Poitevin: The Ultimate Dog Guide


The Poitevin Dog, an exceptional breed known for its endurance and scenting ability, offers a unique combination of loyalty, intelligence, and elegance. Revered in their native land of France, they have captured the hearts of dog enthusiasts worldwide. The breed traces its roots back to the late 17th century, a creation of the Marquis de Larrye. These dogs were bred for hunting and have maintained their incredible stamina and tracking skills throughout the centuries.

Feature Description
Breed Name Poitevin
Origin France
Size Large
Weight 55 – 71 lbs
Color Black and white mix, often appearing bluish with possible patches of tan
Lifespan 10-12 years
Temperament Alert, Courageous, Energetic
Diet High-quality dog food suitable for size and age, rich in protein
Exercise Needs High – requires regular vigorous exercise
Grooming Regular brushing of the short, smooth coat
Health Issues Generally healthy, some prone to hip dysplasia and bloat
Best Suited For Active families or individuals with access to ample outdoor space

Physical Characteristics of Poitevin Dog

Size and Weight

Poitevins are large dogs, standing tall with a regal bearing. Adult males typically weigh between 66 and 71 lbs, and females between 55 and 65 lbs, providing a commanding yet elegant presence.

Coat and Color

Their coat is short and smooth, perfect for outdoor adventures. The color is quite distinctive, usually featuring a mix of black and white, giving a bluish appearance, with some having patches of tan.

Other Distinctive Features

One of the most notable features of the Poitevin is their expressive eyes, which can range from dark brown to lighter hazel. Their large, hanging ears add to their character, and their muscular build speaks to their hunting heritage.

Poitevin Dog Temperament and Personality Traits

General Behavior

Poitevins are known for their tenacious yet gentle nature. They are highly intelligent dogs, eager to please, and enjoy participating in family activities.

Interaction with Humans and Other Animals

They are sociable dogs who get along well with humans, including children. With proper socialization, they can also be comfortable around other dogs and pets.

Common Temperament Traits

Poitevins are alert, courageous, and energetic. They are often seen as confident dogs with a lively and outgoing nature, which complements their hunting heritage.

Training and Behavior Management of Poitevin Dog

Training Requirements

Given their intelligent nature, Poitevins respond well to training, particularly when positive reinforcement techniques are used. Consistency is key when training this breed.

Socialization Needs

Socialization is crucial for Poitevins, as it helps them adapt to various environments and situations. Regular exposure to different people, pets, and experiences is beneficial.

Tips for Effective Training

Positive reinforcement and reward-based training work best with this breed. Patience, consistency, and understanding their innate drive to hunt will lead to successful training outcomes.

Poitevin Dog Exercise and Physical Activity

Daily Exercise Requirements

Poitevins require regular, vigorous exercise due to their high energy levels. Daily walks, coupled with playtime and opportunities to run, are vital.

Suitable Activities for Poitevin Dogs

Outdoor activities such as running, fetching, and tracking games are ideal. Any activity that allows them to explore and exert their energy will be beneficial.

The Importance of Mental Stimulation

Poitevins, like all dogs, also need mental stimulation. Puzzle toys, obedience training, and tracking games can all help to keep their minds sharp.

Health and Lifespan of Poitevin Dog

Average Lifespan

Poitevins typically enjoy a healthy lifespan of around 10-12 years when given proper care and a balanced diet.

Common Health Issues

The Poitevin is generally a healthy breed, but they can be prone to certain conditions like hip dysplasia and bloat. Regular vet check-ups are crucial in maintaining their health.

Preventive Health Care Measures

Routine veterinary check-ups, balanced nutrition, regular exercise, and timely vaccinations play a significant role in preventing health issues and ensuring a long, healthy life for Poitevin dogs.

Nutrition and Diet for Poitevin Dog

Dietary Needs

Poitevins need high-quality dog food appropriate for their size and age. A diet rich in protein supports their energy levels, while a balanced amount of carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals ensures overall health.

Feeding Schedule and Amounts

Feeding schedules may vary based on age, health, and activity level. Usually, two meals per day are recommended for adult Poitevins.

Common Food Allergies and Sensitivities

Though not overly common, some Poitevins may develop food allergies or sensitivities. If symptoms like itching, digestive issues, or skin problems are noticed, a vet should be consulted.

Grooming and Maintenance of Poitevin Dog

Grooming Requirements

The Poitevin’s short coat is relatively easy to maintain. Regular brushing will keep their coat healthy and minimize shedding.

Bathing and Coat Care

Bathing should be done as needed, usually once every few months. It’s also essential to check their coat regularly for ticks or fleas, particularly if they have been out hunting or in wooded areas.

Nail, Ear, and Teeth Care

Routine nail trimming, ear cleaning, and teeth brushing are necessary to keep your Poitevin healthy and comfortable. Any signs of infection or discomfort should be immediately addressed with a vet.

Living Conditions and Suitability for Poitevin Dog

Ideal Living Conditions

Given their size and energy levels, Poitevins do best in homes with ample outdoor space. They are not well-suited for apartment living.

Suitability for Families, Singles, and Seniors

This breed can adapt well to different households, but due to their high energy levels, they are particularly suitable for active individuals or families.

Compatibility with Other Pets

With early socialization, Poitevins can get along well with other pets. However, due to their hunting background, they might see smaller animals as prey, so supervision is advised during interactions.

Poitevin Dog Breeding and Puppies

Breeding Information

Responsible breeding is crucial for maintaining the health and temperament of the Poitevin breed. Prospective breeders should be well-versed in the breed’s characteristics and potential health issues.

Caring for Poitevin Puppies

Poitevin puppies require ample socialization and training from a young age. Regular vet check-ups, a balanced diet, and lots of love are also key to their well-being.

Key Developmental Stages

Understanding the key developmental stages of a Poitevin puppy helps in providing appropriate care and training at each stage. These include the socialization period, the juvenile period, and the adolescence period.

Rescue Groups and Adoption for Poitevin Dog

Finding a Poitevin Dog for Adoption

While it may take some time and patience, there are rescue groups and shelters where you can adopt a Poitevin dog. Online resources can help you locate these.

The Adoption Process

Adopting a Poitevin usually involves an application process, an interview, and sometimes a home visit. It’s a worthy process to ensure these wonderful dogs find loving homes.

Tips for Bringing a Rescue Dog Home

Patience and preparation are key when bringing a rescue dog home. Providing a quiet space for your new pet and slowly introducing them to their new surroundings can ease their transition.


Owning a Poitevin dog can be a truly rewarding experience. Their loyalty, energy, and intelligence make them wonderful companions. However, their high energy levels and need for exercise present some challenges, particularly for those living in apartments or leading a sedentary lifestyle. The Poitevin dog is a beautiful, unique breed. They may not be the best fit for everyone, but for those who lead an active lifestyle and appreciate the breed’s history and traits, a Poitevin can be a wonderful addition to the family.


Sergey Uhanov, a certified veterinarian, has authored all of the content here. With over 20 years of experience in dog care and breeding three dogs of his own, he has a deep passion for these furry friends. Sergey owns a pet clinic in Israel where he provides care and treatment to dogs. He enjoys sharing his expertise and knowledge to assist others in caring for their dogs.

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