Let's talk Blue Picardy Spaniels

First things first, the “blue” is a subtle, greyish hue, just in case you were imagining some kind of Smurf dog. Colouring aside, Blue Picardy Spaniels’ sweet characters are as pleasing as their appearance – all silky dappled fur, and big gentle eyes. These lovely dogs come from the flatlands of northern France, where they were originally bred as hunters, prized for their hardiness and ease of training. Nowadays, with their docile, affectionate and playful characters, Blue Picardy Spaniels are just as likely to occupy the role of much loved family pet. 

Official name: Blue Picardy Spaniel

Other names: Epagneul Bleu de Picardie

Origins: France

Black and white portrait of a Blue Picardy Spaniel
 Drooling tendencies

Medium

Warm weather? Low
 Shedding level Medium
Suited to apartment living?  Low
 Energy level * High Family pet? *
Very high
 Compatibility with other pets Very high
Can stay alone? * Very low

 * We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.
 
For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).
 
Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.
 
Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.
 
All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company. However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

 
Inline Image 15
Illustration of a Blue Picardy Spaniel
Mâle
57 - 60 cm Taille
Jusqu'à 20.5 kg Poids
Femelle
57 - 60 cm Taille
Jusqu'à 20.5 kg Poids

 

 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 12 months
 Adult age  1 to 7 years
 Mature age 7 to 10 years
 Senior age  From 10 years

Blue Picardy Spaniel sat in grass looking up to the sky

1/7

Get to know the Blue Picardy Spaniel

All you need to know about the breed

With its gorgeous speckled coat and elegant bearing, not to mention those big expressive eyes, Blue Picardy Spaniels are truly a joy to behold. Once you get to know them, you’ll realise their characters are just as appealing – sweet-natured, affectionate and easy to train, but delightfully playful too.

They may have taken to the family life with enthusiasm, Blue Picardy Spaniels were initially developed to help waterfowl hunters retrieve their prey. Nowadays, once trained – which, with a character as people-pleasing as this one, should be easy – Blue Picardy Spaniels get on well with other dogs and children alike. However, because of their hunting origins they are probably not the right pet for a household also containing birds or small animals such as hamsters.

As you would expect from a dog bred for the working life, Blue Picardy Spaniels need plenty of exercise (although they do seem to go into energy-saving mode at home, waiting calmly for their next outing). And while guard dog is not part of the breed’s key skills, don’t be surprised if they do bark a bit to let you know when strangers approach.

They’ve retained their retrieving instinct but nowadays Blue Picardy Spaniels are not fussy about what they retrieve: it could even be your slippers.

Blue Picardy Spaniel stood alert in a cut hay field

2/7

2 facts about Blue Picardy Spaniels

1. Sacré Bleu!

Think of the Blue Picardy Spaniel as the updated version of the original Picardy Spaniel from northern France: the New Blue, if you like. The two breeds are similar, but the Picardy Spaniel is older. The Blue Picardy Spaniel breed is thought to be the result of crosses between Picardy Spaniels and setter breeds brought over to France from the UK. 

2. Rare roaning 

That beautiful coat may be their most distinctive feature, but when they are born, Blue Picardy Spaniels puppies are a much more prosaic mix of white with black patches. Don’t worry, you haven’t accidentally acquired a Dalmatian (although they are great dogs too!) – their markings, a mix of black and white hairs that together form that grey-blue effect are called “roaning”, and develop as they grow. 

3/7

History of the breed

The Blue Picardy Spaniel hails from the marshy areas of northern France, where the breed was originally developed to help hunt the region’s plentiful wildfowl. As well as strong scenting skills, the breed is known as a great retriever.

Spaniels had of course already existed in France for many centuries before the emergence of this charming breed at around the end of the 19th century. It is thought that Picardy Spaniels (a similar but separate breed) were crossed with the setters brought over by British hunters. That explains the extravagantly beautiful blue-grey coat, a product of crossing with English breeds known for their distinctive “blue belton” markings. The Blue Picardy Spaniel was recognised as a separate breed in France in 1938.

Black and white portrait of a sitting Blue Picardy Spaniel

4/7

From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Blue Picardy Spaniels

1. Fur

Grey/black speckles giving a bluish tint with black patches.

2. Coat

Long wavy coat, silky ears, fringing on tail and legs.

3. Body

Slim but strong build, upright bearing.

Close-up on the eyes of a Blue Picardy Spaniel

5/7

Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Blue Picardy Spaniel
Blue Picardy Spaniel stood to the side in grass

6/7

Caring for your Blue Picardy Spaniel

Grooming, training and exercise tips

Those wavy blue-grey locks may look high-maintenance but they’re actually pretty easy to look after, with little need for grooming – just a weekly brush will do fine. Blue Picardy Spaniels were bred for their energy and endurance and nowadays, still need plenty of exercise. Runs off the lead in a safely enclosed space (otherwise scenting instinct plus stamina may equal lengthy escape attempts…) as well as walks with their owner or chasing and fetching games are all good. These docile dogs are easy to train – working with humans is in their nature. Just remember to take any treats out of their daily kibble.

7/7

All about All about Blue Picardy Spaniels

Blue Picardy Spaniels do shed a little throughout the year, losing more hair during the shedding season, but they are not the worst offender among dog breeds. A weekly groom should keep those beautiful dappled coats in good order. 

Blue Picardy Spaniels are not known for their barking, although they may let out a woof or two if strangers approach their home and their humans. In any case, unwanted barking should be easily fixed as these dogs are renowned for their responsiveness to training. 

Autres races susceptibles de vous intéresser

Sources

1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/