Bourbonnais Pointing Dog (Braque du Bourbonnais)
The Bourbonnais Pointing Dog is a firm, harmonically built and determined dog with unsurpassed hunting instinct. It has been bred in France since at least the late XVI century but it almost went extinct after the Second World War. Presently the breed is in no danger and it found lots of fanciers in the role of a family pet.
The Bourbonnais Pointing Dog is a truly old breed whose first descriptions appeared in French hunting literature as early as in the second half of the XVI century. The original name of this dog was the Braque du Bourbonnais. Braque is translated from French as «to point» and «to aim» and it’s meant to indicate the outstanding pointing and retrieving skills of this canine. The word «du Bourbonnais» was added to its name in order to show where it was initially created, namely in the Province of Bourbonnais, the area in central France.
Originally the breed existed in only one colour which is called «faded lilac». Moreover breeders strived for producing dogs with naturally short tails or even tailless. Such strict restrictions undermined interest of broad masses of canine lovers to the Bourbonnais Pointing Dog and by the early XX century it was on the brink of extinction. Things started looking up in 1925 when several loyal breeders founded the first Braque du Bourbonnais Club. Its first standard was drawn up in 1930. Sadly enough but the Second World rendered null all these efforts and this excellent pointer once again appeared under the threat of disappearance. Additionally exacting requirements of its standard doesn’t help along its popularity. Since breeders mostly devoted attention to the conformation of this dog, its hunting qualities noticeably deteriorated.
In the 70s Michael Comte, his brother Gabriel Comte, Doctor Monavon, a veterinary surgeon, along with several friends decided to take a hand in the fate of the Bourbonnais Pointing Dog and save it from final demise. The group could locate only one pure-bred bitch of the Braque du Bourbonnais in the De la Turne Kennel in Lyon. The rest of the dogs, which these enthusiasts managed to seek out, satisfied the breed’s characteristics only partially. The limitations on the coat coloration and on the tail were finally cancelled and its superb hunting prowess was fully rehabilitated.
Today the Bourbonnais Pointing Dog has already won favour of hunters in the Germany, United States, Canada, Greece, Belgium, Italy, and other countries. Besides it calm, stable temper and incredible devotion to its masters made it is a popular choice for weekend sportsmen. In 2006 the breed was formally recognised by the United Kennel Club (UKC). In 2011 it was admitted into the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock Service (AKC-FSS).
Although the Bourbonnais Pointing Dog has all essential qualities to become a great companion for any hunting enthusiast it also makes an awesome pet for active families and individuals. Loyal, even-tempered, companionable, gentle and vigorous are the best epithets to describe this dog. It must never be kept in the yard as it longs for constantly being beside its masters. If raised with kids, the breed member will have a very tender affection for them and will never hurt them purposefully.
The correctly socialised specimen of the Bourbonnais Pointing Dog welcomes houseguests with proper politeness. In general, this dog is much more predisposed to become overly shy or anxious in the presence of strangers than to display any form of aggression. That’s why it should never be entrusted with guarding duties. Nonetheless this breed is sufficiently vigilant and sensitive to make a fairly reasonable watcher.
The Braque du Bourbonnais is generally good with other dogs although some of its members may display nervousness in the company of its congeners. This dog suits well for keeping in multi-canine homesteads because of its pack-oriented nature. Furthermore it will never harm those cats and other small pets with which it got to know in the puppyhood. Of course this dog remains a passionate hunter, which will relentlessly chase each and every street animal on its way.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· hip dysplasia;
· eye problems;
· pulmonic stenosis of the heart.
The Braque du Bourbonnais can be groomed with unsubstantial amount of time and efforts. Couple of brushings per week are more than enough to keep its short coat in a perfect condition. It sheds very moderately and demands only occasional bathing.
Hanging ears of this breed require meticulous cleaning after every hunting trip. Its nails should be trimmed at least every month. To prevent the build-up of tartar brush the dog’s teeth once a week.
The training of the Bourbonnais Pointing Dog can be done fast and easily. The handler doesn’t need to explain to this dog its hunting duties as it learns them almost intuitively. It’s important to pronounce commands in a firm yet calm voice since this good-natured dog can be offended by any form of rough-housing.
The Bourbonnais Pointing Dog also won’t obey the orders of the person who applies too inconsistent or indecisive manner of training. Plentiful of delicious treats and verbal encouragement allow getting the best results in the work with this breed.
The Bourbonnais Pointing Dog is always full of energy and willingness to play and therefore needs vast amount of physical activity. This dog requires lots of space for comfortable life and won’t make a good four-legged friend for an apartment dweller. Besides a long and vigorous daily walk it should regularly spend an hour or two playing in a well-fenced territory.
The Bourbonnais Pointing Dog can run untiringly for hours on end and becomes an agreeable companion for any jogger or bicyclist. If the dog can’t hunt on the regular basis and doesn’t have any other way to engage its busy mind, it will quickly get bored and become very destructive.