France has produced some of the best known dog breeds love across the world. They range from small companion breeds, to hunting dogs, to working dogs. The great variety in dog breeds originating in France is owed to the fact that the French have been breeding dogs and developing breeds for a long time.
Even though France has produced some of the best known breeds around the world, they have also produced many which are mostly known, only within France, or maybe the surrounding countries in Europe. Most of the hunting dogs from France are scent hounds, but there is also the well-known Poodle, that is a retriever, and the less popular Brittany, that is a spaniel.
Basset Hound: Also known as the Hush Puppy, the Basset Hound is a short-legged scent hound, which was originally bred as a hare hunter. They are olfactory champions, second only to the mighty Bloodhound. Their name is derived from the French word for ‘low’, bas.
Bloodhound: Another scent hound, the Bloodhound is a large dog bred for hunting deer and wild boar. It’s alternate name, St Hubert Hound, originates from the belief that the Bloodhound is the descendant of hounds that lived in the Abbey of Saint Hubert (in Belgium). Despite its large size, the Bloodhound is a gentle and calm breed, but is tireless when it comes to hunting. It requires an experienced owner as it is comparatively difficult to train and handle.
Brittany: Bred for bird hunting, the Brittany was developed in the eponymous province of France, and became an officially recognized dog breed in the early 20th century. This medium-sized gundog is easy to train and has an amiable temperament. It requires early socialization, otherwise it can be shy and not very friendly with strangers.
French Spaniel: A rare breed, the French Spaniel was developed as a hunting dog and was popular among French royalty in the Middle Ages. The breed is not widely recognized internationally. A friendly and outgoing personality makes the French Spaniel a great companion and hunter, and a joy to train, as it is very willing to please.
Briard: The Briard is an ancient dog breed, which is today used for police work, as well as military, and search and rescue. It is a very loyal and protective breed, and thus makes a wonderful family companion and guardian dog. The Briard has a very good memory, making the breed easy to train. Of course, they are just as likely to retain bad behavior.
French Bulldog: Also known as the Frenchie, the French Bulldog is a small dog breed which was developed as a companion breed, and continues to be one of the most popular companion small breed dogs. They have little exercise requirements so they make a great choice for apartment living.
Great Pyrenees: The Pyrenean Mountain Dog, as it is also known, is a large breed of dog which was developed as a livestock guardian. It can grow to be as large as 140 pounds and as tall as 32 inches (at the withers), and can be expected to have a 10 to 11 year lifespan.
Papillon: Also known as the Continental Toy Spaniel, the Papillon is toy breed that is highly intelligent, with a great level of self-confidence. Papillons are happy and friendly dogs and make wonderful companions. Their high intelligence and trainability makes them very desirable.
Poodle: The best known French dog breed (and possibly the best known breed anywhere), the Poodle comes in three sizes: standard (large), miniature, and toy. The Poodle was developed as a hunting dog; specifically, it is a retriever. It is ranked as the second most intelligent dog, and is popular in agility, obedience competitions.