Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie

Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
Photo of adult Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie
Jwh /

A medium-sized scent hound, the Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie was developed several hundred years ago within France by mixing together several French Hound dogs and the English Foxhound, for the purpose of hunting small game, such as rabbits. This dog bears a striking resemblance to the English Foxhound, and the ancestry is undeniable.

Rarely kept as a pet dog, the Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie is a working dog through and through, and as such, has very high exercise demands and can be a challenge to train if an owner wants them to do anything other than hunt.

About & History

Several hundred years ago, hunting with dogs was an incredibly popular sport, and many hunters were seeking the ideal hound, often breeding together a mixture of established breeds in the pursuit of developing the best hunting dog possible. The Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie came about by breeding together both English Foxhounds and a variety of French hounds, including the Poitevin and the Petit Bleu de Gascogne.

Traditionally used by the French as a scenting dog for small game, the Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie is a dog that typically hunts in a pack. The word ‘petite’ means ‘small’ in French but does not refer to the height of the dog, but rather to the size of the prey that it hunts.

Rarely seen outside of France, the Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie is recognised by the French Kennel Club and is still mostly used for the purpose it was originally intended, hunting. It is, in fact, rare to find an Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie that is used exclusively as a pet or show dog. Both the UKC and the FCI have recognised the breed within their scent hound group.

Sometimes sold as a rare breed overseas, a small minority have been exported to countries, such as the USA and Italy, though they can be incredibly difficult to source.


Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie Large Photo
Jwh /

Comparisons are often made to the English and American Foxhounds – dog breeds with similar physical characteristics. An elegant and classic hound dog, the Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie should be robust and well proportioned. Their head should be somewhat curved, though not domed. Their ears are medium in size and curve to the front of their face, attached low on their skull. Their long muzzle houses a typical ‘hound mouth’ with upper lips that hang over their lower lips.

Their nose is relatively large with wide open nostrils, while their dark eyes are expressive and, at times, imploring. Their limbs are muscular and support a strong body with a fairly deep chest and strong, straight back. Their slim tail should not be overly long. Breed members stand between 48cm and 56cm and weigh from 15kg to 20kg on average.

The short coat of the Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie should be dense with no brush and comes in two distinct varieties. It may be either tricolour (white and black with tan markings) or white and orange. A black saddle marking is a common sight. Those with a tricolour coat will have a black nose, while the remaining dogs exhibit a brown nose.

Character & Temperament

A dog whose purpose is to hunt, the personality of the Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie is that of a dedicated hunting animal. They have been traditionally kept in outdoor kennels along with the rest of the pack. This has ensured that they are sociable with other dogs and are suited to living outside of the home if necessary. It has also meant that they do not tend to do well without the company of other dogs; something that they have become very much accustomed to.

As so few of the breed are kept exclusively as pets, it is difficult to comment on certain aspects of their personality, however, it is widely assumed that they are as affectionate with humans and as tolerant of children as similar hounds.

Of course, with such a strong hunting instinct, it almost goes without saying that the Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie must never be trusted with smaller animals, such as cats, rodents or birds, as they will have a strong desire to chase and hunt them at all times. Care must be taken if exercising this breed off lead in a public pace, as even the best trained individual will be unlikely to be able to overcome their hunting urge.


Photo of Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie puppy
Jwh /

When it comes to the matter of scenting, tracking and hunting, the Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie needs little to no intervention. They are practically born knowing how to perform their job and will take to all aspects of it very quickly.

Sometimes described as ‘one-track minded’, training the Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie to do anything other than hunt can be an immense challenge. They are commonly distracted from their training sessions by scents and can find it difficult to focus on anything else. For this reason in particular, attempting to teach this breed recall can be a real battle. They are known to be both stubborn an independent, ensuring that the task of the trainer will never be an easy one.


With no health studies having been performed on the population of Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie dogs, it is difficult to predict the health complaints they may suffer from. As they have been bred for purpose rather than aesthetics, and due to the fact that they have not been commercially bred, they tend to enjoy good health and most are hardy individuals. The following list of health conditions should be monitored for within the population:

Ear Infections

Practically all breeds of dogs that have the ‘floppy’ ears of the hound are prone to developing ear infections. Infected ears emit a foul odour, are uncomfortable for the dog, and may be red and full of thick discharge. At the first sign of an infection, a dog must be brought to the vet, who will diagnose the type of infection and provide suitable treatment.

Medicated drops are usually prescribed alongside an ear cleaner that should be used routinely. Bad infections may need to be treated more thoroughly, and some dogs will require an anaesthetic to allow the vet to give their ears a deep clean, examine their eardrums and locally apply medication.

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Both hip and elbow dysplasia are orthopaedic diseases with genetic components. As breeding animals can be screened for these conditions, it is widely accepted that only those animals that have good hips and elbows should be kept in the breeding pool. This can reduce the prevalence of these conditions within the breed population.

This is particularly important in working dogs, such as the Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie, who rely heavily on their mobility to allow them to perform their job comfortably.

Exercise and Activity Levels

Daily exercise is an essential component in maintaining a happy and healthy Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie. At least an hour of vigorous exercise should be provided each day and some individuals may require even more than this. If possible, allowing your Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie to participate in hunts will help to keep it content. If this is not an option, taking the dog on regular hikes, swims and jogs is a good substitute.

Attempting to house this dog in a small apartment or home is ill-advised, as they are better suited to a rural life. This is particularly important if they are not kept as working dogs, as they will need plenty of land to run around on and burn off all of their unspent energy. A common complaint in an under-exercised Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie is incessant barking. Their voice can be incredibly loud and they have the ability to bark for long periods at a time – a trait which neither you nor your neighbour will likely appreciate.


Their coat is quite resistant to mud and dirt and is said to be less ‘odorous’ than similar breeds. A weekly brush down will often be enough to keep it in good shape. Shedding can be excessive in some individuals, and those dogs should be brushed outside more frequently than once a week to remove excess fur.

Preventing ear infections in the Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie is paramount but can be a difficult task. Their droopy ears tend to trap moisture and humidity and can act as a ‘magnet’ for chronic ear infections. Drying their ears after any exposure to water and cleaning them out every few weeks, should go a long way towards preventing infections.

Famous Anglo-Françaises

A particularly rare breed, and one which tends to function within a pack rather than shine as an individual, there are no famous examples of the Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie.


There are no popular cross-breed examples of the Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie.

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