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The Poitevin Temperament (Loyal but Stubborn): Is He a Good Fit for You?

The Poitevin is an excellent hunter who is loyal and gentle with his owner, but the Poitevin temperament is not suited to life with most families. He can be very difficult to train.

He is a high-energy dog that does best in hunting families. A very active family may be able to make it work, but the Poitevin is not the best choice for a home with children.

Poitevin Temperament

1. Intelligent

The Poitevin is a smart breed, but he is hard to train.

2. Independent

This trait is not unusual in hunting breeds. They need it to do their jobs well. However, the Poitevin temperament is more independent and stubborn than most.

3. Loyal

This guy is not people-oriented. He does become attached to his owner, though, and maybe to a small family group.

4. Gentle

The Poitevin temperament can be kind and gentle. He does not care for children, but he is not an aggressive dog.

5. Stranger-wary

The Poitevin is not a friendly breed. He needs early socialization to strangers.

6. Social Poitevin Temperament

As a pack hunter, he gets along well with other dogs. He may prefer living in a kennel with them to living inside with people. The Poitevin does best with at least one other dog in the household.

He does not do well when left alone for long periods and this can result in separation anxiety. So it goes without saying that your Poitevin would not be happy in a home where no one is home during the day.

7. Hard-working

The Poitevin temperament is perfectly suited to the job he was bred to do. He is an expert hunter who will happily work all day, every day.

8. Energetic Poitevin Temperament

Because of that work ethic, the Poitevin has a very high exercise need. This is another reason that the Poitevin temperament is not well suited for life as a companion dog.

9. Courageous

His bravery in the hunt is one of the reasons hunters once prized the Poitevin temperament so highly.

10. Hardy

This is a strong, muscular dog with great endurance. A seven-hour hunt is not enough to tire him out.

11. Vocal

The Poitevin barks a lot. This breed is not a good choice for apartment living.

12. Guard Dog instinct

His wariness of strangers and loud bark make him a great watchdog. He wouldn’t be a good guard dog, though, because he is not aggressive.

13. High Prey Drive

This Poitevin temperament trait makes him untrustworthy around small household pets.

Poitevin History

The Poitevin is a French scenthound from the region of Poitou. It was originally called the Chien de Haut-Poitou.

The breed was developed in 1692 by the French Marquis de Layrre to be a wolf hunter.

He created the Poitevin from two other French scenthounds, the Montemboeuf and the Chien Ceris (now extinct). He also used the Greyhound and Irish scent hounds.

The result was an exceptional wolf hunter. However, as time went by, the wolf population became less of a problem. The Poitevin lost popularity with hunters.

During the French Revolution, the breed was nearly wiped out. Then a rabies outbreak in 1842 almost finished the job.

To restore the Chien de Haut-Poitou, breeders began crossing the few remaining dogs with foxhounds. In 1957, the dog’s name was changed to Poitevin Hound.

Once the breed’s numbers were high enough, breeders began selectively breeding the Poitevin. Their goal was to develop the dog back into the original Poitevin. Poitevin lovers wanted to bring back the qualities that made the Poitevin temperament and hunting skills unique.

In recent years, Americans have imported a few Poitevin. Hunters own almost all of them. They use the Poitevin as a deer tracker.

The Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) recognized the breed in 1963 and the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 1996. As of yet, the American Kennel Club (AKC) has not.

Poitevin Training

The Poitevin is an intelligent and stubborn dog. He is very difficult to train. You may even want to hire a professional trainer for basic obedience.

A firm and consistent trainer is always best in training dogs. This breed, though, needs that more than most. In France, the Poitevin often ends up in shelters and rescues because of this difficulty in training.

Even if you’re an experienced dog trainer, you may find his stubbornness challenging. Be prepared for it to take a lot more time and effort than with other breeds.

Unless you want a watchdog, you will also need to train him early to control his barking and to be tolerant of strangers.

He also needs to be socialized to children early and well. Though he’s not aggressive by nature, he is not a good choice for families with children.

Helpful Dog Training Resource:

The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan a world-class Dog Trainer from New Zealand is worth taking a look at. This online resource has hundreds of fun informative dog training videos that can help you learn the basics and more.

Poitevin Appearance

General Appearance

Many consider the Poitevin to be the most attractive pack hound. His looks have been described as distinguished and elegant.

He is a medium to large breed with a sleek, muscular build.

His coat is short and dense with a nice shine. Poitevin colors can be tri-colored—white, orange and black. They can have black patches or saddles. The Poitevin may also be wolf-colored.

His head is long and flat. He has large eyes that can be black or amber. His ears are drooping, folded, and medium-length. He has a wide black nose.

He has a long muzzle and a scissor bite. His neck is long and slim.

He has a deep chest and strong legs. His tail is long and thin and curves upward.

Poitevin Size

Average Poitevin weight 65 to 75 pounds. And the Poitevin height averages 24 to 28 inches. There is no size difference between males and females.

Poitevin Must-Knows

Poitevin Lifespan

The life expectancy of this breed is 11-12 years.

Other Names

The Poitevin is also known as the Chien de Haut-Poitou and the Haut-Poitou.

Poitevin Health Issues

The Poitevin has no breed-specific health problems. However, hounds with pendulous ears are prone to ear infections, so they need to be cleaned regularly.

Large dogs are also susceptible to hip dysplasia. This is a deformity of a dog’s ball-and-socket joints. It can lead to lameness, arthritis, and eventual loss of function.

Helpful Dog Health Resource:

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