Epagneul de Saint-Usuge

He is not recognized by the F.C.I.

Origin
France
Translation
Francis Vandersteen

Brief historical summary

Doctor Longin's research shows that the Saint-Usuge Spaniel was known as early as the 16th century. According to Dr. Guillemin, a judge at the Louhans show in 1936, this is the ancient breed of French Spaniel that has survived intact in Bresse.
Doctor Guillemin even found in the dogs presented: "the striking portrait of the partridge dogs depicted in the old tapestries of the Gobellins, various Avignon castles and the Popes' palace".
The Epagneul de Saint-Usuge is not a recent breed. In "Ses Souvenirs de chasse au marais", published in the Journal des chasseurs in 1838, the great French-Comtois cynégénéticien Baron de Reculot describes the qualities of this little spaniel, which can be found everywhere and leaves no nook unexplored.

General appearance

This Spaniel-type pointing dog has a medium-length, supple, flat, silky coat of harmonious, elegant proportions. These medium-sized, well-muscled, hardy dogs are docile and gentle-looking. Their gaits are supple and regular, with medium amplitude.

Important proportions

A dog that fits into a rectangle, with desired proportions of 9 to 10 (9 height at withers; 10 body length).

Behaviour / temperament

Naturally gentle, docile, balanced, affectionate, highly sensitive, unafraid of game, attentive and passionate, easy to train.

Head

Cranial region

Head
Relates to size and sex. Diverging skull and muzzle lines.
Skull
Slightly domed, medium width.
Stop
Clearly visible; more pronounced in males than females.

Facial region

Nose
Brown pigmentation in harmony with the coat. Nostrils wide open.
Muzzle
Straight, approximately the same length as the skull.
Lips
Good pigmentation in harmony with coat color; slightly developed, but sufficiently deep so as not to make the muzzle pointed. They should cover the teeth well.
Jaws and teeth
The jaws have a scissor bite, meaning that the posterior surface of the upper incisors is in close contact with the anterior surface of the lower incisors. The teeth are set square to the jaws; 42 teeth according to the dental formula.
Eyes
Round, wide-open and not protruding, with a lively, hazel-colored gaze (the desired dark shade). The eyelids, which follow the shape of the eyeball, have well-pigmented rims.
Ears
Set below the eye line. Flat, triangular, well-fringed, the fringe reaching the end of the muzzle.

Neck

Short and powerful, without dewlap.

Body

Body
The topline is straight, the underline rising slightly to the rear.
Withers
Marked.
Back
Well supported and muscular.
Loin
Of medium length and well muscled.
Croup
Short, giving the appearance of a small, plump dog.
Chest
Broad and well developed in all three dimensions. Ribs rounded without exaggeration.

Tail

Reaching hock level, fringed and furnished with a fine plume. Not docked, carried saber-like.

Limbs

Forequarters

Generality
Viewed from the front, straight and parallel. Viewed from the side, well under the body. Arm and forearm of approximately equal length.
Shoulders
Well angulated, strong and muscular.
Upper arm
Well muscled and lean, fringed.
Elbows
Close to the body, neither turned out nor in.
Forearm
Plumb and strong-boned.
Carpal
Strong.
Pastern
Slightly sloping.

Hindquarters

Generality
Seen from behind, vertical and parallel. Good bone structure.
Upper thigh
Flat, long, well let down, not jiggly.
Lower thigh
Long, moderately muscular.
Stifle
Strong, well angulated.
Metatarsus
Sloping without exaggeration, of medium length.
Hock
Well angulated and dry.

Gait and movement

Supple and regular, of medium amplitude, yet proud and harmonious.

Skin

Marbled with brown patches, it follows the shape of the body without forming folds.

Coat

Hair
Medium-length, slightly wavy, well furnished all over the body. The hair on the head is shorter, as are the limbs, which are well feathered. Ears and tail well feathered. The coat on the chest is well furnished and the underline is marked by a fringe.
Colour
Bicolor : brown with white patches without white patches; with or without a white star on the forehead in adulthood (puppies are all born with a white star on the forehead, which may disappear in adulthood).

Size and weight

Height at withers
Males from 45 to 53 cm and females from 41 to 49 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.

Serious faults

 Short, narrow or pointed muzzle.
 Very loose eyelids.
 Saddle back or carp back.
 Raised croup.
 Sternum too short.
 Elbows strongly turned in or out.
 Closed hocks, cow hocks or barrel hocks, both standing and moving.
 Pacing subject.
 Shortened gait, stiff gait.

Disqualifying faults

 Weakness of character, fear of gunshot or game.
 Overshot or undershot mouth, deviated jaw.
 Missing teeth except P1.
 Entropion, ectropion.
 Short tail at birth, deviated or broken whip, or dog born anoure.
 Pigmentation defects.
 Variegated eyes (heterochromia).
 Any coat different from the standard, tricolor coat, white 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.

 

Additional information from visitors

Thanks to Mimie for this very interesting article

The Saint Usuge Spaniel has come a long way.
Abbé BILLARD, parish priest of Savigny en Revermont, a small commune on the borders of the Saône et Loire and Jura departments, was responsible for the animal's resurrection.
In 1947, after returning from captivity, the priest wanted to acquire a Saint Usuge Spaniel.
He questioned the Société Centrale Canine, which told him that the breed had disappeared since the last show in LOUHANS in 1936.
The priest took up his pilgrim's staff and set off in search of a spaniel.
Abbé BILLARD succeeded in acquiring his first bitch, christened 'POUPETTE', and found in Louhans a superb male DICK, son of Braco, 1st prize Saint Usuge at the Louhans dog show in 1936.
He then began breeding, taking care to avoid inbreeding.
For 33 years, the abbé bred nearly 200 dogs, with great success.
In 1978, Abbé Billard approached Serge BEY and said, "You must continue the Saint Usuge breed, I'll pass on my breeding to you".
Abbé Billard gave a puppy to Serge BEY's daughter, who naturally fell in love with it.
Finally, in 1990, a meeting led to the creation of a club, of which Serge BEY was president...
Today, the little white-and-brown animal is almost famous. It can be found in Germany, Canada, the United States, Switzerland and Austria...
Abbé BILLARD and Serge BEY have fulfilled their mission: to save the Saint Usuge breed, which has been officially recognized in the French stud book (LOF).
An integral part of the Bresse heritage, this spaniel must never disappear...

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