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Francophile dog needs a home

A British dogs’ home is seeking a new owner for a Jack Russell who only understands commands said with a French accent

A DOGS’ home in London is looking for someone with a French accent – or who can put one on – to adopt a dog which only understands commands from someone who sounds French.

“Archie” the rough-coated Jack Russell, a rescue dog from the Dogs Trust centre in Harefield, north-west London, has been spending weekends with a French woman, Marie-Hélène Léoni, 57, who is originally from Savoie.

However volunteer Ms Léoni, who works full time as a nursery school teacher, cannot commit to looking after Archie full time because she thinks he would be unhappy on his own at home all day.

Archie understands basic commands in English - the only problem is that now he only recognises them from other people if they use a French accent too...

Carers at Dogs Trust said he reacts so strongly to a French accent they all try to copy Ms Léoni’s accent when they are working with Archie - and are hoping to find someone with a similar accent to adopt him permanently.

Ms Léoni said: “I sing him classic French children's songs like À la Volette, Meunier tu dors and Il était un petit navire and and I call him Poupounette and mon petit chou."

If you, or someone you know, would like to adopt Archie (and you live in the UK) you can contact the centre via its website

Connexion would also like to know if any readers have a bilingual dog – which, for example, understands basic commands in both languages, such as “assis!” and “sit!”. Email us at news [at]

Some other common commands in French include: viens! (come) and reste! (stay), while French users on suggest for “walkies!” using “on va se promener!” or “prom-prom!”.

Photo: Archie with French volunteer Marie-Hélène Léoni

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