Braque du Bourbonnais (pronounced brock-do-bor-bon-nay)
The Braque du Bourbonnais is a muscular pointing dog developed in the Bourbonnais province in France. The dogs have rounded heads and large noses that match the color of the coat. Their eyes are big and either hazel or amber in color. The ears fall along the cheek and may be slightly curled. The tail is set low or docked for working dogs.
Bourbonnais dogs have arched toes and a short coat with fine or coarse hair. Coat colors include chestnut and fawn with ticking and/or spotting. Males are typically 20 to 22 inches tall, and females are 19 to 22 inches tall. The weight average for males is between 40 and 55 pounds, and females are slightly smaller at 35 to 48 pounds. The average life expectancy of a Bourbonnais is 15 years.
The Braque du Bourbonnais appeared in French literature in the early 1500s, and its origin can be traced to the Bourbonnais province in France. The first Club du Braque du Bourbonnais was formed in 1925, and the breed standard was published in 1930. Breeders wanted a naturally tailless dog and started focusing on appearance rather than quality and attributes. As a result, the Bourbonnais breed nearly went extinct. There were no registrations of the dogs between 1963 and 1973.
An effort was started in the 1970s to restore the breed, and in 1982 Michel Comte formed the second breed club. Through his efforts and those of a group of breeders, the revitalization was successful. The new breed standard was published in 1991. The first Bourbonnais appeared in the United States of America in 1988.
The Braque du Bourbonnais was accepted into the Foundation Stock Service by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 2011, and in the same year the Braque du Bourbonnais Club of America was formed. The breed was allowed to compete in AKC events in 2012.
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The Braque du Bourbonnais is an all-purpose hunting and gun dog. They are also companion pets who may participate in conformation and field trials.
Bourbonnais dogs are calm and affectionate and prefer to be with their family members; separation anxiety is likely if they are left alone for long periods of time (some owners reported their Bourbonnais dogs having severe separation anxiety, so this is not a breed to be left alone often). When hunting the dogs are intelligent and focused and adapt easily to various terrains and prey. They are easy to train and learn very quickly. They get along well with other dogs.
This active hunting breed requires daily exercise. They do best with an active family who spends a lot of time outdoors or participates in hunting. Without exercise the dogs can become destructive or exhibit behavioral problems. Bourbonnais dogs are not recommended for apartments unless the owner is regularly active outdoors.
The video shows examples of Bourbonnais dogs and how much they enjoy the outdoors:
Bourbonnais grooming is easy since the dogs shed minimally and only need to be bathed when necessary. Regular maintenance includes keeping the nails trimmed and cleaning the ears and teeth. For Bourbonnais dogs who hunt, they should be checked thoroughly for debris and insects when returning indoors.
Common Health Problems
The Braque du Bourbonnais is a healthy breed of dog. There are a few notable health concerns to be aware of:
- Hip dysplasia
- Eye problems (entropion and ectropion)
- Heart problems (pulmonic stenosis)
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Is the Braque du Bourbonnais the Right Dog for You?
Braque du Bourbonnais dogs are active hunting dogs who love the outdoors, so they are not ideal dogs for the indoor couch potato. They are calm and affectionate with family, and when outdoors their strong pointing instincts take over. They are easy to train and learn quickly, and they get along with other dogs.
Grooming is minimal because of the short coat. An occasional brushing and only bathing when needed will keep this breed’s coat in great shape in addition to a regular grooming routine. Daily exercise is a must for this active breed to let them expel energy and prevent unwanted behaviors. There are a few health problems common for the breed, but they are generally healthy dogs who live around 15 years or longer.
If you are looking for a hunting companion animal or a dog who loves the outdoors with an active family, consider the Braque du Bourbonnais for your next dog.
Adopt, Don’t Buy
Braque du Bourbonnais dogs may be difficult to find for adoption; a search on Petfinder as of this article’s publication date revealed no Bourbonnais dogs in the United States. If you choose to contact a breeder, spend the time to get to know them, view their kennels and be on the lookout for signs that the dogs are suffering.