French White and Black Hound (Français Blanc et Noir)

Country of origin:
France
Height (cm):
61-73
Weight (kg):
25-35
Life span (years):
12-15
Colour:
white & black
Size:
large
Hair length:
short
Recognized by:
FCI
FCI code:
220
Intelligence:
Good with kids:
Trainability:
Shedding:
Watchdog:
Adaptability:
Allergy:
No
Pros Cons
  • excellent hunter
  • wonderful pack dog                       
  • requires a lot of daily exercises
  • doesn't suit for living in a small apartment
  • only for an experienced owner

Overview
The French White and Black Hound (Français Blanc et Noir)is a proficient scent hound of French origin. It was developed specifically for hunting in big packs and nowadays this breed is acquired exclusively for hunting purpose. Despite its fabulous working skills it can be exceedingly rarely found not only in European countries but even in its native France.
History

Prior to the French revolution the hunting with large packs of hounds was one of the favourite entertainment of French nobility. Moreover it also offered convenient opportunity to establish business relations and settle global political and economic matters. Sadly enough but the demise of French upper class during the times of political turmoil also meant the disappearance of numerous varieties of scent hounds. After the defeat of Napoleon, monarchical power was reconstructed and hunting with hound restored its popularity. Thanks to the technological advancement in maritime traffic dog’s breeding became much less challenging endeavour and many British hounds were shipped to France during the period from 1815 to 1900.

The true ancestry of the French Hound will most likely never be found out since majority of early breeders didn’t bother themselves with keeping any breeding records. Nonetheless it can be stated with fair amount of certainty that the breed was created by mixing living and now extinct French and English hound breeds. The Saintongeois, Gascon-Saintongeois, and Poitevin were primary forebears of the Francais Blanc et Noir. It’s commonly believed that other breeds were fairly limitedly used in its breeding program.   

The French Hound was solely kept for hunting in large packs. Its major quarry was such big wild animals as deer, wolf, and boar. Group of several hounds would detect the scent trail of one of these mammals and then chase it, barking sharply so the hunter could go after them. Depending on the type of pursuing animal the dogs were supposed either corner it or kill it immediately.

The breed’s number diminished drastically in the aftermath of two World wars. French hunting enthusiasts were successful at saving it although many French unique breeds were lost to the world during these terrible times. In 1957 the French Hound was fully recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI). Nevertheless FCI recognition barely increased the international awareness of this dog so it didn’t gained appreciation of hunters in other countries. Furthermore presently its breeding and therefore population are supported solely by French hunter’s community. On the whole the future of the French Hound will be fairly secured as long as there are fanciers of hunting with hounds in its homeland.
Temperament

The one and only function of the Francais Blanc et Noir is hunting so it’s hard to make any generalisation as to its behavioural patterns and temperament in a home environment. Nevertheless it’s save to suggest that properly a socialised specimen can be turned into a polite and well-balanced family pet. As most scent hounds it is gentle with children and likes to be a part of their exuberant activities. This dog is probably too energetic and frisky to make a suitable company for a toddler.

The Francais Blanc et Noir tends to become somewhat standoffish and reserved in the presence of strangers. However it will never demonstrate open aggressiveness unless it suspects that something or someone threatens its family. Some of these dogs are vigilant enough to perform duties of a watchdog. This sociable and good-natured breed will make an awful guardian, which would rather greet an intruder by wagging its tail than resort to necessary actions.

The canine aggressiveness is considered a major flaw in the temperament of hounds, which were developed for hunting in packs. That’s why the members with slightest hint to this undesirable characteristic are immediately excluded from the breeding program. The Francais Blanc et Noir is known for its exceptional tolerance towards other canines. Despite its overly peaceable nature it does require early socialisation in this respect as well. It’s worth to remember that the breed has a very powerful impulse to pursue and kill other species of animals, especially stray cats. It can get on with individual family pets if it has been brought up with them from its puppyhood.
Health Problems

The most common problems for the breed include:

• canine hip dysplasia;
• elbow dysplasia;
• eyes problems;
• demodex mange;
• skin infections;
• skin allergies;
• chronic ear infections;
• hound ataxia.
Grooming

The Francais Blanc et Noir needs insignificant amount of maintenance. Regular brushing will be quite sufficient to keep its short and sleek coat in a reasonably good condition.

The ears of this breed are highly susceptible to irritation and infections so its systematic examination and cleaning should become an essential part of care routines. Apart from it the master should trim the mails of his Francais Blanc et Noir at least every couple of months.
Training

The training of the Francais Blanc et Noir poses considerable challenge. The breed is an inborn hunter and requires rather basic training in everything that concerns its original hunting duties. Unfortunately its persistence in pursuit of the prey transforms into stubbornness in training. Moreover it can’t stay focused on the same dull task for a long time and gets easily irritated by its multiple repetitions.

The best training strategy for this dog should involve plentiful rewards in the forms of praise and tasty treats. Negative reinforcement doesn’t work with the Francais Blanc et Noir and should be avoided at all costs.
Exercise

The Francais Blanc et Noir is an athletic and robust hunting dog, which adapts easily to extremely intensive physical activity. At the very least it should be taken on a daily brisk walk of 45 minutes. It should always wear a leash while outside since it’s exceedingly hard to call back once it has been attracted by some interesting trail.

The Francais Blanc et Noir behaves itself quiet and relaxed once its exercise requirements have been fully met. Be mindful that an under exercised dog will gradually develop such nasty behavioural problems as on-going barking, hyper activity indoors or destructiveness. This breed is best-suited for suburban living in the house with a large and secure yard. 
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