Blue Picardy Spaniel: The Gentle Hunting Dog

Blue picardy spaniel's head
John Walton
Written by John Walton

People who are looking for dogs to adopt are naturally curious about the Blue Picardy Spaniel. We know that it’s usually the name that many people find intriguing. Many people want to know if the dog is really blue. Also, the words “gentle” and “hunting dog” don’t seem to belong together, but they do with this fantastic dog breed, and you’ll soon find out why.

The Blue Picardy Spaniel (BPS) is actually a descendant of the English Setters. It is a relatively quiet breed but energetic and friendly especially with its family and toward children.

Blue picardy spaniel puppy's face

As hunting dogs, the BPS have a superb sense of smell and the kind of calm intelligence that allows them to assess their surroundings carefully. This dog is a good choice if you’re looking for a gentle best friend that can go with you on long walks and jogs.

However, there are a lot of friendly, outdoorsy dog breeds. Determining which dog fits your lifestyle can be hard, especially if you’re a first-time dog owner. But don’t worry because we have you covered. In this article, we will talk about relevant information that you might need in order to find out if the Blue Picardy Spaniel is the right dog for you and your family.

Breed Characteristics

Blue picardy spaniel lying on grass

  • Adaptability: High; but not really suited to apartment living
  • Trainability: High; eager to please
  • Health and Grooming: Good; watch out for joint problems and ear infections
  • All Around Friendliness: Good
  • Exercise Needs: High; require daily long walks with their owners or a fenced yard where they can roam free
Dog Breed GroupHunting Dogs
Height22-24 inches (56-61 cm)
Weight43-45 pounds (19-20 kg)
Lifespan12-14 years

The Setters were crossed with local Picardy Spaniel, and the Blue Picardy Spaniel was born. This dog breed looks similar to other spaniel and setter breeds, but it has a more noble and aristocratic look.The BPS was originally developed as a hunting dog to assist hunters in tracking and retrieving game. Great Britain hunters used to cross the English Channel all the time to go to France. Unfortunately, Great Britain enforced a quarantine on animals from France and barred the hunters’ dogs from reentering the country, forcing dog owners to board their Setter dogs on Picardie farms.

It is a muscular dog weighing around 43-45 pounds (19-20 kg) and is approximately 22-24 inches (56-61 cm) at the withers, making it one of the taller breeds. It is best distinguished from other spaniels and setters by the speckled grey coat with bluish and black patches.

These dogs are easy to groom, but they do shed seasonally and also lightly in-between seasons. Owners will need to brush the coat at least twice a week to keep it in good condition.

They need to be bathed or dry shampooed regularly to keep the coat clean. Other than that, these are low-maintenance dogs, especially if you brush their coats regularly as it takes care of the shedding.

See Also: Best Dog Brush

As a hunting dog, this breed has speed. These dogs love to work and will instinctively point things out to you during your walk or run, even in urban areas. They also like to track and retrieve.

They also have high endurance and stamina, so they need a master who loves the outdoors and likes to exercise. This breed needs a long walk or a jog every day. If you can’t manage it, the BPS will usually be alright exploring or running around a fenced yard.

The BPS is also a very intelligent breed and highly trainable. They are willing, adaptable, and eager to please their masters. They also do well with children and other dogs. The BPS love their family and make ideal family pets.

Main Highlights

Blue picardy spaniel watching

  • Has an expressive face with wide, dark eyes.
  • The coat is wavy and fine with medium-length hair that has a slightly coarse texture.
  • Known for its unique bluish coat that is naturally roan with black, grey, and white spots. Dogs with large white patches are not in accordance to breed standards.
  • A moderate shedder, this dog requires brushing twice weekly to maintain its coat.
  • No known genetic health issues, but prone to ear infections due to pendulous ears.
  • Intelligent, affectionate, calm, and even-tempered. Requires a lot of exercise due to its stamina.
  • Does not do well in apartments. Does best with acreage due to high exercise needs. Likes to “point” out things when you walk.
  • Likes to work and is also very playful, which makes this breed an ideal companion for families with children. This breed also does well with other dogs.
  • As a hunting dog, this breed loves being outside and having a job to do. A well-trained BPS is responsive, hardworking, and intelligent.
  • Training needs to be done early to hone in the hunting instincts of the dog if it is kept as a companion pet. Training should be firm and consistent. This breed responds well to positive reinforcement.
  • Not a barker and will only do so as a protective measure to alert you if there is a stranger. But overall, this dog is not noisy.
  • This dog also craves mental stimulation in the form of games or training.
  • As a hunting dog, this breed works well in any terrain including watery ones.
  • Aside from as hunting and companion dogs, they can also be used as therapy dogs.
  • The breed is not very popular in the USA but is established in France, Europe, and Canada. It is recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club, but not by the American Kennel Club.

Breed History

Blue picardy spaniel puppy

British hunters, on the cusp of the 20th century, headed off to Northwestern France to hunt. When it was time for them to go home, quarantine restrictions on the English side barred the dogs from reentering the country.

Many English hunters were forced to board their dogs with French families in Picardie, which resulted in the cross-breeding between local Picardie dogs with English Setters.

Around 1875, blue-black spaniels began to appear, and in 1904, a Picardy Spaniel was showed during the Paris Canine Exhibition. Thirty-four years later, the BPS was officially recognized as a separate breed from the Picardy Spaniel in France.


bluish gray blue picardy spaniel

The BPS is a well-balanced dog with a slightly longer body than it is tall. Generally speaking, this breed grows approximately 22-24 inches tall in the withers and weighs around 43-45 pounds at maturity. Male BPS are generally larger and heavier compared to their female counterparts.

The Blue Picardy Spaniel has muscular quarters with a slightly curved tail. This breed’s head is long but chiseled and refined with a stop. The BPS has soulful and expressive eyes.

Since the BPS was originally developed to be a hunting dog, they love being outside and require a lot of exercise. Future owners of the BPS should be aware that unexercised dogs are prone to obesity.

Personality and Character

Blue picardy spaniels playing in snow

The BPS is best described as calm, even-tempered, and intelligent. They enjoy the company of their owners and make affectionate and playful pets for children. They form strong bonds with their families and become loyal and faithful companions.

These dogs are introverted but they any gentle attention from their masters. These dogs are generally quiet. However, they will bark to warn their masters if there are strangers. They are good protectors and won’t back down from a threat.

They are also very smart and highly trainable. Training for the BPS has to start early especially if you want to take advantage of their hunting instincts. Trainers should have a firm hand and should be consistent.

They respond well to positive reinforcement so make sure to have treats with you during training and to shower them with praises. BPS dogs love pleasing their owners and are quick learners. If you adopted them to be companion dogs, obedience training should be emphasized and started early so that their hunting instinct won’t take over.

See Also: Basic Dog Obedience Training

As a dog with a love for the outdoors, sniffing, tracking, and retrieving, these dogs require a lot of exercise. The best option is to let them run off leash. However, long daily walks or a jog is usually enough to keep them in shape and to ward off destructive behavior. The BPS is well suited for homes with good acreage but will survive in apartments provided that they are exercised daily.

BPS dogs are also intelligent, so they also require mental stimulation to prevent boredom. Sniffing games are usually entertaining and stimulation for these dogs. They are also playful and affectionate, which is why they like and bond well with children. The BPS can also co-exist with other dogs and pets especially if they undergo early socialization.

The BPS can work well in any environment and terrain and even does well in the water. As hunting dogs, they are also trained to retrieve game, so they are agile trackers and swimmers. They have good work ethic, so it’s best to keep them active. Play is also a good substitute for work, so you can let them romp with your kids to keep them happy.

Health and Potential Problems

Blue picardy spaniels with his tongue showed

The BPS is still considered a rare dog breed; as such, they are not excessively bred, so they are not prone to genetic health problems. However, since it is a hunting dog, BPS can experience injuries typical of this breed.

They love to run, so their hips, elbows, and other joints need to be monitored. On top of that, BPS have droopy ears which make them prone to ear infections, so proper monitoring and regular ear cleaning should be observed.

See Also: Best Joint Supplement for Dogs

Even though BPS dogs generally don’t have health issues, regular visits to the vet are still recommended. They should also be immunized against diseases and monitored for parasite infection.

Care Features

Blue picardy spaniel puppy lying on grass

These dogs have amazing stamina, so an ample amount of workout is needed to release pent-up energy. Exercise is also recommended to prevent your BPS from getting overweight.

Brushing is also needed to keep the coat healthy and to manage shedding hair. Once a week brushing of their teeth with vet-approved toothpaste is also recommended to prevent dental problems in the future.

Droopy-eared dogs like the BPS should also be monitored for ear infections. The ears sometimes drag on the ground when they are sniffing and can become a breeding ground for bacteria, so make sure to clean them regularly.

See Also: Best Dog Ear Cleaner

Their nails and the hair at the lower end of their legs should be trimmed regularly. BPS should also be monitored for joint and hip problems since this breed loves to run and may injure itself in the process.

Feeding Schedule

Feed your BPS a well-balanced diet by providing good quality dry dog food. High-quality dog food should be served using the recommended amount for their age and weight. BPS dogs love to exercise, but their caloric intake should not exceed the amount of energy they expend.

It is also good to remember that since this is a highly active dog, a high-performance blend would be a more appropriate choice for its diet. Senior BPS should also be given dog food with joint supplements support to prevent aches and pain, especially when running. Feeding should be done at regular intervals.

See Also: Top 10 Dog Foods

Coat, Color, and Grooming

Blue Picardy Spaniel: The Gentle Hunting Dog

The bluish coat of the Blue Picardy Spaniel is perhaps its biggest attraction. Color combinations for the BPS are bluish grey with black patches, grey with black speckles, and greyish black with shades of blue.

Puppies are actually born white with black patches. The roan coloring develops when the dog matures. Technically, a BPS with lots of white patches is labeled as undesirable by breed standards.

BPS dogs shed seasonally. You will also see some light shedding in between seasons. However, regular brushing of the coat can make the shedding more manageable. For example, twice weekly brushing should be able to handle most of the shed hair, but you will still need to vacuum to keep your home fur-free.

However, the BPS is actually a low-maintenance breed. Brush them and give their nails a trim regularly and you should be clear on the grooming end. However, it is also advisable to bathe your BPS with shampoo to keep the coat healthy and shiny and to prevent matting.

The hair on the lower legs should also be trimmed regularly as they tend to get dirty quickly when they are long.

Children and Other Pets Compatibility

Blue picardy spaniel hunting

BPS are loving and affectionate toward their family, especially children. They love to play with kids but are also happy to snuggle with them during bedtime. They also do well with other dogs and pets, especially if they were raised together.

However, gentle as they are, this breed is still a hunting dog, so it’s best to keep them away from small pets like birds since their age-old instinct to hunt or retrieve might surface.

This is a calm and quiet dog but has good watchdog skills. Your BPS will bark when strangers approach and will be ready to protect you and your kids from danger. Make sure to socialize your BPS before leaving them alone with strangers.

Wrap Up

Blue picardy spaniel running in field

Bred for hunting and stamina, the Blue Picardy Spaniel is becoming popular among people who value faithfulness, loyalty, and gentleness. Thanks to the unique coat color, many people are becoming curious regarding this breed. The grey-blue coat is a big draw among owners, but it’s the dog’s cool temperament and obvious intelligence that take the cake.

At home, the BPS is devoted, friendly, and playful. They make good additions to families with kids and also make good playmates. They enjoy the attention of their owners and will happily snuggle with you or your kids when it’s time for bed.

This is a dog that loves the outdoors and exercise. Potential owners should be prepared to spend a lot of time exercising these dogs daily to meet their physical needs. BPS dogs generally require a long walk or a jog every day to shed their energy.

They do well with hunters, outdoorsmen, and people who like being active. When their needs are met, these dogs are happy, calm, relaxed, and may even transform into a couch potato.

What do you think of the Blue Picardy Spaniel? Do you think your lifestyle is in line with a BPS dog? Do you have experience with this dog breed? Tell us by leaving your comments below.

If you do decide to adopt a Blue Picardy Spaniel, you’ll need to think of what name to give him/her. How about consulting our list of Greek mythology names? Your BPS is an elegant dog with a beautiful and unearthly coat color, so surely, he/she deserves to be named after a god or a goddess.

About the author
John Walton
John Walton

John Walton lives in Somerville, MA, with his two dogs, two sons, and very understanding mate. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a mentor trainer for the Animal Behavior College, an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator, and the Training Director for the New England Dog Training Club.