Porcelaine (Chien de Franché-Comté)

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very white with roundish orange spots
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The Porcelaine is a vigorous and highly committed scent hound with its homeland in France. It was granted its name for unique short exquisite coat and black spots on pink skin which add to its fur shimmering similar to porcelain. The breed is one of the few native French dogs that have aroused some interest in hunting-fanciers in other countries.


The Porcelaine has inhabited France since XVI century and is deemed to be one of the most ancient scent hounds that originated there. The other name of the dog is the Chien de Franché-Comté, which was derived from the France-Comte province where it was most frequently located. There is speculation that the now perished Montainboeuf played a significant role in this dog’s creation. Other point of view states that the breed is the result of crossing the English Harrier and the Swiss Laufhund (Swiss Hound). It has gorgeous white coat, which it probably got from the Chien Blanc du Roy (Billy) and the white variant of the St. Hubert.

For centuries the common masters of the Porcelaine were monks in monasteries and abbeys in the Luxeuil and Cluny areas. Back then the dog was even more impressive in size and had rougher coat. The French Revolution led to considerable shrinkage in the dog’s population since it was mainly kept by the French nobility. The breed might have been considered as virtually extinct with an exception of just few members still living on the French-Swiss border. For some time it was actually debatable as to which land belongs the honour to call this dog native. But since the first written evidence of the Porcelaine was discovered in 1845 in France and in 1880 in Switzerland it was ultimately recognised as a French breed.

In the wake of the French revolution many Porcelaines reached other countries since they accompanied their noble owners fleeing France. Shortly afterwards the breeders in its homeland launched a breeding program purported to save the dog from its full extinction. It is a well-established fact that the Swiss Laufhund participated in the re-creation of the breed in 1845. Nowadays nothing threatens the Porelain’s long-term well-being though it remains pretty rare outside its native country.

Historically the Porcelaine has been most usually used as a hunting dog with an exceptional tracking and scenting ability. This hardy and gifted dog was especially effective in hunting on a hare but it was also widely kept exclusively as a family dog.

The Porcelaine has recognition of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) but hasn’t yet met the necessary stipulations for being accepted by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

The Porcelaine is an outstanding hunter and the hunting is its essential mission. However at home it tends to be even-tempered and relaxed. This dog is highly affectionate and people-oriented and if left alone for a long time it may develop severe separation anxiety issues. Its good-naturedness makes it a pleasant companion, loyal and trustful. The Porcelaine has musical voice and it’s prone to excessive barking which is important to take into account before adopting it. The breed treats children with proper carefulness and tender and it is able to tolerate a great deal of rough handling from their part.

The Porcelaine wouldn’t mind against the caress of a strange person since it’s really sociable and makes friends easily. Despite its predisposition of being extremely vocal it won’t become a good watchdog. All the more guarding duties are not for it as the dog is too amicable to make correct assessment of the situation and resort to physical force if necessary.

While hunting the Porcelain should coordinate its actions with other members of the pack. So the breeders have done a great job in creating the dog, which was deprived of any manifest of aggression towards its fellow dogs in a pack. It gets along with other canine animals and will enjoy living with one or more of other dogs.

The Porcelain has developed hunting instincts and it’s nearly impossible to keep it under control at all times. Since the home cat highly resembles a prey object the dog won’t be able to co-exist peacefully with it. The same goes with other small home pets especially rabbits. Of course there is a chance that the dog and other animal will get along if they have been brought up together but it doesn’t work one hundred per cent.

Health Problems
The most common problems for the breed include:

• canine hip dysplasia;
• patellar luxation;
• chronic ear infections;
• hearing issues;
• sensitivity to anaesthesia;
• cryptorchidism.

The Porcelain is not demanding when things concern grooming. It will certainly benefit from the daily brushing with a soft brush, which is going to help it to get rid of dead hair. The dog won’t need much bathing since its coat is pretty dirty proof.

As hunting dog it should be regularly and carefully investigated for thorns, ticks and other foreign stuff that tend to linger in the Porcelain’s ears and between the toes. Huge ears are prone to get easily infected and should be checked for the signs of redness or unpleasant smell on the regular basis.

The Porcelain is an obedient and intelligent dog and it’s a capable learner. With proper commitment from the handler there is no task that this dog is not smart enough to grasp.

The training should be based on positive reinforcement with lots of tasty incentives. The breed is an excellent problem solver and tends to have mind of its own so it will need strong and persuasive leader who will be able to establish trusting relationship with the dog.

As tireless and persistent hunter the Porcelain got used to fair amount of long and exhausting physical activity. An hour of daily walk is absolutely mandatory to keep this dog in healthy condition and satisfied. It should always be kept on a leash so it won’t flee and be a cause of death of some street cat.

This breed is much more suitable for families who reside in rural terrain where it would have plenty of opportunities to spend its exuberant energy. The Porcelain will also become a willing participant in all sorts of outdoors activities including hiking and jogging.