The French Hound temperament is unique because the French Hound (or Chien Francais) isn’t just one dog. There are actually three French Hounds who have slightly different ancestries.
Even so, the only real difference that separates them is their color. The three hounds have very similar temperaments.
We will get into the three French Hound types later but first, let's get to know their temperament.
French Hound Temperament and Personality
The French Hound breeds are smart and learn easily. But they are moderately difficult to train.
As with most hunting breeds, they can be independent at times. They are not necessarily stubborn. They just seem single-mindedly focused on hunting.
These dogs do have obedient natures. They just have a hard time focusing on tasks that aren’t related to their noses.
They form strong attachments to their families and want to be near them.
With enough exercise, the French Hound temperament is laidback and relaxed at home.
The French Hound temperament is cheerful and lively. They get along well with both adults and children.
These dogs are friendly as a rule, but some individuals can be shy, especially with strangers.
They adapt to living indoors better than most hunting dogs. But they do prefer living with at least one other dog.
This is one of the defining traits of the French Hound temperament. They are very high-spirited, which can make training difficult.
These breeds are known for speed and great endurance on the hunt.
The French Hound temperament is determined and hard-working. Their noses are always in “on” mode.
Pack hunters are used to the company of other dogs. They can suffer from loneliness, depression, and separation anxiety if they are left alone for long.
These breeds are happiest living with at least one other dog, and the more, the better.
Not surprisingly for a scenthound, these dogs howl, and bay, loudly and sometimes excessively. It may be impossible to train this out of them. These are definitely not apartment or city dogs.
They do, however, make good watchdogs. Don’t expect a guard dog, though. The French Hound temperament is not aggressive enough for that.
French Hound History
The French Hounds were once a single breed called the Chien Français.
Records weren’t kept of the original breed, so its exact origins are unknown. But it is widely accepted that the Chien Français was developed in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Seven scenthounds were created at that time. They resulted from crossing various French hounds with other French scenthound breeds and some with the English Foxhound.
The hounds with English ancestry were named Anglo-Français. The three with all-French blood were called Chien Français.
In 1957, the breed standards Chiens Français were separated. The Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) recognized them as individual breeds.
The United Kennel Club (UKC) recognized The Black and White and the Tricolore in 1996. The White and Orange may have been excluded because of its rarity.
Tricolored French Hound (Chien Français Tricolore)
The Tricolore is descen