Braque d’Auvergne

April 12, 2012

The Braque d’Auvergne also known as Auvergne Ponter and Bleu d’Auvergne is a rare breed of versatile dog. This breed of dog is highly valued not only for its elegant appearance but also for being an outstanding hunting dog that makes a great home companion as well. A Braque d’ Auverge points, tracks and retrieves. Truly a hunter at heart, the dog will not be hampered by adverse weather conditions. This passionate and tireless hunter will not baulk at difficult terrain. This is an intelligent breed. The dog is capable of hunting independently but true to being a hunter’s loyal and dependable companion, the dog would work closely with its master and would frequently check what the master wants to be done. The Braque d’ Auvergne is a woodcock and partridge specialist. Untrained puppies will exhibit a strong pointing aptitude that will be perfected as they mature. Big boned but not sluggish, this breed makes an excellent retriever as well because this dog loves the water. The Braque d’Auvergne is famous for its economic gallop – even rhythmic short jumps interspersed with trots.

This tough dog that has an endless enthusiasm when working calls France home. This breed was developed in the historic province of Auvergne in mid-south of France. The Braque d’Auvergne has been in existence for over two hundred years but the precise origin of the breed is unknown. Historians have varied theories on how this wonderful breed was developed or how the dogs came to the Cantal regions of France. However, one thing is certain, The Braque d’Auvergne is a favorite amongst hunters not only because of its good nose and excellent hunting abilities but also because of its well balanced temperament.

Information

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Appearance

The Braque d’ Auvergne is a strongly boned robust dog. The harmonious proportion of the dog is enhanced by the striking color of the coat to give the breed an elegant appearance. This dog weighs from 49 to 62 pounds and stands from 22 to 25 inches. This is a square shaped breed – length of the body from the shoulders to the buttocks is equal to the height measured at the withers. The long head is proportionate to the size of the body. The skull is almost oval in shape. The stop is moderately marked. The level muzzle is almost of the same length as the skull. This dog has a rather broad nose that is shiny, always black in color and has well opened nostrils. Large oval shaped eyes have a dark hazel color and exhibit a kind and expressive look. Set on the rear of the skull, the supple and satiny ears are carried in drop ear fashion. Drawn forward the rounded tip will reach the root of the nose.

The Braque d’ Auvergne has a rather long and slightly arched neck. The neck may have a slight dewlap. The dog has a narrow, flat and straight topline. The wide loin is slightly convex. Long and deep chest reaches the level of the elbows. The cylindrical tail that is set on rather high is carried horizontally. Undocked tail reaches the hocks. In countries where docking is allowed, the tail is docked to half its length or to about 15 to 20 inches in length. Harmoniously attached to muscular shoulders are long and strong forelegs. This dog has well muscled thighs and parallel hind legs. Fine skin that covers the dog rather loosely has short shiny hair that is not hard to the touch. The white base coat color has black mottling and large black spots. The black mottling gives the dog’s coat a bluish color. The head and the ears are always black. The black head may have a white blaze on the muzzle that extends to the skull.

Personality

The Braque d’ Avergne is a hardy working dog that easily adapts to and performs well in any kind of environment. These dogs would be in their element when hunting with their masters. These energetic dogs would seem to have a bottomless enthusiasm to track to point and to retrieve. However, this serious worker has an affectionate, loyal and gentle nature. These qualities make the dog an ideal home companion. At home this energetic dog would exhibit a docile temperament. The dog is gentle and playful with the children and tolerates dogs and other pets especially when raised with the other pets from puppyhood. This is an intelligent breed. Many Braque d’Auverge excel in agility and obedience competitions. The dog trains easily as it is noted to have the canine eagerness to please attitude. Some specimens though would manifest a stubborn streak. An owner must be firm and use positive training methods. This versatile breed would do well in apartment, in a home in the city or in the country as long as they are given opportunities to exercise.

Care

One of the pluses in taking a Braque d’Auvergne is its low maintenance coat. This short coated breed would not need extensive grooming. An owner simply needs to brush the coat occasionally to maintain its good condition. Too frequent bathing is not recommended as it will remove the natural oils of the skin. The Braque d’ Auvergne is a working dog. It is expected to have high exercise requirements. It is necessary to take the dog for long walks if a fenced in yard where the dog can play is not available. This is a fairly healthy breed. The dog has a 12 to 13 years life expectancy. This breed though is prone to ear infections because of its long drooping ears. Ears must be regularly cleaned most especially if the dog has gone hunting.

History

The Braque d’ Auvergne is a large breed of pointing dog that is commonly seen hunting in the mountain region of Auvergne. This elegant breed is noted for its light and flowing gait. The excellent scenting ability is one of the dog’s assets that are highly valued by hunters. The Braque d’Auvergne also known as Auvergne Pointing Dog has been around for over two centuries. This breed has been in existence in the Cantal region of France since the late 1700s but its origin is still a point of issue. How the dog came to France and how the breed was developed is still a mystery up to these days. Historians have different theories on how this hunting breed was developed. It was believed that the dogs were developed by hunters wanting to have a tireless hunting dog. Different breeds of French dogs were crossed and resulted to the present day Braque d’Auvergne. It was otherwise believed that this breed has directly descended from French pointers and that the breed was developed and flourished in the Cantal region. The Braque d’Auvergne is a French breed. The name itself signifies that the breed was developed in the historic Auvergne province. However, it was speculated that the breed was developed in Malta when the island is under the governance of the Sovereign Order of the Malta. The Knights of Malta were sent to France when Napoleon occupied Malta during the Napoleonic wars. In 1798, the knights arrived in France bringing home the dogs from Malta. These dogs that were crossed with local dogs became the ancestors of the Braque d’Auvergne. This theory is more preferred and accepted. At some point in the breed’s development, the English Pointer was introduced to the gene pool further enhancing the breed’s appearance and hunting abilities. A breed standard for the Braque d’Auvergne was written in the early 20th century.

The World War 11 greatly decimated dog population. The Braque d’Auvergne is on the brink of extinction. Fortunately some dogs survived and from these remaining specimens, the Braque d’Auvergne was restored. Careful breeding has somehow increased the numbers but breed population is still worryingly low but it is not in imminent danger of extinction. The Braque d’ Auvergne is still considered as a rare breed. These dogs are seldom seen outside its country of origin. This excellent hunter adapts well to being a home companion as it has an affectionate, obedient and gentle temperament. The Braque d’Auvergne is officially recognized by FCI and classified as continental pointing dog.

 

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