The Chien Français Tricolore: Discovering the Dog Breed

The Chien Français Tricolore, also known as the French Tricolor Hound, is a unique-looking, skilled, and highly valued scenthound native to France. 

In this article, we will explain everything you need to know about the breed, so keep reading to discover if the Chien Français Tricolore is right for you.

History and Origins of the Chien Français Tricolore

Like many dog breeds, the Chien Français Tricolore has a rich and fascinating history. This breed’s origins can be traced back to the French countryside, where it was developed to hunt game such as deer and wild boar.

Despite its murky origins, the Chien Français Tricolore has become a beloved breed among hunters and dog enthusiasts alike.

The Breed’s Ancestors

The Chien Français Tricolore is descended from several other French hounds, including the:

  • Poitevin: The Poitevin has been around since the Middle Ages. Originally used to hunt wolves and wild boar, the Poitevin eventually became a popular hunting dog for deer and other game. 
  • Normandy Basset: The Normandy Basset was developed specifically for hunting in the dense forests of Normandy, where its short legs and long body made it well-suited for navigating through thick underbrush.
  • Saintongeois: The Gascon Saintongeois was also developed in France and is known to be brave and courageous. The breed excels in hunting in packs and can overpower large game such as wild boar and deer. 

This combination of traits made the Chien Français Tricolore an excellent hunting dog, capable of tracking and catching game in even the most difficult terrain.

Development of the Chien Français Tricolore

The Chien Français Tricolore we know and love today was developed in the early 19th century. Breeders worked tirelessly to create a dog that was not only an excellent hunter but also a loyal and affectionate companion.

The result was a breed that was both beautiful and functional, with a striking tricolor coat that made it easy to spot in the field. Over time, the Chien Français Tricolore became a popular breed among hunters in France.

Its ability to track and catch game in the difficult terrain of the French countryside made it a valuable asset to any hunting party. Today, the breed is still popular among hunters in France and is gaining popularity in other parts of the world as well.

Recognition by Kennel Clubs

The Chien Français Tricolore was officially recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1996. This recognition has helped to increase the breed’s popularity around the world. However, the breed is not recognized by the American Kennel Club. 

Physical Characteristics and Appearance

The Chien Français Tricolore is a highly recognizable breed with several distinctive physical features that set it apart from other breeds. Let’s take a closer look at some of the basic physical features. 

Size & Weight 

The Chien Français Tricolore is a medium-sized dog that typically weighs around 76 to 78 pounds. It stands about 24 to 28 inches tall at the shoulder, with males typically being slightly larger than females.

Members of the breed have well-proportioned bodies with sturdy and muscular builds that are perfect for hunting and other outdoor activities. They are fast and slender, radiating physical preparedness. 

Coat Type & Colors 

The Chien Français Tricolore has a short, dense coat that is typically black with white and tan markings, hence the breed’s descriptive name. The distinctive coat is one of the breed’s most recognizable features.

The coat is easy to maintain and requires only occasional brushing to keep it looking healthy and shiny. The Chien Français Tricolore sheds moderately year-long and more intensely during shedding seasons. 

Distinctive Features 

The Chien Français Tricolore has distinctively long ears and expressive eyes. The ears are typically longer than the head and frame the face beautifully. The eyes are large and round, with a warm and friendly expression. They are set well apart and are dark brown in color. 

The Chien Français Tricolore has a strong and athletic build. This breed is highly active and requires plenty of exercise to stay healthy and happy. They are excellent runners and excel in many activities. 

Temperament and Personality Traits

The Chien Français Tricolore is a loyal and affectionate breed, making a great companion for families and individuals alike. However, before bringing one into your home, it’s important to understand the breed’s personality traits and energy levels.

Energy Levels and Exercise Needs

The Chien Français Tricolore is an active breed that requires daily exercise and playtime. It has a lot of energy and loves to run and play. It’s important to provide this dog with a secure outdoor space, as it can be prone to wandering off if left unsupervised.

Without enough exercise, members of this breed may become bored and destructive. When it comes to exercise, there are many activities that the Chien Français Tricolore enjoys.

It loves going for walks, playing fetch, and even swimming. These activities not only help the dog burn off energy but also provide mental stimulation, which is important for overall health and well-being.

Socialization and Friendliness

Like all dogs, the Chien Français Tricolore requires socialization early in life to become a well-adjusted adult. This breed is naturally friendly and outgoing, but it’s important to expose it to a variety of people, animals, and environments to prevent shyness or fearfulness.

With proper training and socialization, the Chien Français Tricolore can get along well with children and other animals. It is known to be patient and gentle with kids, making it a great family pet. 

Intelligence and Trainability

The Chien Français Tricolore is an intelligent breed that responds well to positive reinforcement training methods. This breed enjoys learning new tricks and commands and can excel in obedience or agility competitions with the right training.

It’s important to start training early with this breed, as they can be stubborn at times. However, with patience and consistency, the Chien Français Tricolore can be trained to follow commands and behave appropriately in a variety of situations.

Health and Lifespan

Like all dog breeds, the Chien Français Tricolore is prone to certain health issues. However, with proper preventative care and regular checkups, you can help ensure your dog lives a long and healthy life.

Common Health Issues

The Chien Français Tricolore is prone to several health issues, including: 

  • Hip Dysplasia: A genetic joint condition in which the hip is malformed, causing early arthritis, pain, limping, and mobility issues 
  • Bloat: Also known as gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), is a life-threatening condition in which the stomach accumulates gas and twists 
  • Ear Infections: The long and droopy ears predispose the breed to ear infections because they trap dirt and moisture 

Preventative Care and Regular Checkups

Preventative care is essential for keeping your Chien Français Tricolore healthy. This includes regular checkups, vaccinations, and parasite control.

It’s also important to provide the Chien Français Tricolore with a healthy diet and regular exercise to maintain good health throughout its life.

Expected Lifespan

With proper care, the Chien Français Tricolore can live between 10 and 13 years. Many breed members live to an old age. 


The Chien Français Tricolore is a unique and beautiful dog with a fascinating history and distinctive physical features. The breed is a loyal and affectionate companion for those who are willing to provide the exercise and attention it requires.

With proper training, socialization, and preventative care, the Chien Français Tricolore can live a long and healthy life by your side. Research the breed and find a reputable breeder if interested in this breed. 

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