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The Blue Picardy Spaniel is an obedient, brave, even-tempered sporting dog. Highly skilled at hunting and retrieving, these pups are equally adept at winning over their humans with their sweet natures and speckled blue coats.
Near the start of the 20th century, the mouth of the River Somme in the Picardy region of France was a paradise for waterfowl hunters. British hunters brought their dogs—typically English Setters—to hunt in the marshes and moors.
Because of quarantine restrictions in the UK, the hunters would board their dogs in the Picardy area instead of bringing them home. Over time, these boarded dogs crossed with the local Picardy Spaniels, introducing a black and blue/grey coat into the gene pool. Because of this distinctive coloring, the Blue Picardy Spaniel eventually gained classification as a separate breed.
Already relatively rare gundogs, Blue Picardies faced extinction after World War II. But the concerted effort of a few breeders saved them. As their numbers slowly increase, they're becoming popular as both hunting dogs and companion pets.
The United Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1996.
Blue Picardies are versatile, built for work, and—if you ask their humans—darn good-looking.
The breed's coat is flat or slightly wavy, with feathering on the ears, legs, and tail. Grey and black speckles give the coat a bluish hint of color, with black patches. Blue Picardy puppies are mostly grey/white when they're born, and their darker colors come in as they mature.
Blue Picardies have oval skulls and long, broad muzzles. Their ears sit just above eye level and reach the tip of their muzzles when stretched. This breed has large, dark eyes that cast a calm expression.
Blue Picardies are playful, calm, and usually friendly dogs. Though bred for hunting, they thrive on human companionship and are gentle and affectionate with children.
This breed typically gets along with other dogs and pets—making for a loyal family companion. Though generally considered quiet dogs, Blue Picardies will let you know if a stranger comes around.
You should feed your Blue Picardy a diet formulated for their life stage (e.g., puppy, adult, senior). A food made specifically for medium-size breeds will have the appropriate blend of nutrients for their size and activity level.
All dogs are at risk for obesity if they overeat. So, measure out meals to prevent overfeeding, and don't forget to keep track of treats. As a rule, treats should make up no more than 10% of a dog's calories.
Weekly brushing will keep your Blue Picardy's coat looking its best. Round out their grooming routine with regular nail trims and ear cleanings. And don't forget about dental care. A life-long dental hygiene program that includes at-home teeth brushing and professional cleanings is essential for their overall health.
Blue Picardies are athletic dogs that need a fair amount of exercise due to their high energy levels. Long walks, hikes, and runs are good ways for them to get exercise while spending time with their beloved humans.
This breed is a natural in the water. So, swimming and splashing after a ball are other fun activities. Blue Picardies also enjoy dog sports—such as hunting, tracking, retrieving, agility, rally, and obedience.
The Blue Picardy's obedient, adaptable nature makes it an easy breed to train. These dogs respond well to positive, reward-based methods. In addition to obedience training, start socialization early to help your dog get comfortable with different people, places, and situations.