and therefore capable of being used at stud, reach the maximum height of 60 cm (24 inches).
 Any fault affecting the utilization of the dog, as rickets, lack of a correct stance, insufficient reach of the movement.

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.




Additional information from visitors

Directly descended from old Royal White Hounds, the Porcelaine was developed in the Frenche-Comte region near the French-Swiss border. After the French Revolution the breed was facing extinction, but some specimens survived in Switzerland, where breeders reportedly used a number of local and French hounds to strengthen their stock in the 1800's. When these dogs were introduced to America, they played an integral role in developing some of the early scenthound breeds. The Porcelaine Hound is once again a common hunting dog, both in France and Switzerland. On top of being an excellent tracking hound, it also makes a loving and obedient companion. Lean, muscular and well-boned, the Porcelaine is a very fast and agile dog. This breed's porcelaine-like quality of the coat is how it received its name and most dogs are white with tan and orange markings. Average height is around 22 inches.

Detailed history

Why are they called Porcelaines? If the opinions differ on this subject, the most probable hypothesis is that, just before the Revolution, the huntsmen considered these dogs as so fragile that they gave them this nickname.

The first mention of these dogs, of which we can be sure, in the literature, is due to the Marquis de Foudras, the father of the well-known hunting author. In 1779, Foudras was one of the officers of the Gendarmerie of Lunéville, and, with some of his colleagues, he decided to form a series of crews to hunt the various game that could be found in the region: wolf, deer, deer, wild boar, hare, etc. Thus M. de Foudras brought his pack, which was in the boar's way, and M. de Choiseul was charged with the hare. For this, the latter brought from Switzerland sixty white and orange dogs (according to the words of Foudras, narrated by his son in Les Gentilshommes chasseurs). These subjects undoubtedly constitute the origin of the breed which has been called Dog of Lunéville, Dog of Franche-Comté, then Porcelain.

The crew association was soon inaugurated. Everything began with a sumptuous lunch offered by the Marshal of Castries who commanded the gendarmerie (at the time, the officers of this weapon were recruited from the noblest gentlemen of the kingdom). At the end of the meal, there was just time to force a hare. It was therefore decided to decouple Porcelaines de Choiseul. Foudras, however, was skeptical about the abilities of these dogs: "Each of us found these lovely little beasts, but the men of the trade had some doubts about their serious merits, and we wondered with concern how these velvet ears might face the brambles of the undergrowth, and how these legs, transparent by dint of being fine, would get out of business in the mud where they would enter like daggers, and in the stones where they would break like glass."

Nevertheless, the dogs were put in the way in a wood so thick that the bitters could not even penetrate it, which did not prevent the fragile Porcelaines to return without the slightest trouble, to raise a hare, and to take it in an hour and a half of hunting practically flawless. It seems that the affair made noise until Versailles, and that Louis XVI asked for a couple to raise his own packs.

What was the origin of the dogs that M. de Choiseul brought from Switzerland? Dr. Guillet brings it back to the crossroads between the famous white dog of Saint-Hubert named Souillard and a Braque of Italy named Baude which belonged to Anne de Beaujeu, Duchess of Bourbon. Their descendants were called "clerks", for having been the property of a secretary of Louis XII; the first had an immaculate livery, with just a yellow stain on his shoulder. They became the White Dogs of the King.

But how many races are attributed to Souillard, Baude, and the clerks? Two and a half centuries elapsed between the disappearance of Louis XII and the hunts of the gendarmerie of Lunéville. The large White Dogs of the Roy were probably used for many crosses, but, as far as the dogs acquired by M. de Choiseul are concerned, their paternity is only hypothetical.

The continuation of the history of the dogs which were then called Dogs of Franche-Comté or Dogs of Lunéville is clearer. The gendarmerie corps of Marshal Castries was dissolved in 1784. We then found Porcelain Cluny abbey, and then that of Luxeuil, and this is undoubtedly what allowed the race to cross the dark period of the revolution. In fact, the last abbot of Luxeuil, Mgr de Clermont-Tonnerre, gave a lot of dogs to a good doctor, Dr. Coillot, in gratitude for the care he had lavished on him. The doctor was lucky to be able to keep his dogs in the worst moments of the Terror. Other breeders, such as MM. Micaut and Monnot, of Besançon, or Martial, of Rang, had also recovered strains coming from the abbey of Cluny.

Subsequently, the descendants of Dr. Coillot succeeded in maintaining the breed with great constancy, after the dogs had made a stay with a certain Mr. Rosne. Thus the grandson of the doctor, M. Daubigné, recovered Termino and the Cleo lice and that, from this couple, he mounted a pack that was famous between 1865 and 1896.

Since then, Porcelaines have had some problems because of consanguinity. Dogs from the abbeys of Luxeuil and Cluny were therefore brought Harrier blood and blood Billy (the latter race probably having some common ancestry with the Dogs of Lunéville). Anyway, in the directory of hunting of 1975, this eminent cynophile that was the doctor Guillet specified, in the chapter "Porcelain": "About them as in any other case, do not forget that the pure race does not exist and can only serve the utopians who defend it. A race that does not evolve is a race that is dying."

Porcelaines were created primarily to hunt hares. But some crews also put them in the way of deer, or even wild boar. Indeed, despite their apparent delicacy, these dogs do not hesitate to face a "pig" holding the farm. Couteulx de Canteleu, another famous author in the field of common dogs, describes them perfectly: "These dogs are quite easy to lead, and they are quite successful. Enough to hunt, but without being too ambitious or too carried away, they do not lack foot, and as they have an exquisite nose for which there is hardly any bad weather, and that besides they do not like the the fox's way, these charming dogs, true specimens of hare dogs, deserve to be specially selected as the dog of Artois to form packs. They also love the deer way. The Porcelaines appear quite close to the Pointers Blanc and Orange and the dogs of Saint-Germain.

Finesse of nose and tenacity are therefore the main qualities of this breed which knows a certain renewal in many French crews. The cross with Harriers Somerset, made by hunters from the west of France, seems to have given him more train, since it is he who helped to build with Porcelain crews of deer, or deer. But when one considers the case of the La Luque rally, which, around 1975, decoupled in the path of the hare a pack composed at the same time of Porcelains, White French and Orange and Billys, one understands that the judges have some difficulty , in the competitions, when they have to determine the dog (or the batch of dogs) which will be classified pure Porcelain!

This situation is not new. As early as 1923, in fact, Dr. Castets wrote in his treatise on the descendants of the White Dogs of the King: "There are a certain number of crews of Porcelaines hunting the hare successfully. But the truth compels us to say that these packs are not absolutely purebred. They are, let us pass the expression, Porcelaines improved, Porcelaines which have in their ancestors a crossing (with the Poitevin or the English for example)."

Castets also cites the case of a friend who, having wanted to keep absolutely pure Porcelaines, regularly missed his animals, his dogs not having sufficient background to hunt in difficult terrain. The Lunéville Dogs that Foudras described seem far away! It is probable that the excess of consanguinity between the dogs having passed through the abbeys of Cluny and Luxeuil has weakened the race.

However, Porcelaines had grown well beyond the borders of Franche-Comté. The Viscount de Lorgeril, for example, had introduced them to hunt hare in Brittany, and, more recently, a very fine lot of these dogs was noticed in the crew Bouquin Berrichon, Count B. de Voguë.

Finally, we must mention Albert Favre who, in the fifties, makes the difference between the Franche-Comté Porcelain and the smaller Swiss Porcelain. Favre relies on this distinction to cast doubt on Foudras' thesis, but without using a truly convincing argument. He said, however, that the skeletons of Swiss dogs were too light, and that their hair was so thin that it appeared transparent when it was wet. This may explain why many huntsmen have seen fit to strengthen the breed by various crosses.

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