Pont-Audemer Spaniel

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington
fast facts

About Pont-Audemer Spaniel

20-23 inches
44-60 lb
12-14 years
UKC Gun Dog
gentle, trainable, hard-working, affectionate
Comparable Breeds
American Water Spaniel, Irish Water Spaniel
Best Suited For
active families, active singles, house with a yard, experienced dog owners
Pont-Audemer Spaniel Basics

Though he may not do well as a family pet (especially for inexperienced dog owners), the Pont-Audemer Spaniel is an excellent hunting breed. With multiple spaniel breeds in his genetics, the breed excels in the field as a water spaniel. In addition to his strong hunting skills, the Pont-Audemer Spaniel is also known for growing a long topknot of curly hair on top of his head that, combined with the curly hair on his ears, makes him look like he’s wearing a long, curly wig.

The Pont-Audemer Spaniel is an excellent hunting breed.


The exact origins of the Pont-Audemer Spaniel are unknown but it is thought to have been developed during the nineteenth century in the Pont-Audemer region of France. It is commonly thought that it was bred from the English Water Spaniel and the Irish Water Spaniel, though they were more commonly used as setters than for doing spaniel-type work in the field.

In the early years, breed numbers were high but by the end of World War II, numbers had sharply declined. As a result, the president of the Pont-Audemer breed club allowed for other breeds to be crossed with the existing gene pool to prevent inbreeding. Numbers remained low until, in 1980, the breed club was merged with the Picardy Spaniel breed club and is now recognized by the FCI as the Pont-Audemer Spaniel.


The exact origins of the Pont-Audemer Spaniel are unknown, but it is likely the result of a cross between the English Water Spaniel and Irish Water Spaniel.


The Pont-Audemer Spaniel is a medium- to large-sized breed, weighing up to 60 pounds at maturity. This being the case, he should be fed a high-quality dry food formulated for adult dogs. If you plan to use the dog for hunting, a higher-calorie working breed formula might be a good choice. Otherwise, you might want to consider a large-breed dog food to provide your dog with the protein he needs to maintain lean muscle mass without so much fat that he gains an unhealthy amount of weight.

The Pont-Audemer Spaniel is an intelligent breed that generally responds well to training.


The Pont-Audemer Spaniel is an intelligent breed that generally responds well to training. As a dog of the spaniel type, these dogs are eager to learn and they are also adaptable. This breed loves to have fun and they can be clownish at times, so as long as you keep your training sessions short and enjoyable, it should go well. This breed is primarily kept as a working gun dog, so think twice before choosing this breed as a family pet. They are smart and easy to train, but it is a lifelong commitment to make and you’ll need to start early with training and socialization.


The Pont-Audemer Spaniel walks the line between a medium and large-sized bred that stands 20 to 23 inches tall and weighs 44 to 60 pounds at maturity.


The Pont-Audemer Spaniel is a hardy and hard-working breed which makes him an excellent working dog. These dogs are intelligent and easy to train while also being gentle and affectionate with family. They are also known for their fun-loving and clownish personalities which make them a joy to keep. In fact, they are sometimes called “le petit clown des marais”, or the little clown of the marshes. Because these dogs are rarely kept as family pets, however, little is known about their temperament in the home. Because of their high energy and difficult training, however, they are generally not recommended as family pets.

Common Health Problems

The Pont-Audemer Spaniel is still a fairly uncommon breed, so there is not a great deal of information available about their health status. Generally considered to be a healthy breed, the Pont-Audemer Spaniel is still prone to certain health problems. Due to their long, floppy ears, the breed may have a higher risk for ear infections and they are also prone to alopecia (or hair loss). The breed may also be prone to injury in the field.

Life Expectancy

The average lifespan for the Pont-Audemer Spaniel is thought to be about 12 to 14 years which is about average for a breed of its size.

Exercise Requirements

The Pont-Audemer Spaniel is a born working breed so it should come as no surprise that these dogs have high exercise requirements. In addition to hunting and training, these dogs will appreciate having an outdoor space to run and play in as well as a daily walk.

The Pont-Audemer Spaniel is a hardy and hard-working breed which makes him an excellent working dog.

Recognized Clubs

The Pont-Audemer Spaniel is not currently recognized by the AKC but he is recognized by the FCI and the UKC. The FCI classifies him in Group 7 as a Spaniel type for the Continental Pointing Dogs and the UKC as a Gun Dog.


The Pont-Audemer Spaniel is unique in appearance because he has a curly or wave coat with a long topknot of curly hair on the head. The coat on the body is medium length and curly or wavy, though it is shorter and smoother on the face. Common coat colors include brown and white roan, though solid brown coats are acceptable as well. Any black or tan markings are considered a fault and most dogs have docked tails.


The average litter size for the Pont-Audemer Spaniel is 4 to 8 puppies. Because these dogs grow to an adult size over 50 pounds, in many cases, they are best fed a large-breed puppy formula to prevent them from growing too quickly. Once they reach about 80% of their adult expected size, you can switch to a large-breed adult recipe. Early socialization and training is important for this breed and even more so if you plan to try keeping him as a family pet.

Photo credit: Canarian/Wikimedia

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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