Saint-Usuge Spaniel

The Saint-Usuge Spaniel (or Épagneul de Saint-Usuge) is a dog breed of Spaniel originating in the Bresse region of France. The breed has origins dating back to at least the 16th century, but was nearly extinct by the end of World War II. Through the efforts of Father Robert Billard, the breed was resurrected during the second half of the 20th century; its national breed club was founded in 1990. The breed was recognised by the Société Centrale Canine (French Kennel Club) in 2003.


The history of this breed can be traced to the 16th century, however by the mid 20th century it had nearly become extinct. Following World War II, Robert Billard, a priest, was given a parish in Saône-et-Loire in the Bresse region of France. Billard was an active hunter and began to search for a suitable hunting dog. He was told of a local dog breed known as the "Epagneul de Saint-Usuge", and contacted the Société Centrale Canine in order to find what happened to the breed. In 1950 he found a male spaniel named Dick, who was a son of Braco, the dog which won Conformation show at the show in 1936. He continued to find other male dogs around the region to include in the reconstruction of the breed. In 1962, a Small Münsterländer female named Bianca von der Rumerburg was used in the breeding programme, chosen as that breed's standards mostly closely resemble the Saint-Usuge's. In 1980, the work on reconstructing the breed was handed over to Serge Bey, a local conservationist. Father Billard's breeding programme bred nearly 250 dogs over a 33 year period. While the breed is not fully recognised by the American Kennel Club, it is listed as a breed in the club's Microchip implant (animal).

Additional Info

  • Height: 40.6cm - 53.3cm
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