French Pointing Dog

Other names: Braque Français, Braque Français Gascogne, Braque Français Pyrenees, Braque Français de Grande Taille, Braque Français de Petite Taille, French Pointer, French Pointer Gascogne, French Pointer Pyrenees, Large French Pointer, Small French Pointer

French Pointing Dog
French Pointing Dog

The Braque Francais dog breed consists of 2 different pointer dog types. The Braque Gascogne and the Braque Pyrénées.  During the late 1800s, these two variants of the French Braque hunting dogs were discovered. The Braque Gascogne dog is the larger of the two dogs. During recent years, the Braque Francais dogs have become the most popular of the French pointing dogs. 

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Key facts about the French Pointing Dog

  • Life expectancy : Between 12 and 14 years
  • Temperament : Affectionate, Playful, Calm, Intelligent, Hunter
  • Size : Large
  • Type of coat : Very short
  • Price : Between £700 and £900

FCI Group

FCI Group

Group 7 - Pointing Dogs

Section

Section 1 : Continental Pointing Dogs

Physical characteristics of the French Pointing Dog

Adult size

Female dog Between 22 and 27 in
Male dog Between 23 and 27 in

Weight

Female dog Between 37 and 55 lb
Male dog Between 37 and 55 lb

Coat colour

Chestnut brown, either solid or mixed with white, or sometimes white with or without ticking, roan or tan markings.

Type of coat

The Braque Francais has a smooth, fairly short coat. The Pyrenean type has a tighter skin, whole the Gascogne type has a loose skin and noticeably thicker hair.

Eye colour

Chestnut brown or dark yellow.

Description

As mentioned, there are 2 different types of Braque Francais. One originates from the Southwest of France and the other from the central Pyrenean areas. These dogs are the natural choice for any game and bird hunters, knowing instinctively what needs to be done in the field, without being instructed constantly. 

The Braque Gascogne is the larger of the 2 dogs, with a squarer muzzle and a thicker coat. The Pyrenean dog has a finer coat, a broader head and a more mottled-brown coat colour.
 

Varieties

Braque Français (Pyrenees)

Braque Français (Gascogne)

Temperament

Affectionate

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These dogs are extremely loving and affectionate with their owners and enjoy spending time with humans.

Playful

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The French Pointer is an obedient dog and likewise, very sociable, submissive and gentle. A great choice of dog to have around children.

Calm

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The smart Braque Francais is known as a soft breed and is very gentle and calm. 

Intelligent

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Certainly a very intelligent breed that responds well to training routines.

Hunter

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As natural bird hunters, it’s commonly said that the Braque Francais is born half-trained. While the Pyrenees Braque is a fast moving dog when hunting, the Gascogne is a slower moving dog. 

Fearful / wary of strangers

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Although the Braque Francais isn’t a natural guard dog, he is more likely to make friends with any strangers he meets.

Independent

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These Braque dogs just love to perform their tasks often without much training needed. 

Behaviour of the French Pointing Dog

Tolerates solitude

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While they make loving and affectionate companions, if left alone for too long the Braque Francais can suffer from separation anxiety

Easy to train / obedience

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As a breed that loves to please their master, this Braque Francais dog responds well to training. However, he can be quite sensitive when corrected, so consistent and gentle training methods are needed. 

Barking

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These dogs are not known to be excessive barkers, even when confronted with an unknown person.

Tendency to run away

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As a hunting dog, the Braque Francais certainly relishes an outdoor and active life. He prefers to be kept active and occupied, or he will take to running off by himself. 

Destructive

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Providing the French Pointer is adequately occupied and exercised, there should be no destructive behaviours.

Greedy / Gluttony

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As a sporty, active dog breed, the Braque Francais needs a very nutritious diet, to meet his stamina and needs. He is not generally a greedy dog breed.

Guard dog

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Generally, the Braque Francais isn’t a natural guard dog. In fact, he is more likely to make friends with an intruder, rather than warning him off.

First dog

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Sociable yet sensitive, this well-balanced canine gets along very well in the company of humans. Although he is a hunting dog breed, the Braque Francais also thrives in a family setting. As non-dominant dogs, they are a good choice even for an inexperienced owner. 

Lifestyle

French Pointing Dog in a flat

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Although due to his size, the French Pointer isn’t the first choice of dog to live in a flat, he will settle happily into a family house. This is ideal for any part-time hunters, who want a loving house pet too. This breed enjoys having a large outside area to run around.

Need for exercise / Sporty

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As a hunting dog breed, the Braque Francais is a very energetic and active canine. Daily mental and physical stimulation is necessary, both indoors and outside.

Travelling / easy to transport

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As an amendable dog, the Braque Francais will happily travel in a dog cage in the rear of a car, especially if this is on route to the hunting field. 

Compatibility

French Pointing Dog and cats

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As a hunting dog, this breed is not the best choice to live in a household where cats are present. 

French Pointing Dog and dogs

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The French Pointer has no problems when living and socialising with other dogs.

French Pointing Dog and children

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Providing that the children and the dogs have been brought up living together from a young age, they will get along just fine together. However, due to the dog’s size, they may be too boisterous when around small toddlers.

French Pointing Dog and the elderly

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In most cases, the Braque Francais is a relatively docile, gentle dog. Providing his daily exercise needs are met, he will make a loving pet for an elderly person.

Price

You will expect to pay between £700 to £900 to purchase a Braque Francais dog. In addition, feeding costs, veterinary fees, and pet insurance will cost between £70 to £100 per month.

Grooming

With his sleek coat with short, tight hair, grooming the French Pointer doesn’t need to be time consuming. Daily tooth brushing will help with the dog’s dental health. As this breed has floppy ears, frequent cleaning of them is advised to prevent any infections. 

Shedding

The Braque Francais is considered to be an average shedder. The Braque Gascogne sheds slightly more than the Pyrenean dog. 

Nutrition of the French Pointing Dog

This medium to large dog breed is an energetic working canine. He needs to be given a specially-formulated diet suited to hunting dogs. Choose a foodstuff that contains high quality ingredients.

Health of the French Pointing Dog

Life expectancy

Generally a healthy dog breed with no recognised and documented health issues. Like many other sporting dogs, hip and elbow dysplasia may cause some problems, while eye problems are more common. The average life expectancy for this breed is 12 to 14 years.

Strong / robust

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Certainly a dog with great stamina, who is able to hunt constantly for many hours. 

Withstand heat

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As the Braque Francais is a short haired dog, he tolerates the heat of the summer quite well. 

Withstand cold

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This breed is capable of hunting over all terrains, in all weathers. Cooler temperatures won’t prevent him carrying out his hunting expeditions. He will happily jump into cold water as he retrieves game birds.

Tendency to put on weight

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As a very energetic and active dog, he isn’t prone to gaining weight while he is working. However, a more senior dog who lives a sedentary life in the home will be more prone to gaining weight. 

Common illnesses

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Luxating patella/Patellar luxation
  • Cataracts
  • Entropion
  • Ectropion
  • Progressive retinal atrophy/PRA
  • Pannus
  • Demodicosis/Demodectic mange/Memodex mange
  • Cleft lip/palate
  • Acral mutilation syndrome
  • Aortic stenosis 

Good to know

Although the French Pointer is a relatively uncommon and unknown breed, some hunters, especially located in North America, would not hunt with any other breed of dog. Loyal owners are attached to these sporting dogs not only for their sporting abilities, but also due to their intelligence and docile personalities. The very first Braque Francais dog that was taken and introduced to North American hunters was Maffia de l’etang du Marcenac.

Origins and history

Dating back to the 15th century, the Braque Francais breed of hunting dogs first appeared in the South of France. 

Names

Eclair, Fondue, Lille, Versailles

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