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Braque d'Auvergne

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 Braque d'Auvergne

The Braque d'Auvergne is a medium to large purebred from France bred to be a Pointer and a gundog but also kept as companion because as well as being a skilled hunter it is affectionate, gentle, and obedient. It comes from an area of the south of France called Auvergne hence its name. It was specifically bred to find, point at, then flush out and retrieve birds. It has a lifespan of 12 to 15 years and is known by many other names including the Auvergne Pointer, Auvergnese Pointer, Auvergne Pointing Dog, Auvergnese Pointing Dog, Auvergnian Pointer, Auvergnian Pointing Dog French Pointer (Auvergne), Bleu de Auvergne and Bleu d’Auvergne.

The Braque d'Auvergne at A Glance
Name Braque d'Auvergne
Other names Auvergne Pointer, Auvergnese Pointer, Auvergne Pointing Dog, Auvergnese Pointing Dog, Auvergnian Pointer, Auvergnian Pointing Dog French Pointer (Auvergne), Bleu de Auvergne, Bleu d’Auvergne
Nicknames Auvergne
Origin France
Average size Medium to large
Average weight 35 to 65 pounds
Average height 21 to 25 inches
Life span 12 to 15 years
Coat type Short, glossy
Hypoallergenic No
Color Black with white markings
Popularity No yet recognized by the AKC
Intelligence Very good
Tolerance to heat Good to very good
Tolerance to cold Very good
Shedding Moderate – expect some hair around the home
Drooling Average to above average – may be some slobber and drool especially when eating and drinking
Obesity Average – needs daily exercise
Grooming/brushing Average – two to three times a week
Barking Rare – but has a deep bark and can have barking issues if alone for too long
Exercise needs High – due to being a hunting dog
Trainability Easy to train especially if you have experience
Friendliness Excellent – friendly and social dog
Good first dog Very good
Good family pet Very good to excellent with socialization
Good with children Very good to excellent with socialization
Good with other dogs Good to very good with socialization
Good with other pets Moderate to good with socialization – they have a high prey drive
Good with strangers Very good to excellent – not a guard dog or even a consistent watchdog!
Good apartment dog Low – requires more space and outdoors time than is possible in an apartment
Handles alone time well Low – can be prone to suffer separation anxiety
Health issues Mostly a healthy breed but some issues include Hip and elbow dysplasia, Patellar Luxation, eye problems, aortic stenosis
Medical expenses $485 a year for basic health care and pet insurance
Food expenses $250 a year for a good quality dry dog food and dog treats
Miscellaneous expenses $245 a year for miscellaneous items, toys, license and basic training
Average annual expenses $980 a year as a starting figure
Cost to purchase $1,500
Rescue organizations None breed specific but check out your local shelters and rescues
Biting Statistics None reported
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The Braque d'Auvergne's Beginnings

The Braque d'Auvergne comes from a mix of ancient French hunting dogs but its exact origins are not known. Because a lot of the breeding was done before breeders kept written records nothing is known for sure. It is believed that it was developed in the French region of Auvergne in the 18th century and that part of the breeding involved the Braque Francais that was popular in France in the 1600s. The Braque Francais was often crossed with regional dogs to create different breeds.

Different areas of France had different terrain, climate and environmental features so hunters in those regions need dogs developed to their specific needs. The Braque d'Auvergne is associated with the rural area of Cantal and is one of the oldest crosses. The area of Auvergne was and still is one of the least populated areas in Europe. It is hilly, has extinct and eroded volcanoes called puys and lots of birds to hunt. While it was not known outside of France, in France it was and it even appeared in some early French dogs shows in the late 1800s, but because it did not do that well that stopped.

In 1913 the RABA was started (Reunion des Amateurs de Braque d'Auvergne) with the intention to promote and protect the dog. They worked with the French Kennel Club and the French Ministry of Agriculture and the breed received official recognition. However the second world war really had a terrible impact on the Braque d’Auvergne. Nazi occupation caused a lot of upheaval and the last thing most people were thinking of was dog breeding. It almost came to a halt for this breed as breeders either died or could not afford to keep the dogs. By the end of the war the breed had almost disappeared.

New Lease on Life

The fact that it was based in a very rural area managed to save about 25 dogs, and fanciers used those to try to revive the breed. While the recovery of the breed has been slow it is happening but the breed is still uncommon. Some imports have been made to other countries and it is no longer facing extinction. There are now a few breeders in the US also working to increase its numbers and while it is registered with NAVDHA (North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association) and with the United Kennel Club it is not yet recognized by the AKC. Today it is still primarily kept as a working dog with most being gun dogs either retired or active.

The Dog You See Today

The Braque d'Auvergne is a medium to large dog weighing 35 to 65 pounds and standing 21 to 25 inches tall. It is similar in looks to other French pointers and as a working dog should not have any feature that would impact on that ability. It has an athletic sleek look, it is well muscled and its tail was once usually docked to half its length. Now in many places docking is banned so the tail is left natural at 12 to 14 inches long, set high and held straight. Its coat is glossy and short, smooth and the skin is loose but not sagging and no wrinkles. It has a black head with white blazes and has a white coat with black spots and ticking giving it a blue appearance. There can be dogs with brown markings, or are solid white or black that are not eligible in the show ring but are still fine working dogs and companions.

This dog has a big head for its size and its skull is oval shaped. Its muzzle is wide and fairly long being about the same length as the skull and its upper lips cover the lower ones which makes the muzzle seem squared. Its ears are long and hang close to its head but often are turned forwards. Its deeply set eyes are large and dark hazel.

The Inner Braque d'Auvergne

Temperament

The Auvergne was developed as a working breed and as a pointer it has a lot of energy and stamina, is intelligent, works closely with its hunter, is eager to please and easy to train. It is best suited to casual hunting though as because it stays close and checks in often it takes longer and does not do as well in serious hunting competitions. While it is mostly kept to go bird hunting with, it can be a good family companion as long as it gets enough stimulation and exercise. It is very loyal, that tendency to stay close in the field also means it does the same in the home, so owners need to expect it will follow you around to be close to you and can be intensely devoted. This means it hates being left alone and can develop very bad separation anxiety, and it needs owners who are in more than out working all day, then out at night.

The Braque d’Auvergne is a lively, friendly and good natured dog. It is sensitive but it is obedient and affectionate and gentle too. This is not a guard dog and it is not always a good watchdog either, that can vary from one Braque d'Auvergne to another. Some may alert you to the intruder, and some would welcome the intruder as if they were a new best friend. Problems with behavior, hyperactivity, being nervous and constant barking may be a sign they are under exercised.

Living with a Braque d'Auvergne

What will training look like?

This French breed is intelligent and eager to please, it learns quickly and in most cases does really well when being trained. It is sensitive so does best with positive methods, offer it praise and encouragement, treats and rewards but stay firm, be consistent and be patient. It tends to be obedient and starting training early along with socialization is a good way to keep it mentally engaged too. Socialization should involve introducing it to different places, people, situations, sounds, animals and so on. A dog that is well socialized is happier, more confident and more trustworthy.

How active is the Braque d'Auvergne?

This is an active dog and needs to be with owners who are very active so that there is no clash there. It should have a couple of long walks a day as well as some physical play with you. It also needs regular off leash time where it can run safely. It also needs a good amount of mental stimulation so training it in some form of dog sport is a good way to meet both of its needs. It does best in rural places with space to roam but should at least have a yard to play in. If it does not the exercise and stimulation it needs it can be hyper, destructive, loud and nervous which can make it nip. Make sure it gets about an hour a day at least and keep it leashed when walking or it will chase after birds and such.

Caring for the Braque d'Auvergne

Grooming needs

The Braque d’Auvergne does not need professional grooming but it will need regular brushing to remove debris and dirt and keep the coat clean and healthy. It will also help with loose hair as this dog does shed sometimes heavily. Give it a bath as needed rather than by any set schedule as too often can dry out its skin, using anything but a dog shampoo can do the same. Its ears hang down so easily pick up dirt and particles that can cause ear infections. Make sure you check for infection signs once a week like irritation and redness, and wipe them clean. Never insert anything into the ear though as that can do permanent damage and hurt the dog a lot. Its nails should be clipped carefully so that you do not nick the quick of the nail and its teeth need brushing two to three times a week.

Feeding Time

The Braque d’Auvergne will eat 2 to 4 ½ cups split twice daily of high quality dog food. The amount varies depending on its size, age, health, metabolism and level of activity. Give it fresh water too.

How is the Braque d'Auvergne with children and other animals?

With good socialization and especially when raised with them the Braque d'Auvergne gets on well with children. It will play with them, expend some energy together and can be very affectionate towards them too. Young children should be taught though how to play and touch in an appropriate and kind manner. It can get along with other dogs well too but there can be issues with other pets like cats. This dog has a high prey drive so tends to want to chase other pets, especially small creatures like hamsters, and especially birds.

What Might Go Wrong?

Health Concerns

The life span of this dog is 12 to 15 years and it is considered to be a healthy breed though there are some issues that can come up such as hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, eye problems, mange, cleft lip and heart problems.

Biting Statistics

The reports looked at that name dogs involved in attacks against people in the US and Canada, that caused bodily harm in the last 35 years, do not name this dog. It is not a people aggressive dog, and in normal conditions or situations would not attack someone, however some dogs can have off days, or be drawn into something. Even the most popular friendly family dogs have been involved in incidents. The fact that this breed is not mentioned can also be attributed to being quite rare in North America. Ways you can help your dog be better are to socialize and train it, exercise it and feed it and give it the attention it needs.

Your Pup’s Price Tag

Finding a Braque d'Auvergne puppy will take time and effort as it is not a common dog. A pet quality dog from a decent breeder will cost at least $1500 but for a show dog or from a top breeder that price goes up by a lot. Do not be tempted to skip the process because of the time it takes and turn to quicker and less trustworthy options like puppy mills or backyard breeders. These are never places to fund, the best you can hope for is ignorance but at their worst they are cruel. Shelters and rescues are another option, while a purebred is very unlikely there may be a mix you like if you are not wanting a show dog. Mixed dogs have just as much companionship, loyalty and love to offer and shelter adoption fees are quite reasonable, $50 to $400 and that will include initial medical needs taken care of.

Initial costs of dog ownership will come to about $530. $290 will cover initial medical needs like vaccinations, deworming, micro chipping, blood tests, spaying or neutering, and a physical exam. $240 should cover some initial items your new pet will need like a collar and leash, a crate, a carrier, bowls and such.

Then you can expect a yearly total cost of $980 for the care of the dog. Basic medical needs like flea and tick prevention, shots, check ups and dog insurance will cost about $485 of that. Feeding it a good quality dry dog food and having some dog treats for it will cost about $250 a year and then miscellaneous costs like basic training, miscellaneous items, license and toys is another $245 a year.

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  • The Braque d'Auvergne is an active dog mostly kept to hunt with but can also be a great family pet or companion to active owners. It would do fine in a home with another dog, but it is not going to be good with small pets or birds. It is easy to care for and to train but does like a lot of attention and will want to be close to you all the time. If you are not ready for a somewhat needy clingy dog this is not the breed for you! It is loving and loyal though and is not otherwise aggressive.

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