- Activity Level: high
- Grooming Level: moderate
- Trainability: high
- Adaptability: moderate
- Kid/Pet Friendly: often
- Average Size: Medium
- Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
- Prey Drive: high
- Watchdog: very alert
- Registered?: other
Braque Francais Breed Profile
Did You Know?
The Braque Francais, also called the French Pointing Dog, originated in France in the 15th century. They are descendants of two old gun dog breeds – the Southern Hound, which is now extinct, and the Old Spanish Pointer. They were rustic hunting dogs that were prized for their skill in identifying the location of game birds.
Over time, the Braque Francais made it to various countries where it was crossed with other breeds. Towards the end of the 19th century, interest in the breed piqued and there was a search for the original dogs. Two distinct types of Braque Francais were discovered – the Pyrenean type and the Gascogne type.
The Pyrenean type was bred to be a smaller, faster, and leaner version while the Gascogne type was bred to be larger and heavier to stay truer to their classic gun dog ancestors. The first Braque Francais breed club formed in the early 20th century. Although the Braque Francais Pyrenean is the more popular of the two French Pointing Dogs, the breed club supports both types of Braque Francais and each has its own separate standards.
Both types are recognized by the French Kennel Club, the World Canine Organization, and the United Kennel Club. The Canadian Kennel Club only recognizes the Braque Francais Gascogne and the American Kennel Club includes the Pyrenean type in their Foundation Stock Service.
The Braque Francais tends to be a sociable dog with a friendly nature and a gentle disposition. They tend to be even-tempered and docile dogs that love their families and thrive on attention and affection from them.
French Pointing Dogs tend to get along with children, other dogs, and even strangers. As a hunting dog, they do have a high prey drive, so they may need some extra socialization and training if there are other smaller pets in the household. They do not tend to bark a lot, but can be trained into it on purpose or by accident.
This is a moderately adaptable dog breed. They tend to be better suited to larger homes with fenced-in yards where they can run. They can adapt to apartment living as long as they get enough exercise, mental stimulation, and attention. But, as a high-energy dog breed, making sure they get enough exercise requires effort, especially in an apartment or smaller home without fenced yards.
They do well in most climates. As with any dog breed, they are sensitive to heat and to extreme cold. Due to their high energy and desire for human company, they should not be left alone for long periods of time. Also, their high prey drive and urge to chase means they should only be let off-leash in securely fenced areas.
With good breeding, the Braque Francais is a healthy dog breed that doesn’t have potential breed-specific conditions associated with it. This is not to say these dogs will never experience any health issues, but there aren’t documented breed-specific concerns to be aware of.
Nevertheless, you want to talk to the breeder about the genetic and health history of both parents. Reputable breeders will screen their stock to make sure nothing avoidable is being passed on to puppies, so don’t be afraid to ask.
A Braque Francais is a highly trainable dog breed. They are intelligent and eager to please with a submissive, docile, and obedient nature. This makes them a good fit for dog owners of any experience level.
They tend to be quite sensitive, so it’s important to keep training methods positive and focused on praise and reward. Although this dog breed usually doesn’t need a lot of behavioral training, puppy training classes can still be a good idea. Not only will they reinforce any training you’re doing at home, but they also often offer opportunities to socialize a puppy.
The Braque Francais has a short coat that will shed a little year-round and little heavier as the seasons change. Weekly brushing and the occasional bath as needed are usually enough to keep this dog’s coat looking great.
In addition to coat care, you will also need to care for your French Pointing Dog’s nails, ears, and teeth. Cutting your dog’s nails monthly is usually sufficient to keep nails from growing too long. But, it may need to be done more often if your dog’s nails just grow quickly or if they are not wearing down as much naturally.
Although droopy, floppy ears are adorable, they are also more prone to ear infections because they are more likely to trap dirt, moisture, wax, and more. By checking ears weekly and carefully cleaning your dog’s ears as needed, you can help prevent ear infections. Ears should be clean, dry, free of debris and pests, and should not be showing signs of redness or irritation. If you see irritation, redness, excess wax, smelly or discolored discharge, ear mites, or excessive wax, it’s time to visit the vet.
It’s also important to practice good dental care for dogs. Just as you need to take care of your teeth to prevent disease, the same is true for your dog. But, canine dental care is often overlooked or ignored, which is why gum disease is one of the most common health issues in dogs. By brushing your dog’s teeth or using an enzyme toothpaste every day, you can help prevent painful dental disease like gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss later in life.
The Braque Francais was bred for hard work in the field, which meant a lot of energy and endurance. This makes them a high-energy dog breed. Daily walks plus some time to run and extra activity are usually enough for a French Pointing Dog. Granted, they will also likely be up for more activity if you are. They will often just be happy to be active with you.
This dog breed usually has an affinity for water, so don’t be afraid to try going swimming with your dog. You can also try going on a hike, running with them, playing frisbee, taking trips to the dog park, and more. The Braque Francais also tends to be a great fit for training for dog sports like obedience, rally, agility, dock diving, and more.
A fully-grown Braque Francais usually stands 18-27 inches tall and weighs 40-80 pounds. The Pyrenean type is smaller and usually stands 18-23 inches tall and weighs 40-55 pounds. Being slightly larger, the Gascogne type usually stands 22-27 inches tall and weighs 45-80 pounds.
A Braque Francais generally lives 12-15 years.
Although this dog breed has been around for hundreds of years, they are still popular mostly in France and relatively rare everywhere else.