The Braque du Bourbonnais: A Rare Gem in the Pointing Breed

Braque du Bourbonnais

The Braque du Bourbonnais, also known as the Bourbonnais Pointer, is a distinguished and ancient breed that originates from France. Known for its unique "ticked" or "flecked" coat and impressive hunting capabilities, this breed has experienced a remarkable resurgence after nearly facing extinction. This article provides an in-depth look at the Braque du Bourbonnais, covering everything from its historical origins to its specific care needs.

Breed Summary

Country of Origin: France
AKC Breed Popularity:
AKC Classification: Foundation Stock Service
UKC Classification: Gun dog group
Exercise Requirements: 30 minutes/day
Height: Female: 19-22 inches.; Male: 19-22.5 inches
Weight: Female: 35-53 lbs.; Male: 35-53 lbs
Physical traits: Medium-sized, Compact, Muscular
Coat: Length: Short
Characteristics: Fine, dense
Colors: Fawn ticked, Brown ticked
Overall Grooming Needs: Moderate
Personality traits/Temperament: Affectionate, Adaptable, Gentle
Energy Level: Average
Tendency to Drool: Average
Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: Low
Tendency to Dig: Low
Social/Attention Needs: Average
Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

Origin of the Braque du Bourbonnais

The Braque du Bourbonnais dates back to the late 1500s in the historic province of Bourbonnais in France. Originally bred as a versatile gun dog, it was highly prized for its ability to point and retrieve under a variety of conditions. The breed nearly disappeared after World War II due to stringent breeding standards that overly emphasized certain physical traits. However, dedicated breeders in the 1970s initiated a revival program, focusing on health and ability rather than just appearance, which led to the breed's modern-day resurgence.

Appearance

The Braque du Bourbonnais is a medium-sized breed, typically standing 18 to 22.5 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing between 35 to 55 pounds. The breed is well-known for its distinctive coat, which can be either fawn or liver, often with a fine mottling of color that creates a ticked appearance. They have a robust yet elegant build, with a short, fine coat, a slightly rounded head, and expressive eyes that convey a gentle disposition.

Temperament

The Braque du Bourbonnais is celebrated for its calm and affectionate temperament. They are known to be particularly gentle with children, making them excellent family pets. In the field, they are tenacious and skilled hunters, exhibiting a strong pointing instinct and a natural retrieving ability. They are equally content to spend time relaxing at home as they are working outdoors, demonstrating a balanced personality that adapts well to various living situations.

Health Outlook

Braque du Bourbonnais typically enjoy a long lifespan, generally living between 12 to 15 years. They are a relatively healthy breed, but like all dogs, they can be prone to certain health issues. These may include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and ear infections due to their pendulous ears. Skin conditions such as dry, itchy skin can also affect them, particularly if they are frequently exposed to harsh environmental conditions. Regular use of a premium dog shampoo can help maintain skin health and coat quality, providing relief from irritation and promoting overall skin health.

Nutritional Requirements

Proper nutrition is vital for maintaining the health and vitality of a Braque du Bourbonnais. A diet rich in high-quality proteins and fats, tailored to their activity level, is ideal. Including a complete healthy multivitamin can support their dietary needs, ensuring they receive essential nutrients for joint health, immune system support, and energy metabolism.

Exercise Requirement

As an active hunting breed, the Braque du Bourbonnais requires regular, vigorous exercise to stay healthy and happy. They thrive on having plenty of space to run and explore, and they excel in activities that challenge both their mind and body, such as hunting, agility, and obedience training.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Braque du Bourbonnais

Pros:

  • Excellent hunting skills and a keen sense of smell.
  • Gentle and affectionate with families, good with children.
  • Relatively easy to train due to their intelligent and eager-to-please nature.

Cons:

  • Requires significant daily exercise, not suited for sedentary lifestyles.
  • Can be stubborn at times, requiring consistent and patient training.
  • Prone to separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods.

Space Requirements

The Braque du Bourbonnais is best suited to a home with a large yard or access to open spaces where they can exercise freely. They are not ideal for apartment living due to their need for regular physical activity.

Suitability for Elderly

This breed may not be the best choice for elderly owners unless they are particularly active and can meet the dog's exercise needs.

Suitability for Kids

Their gentle nature makes the Braque du Bourbonnais an excellent companion for children, with whom they typically form strong, affectionate bonds.

Cost

The cost of a Braque du Bourbonnais puppy can range from $1,200 to $2,500, depending on the breeder’s reputation and the availability of puppies.

What Should the Owner Be Like?

An ideal owner of a Braque du Bourbonnais should be active, enjoy spending time outdoors, and be willing to engage in regular training and exercise routines. They should also appreciate the breed's dual nature as both a dedicated hunting dog and a loving family pet.

Fun Facts

  1. The Braque du Bourbonnais is sometimes referred to as the "short-tailed pointer" because many puppies are born with naturally short tails.
  2. This breed's revival was so successful that it has now been reestablished in countries far beyond its French origins, including across Europe and North America.

Conclusion

The Braque du Bourbonnais is a capable and charming breed, ideal for those who can provide an active and engaging lifestyle. With the right care, training, and companionship, a Braque du Bourbonnais can be a devoted and delightful member of any family.

Are you familiar with the Boston Terrier or have this wonderful breed in your family?

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