Chien Français Blanc et Noir

Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
Photo of adult Chien Français Blanc et Noir
Abujoy /

Created from a mixture of French hounds, the Chien Français Blanc et Noir has uncertain origins. Initially, this breed was exclusively kept as a working hound, though in recent times, has been accepted into the family home as a part-time pet. Though they have the ability to hunt a range of quarry, in modern times, the Chien Français Blanc et Noir has been used most often in the pursuit of deer.

With a high exercise demand and a persistent and loud bark, this is not the breed for every home. Best suited to a household that actively hunts, the Chien Français Blanc et Noir does well when kept in a pack of similar dogs. Attempting to integrate this breed with smaller animals would likely result in disaster.

About & History

Chien Français Blanc et Noir directly translates into English to mean ‘black and white French dog’. Despite this unimaginative name, this is a truly stunning breed with noteworthy hunting skills. Often grouped alongside the Chien Français Blanc et Orange and the Chien Français Tricolore, these three breeds of dog are collectively known as the ‘Chiens Français’ and are all considered rare breeds, even in their native France.

It is widely accepted that the Chien Français Blanc et Noir is a product of the Poitevin and the Gascon-Saintongeois, among other breeds. It is also speculated that the English Foxhound may have contributed some genetics along the way. While documented history is lacking, it is thought that this dog first came into existence in the 19th century and was officially accepted by the FCI as a breed in its own right in 1957. This delay is likely due to the fact that this breed was considered a working animal, and owners would not have been interested in dog shows or breed standards.

Traditionally used to hunt small game such as foxes and squirrels, these dogs work best in packs and respond well to the human huntsman. Nowadays, it is more common for the Chien Français Blanc et Noir to be seen hunting deer. A scent hound, they use their astute sense of smell to track down their prey.

The UKC recognised the Chien Français Blanc et Noir within their Scenthound group in 1996. Currently, there are thought to be a couple of thousand breed members in existence; the vast majority of whom are working within France.


Chien Français Blanc et Noir Large Photo
Abujoy /

Regal and sophisticated in appearance, the Chien Français Blanc et Noir is a powerfully-built dog that is pleasant to look at. Their head is long and elegant, with a slim skull and lengthy muzzle. Their dark lips upper lips are prominent, covering their lower jaw. Their dark eyes and black nose lend them a somber expression. Their long, hound ears fall from the level of their eyes and should reach the tip of their nose. Their broad neck may or may not have a dewlap. Their deep chest reaches their elbows, while they have a level back and tucked-up abdomen. Their limbs are long and strong, allowing for an extended and nimble gait. Their long tail is wide at the base and should be carried proudly.

The short coat of the Chien Français Blanc et Noir is thick and must be white and black with black or blue speckling. Some tan markings are acceptable. Breed members reach heights of between 65cm to 72cm and will typically weigh anything from 22kg to 36kg.

Character & Temperament

While it is true that this dog has never been used primarily as a companion animal, their ‘pack mentality’ and easy-going nature has meant that they have slotted in to family life more easily than expected over recent years. Anecdotally, these hounds adapt better than most similar breeds to living indoors full-time. They can usually be expected to get on well with both adults and children, although some individuals may be overly-reserved.

The Chien Français Blanc et Noir enjoys the companionship of other canines but should not be housed alongside small pets, such as cats or rabbits, which will be chased non-stop. It is possible that the chases may result in actual attacks if the smaller animals are not fast enough to get away.

Hunting is in the blood of the Chien Français Blanc et Noir and is what they do best. They need little to no training in this regard and will inherently understand how to work in a pack and what role is expected of them. Their melodic voices are often used in the field to improve communication between the pack. While their barking is an asset, it can become a real bugbear once the dog is at home. Any new arrival at the house will be greeted with a loud and intimidating chorus of barks – a behavior that may or may not be desirable, depending on the owner’s preference. This characteristic should be considered if living in close proximity to other people, who may not appreciate the bays and howl at all hours of the day and night.


Eager to please, this breed gets a kick out of performing well in a task that they have been asked to do. This dog should be played to its strengths, with trainers focusing on their scenting and hunting abilities. Expecting them to forego their instincts would be foolish and these dogs should not be expected to heel when a deer is foraging in the neighbouring field!

Obedience sessions should not take too much time, as these dogs do not have a particularly long attention span for anything other than hunting. They respond best to positive reinforcement, so the treat bag should be full at the start of every session. Vocal praise can also be hugely beneficial when training these receptive hounds.


In the absence of any official health studies, one must rely on the knowledge we have of similar breeds, as well as anecdotal evidence, when it comes to determining the health of the Chien Français Blanc et Noir. They may be prone to the conditions listed below:

Ear Infections

Keep the ears of the Chien Français Blanc et Noir dry and free of debris to reduce the incidence of ear infections. Their naturally long and hanging ears act as a magnet for infection.

Hip Dysplasia

Poorly formed hips can dramatically reduce a dog’s quality of life. The pain and poor mobility experienced mean that a dog is less able to remain active as they age. As there is a known genetic component to hip dysplasia, it is imperative that affected dogs be removed from the breeding pool.

Exercise and Activity Levels

Bred to run for miles on end, the Chien Français Blanc et Noir possesses good stamina and a willingness to continue working until they have achieved success. During the off season, their fitness regime should be kept up, whether it be via hour long runs in the park or long hikes in the mountains. The good news is that once the Chien Français Blanc et Noir feels that their exercise needs have been met, they will be content to relax at home and should settle down for the evening.

Trouble can be expected in the absence of activity, as the Chien Français Blanc et Noir will quickly become bored and agitated. Within the home, they are likely to voice their frustration by chewing at furniture, scratching at doors and by acting generally hyperactive. Outside of the home, pacing and digging may be expected and they will bark loudly and repetitively. As these behaviours are avoidable, they should not be allowed to develop into an issue.


After coming in from a hunt, an owner should get into the habit of checking their pack over. Ears should be examined for any moisture or debris that has become trapped in the ear canals. Fur should be given a quick brush down to remove any grass awns or spiky stickers. The areas between the toes must be checked for debris, while the claws and pads should be assessed for any injury.

Clean the droopy ears of the Chien Français Blanc et Noir on a weekly basis to avoid chronic infections.

Famous Chiens Français Blanc et Noir

Not a well-known breed by any stretch of the imagination, there are no celebrity Chien Français Blanc et Noir dogs.


While individual breeders may elect to mix their Chien Français Blanc et Noir with another breed, such as a Foxhound, there are no established cross-breeds at this moment in time.

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