The Valois Spaniel is a medium sized dog, standing at around 1.5 - 1.8 feet at their shoulders, and weighing in at around 30 - 40 pounds. They are a somewhat long-lived breed as well, usually living to be around 12 - 16 years of age.
Valois Spaniels were bred for the purpose of hunting, and as a result, have a high prey drive, as well as a high energy level. These are not the dogs for a simple household; they will often become destructive if they don't have an outlet for their energy. Because of this, they are usually kept in kennels owned by nobles, or hunters.
These dogs usually have a white or cream-colored base coat, interrupted by orange, light brown, or liver spots. Black or grey/grey-blue are possible colors as well, though they are less common. Their coats are relatively short, except for along their tails; similar to the laugh boar hound, Valois spaniels have 'flags' on their tails that allow hunters to keep track of their dogs in thick brush. Some dogs, however, have their tails docked to prevent damage to the tail, though this all depends on the breeder or hunter's preference, or what terrain the dogs will be run on.
Their hind pasterns (the part of the leg that joins the paw to the hock joint) are somewhat longer than normal on most dogs, and their hocks are sturdier. This allows them to jump higher, even from a standstill, somewhat like what a cat can do. This feature is used while hunting; if a dog flushes birds from their hiding place, it will often leap into the air to catch one for the hunter, and since these dogs are usually run in small packs, multiple birds and be brought in at once.
Another hunting technique that has been bred into them is pointing; they will stand stock still when they have located birds hidden in brush, one foreleg lifted, with their heads stretched out towards where the prey is hidden. This is a stance that they will hold for a few moments before going to flush the birds out, and this is entirely instinctual behavior, rather than a trained one [so much so that it is common to see young puppies do it to new sights and sounds]. It is common, however, for the dogs to be trained to only flush on command, and to hold the stance longer than they would naturally.
These dogs found throughout more temperate climates, sometimes straying into woodlands and inhabiting them. They are common hunting dogs, and due to their regal appearance, often a prized pet to the nobles of their land of origin.
Their main use is that of a hunting dog, namely a bird dog. They are best at pointing out the locations of their prey, and then catching them when they attempt to flee. They don't make good house pets, unless by someone who is active, as the dogs are very high in energy and enjoy being able to run around. There are some more mellow members of the breed that are alright with a more relaxed lifestyle, but they are few and far between.
Valois Spaniels are highly social dogs, and enjoy attention from their owners and strangers alike. They will bark if a stranger enters their 'territory', but they are more likely to jump on them in hopes of earning some attention than out of aggression. They are loyal to their owners, but aren't often a one-person dog, often bonding with multiple people, rather than just one.
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