Pups of the Past: Dogs at Versailles

August 08, 2013

Pups of the Past: Dogs at Versailles

Nooo puppy, no! Marie Antoinette (2006), film. Sofia Coppola.
The royal family during the reign of Louis XV were very fond of dogs. At anytime you could find dogs running through the halls of Versailles, cute yes, but they also contributed to the continual foul smells that plagued the palace.




Ladies all seemed to keep different breeds (whichever was their favorite) and Louis XV was the only one at the time who didn't have dogs running around his apartments.  However, he also owned his own pups in the past!

Marie Antoinette's aunts (Mesdames) preferred spaniels, and Madame Elisabeth kept little greyhounds. Marie Antoinette had her share of French pups running around her apartments at Versailles but her favorite were pugs.


The Little King. (jk!) Marie Antoinette (2006), film. Sofia Coppola.

These pups were not as well behaved as their royal owners. In the case of Marie Antoinette's dogs, they certainly left their mark on her apartments.  They would leave holes in the richly upholstered furniture and sofas in her rooms.  They scratched through embroidered damask fabrics and would leave muddy paw prints across the hardwood floors.  Her dogs were also known to easily tear her gowns when jumping in excitement.

Kristen Dunst. Marie Antoinette (2006), film. Sofia Coppola.

All this damage aside, Marie Antoinette still asked the Comte de Mercy "that he should forthwith procure from Austria two or more of the then fashionable lap-dogs."¹ He tried to dissuade her but in the end she did get her Austrian pup!

Related: 18th Century Dog Houses

¹Younghusband, Helen Augusta Magniac. 1912. Marie-Antoinette: her early youth (1770-1774). London: Macmillan. 
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