All About the Breed Poitevin

Have you recently fallen for the Poitevin or do you simply love rare breeds? Learn all about the breed here, including: breed history, personality traits, train-ability, benefits and disadvantages of the breed, and common health concerns.

Also known as the Hait-Poitou Hound, the Poitevin is an energetic and loyal breed.

But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you?

This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.


The origin of the Poitevin can be traced back to 17th century France, when breeder, Marquis F. de Layre began experimenting with crossing various Hound breeds. Enthusiasts believe the Poitevin to have been developed by crossing such breeds as the American Foxhound, various Irish Hound breeds, and various English Greyhound breeds, though this has never been proven scientifically or otherwise.

Throughout its history, the Poitevin has been most commonly used for hunting, scenting, and tracking game such as deer, fox, and raccoon, proving its superior abilities to work in the harshest of environments while providing enthusiastic companionship.

Today, while the Poitevin has attained a regional popularity as a hunting and companion dog, the breed remains rather rare outside of its native France.

Personality Traits

Best known for its active and energetic nature, the Poitevin loves to keep busy with work or play. These dogs thrive on strong and dependable relationships with humans, and often look to their owner for leadership and guidance. This breed is very intelligent and generally quite easy to train. As a pet, the Poitevin is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate. The Poitevin is not suited for full-time indoor or apartment living, as it enjoys spending time outdoors, taking long walks, and having plenty of room to run, roam, and play.


Due to its need for human leadership and eagerness to please and impress its owner, the Poitevin generally responds well to basic training and commands. This bright breed has the ability to learn to perform most any task its trainer is willing to take the time to teach.

Establishing immediate trust and respect is key to successfully training the Poitevin. These dogs can be somewhat sensitive to criticism and respond best to positive reinforcement and reward-based training.

Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed

There are many benefits to owning a Poitevin, such as its no hassle, low maintenance coat. This energetic breed is always on the go, and often quite amusing and entertaining to watch while at play. These dogs are highly intelligent, obedient by nature, easy to train, and capable of learning to perform many impressive tricks and tasks.

When properly socialized from a young age, the Poitevin gets along well with children and other pets, known for its sweet and gentle approach to small children. The Poitevin is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate, making an excellent hunting dog, family pet, and companion alike.

Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning a Poitevin. These active and athletic dogs require large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play outdoors. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so.

A Poitevin not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out by destroying property, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.

The Poitevin has a strong instinct to hunt and will occasionally indulge in a good chase. When on the run, these dogs are surprisingly quick, and may pose a threat to other animals, neighborhood pets, and small woodland creatures. The Poitevin must be leashed or properly secured at all times when outdoors.

This breed's incredible sense of smell can often lead to trouble. It is not unusual for a Poitevin to dart out of doors or tear open bags of garbage in order to track a scent. Proper training can reduce these behaviors in the Poitevin.

As previously mentioned, the Poitevin remains very rare outside of its native France and can prove quite difficult to obtain. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, extremely high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.

Common Health Concerns

While the Poitevin is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: hip dysplasia, likeliness to develop cancer, liver disease, chronic kidney infection, kidney stones, sensitivity to anesthesia, skin allergies and sensitivity, cherry eye, and bloat.

Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own a Poitevin?

Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.