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french dog breeds

Discover which dog breeds originated in France

As a group, French dog breeds make up a surprisingly large bunch! We have picked just 12 of the most well-known breeds from France. While there are other breeds we could have included, we wanted to concentrate of the most recognizable dogs, at first. We will be adding breeds to this page regularly.


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But now, let's look at the 12 French dog breeds that made our first version of this page!

French Dog Breeds

Barbet

Origins:  France
Size:  Medium to Large
Grooming: High
Training: Easy
Recognition:  AKC:  FSS, CKC:  Sporting, FCI:  Group 8, UKC:  Gundog

The Barbet dog breed is also known as the French Water Dog. They are quite rare, the first one to arrive in the UK was in 2001. This is a medium size dog has a dense curly coat from head (including a beard) to toe. As a water dog they were used to locate, flush out and retrieve water birds. The breed was recognized by the UK Kennel Club in 2018.

Basset Artesien Normand

Origins:  France
Size: Medium
Grooming: Easy
Training: Average
Recognition: FCI:  Group 6,  UKC:  Scenthound

Also Called Artesian Norman Basset or Norman Artesian Basset.

This breed was created in the 19th century by crossing a Basset d'Artois with a Basset Normand. They have an elegant, athletic build with a low body. They stand 12 to 14 inches at the withers. They have a dome-shaped head with long, fine ears. There is a short, fine coat with 2 or 3 colors.

This is a scent hound, and is best suited to hunting rabbit and wild hare. This is a gentle dog that makes a very agreeable companion.

Beauceron

Origins: France
Size: Large to Giant
Grooming:  Easy
Training: Easy
Recognition:  AKC (Herding), FCI (Group 1), KC (Pastoral), NZKC (Working), UKC (Herding)

Other Names:  Berger de Beauce, Bas rouge, French Short haired Shepherd

The Beauceron dog breed comes from the short-haired variety of the French flatland sheepdogs that used to found throughout France. This is a well-built, muscular and solid dog, looking a bit like a cross between a Rottweiler and a German Shepherd. This makes it sound ferocious and maybe aggressive, but in fact the Beauceron has an endearing and gentle personality.

Berger Picard

Origins: France

Size: Large
Grooming:
Training:
Recognition:  AKC (Miscellaneous),  CKC (Herding),  FCI (Group 1),  UKC (Herding) Also called Bacardi Shepherd, Berger de Picardy, Picardy Shepherd

This is a rare breed originating in France. There are only about 500 of these dogs in North America, and 5000 worldwide. They were originally livestock guardian dogs, used for herding sheep in North France. They tend to be suspicious of strangers, and need full socialization as puppies, even up to the age of 2 years. After that, they make good family dogs, and do well in an apartment setting providing they get enough exercise.

Bloodhound

Origins: Western Europe
Size: Large to Giant
Grooming:  Easy
Training: Time Consuming
Recognition:  ANKC:  Hound,  CKC:  Hound,  NZKC (Hound)

Bloodhounds are medium sized dogs that are great for families. These dogs are social and affectionate with their owners, although their primary interest will always be fascinating smells.

The Bloodhound is famous for its incredible nose, which holds true to this day. These dogs will often be seen with their heads near to the ground, tracing the source of an exciting scent.

French Dog Breeds

Briard

French Dog BreedsBriard

Origins: France
Size:  Large
Groom:  Average
Training: Average
Recognition:  ANKC (Working),  CKC (Herding),  AKC (Herding),  FCI (Group 1),  KC (Pastoral),  NZKC (Working),  UKC (Herding)

Also called Berger de Brie, Chien Berger de Brie


Brittany

Origins: France
Size:  Medium
Grooming:  Average
Training:  Easy
Recognition:  CKC:  Sporting,  AKC (Sporting),  ANKC (Gundog),  FCI (Group 7),  KC (Gundog),  NZKC (Gundog),  UKC (Gun Dog)

Also called American Brittany, Brittany Spaniel.

The Brittany dog breed is listed by the AKC under 'Spaniel-Type breeds', but in fact the word 'Spaniel' was dropped from the name in 1982, as American Brittany owners and breeders considered their dogs to behave more like Pointers when in the Field.

This breed is known for its gentle nature, and they are soft dogs, sometimes verging on being shy. They are also quite sensitive, and can be intimidated easily and accidently.

Dogue de Bordeaux
(aka. French Mastiff)

Origins:  France
Size:  Large to Giant
Grooming: Easy
Training:  Time Consuming
Recognition: ,  NZKC  (Utility),  AKC (Miscellaneous),  FCI (Group 2),  KC (Working),  UKC (Guardian)

This massive breed of dog is loving and very loyal to their family. Although their very distant ancestors were bred for battle, and then hunting, this is not an aggressive nor edgy dog. They are generally calm and confident. But at 27+ inches tall and 110+ lbs, you need to be in charge, and recognize situations that may turn bad.

French Bulldog

Origins:  England / France
Size: Small to Medium
Grooming:  Minimal
Training:  Time Consuming
Recognition:  FCI Group 9,   AKC Non-sporting,  ANKC  Non-Sporting,  CKC  Non-Sporting,  KC (UK) Utility,  NZKC Non-sporting,  UKC Companion

The French Bulldog isn't a very vocal dog. They bark infrequently, so they're good apartment dogs and can manage in places of high population density. This makes them ideal dogs for people sensitive to high volumes as well.

They are known to get protective of their owners sometimes though so they may bark at the presence of strangers or anyone unfamiliar.

French Dog Breeds

French Spaniel

French Dog BreedsFrench Spaniel

Origins:  France and Canada
Size: Medium to Large
Grooming: Easy
Training: Average
Recognition:  FCI:  Group 7,   AKC:  FSS,   CKC:  Sporting,   UKC:  Gundog


Papillon

Origins: France
Size: Small
Grooming: Time Consuming
Training: Easy
Recognition:  FCI: Group 9,  AKC: Toy,  ANKC: Toy,  CKC: Toy,  KC: Toy,  NZKC: Toy,  UKC:  Companion

The Papillon is a small breed that is well known for its known for its affectionate and energetic personality. These dogs are always looking for something to do, so they make for playful company. They are very social and are excited when they get to meet new faces. This energetic dog makes for a lively and fun pet.

The Phalene, which is similar in all respects except for the ear carriage, is recognized separately by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI).  However, in the U.S., the American Kennel Club groups both varieties together into one breed, and refers to the 'Phalene Type' of Papillon.

Poodle

Origins: Germany / France
Size: Small to Large
Grooming: Extensive
Training: Easy
Recognition:  FCI: Group 9,  AKC: Non-sporting,  ANKC: Non-sporting,  CKC: Sporting,  KC: Utility,  NZKC: Non-sporting,  UKC: Gundog

We often think the poodle originated in France (thus the French Poodle), but no one really knows the exact origin of the breed. The French, however, called the breed, "Caniche," meaning "duck dog.”

What is known is that the breed descended from either or all the now extinct French Water Dog, the Hungarian Water Hound or the Barbet. The name “poodle” likely came from the German word, Pudel meaning one who plays in the water. 

French Dog Breeds

Pyrenean Mountain Dog

French Dog BreedsPyrenean Mountain Dog

Origins: France
Size: Large to Giant
Grooming: Time Consuming
Training: Average
Recognition:  FCI: Group 2

From the French side of the Pyrenean Mountains.


We hope you enjoyed our list of French Dog Breeds. This list is not 100% complete, as we have concentrated on the most well-known and most popular breeds originating in France.

Please let us know if you think we have omitted a breed that deserves to be here, by using the Contact Me link.  Thank you!


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