Auvergne Pointer (Braque d'Auvergne)

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black with white markings of variable importance
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Good with kids:
Pros Cons
  • forms strong bonds with its master
  • easy to groom
  • great hunter
  • great companion
  • needs a lot of daily exercises
  • can be stubborn
  • poor guardian

The Auvergne Pointer is an all-purpose proficient French gun dog, which was developed in the second half of the XVIII century. Unlike most of modern sporting breeds today it primarily serves as a dependable hunter’s companion. The breed hasn’t yet gained massive following outside its native country although it has good potential of making a sweet-tempered and obedient companion animal.

The Auvergne Pointer’s origin dates back to the end of the XVIII century and it’s usually referred as one of the oldest local varieties of French Braque. The breed had appeared long before organised breeding became a common practice. So its ancestry remains the matter of speculation rather than concrete facts. Some experts assume that it was developed solely from local Braque d’Auvergne while others claim that other breeds may have been used in the process. The most probable candidates for this role are the Grand Bleu de Gascogne and the Petit Bleu de Gascogne, which gave the breed its original coloration.

The Auvergne Pointer quickly spread across its original region of Auvergne and became a much preferred hunting dog for local hunters. The breed was praised for its unsurpassed robustness and ability to effectively adapt to the unique condition of its homeland. Auvergne belongs to one of the least explored areas of Western Europe. This land is renowned for its cliffy terrains and numerous extinguished volcanoes, which are commonly referred as puys. Human population in Auvergne is fairly scarce even today, which creates a favourable environment for all forms of wildlife. For centuries the Auvergne Pointer has been performing the duties of tracker, pointer, flusher and retriever of feathered game in this hunting paradise.

Despite its local popularity the Auvergne Pointer remained barely known outside of its native region. The Second World War almost drove this breed to extinction. Systematic breeding was completely neglected; many individual dogs became stray, as their masters could no longer afford to keep them. Rumours have it that only 25 specimens outlasted war’s terror.

Some of the breeds’ fanciers decided to prevent the final demise of the Auvergne Pointer and currently it is in much better shape than it was previously. At the same time the breed hasn’t yet made its way to other countries and vast majority of its members is owned for their hunting talents. The Auvergne Pointer has formal recognition of such a reputable canine organisation as the United Kennel Club (UKC).

The Auvergne Pointer’s character is very similar to the temperament of a typical hunting dog. It is certainly a people-oriented breed, which develops particularly tight relationships with its master. This dog tends to become really upset and anxious if left alone for any considerable length of time. So it’s not recommended to adopt this dog if you can’t afford to spend with it enough quality time. It gets along with children of a family and usually eagerly participates in their exuberant activity. Moderate amount of socialisation will suffice to make this dog a well-mannered member of a human society.

The Auvergne Pointer generally behaves itself politely but slightly wary when it meets unknown people. But most members are glad to acquire a new friend and quickly overcome its initial bashfulness. Some dogs make an excellent watchdog while others don’t seem to have enough interest in this kind of job. In any case the breed is useless in the role of a guard dog because it would excitedly greet an intruder and invite it home before it would ever resort to necessary aggressive actions.

When correctly socialised, the Auvergne Pointer is quite tolerable of other dogs. The dog is glad to have permanent canine companion preferably of the same size and similar temperament. As one would expect it isn’t trustworthy around non-canine animals because of its intense prey drive. At the same time the breed’s responsibilities as a hunter don’t involve the necessity of a direct attack. So it can get on with a household pet (including a cat) if it has been introduced to its company in a proper manner and at an early age.

Health Problems
The most common problems for the breed include:

• canine hip dysplasia;
• elbow dysplasia;
• patellar luxation;
• eye problems;
• pannus;
• demodex mange;
• cleft lip;
• aortic stenosis.

The Auvergne Pointer needs minimal maintenance to look tidy and well groomed. Its master should invest some time in thorough brushing the dog’s coat on a weekly basis but this breed will never need the service of a professional groomer. The breed sheds moderately.

It’s essential to carefully and regularly clean the breed’s ears, as they are prone to collect grime, debris, food and water. Be mindful that insufficient attention to cleaning procedures can lead to development of severe infections and irritation of its big drooping ears.

The Auvergne Pointer is characterised with a superb trainability due to its cleverness and willingness to pleasure. It commonly adopts hunting behaviour very naturally so it doesn’t require any extensive training in this respect. Actually it’s thought to be one of the most disciplinable of all pointing dogs so even novice handler can teach it basic commands.

This athletic and obedient breed has prominent potential in such canine sports as competitive obedience, agility, and fly ball. Training techniques, which are based on harsh correction, proved to be absolutely ineffective in the work with the Auvergne Pointer. This breed becomes much more biddable if you use for its motivation its favourite treats and praise.

As a tough and hard-working gun dog the Auvergne Pointer should be provided with sizeable amount of vigorous exercises each and every day. This tireless worker will gladly track feathered game for hours on end since it seems to immensely enjoy this kind of busy life. At the same time it will be quite content with the role of a companion animal if its need for physical activity has been properly satisfied.

Because of its energetic nature the Auvergne Pointer would most likely feel itself caged in a small apartment and requires a spacious yard to move and play unrestrained. The specimen, which is deprived of proper release of its energy will demonstrate such nasty behavioural patterns as destructiveness, hyperactivity, unreasonable barking or nervousness.