Chien Français Blanc et Orange

Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
Photo of adult Chien Français Blanc et Orange
Darren Driscoll /

A tall and lean breed, the Chien Français Blanc et Orange has a short coat that may be either orange and white or lemon and white. They have the dangling ears and soulful brown eyes that would be expected of a classic hound dog.

Known for being a hunting dog that is easy to work with, the Chien Français Blanc et Orange has a pleasant personality, is keen to always perform well and thoroughly enjoys its job. Possibly not the best breed to choose if you are after a peaceful life, the loud howls and bays of this breed can be heard at great distances. While this feature is vital during a hunt, it can become a real nuisance indoors.

About & History

The Chien Français Blanc et Orange is sometimes simply known as the ‘Français Blanc et Orange’ and is one of three ‘Chiens Français’ native to France, alongside the Chien Français Tricolore and the Chien Français Blanc et Noir. All of these dogs are scent hounds that hunt in big packs and listen to a huntsman for their direction.

France have always had a rich hunting history and have taken pride in their hunting breeds. Unfortunately, tracing the origins of the Chien Français Blanc et Orange is an almost impossible task as they have been in existence for several hundred years and were originally developed at a time when written records were not routinely kept. However, most experts agree that the main predecessors of the Chien Français Blanc et Orange were the Billy and the now extinct Hound of Saintonge, among other French and English scent hounds. Initially, as this breed was used for working rather than showing, owners and breeders did not feel the need to register them or to create a breed standard. Over the years, this breed came close to extinction; both during the French Revolution and the two World Wars.

Relatively unknown, even in France, the Chien Français Blanc et Orange is not a popular breed of dog anywhere in the world and is practically unheard of internationally. It is widely accepted that the only country that the Chien Français Blanc et Orange is found in today, is France. Of the three Chiens Français, the Chien Français Blanc et Orange is known to be the rarest. The UKC recognised the breed within their scent hound group in 1996.


With rustic charm, the Chien Français Blanc et Orange has the typical appearance of a hound. Their head is relatively big, with a circular skull and large lips that form a shapely muzzle. While their nose may be either brown or black, it should be quite large with wide nostrils. Their big brown eyes have a pleading expression and must be a dark shade to comply with the breed standard.

Their characteristic ears are long and elegant, reaching the nose while curling in slightly. Their graceful neck is quite lengthy and may or may not have a dewlap. With a straight back and deep chest that is supported by long and lean limbs, the athletic ability of the Chien Français Blanc et Orange becomes obvious. Their pointed ‘hare feet’ allow for a light and energetic gait that can be maintained over long distances. Their tail is long and slim, tapering to a point.

Known for their distinctive coat, the short fur of the Chien Français Blanc et Orange may be either white and orange or white and lemon, but white and red is not permitted. These tall dogs typically measure from 62cm to 70cm at the withers, though some dogs may even reach heights of 72cm.

Character & Temperament

Renowned for its hunting ability, most (if not all) dogs are kept as hunting dogs, and this is the area that most breeders and breed fanciers will focus on. This dog should have excellent stamina and should be able to trot along easily at a fast pace for many miles without tiring. Their scenting ability is superior to many dogs and they have a booming voice, which should travel well on the air.

While primarily kept for hunting, the ease with which the Chien Français Blanc et Orange socialises with humans should not be ignored. A well-mannered and tolerant breed, this dog enjoys to spend time with humans and can fit well into family life in the right circumstances. This trait makes the huntsman’s job a lot more pleasurable. Within the family home setting, these dogs are affectionate and placid.

The very strong prey drive of this breed means it should not be housed alongside any smaller pets, such as cats. To do so would result in constant chasing and potential attacks. When it comes to other dogs, the Chien Français Blanc et Orange thrives in the company of canines and should be housed with at least one other dog.

As is typical of scent hounds, the Chien Français Blanc et Orange would not make a very effective guard dog as it is not hostile, nor territorial, enough. They can potentially make suitable watch dogs as they are often alert and will bark loudly at any new arrival. In fact, their baying and barking may put potential owners off as it can be constant and grating.


The primary purpose of the Chien Français Blanc et Orange is to hunt and they need little to no instruction when it comes to this activity. They will happily hunt for hours on end, without losing any focus. Attempting to train these dogs to perform other tasks can be challenging, as their nose never switches off and hunting will always be their priority.

While this breed is anecdotally quite stubborn, they can be motivated with treats and praise and are quite eager to please their master.


Frustratingly, health data for the Chien Français Blanc et Orange is lacking and there have been no health studies performed on this rare breed. When comparing to similar breeds, one could assume that the following conditions may be more prevalent:

Ear Infections

Moisture and humidity build up within pendulous ears, leading to the multiplication of resident yeast and bacteria, to the point that an infection may develop. Typical signs of an infected ear are: red skin, narrowed canal, excessive wax, foul smell and discomfort.

Affected dogs may hold their head to the side, scratch at their ear or rub it on the floor. The majority of ear infections will require prescription medication to clear them, so a trip to the vet will be needed.

Hunting Injuries

As this breed spends a lot of its time in the great outdoors running at full pelt, they are prone to sprains, strains and other injuries. Though they are fit and hardy, they may return from the job injured, requiring a few days rest and/or some medication to tide them over.

Hip Dysplasia

In a breed with such a small population, it is important to avoid inherited health conditions when possible. Screening tests should be used on breeding animals to avoid hip dysplasia becoming a prevalent issue. Poor quality hips will dramatically hamper the life of a working dog.

Exercise and Activity Levels

The substantial exercise requirements of the energetic and driven Chien Français Blanc et Orange can be almost impossible to meet in a household that is not planning on using the dog for hunting. Not only does hunting provide them with the hours of daily activity that they crave, it also keeps their mind sharp and prevents boredom and the development of potential vices.

Any exercise undertaken in public places, such as jogs or hikes, must be done on a lead to avoid the Chien Français Blanc et Orange taking off after a tempting scent. Once their attention has been caught, even the best-trained dog is unlikely to return to their master without significant hesitation.


The coat of the Chien Français Blanc et Orange keeps itself relatively clean and only needs a quick brush down every week or so. Their floppy ears should be cleaned on a weekly basis to remove wax and debris and prevent infection.

Famous Chiens Français Blanc et Orange

With only a couple of thousand dogs within the population, there are no celebrity examples of this breed just yet.


A rare dog, there are no established mixes of the Chien Français Blanc et Orange.

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