Let's talk French Tricolour Hounds

The French Tricolour Hound is an elegant-looking canine, originally bred as a hunting dog. Counting canine ancestors such as the Grand Anglo-French Tricolour, the Poitevin Hound and the Billy, the French Tricolour is the youngest of the French Hound breeds. While they can be affectionate and loyal towards humans, the French Tricolour Hound is not a common family pet. They require a generous living space, preferably with a fenced garden, to burn off all that sporting energy. The French Tricolour Hound is also very rare, and practically impossible to find outside of their native France.

Official name: French Tricolour Hound

Other names: Chien Francais Tricolore

Origins: France

Close-up of Chien Français Tricolore in black and white
 Drooling tendencies

Low

Warm weather? Very low
 Shedding level Low
Suited to apartment living?  Low
 Energy Level (high, low, medium)* Medium Kid-friendly?* 
High
 Compatibility with other pets Medium
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.

 
Spider chart of Chien Français Tricolore characteristics
Illustration of Chien Français Tricolore
Male
62 - 72 cm Height
30 - 35 kg Weight
Female
58 - 68 cm Height
30 - 35 kg Weight

 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 15 months
 Adult age 15 months to 5 years
 Mature age  5 to 8 years
 Senior age  From 8 years

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Get to know the French Tricolour Hound

All you need to know about the breed

The French Tricolour Hound is a pack dog that feels most at home when taking part in sporting activities. They thrive best in natural surroundings, with space to run around in and plenty of exercise on a daily basis. 

The French Tricolour Hound requires a confident owner, who will be persistent when it comes to training. This is a highly alert breed, always ready for the chase, and most content when given a task to focus on. Generally speaking, scent hounds are gentle and affectionate towards children, once trained of course, but they are too energetic as a breed to be around babies and toddlers! 

A French Tricolour Hound and other dogs? The more the merrier - they are pack dogs after all. However, other household pets such as cats, guinea pigs and hamsters: well, the best way to describe it is as a match not made in heaven, due to the French Tricolour Hound’s prey drive. Sorry, folks.

Ultimately, this active breed is suited to an outdoorsy lifestyle. Also, if you have your heart set on this breed, be patient: the French Tricolour Hound is an incredibly rare breed, even within their homeland.

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2 facts about French Tricolour Hounds

1. Watchdog potential 

Their naturally alert manner makes the French Tricolour Hound an excellent watchdog, with some helpful guidance from their human(s). But the breed is not a great guard dog: they are more likely to greet strangers with a wag of their tail instead of a warning bark.

2. Definitely a pack dog

The French Tricolour Hound is most content when part of a pack. Early socialisation and training will be key for French Tricolour Hounds  - but even with the best training in the world, other household pets are not safe due to the breed’s strong prey instinct. 

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History of the breed

The origins of French hound dogs involved members of the French nobility, who conducted some of their business and political affairs while out hunting. But the upper classes in France disappeared with the French Revolution and with them, French hound dogs. Once the monarchy was restored after Napoleon’s defeat at the Battle of Waterloo, hunting once again became popular in France. Advancements in nautical technology meant that many British hound breeds could be transported to France between 1815 and 1900, to create new French hound dogs. And this is the origin story of the French Tricolour Hound.

They are the direct result of cross-breeding between several French breeds, such as the Grand Anglo-French Tricolour, the Poitevin Hound and the Billy. In 1957, the breed was recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI). The French Tricolour Hound is not popular - or known, really - outside of France, and is not recognised by either the American Kennel Club or the U.K. Kennel Club. 
Close-up of Chien Français Tricolore in black and white

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of French Tricolour Hounds

1. Eyes

Round, brown-coloured eyes, sometimes circled with black.

2. Body

A large body that is muscular but elegant in appearance.

3. Tail

The tail is long and sits high, with an elegant curl to it.

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Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your French Tricolour Hound
Inline Image 4

May experience hip issues

The French Tricolour Hound is a robust dog that mostly enjoys good health. However, it is common for them to experience hip dysplasia. This genetic condition causes a looseness of the “ball and socket” hip joint, and leads to osteoarthritis. A responsible breeder will screen your puppy’s parents to check for genetic predispositions and your vet will be able to provide a thorough examination during your dog’s check-up appointments.

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Keep them in shape

Stay on top of your French Tricolour Hound’s food intake: training treats definitely count as part of their daily kibble. Excess weight gain can lead to unnecessary health problems, as it puts extra pressure on the joints. The breed is naturally active, so keeping them occupied with an interactive training exercise or game will keep their mind sharp and their body trim, for as long as possible.

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Caring for your French Tricolour Hound

Grooming, training and exercise tips

Despite all that time spent outdoors, the French Tricolour Hound is low-key when it comes to grooming, with one to two brushes required per week for a healthy coat. Like all hound dogs, special attention should be paid to their floppy ears, which can harbour dirt or germs and lead to infections. Keep their nails trimmed and maintain their dental hygiene with regular tooth brushing (daily is ideal if possible). Keep your French Tricolour Hound in great shape with lots of exercise, made up of moderate-paced walks (45 minutes), task-based activities, and stimulating playtime in the back garden, which should add up to about 2 hours per day. Be sure to always keep them on a leash when outdoors - calling them back once their nose has caught onto a scent is difficult. A positive but firm approach is required when it comes to training your French Tricolour Hound, which is why they match well with confident owners. They are easily bored by repetitive exercises - keeping them focused will present a challenge for both of you! Any food treats given as rewards should be counted as part of their daily kibble.

All about French Tricolour Hound

Not really. An experienced owner is important for this breed as they require a lot of exercise on a daily basis, and can be stubborn when it comes to training. They are likely to be too energetic as a breed for older owners or families with small children. 

No, they aren’t. But they were originally bred as hunting dogs, which means a strong prey instinct. So they don’t cohabit peacefully with smaller household pets. With other canines however, “the more the merrier” can be applied with the French Tricolour Hound! 

Other breeds that might interest you.

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/