St. Germain Pointer (Braque Saint-Germain)
The St. German Pointer is a robust sporting dog and a successful participant of dog shows that was created in France in the XIX century. Nowadays the breed’s number is dangerously low so it’s actually in few steps of complete extinction. It will become an excellent companion for active people who are interested in rare canine varieties.
It’s thought that majority of present-day St. German Pointers are traced their origin to two individual dogs. In the 30s of the XIX century the English Pointer named Miss was bred to the specimen of the brown and white Braque Francais (type Gascogne) called Zamor. She produced seven puppies, four of which had white-and-yellow coat and pink noses. They grew into superior gun dogs so Miss was crossed to Zamor a few times more.
The rumors about a new mix with outstanding hunting prowess quickly spread across France and in the stretch of time between 30s and 50s of the XIX the Braque Saint-Germain enjoyed enormous popularity with French hunters. When dog shows came into fashion in this country, this graceful dog became its frequent participant and won lots of awards. Unfortunately such a wide recognition had also a downside since many unscrupulous canine fanciers began using in the work other breeds in an attempt to fake unique appearance of the St. German Pointer. On the other hand it helped to diversify the breed’s gene pool.
The process of the breed’s standardisation was initiated in 1913 with the foundation of the Braque Saint-Germain breed club. Nonetheless this organisation failed to come to an agreement about its characteristics. The thing is that there were two unique varieties of the Braque Saint-Germain, which significantly differs in physique. The World War I not only interrupted the development of the dogs’ standard but also caused catastrophic reduction of its population. And the World War II in fact drove the dog to the point of extinction.
The former fame of the St. German Pointer was partially restored in the late 50s of the XX century but subsequently the dog couldn’t make a full comeback and gradually sunk into oblivion. Today it’s bred by a small group of devoted followers and its number remains very low. Moreover most of its specimens still live in France so it’s almost unknown in other parts of the world. The breed is equally popular in the roles of a show dog and a hunter’s companion so it’s relatively rarely acquired for companionship. In 2006 the St. German Pointer managed to earn recognition of the United Kennel Club (UKC).
The St. German Pointer is very affectionate in the interaction with its human family and needs very elementary socialization to become a well-behaved pet. Separation anxiety is a common problem of all breed members so it isn’t recommended to keep it in the yard. It’s ok with older kids but can inadvertently hurt a toddler while playing. Make sure to demonstrate your kids how to handle their four-legged friend properly and your dog won’t have to exhibit aggression to defend its personal space.
In general the Braque Saint-Germain is polite with unknown people and will never snap without serious provocation. Lots of its owners attest that it makes a superb watcher whose loud bark will always inform you about any strangers near the house. Nonetheless many breed members simply lack territorial instinct and vigilance. Remember that this dog is too friendly to become an effective guardian and must never be entrusted with these types of tasks.
The St. German Pointer usually enjoys the company of other dogs and welcomes a chance to have one or a few canine companions on a permanent basis. Be mindful that this dog is keen on chasing every moving object and therefore must always wear a sturdy leash while being walked. But it can be kept with individual non-canine pets (including cats) if you are ready to devote sufficient amount of time into their mutual socialization.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· hip dysplasia;
· elbow dysplasia;
· cleft lip;
· ear infections;
· progressive retinal atrophy;
· acral mutilation syndrome;
· aortic stenosis.
The Braque Saint-Germain is a low-maintenance breed. Its short fur requires just occasional brushing in order to get rid of dead hair. Since the breed’s ears get infected very easily it’s obligatory to examine and clean them on a regular basis.
The master should also clip the nails of its pet every other month and brush its teeth at least weekly. This dog sheds a great deal but more frequent brushing is usually very instrumental at controlling the amount of its hair at home.
The training of the Braque Saint-Germain is a very pleasant work since this dog is marked by natural desire to oblige its master. It endlessly enjoys tracking and retrieving assignments and needs very basic education to become an outstanding hunter.
The dog reacts much better to praise than to harsh correction. It’s also a great idea to stimulate its motivation with small bits of its favourite food. Quick-wittedness and superb stamina also make it a tough competitor in various canine sports especially in agility and obedience trials.
The St. German Pointer welcomes physical activity of any intensity and will never be fully happy with its live without a couple of hours of running in a securely fenced area. Of course, the ideal type of exercise for this dog is hunting with its master. Nonetheless you can take it to a bicyclic ride or play with your pet in the yard in order to give it a chance to spend excessive energies.
If you fail to provide this breed with sufficient physical outlet it will simply destroy your house in a period of a few months.