The Braques Français is a hunting dog, from a very old type of gun dog used for hunting, pointing, retrieving, and tracking game such as deer, rabbit, and fox. The word braque means “to point”. The original Braque Français has existed since the fifteenth century.
Centuries after centuries, the dogs were brought to other countries and were crossed with other dog breeds.
Using Chien d’Oysel, Old Spanish Pointer, and the Southern Hound and various European hounds as their rootstock (although this has never been proven scientifically or otherwise), early fanciers began to develop dogs that embodied all of the attributes they wanted.
This led to the creation of the Braque Français.
There are two versions of Braque Français, both from the south of France: Braque Français, type Gascogne (larger breed) and the Braque Français, type Pyrénées (a smaller breed).
Both types are two distinct breeds that are relatively similar in appearance and function but differ in size.
Nowadays, both the Canadian Kennel Club and the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association(NAVHDA) recognize the Braque Francais Pyrenees.
On the other hand, the United Kennel Club recognizes both breeds, although the UKC refers to the two breeds by their original French names: the Braque Francais, De Petite Taille (for the Pyrenean version) and the Braque Francais, De Grande Taille (for the larger Gascogne version). The breed remains rare outside of its native France.
Traits and Behavior
The breed resembles the German Short-haired Pointer, but many dog owners claim that the Braque Francais is more stable, less stubborn and easier to train than the German Short-haired Pointer.
It is a dog that is very energetic and loves to work. They also love to be in their pack, so ideally, if dog owners decide to have a Braques Français as a household pet, they should have more than just one dog of this particular breed.
These dogs can live most of the time outside the house (provided with a kennel). Having a sweet personality, they are gentle and affectionate towards children.
However, they can sometimes become stubborn, which can make training difficult.
Because these are active hunting dogs are usually kept in rural areas, they are not suitable to live in the city, especially in an apartment-type of living condition.
The nose of the Braques Français is powerful enough to pick up any scent and trace it back to its source. Because of this superior quality, the dog might get curious the moment it smells anything unusual and would tend to follow its location. If you live near the streets, this is quite dangerous.
A fully fenced yard is necessary to keep them isolated on your property. But if you are hunting with this dog, they should always be on a leash so you wouldn’t lose them when they get excited.
Pet Care and Diseases
These high-energy dogs need a lot of exercise and activity to stay healthy. They won’t do well in enclosed spaces like apartments and would prefer a home with a yard in which they can roam around. Braques Français requires at least hour-long walks or runs to stay fit.
If not given adequate exercise, they tend to become agitated, anxious, and destructive. Games like fetch and runs are good for this breed. There aren’t a lot of studies concerned with the health of the Braques Français because they are generally healthy dogs.
However, it is recommended that pet owners should have their pets checked up at Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF). Both of these foundations test dogs for potential health defects, which may be beneficial in controlling any disease early.
Other health concerns include:
- Hip dysplasia
- Progressive retinal atrophy
- Entropian – folding inward of the eyelid
- Ectropion – folding outward of the eyelid
- Distichiasis – ingrown eyelashes
A common infection in this breed involves their ears. Regular ear cleaning should be practised. Keeping the ears dry and free from dirt is important to prevent ear infections. On the other hand, Braques Français are fairly easy to groom. They don’t need any special grooming. Weekly brushing of the coat is enough for them.
Both breeds of Braque Français (Braque Français, type Gascogne and the Braque Français, type Pyrénées) are medium to large-sized dogs with long legs and long drop ears look very similar except for their size. The tail is traditionally docked but may also be long, or naturally short.
The coat is short, typically liver and white or cinnamon and white (traces of black are considered disqualifications for Braque Francais in the major breed registries) in color and have a sturdy but athletic build and folded, high-set ears.
The Braque Francais Pyrenees stands between 19-23 inches at the withers while the Gascogne version falls between 23-27 inches at the withers.
The Pyrenees variety weighs between 38-55 pounds and is generally thinner and more agile than the larger Gascogne.
The Pyrenees should also have a slimmer, less compact head than the larger Gascogne, although the muzzle of the Pyrenees should never be snipey. Both breed standards disqualify dogs that are overly timid or hostile.
The breed is expected to live for 14-15 years. A litter may consist of 4-5 puppies. French Pointer, French Pyrenean Pointer, and Small-Sized French Setter are among its few other names.
Visit this dog club website dedicated to Braque Francais. Click this link: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/braque-francais-pyrenean/
Watch this video: “Dick, Braque Francais Pyrenee…”
Watch this video: “…Braque Francais Pyreneen”