Poitevin

65-75 lbs
24-28"
France
Chien de Haut-Poitou, Haut-Poitou
A rare and dignified breed revered in its area of origin, the Poitevin is a muscular yet sleek scent hound with a rich history. Stemming from the late 17th century, this breed was originally developed to hunt wolves and despite going through several changes over the last few hundred years, still reflects a vast majority of its origin in both look and personality. The Poitevin was used as a pack animal throughout most of its history, making it exceptionally good with other dogs, but due to limited interactions with people and a highly-independent mindset, is usually only accepting its owner or small family group and is otherwise frequently suspicious of both strangers and children. Because of it, along with a high energy drive, an inability to be left alone for long periods, and the need for a large space and considerable exercise, they are not considered good family or apartment pets and are best reserved for their original purpose of hunting. It has been noted throughout their history that they are notoriously difficult to train and many have wound up in shelters because of it, the product of a combination of their own stubbornness and a lack of patience from their owners. But despite their inability to transition into the life of solely companionship, the Poitevin is still a magnificent and highly-skilled breed with an exceptional nose, considerable muscle, and the long-standing history of a breed that echoes success, even with their known status of rarity.
Purpose
Hunting
Date of Origin
Late 17th Century
Ancestry
Chien Ceris, Montemboeuf, English Foxhounds, Irish Scent Hounds

Poitevin Health

Average Size
Male Poitevin size stats
Height: 24-28 inches Weight: 65-75 lbs
Female Poitevin size stats
Height: 24-28 inches Weight: 65-75 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Usually A Very Healthy Breed
Minor Concerns
  • Hip And Elbow Dysplasia
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Eye Problems
Occasional Tests
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination
  • Physical Examination

Poitevin Breed History

The Poitevin was originally created by the Marquis de Layrre of Poitou in 1692 by combining the Montemboeuf and Chien Ceris, two similar French scent hounds, along with Irish scent hounds and even Greyhounds. His purpose was to create an endurant breed with an exceptional nose and exhaustive determination in the hunt for wolves, a nuisance animal at the time. Although never truly gaining widespread popularity, the Poitevin's numbers were significantly impacted on three separate occasions throughout its history including the French Revolution, a rabies epidemic in the mid-19th century, and finally during WW II, each time being brought to near extinction before being revived by a select few interested groups through preserving the few that remained and strengthening the bloodline with that of mostly English Foxhounds. While these Foxhounds were bred into the lines in later years, many devout breeders aimed to return to the Poitevin's origins. After the breed's numbers had been increased to a healthier number, breeders began becoming more selective with their crosses, and brought the line back to where the dog's most distinctive features were once again recognizable. Today, the breed is still considered exceptionally rare and is not often found outside of their region of origin.

Poitevin Breed Appearance

The Poitevin is a medium to large size dog, standing from 24 to 28 inches at the withers and generally weighing an average of 70 pounds. They sport a sleek but muscular figure, possessing considerable strength in their legs but stacked on a trim frame. Their heads are much like that of a Irish scent hounds, flat and long with very little transition from the dome of the skull to the bridge of the muzzle, which is long in itself, slightly convex, and capped with a strong, wide black nose. Their eyes are big, dark, and round and ears are medium-length and folded. Their neck is much like the rest of their build, long and slim, just like their back and both pair of legs, the hindquarters highlighted by a considerable bulk of thigh muscle. They also have a deep chest that helps create their hefty, somewhat musical barks and bellows. Their coat is short, dense and glossy, coming in a multitude of color patterns, from tricolor with a black saddle or black patches, to white and orange, to wolf-colored.
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Poitevin eyes
Brown
amber Poitevin eyes
Amber
Nose Color Possibilities
black Poitevin nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
red Poitevin coat
Red
white Poitevin coat
White
brown Poitevin coat
Brown
gray Poitevin coat
Gray
black Poitevin coat
Black
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Poitevin straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Poitevin Breed Maintenance

Despite being quite a bit to manage in terms of personality, the Poitevin takes very little maintenance otherwise. Their short coats shed only a mild amount, if not less, and need only a twice-weekly brushing with a firm bristle brush to remove dead skin and loose hair while redistributing natural oils. When used for hunting, especially for long periods, they should be looked over for thorns or anything else that may become embedded in their coats and paws. Their nails generally wear down naturally if they get excessive exercise during hunting, but otherwise will need monitoring and trimming to keep from cracking and breaking. Their teeth should be brushed at least on a weekly basis to help maintain good oral health.
Brushes for Poitevin
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Poitevin requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Poitevin Temperament

While many French scent hounds are known for being highly-affectionate and devoted companions, Poitevins are nearly the opposite. They generally only like their owners or immediate family and are otherwise suspicious and wary of both children and strangers. They do tend to do well with with other dogs, likely due to their pack heritage, but are not recommended to join homes that have small non-canine animals, as their prey drive is quite strong. Because they have been independent throughout their history, they are also strong-willed and can be considerably stubborn, making their training well above average in terms of difficulty. They are used to being housed in kennels with other dogs and generally do not do well if left alone and will resort to barking if lonely, bored, or restless, making them anything but ideal in an apartment setting - especially in combination with their high energy requirements. In all, they generally do not make good companion animals but given their high intelligence, excellent noses and tireless endurance, still remain a top hunter for those looking to hunt deer, boar, and hare.

Poitevin Activity Requirements

Poitevins are high energy dogs with considerable exercise requirements. They have been used throughout their linage as tireless hunters, have incredible endurance and have been known to follow their nose behind prey for up to seven hours, traveling as many as 35 miles (56 km) in a single day of hunting. Because of it, they either need to be used as trackers and hunters frequently, or be given an extensive amount of exercise daily either via runs, walks, or exhaustive excursions to the dog park. It's safe to say this breed needs around 90 minutes of exercise every day.
Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
18 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
90 minutes

Poitevin Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
4 cups
Daily Cost
$2.00 - $2.50
Monthly Cost
$60.00 - $75.00

Poitevin Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Poitevin size stats at six months
Height: 18 inches Weight: 49 lbs
Female Poitevin size stats at six months
Height: 18 inches Weight: 49 lbs
12 Months
Male Poitevin size stats at 12 months
Height: 22 inches Weight: 59 lbs
Female Poitevin size stats at 12 months
Height: 22 inches Weight: 59 lbs
18 Months
Male Poitevin size stats at 18 months
Height: 26 inches Weight: 70 lbs
Female Poitevin size stats at 18 months
Height: 26 inches Weight: 70 lbs

Poitevin Owner Experiences

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