French Pointing Dog - Gascogne type (Braque Français, type Gascogne)
The French Pointing Dog - Gascogne type (French Gascony Pointer) is an all-purpose gun dog with its homeland in France. The breed is an expert in hunting upland birds and exhibits exceptional talents at hunting woodcock. Up to the present day it remains primarily a working dog in its original country but the breed hasn’t yet established stable population elsewhere in the world.
The French Pointing Dog - Gascogne type was invented in France somewhere in the XVII century. Although the precise evidences are pretty scarce it was most likely initially developed by the breeders of the French South. There are two general version regarding the lineage of this dog.
The majority of experts agreed that its direct forefather was the Chien d’Oysel. If this theory is correct then the Braque Francais - type Gascogne appeared as the result of crossing this ancient dog with local French Scent Hounds. The most probable candidates that might have been used in the early development of the breed are the Petit Bleu De Gascogne and/or the Grand Bleu De Gascogne. Their blood reinforced stamina and power of the newly-created breed as well as made it a more accomplished hunter. Other version suggest that it was produced by interbreeding Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian pointing dogs, which had been previously brought to Southern France.
However the French Pointing Dog - Gascogne type was initially produced it won a widespread popularity as an upland bird dog throughout France by the turn of the XVII century. This dog also played a primary role in the development of numerous varieties of local German pointing breeds. Subsequently local hunters predominantly preferred local hunting dogs so the breed’s number greatly reduced across its homeland. At the same time it remained the most common pointer in the southwestern regions of Gascony and the Pyrenees Mountains.
The French Revolution led to the demolition of the French noble class whose representatives owned the majority of the Braque Francais - type Gascogne. The breeds’ number experienced a dramatic drop but it survived thanks to the new middle class hunters who greatly appreciated the dog’s hunting prowess. The two World Wars led to the further decrease of its population although it has never been threatened with an immediate extinction.
Currently the French Pointing Dog - Gascogne type thrives in its homeland as a hunting dog but very few of its specimens have made their way to other countries. Unlike most of modern breeds it’s exceedingly rarely kept as a solely household pet. The dog was granted recognition of the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 2006.
The French Gascony Pointer is an affectionate, docile and brisk dog, which certainly looks for a guidance and leadership from a human-being. It’s prone to experience serious separation anxiety if left alone for significant amount of time. A well-socialised specimen gets along with children. At the same time this dog doesn’t appreciate rough-housing during active playing and won’t hesitate to defend itself. That’s why it’s not recommended for households with too small children.
Majority of the French Gascony Pointer is quite amiable with unfamiliar people although some of them can show certain wariness in their presence. Open aggression is really uncommon for this breed and it will never snap without heavy provocation. This dpg constantly stays on alert and can be turned into a very capable watchdog. But this breed won’t make an ideal guard dog, as it would rather cheerfully greet an intruder than resort to essential aggressive action.
The French Gascony Pointer is well-known for its sociable disposition so it will be glad to acquire one or several constant canine companions. However its nice character doesn’t exclude the possibility of cruel confrontation if it comes across unfamiliar dog so they should be introduced to each other very carefully and under close supervision of their masters. The dog is usually used as a tracker, flusher or retriever and it isn’t supposed to finish off the wounded quarry. When properly socialised it will be fairly tolerable of other non-canine pets, including a household cat.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· canine hip dysplasia;
· elbow dysplasia;
· patellar luxation;
· eye problems;
· demodex mange;
· cleft lip;
· acral mutilation syndrome;
· aortic stenosis.
The French Gascony Pointer demands pretty moderate amount of care. The dog’s sleek short coat can benefit greatly from frequent brushing. At the same time it will surely get by with only weekly brushing.
The rest consists of such traditional care routines as regular nail clipping, ear’s cleaning and teeth brushing. The breed does shed and some of its specimens are rather heavy shedders.
The French Gascony Pointer is notable for excellent trainability so it’s often recommended for a first time dog owner. The breed is usually very willing to please and learns the most sophisticated tricks quickly and almost effortlessly. Thanks to its obedient nature the French Gascony Pointer makes a very gifted competitor at various canine sports.
Be mindful that strict and firm training techniques don’t suit for this dog since they only make it frightened and nervous. It responds in a best way only reward-based training, which includes a lot of praise and food incentives.
As a hunting animal the French Gascony Pointer is very exacting when things concern its exercise regimen. It should be walked for at least 45 minutes each and every day although it will eagerly accept any amount of physical activity no matter how extreme.
This breed will be absolutely happy to have a daily opportunity to play and run in a securely fenced area. That’s why this dog fits ideally to the suburban house with a sizeable adjacent yard.
The French Gascony Pointer will also become a grateful and willing companion for a jogger or a bicyclist. The specimen, which is treated as a lap dog, will demonstrate its dissatisfaction with life with destructive actions, hyperactivity, continuous barking and even with unreasonable outbursts of aggressiveness.