|Height:||18.5 – 23 inches|
|Weight:||40 – 55 pounds|
|Lifespan:||12 – 15 years|
|Colors:||Red & White|
|Suitable for:||Active families, hunters|
|Temperament:||Friendly, obedient, active|
The Braque Francais is a hunting dog that likely originated from very old gun dogs and pointing dogs. There are two main types of this breed – a small one and a larger one. Both originate from the south of France, where they are still popular today. Outside of this area, they are quite rare.
These dogs do function as pointers for the most part. However, they can also retrieve, flush, and trail game of all sorts. This allows them to be extremely useful for a wide variety of hunters and is likely one reason why they still remain popular today. The smaller variant is extremely fast and agile, allowing it to catch up with quick game without sprinting. The larger variant is slower due to its larger size.
This dog generally falls into the medium category. Their coat is short and rugged, much like other pointers. It is believed that this breed is the ancestor to many of the shorthaired pointers we know today.
These dogs often love water, which allows them to retrieve waterfowl. However, the Pyrenean version is the most water-friendly, which may also be one reason why it is more popular.
Braque Francais Puppies – Before You Get One…
3 Little-Known Facts About the Braque Francais
1. They are common in France.
If you live outside of southern France, you have likely only seen these dogs very rarely, if at all. However, in southern France, they are popular hunting dogs.
They are fairly common and used for very practical purposes, like hunting. In some cases, these dogs need to be imported from France, where they are easy to come by. It is difficult to locate breeders elsewhere in the world.
2. They are versatile hunting dogs.
Most people know the Braque Francais as a pointer. However, they are actually very versatile. They can be used to track and retrieve game, as well as point them out. This is one reason they have remained so popular today. They are simply so useful for hunters. It is thought that most pointer breeds we currently have are descended from this specific dog breed.
3. They are very old.
This breed has existed since at least the 15th century. They descend from a very old gun dog that is currently extinct. Over time, this breed was crossed with others to improve its hunting abilities. This led to many of the modern pointers we have. In the 19th century, the original dog was traced back to Southern France, where it is still being utilized as a versatile hunting dog.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Braque Francais
The Braque Francais is a very practical breed. They have not undergone much show breeding, where dogs are mostly bred for confirmation. Instead, they are still largely used as hunting dogs today, with the healthiest, best dogs being bred to produce the next generation.
This breed is relatively friendly with just about everyone. They get along with other people and dogs but aren’t nearly as excitable as other dogs. They are pack-oriented animals, so they do very well with other dogs. However, their prey-drive means that they will chase small “game” – even if that happens to be your cat. For this reason, they are not suitable for homes with small animals.
They bond very closely with their human companions. They are extremely affectionate and will happily cuddle with their family, as well as any strangers that happen to come through the door. They do enjoy spending time with people and can be quite people-oriented. They may suffer from isolation anxiety if left alone for an extended period.
This is different from separation anxiety in that they aren’t worried about being apart from a specific person. Instead, they just don’t like being alone. It doesn’t matter who they are with, as long as they are not all by themselves.
This dog does require plenty of socialization and training from a young age. They are smart, so they learn relatively quickly. Even after they have learned the basics, it is important to keep training and work on more advanced commands. These dogs require quite a bit of mental stimulation due to their intelligence, and training meets this need very well.
Of course, you can find other ways of mentally stimulating them as well. For instance, these dogs do very well with canine agility and similar sports. Puzzle toys are often a great option and don’t require much input on the owner’s end, making them a suitable choice to use when you are gone during the day.
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪
Yes. As long as their stimulation needs are met, they make very good family dogs. They are friendly with just about everyone and bond equally with all members of their family. They get along well with both small children and younger children. They are just the right size to avoid being harmed by rambunctious toddlers, but not quite large enough to knock children over frequently either.
They enjoy being with their family, though they don’t always require that they are the center of attention. They enjoy hanging out in the same area as their family but generally keep out of the way. If you’re looking for a friendly but not very needy family dog, this is a good option.
While these dogs can be good companion animals, they are largely used for hunting today. For this reason, many of them are bred with hunting in mind – not necessarily as pets. This dog will have a significant prey drive, even if kept as purely family animals.
Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?
They get along just great with dogs. They have a bit of a pack mentality, so they generally get along just well with other canines. However, early socialization is still required, just like it is with any puppy. You should take them to play with other dogs regularly so that they become skilled in communicating with other animals. Otherwise, they can develop problems with other dogs later on.
They generally aren’t territorial or protective, even with members of the opposite sex. However, if they never see another dog, they may be a bit unsure and aloof when they do get close to one.
With that said, these dogs do not get along well with other pets. They have a fairly high prey drive, which often means that they will chase other animals. This includes cats, as well as just about any other small pet. Due to their extremely high hunting drive, you can’t socialize this away. These dogs will always chase smaller animals, so we do not recommend them for homes with other pets.
Typically, they will not see smaller dogs as prey, so they tend to be safe. Of course, you should keep your eye on them until they settle down and become used to each other.
Things to Know When Owning a Barque Francais
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
These dogs do not have any specific dietary requirements. They often thrive off of just about any dog food available commercially. With that said, we do recommend feeding a high-quality diet. Look for formulas that are high in meat and protein, especially if your dog is on the more active side. This will help your canine build and maintain lean muscles and may prevent further health problems.
These dogs are not prone to health problems related to diet. They aren’t at any particular risk of developing food allergies or anything of that sort.
However, this doesn’t mean that they can’t develop food allergies or similar problems. There is usually little reason to feed them a limited-ingredient diet or one that is grain-free. In fact, a grain-inclusive diet may be the best option for most dogs.
Of course, your particular dog’s health is unique. Some dogs do develop allergies and health issues that are related to their diet. If this is the case with your dog, you should speak to your vet about the best diet for them.
We do recommend that you switch your dog’s diet often. This prevents deficiencies and allergies. Dogs were not made to eat the same them every day, so it often helps to switch flavors or have a few different brands that you switch between every month or so.
These dogs need lots of activity, though they don’t tend to act very energetic. They are laidback hunting dogs, but they still need a few hours of activity a day to thrive. Otherwise, they may be a bit too eager to go after things, which can lead to destructive behavior, jumping fences, and similar problem behaviors. This is often the largest problem for owners – meeting these dogs’ needs can be difficult.
When it comes to exercising these dogs, you’ll often have to get creative. You may want to consider walks, but these will likely not be enough to meet your dog’s needs completely. A fenced-in backyard can be extremely useful for keeping these animals active without wearing yourself out. Simple games like fetch are often a great option if you have somewhere for these dogs to run. Because they are retrieving dogs, they often naturally take to fetch and enjoy it quite a bit.
They are intelligent enough to play games like hide-and-seek. This can also be a suitable form of exercise as long as they are moving a lot during each round.
Consider training these dogs for canine sports like agility and obedience. Even if you don’t plan on competing, these can be a great way to meet your dog’s needs.
These dogs are smart and eager to please. They are very easy to train and generally listen to commands very easily.
Their intelligence does mean that they need quite a bit of mental stimulation. Training is a great way to achieve this. Often, this dog can meet their mental exercise needs with a few quick training sessions spread throughout the day. You can work these into your routine, such as having your dog perform a few tricks before mealtime. You should teach new commands regularly to keep your dog challenged. Simply asking them to “sit” isn’t going to keep them challenged for very long.
You can also keep them entertained in other ways. For instance, you may want to consider investing in some puzzle toys. These toys are specifically designed to challenge your dog as they try to retrieve the treat. If you must be gone for a few hours each day, setting these toys up before you leave is a great way to provide your dog with some entertainment while you’re gone. They come in many different challenge levels, so you can find one that best fits your canine.
The Braque Francais does not require much regular grooming. They are very low-maintenance dogs. They may need weekly brushing to remove some loose hairs and debris from their coat. This should be very quick and easy.
Baths are only required when your dog gets visibly dirty. If your puppy rolls in mud, they will probably need a bath. Beyond this, it is best to simply brush them. Too much bathing can quickly wear down your canine’s natural oils and cause problems with your pet’s skin and coat. You should only bathe them very occasionally and use a sensitive soap when you do.
You will need to trim their nails regularly, as they grow quite fast. If you can hear your dog’s nails clicking on hard surfaces, it is time to trim them. You can do this at home or take them to a groomer. Many groomers allow for quick appointments just to trim your dog’s nails.
Their ears will need to be cleaned regularly, as they are prone to trapping dirt and debris inside them. This can cause ear infections if they are not cleaned. You should preferably check and clean the ears about once a week when you brush your dog. You should also brush your dog’s teeth regularly to prevent infections and tooth problems.
Health and Conditions 🏥
This breed is extremely healthy. They are not prone to any particular health problem and do not have any serious genetic concerns. Hip and elbow dysplasia can be a problem, though they are significantly less prominent than for other breeds. Feeding your puppy appropriately when they are growing can go a long way to preventing this disease. If a puppy eats too many calories, it can cause them to grow at an uneven rate. The socket of the joint may grow faster than the ball, for instance. This will cause wear-and-tear, leading to hip dysplasia.
Progressive retinal atrophy may be a slight problem. There have not been enough studies done over this breed to determine the full extent of this genetic disorder, but we do know that it affects similar breeds of dogs. Because this is a genetic problem, breeders who use proper health screenings can have a significant impact on the puppy’s health.
Male vs Female
There is no significant difference between the two genders of this dog breed. They are both about the same size and have similar temperaments. Neither is particularly territorial or aggressive, even towards dogs of the same gender.
The Braque Francais is a rare dog outside of southern France. Used as an all-around hunting dog, they can perform many functions in the field and are particularly good at fowl hunting. They can point, as well as retrieve. Many are even good trackers.
Today, they are still mostly utilized as hunting dogs. However, they can make good companion animals as long as their needs are met. They are friendly with just about everyone and are not prone to any significant behavioral problems. They are active and intelligent, which means they need regular physical and mental exercise. If you can provide this, they make great family pets.
Featured Image Credit: Zuzule, Shutterstock