Braque Saint-GermainHome » Dog Breeds » Braque Saint-Germain
The Braque Saint-Germain is a medium to large sized French modern purebred developed crossing the English Pointer and the Braque Francais Gascogne. It was bred to be a pointing dog but it is a versatile hunting dog and is also one of the fastest. Other names it is known by include the Saint-Germain Pointer, Saint-Germain Pointing Dog, French Pointer (Saint-Germain) and French Pointing Dog (Saint-Germain). It is a friendly and loyal dog, super affectionate and cuddly.
|The Braque Saint-Germain at a Glance|
|Other names||Saint-Germain Pointer, Saint-Germain Pointing Dog, French Pointer (Saint-Germain), French Pointing Dog (Saint-Germain)|
|Average size||Medium to large|
|Average weight||40 to 60 pounds|
|Average height||21 to 25 inches|
|Life span||12 to 15 years|
|Coat type||Short, smooth|
|Color||Dull white with orange (fawn) markings|
|Popularity||Not a registered member of the AKC|
|Intelligence||Above average – quite a smart dog|
|Tolerance to heat||Good|
|Tolerance to cold||Average|
|Shedding||Average to heavy – will be some hair around the home, some can be heavier|
|Drooling||Average – may be some slobber or drool when drinking especially|
|Obesity||Average – make sure it does not overeat and it is well exercised|
|Grooming/brushing||Low to average – Brush once or twice a week|
|Barking||Occasional – barks sometimes but not all the time|
|Exercise needs||High – needs active owners|
|Trainability||Moderate – due to sometimes being very stubborn|
|Friendliness||Very good – social dog|
|Good first dog||Good to very good|
|Good family pet||Very good with socialization|
|Good with children||Very good with socialization|
|Good with other dogs||Good to very good with socialization|
|Good with other pets||Very good with socialization|
|Good with strangers||Good with socialization but some can be overly shy|
|Good apartment dog||Low – needs room and access to a large yard at least|
|Handles alone time well||Low – does not like to be left alone for long periods|
|Health issues||Fairly healthy, some issues can include Hip/elbow dysplasia, eye/ear problems, aortic stenosis, demodex mange|
|Medical expenses||$485 a year for basic health care and pet insurance|
|Food expenses||$270 a year for good quality dry dog food and dog treats|
|Miscellaneous expenses||$265 a year for license, basic training, toys and miscellaneous items|
|Average annual expenses||$1020 as a starting figure|
|Cost to purchase||$600|
|Rescue organizations||None breed specific, check local shelters and rescues|
|Biting Statistics||None reported|
The Braque Saint-Germain's Beginnings
The Braque Saint-Germain is so named because Braque is a term meaning pointing dog and the Saint-Germain part indicates what region or area it is from in France. Their ancestors can be traced back for hundreds of years. How the English and French develop their dogs is quite different with the English preferring specialized dogs and the French preferring all rounders. In the late 18th century it became easier to ship dogs to different countries and when Charles X came to the throne in 1824, being an avid hunter, he had two English Pointers he highly valued when bird hunting.
In 1830 the King had to abdicate and the royal kennels were sold off. One of his English Pointers was eventually bred with a Braque Francais (Gascogne). The puppies proved excellent hunting dogs and so the Braque Saint-Germain came to be. For 20 years up till the 1850s it was very popular in and around Paris. They were presented at their first French dog show in the 1860s and for a few decades up until World War I they did very well. But their popularity actually damaged them as unscrupulous breeders started to sell other dogs as Braque Saint-Germains and had poor breeding practices.
In 1913 a breed club was officially established for them but as a standard could not be agreed upon two varieties evolved. One was larger, more sturdy and slower, the other more graceful, lean and had the speed. Then came World War I which had a devastating impact on all dog breeds in France and breeding came to a halt, and dogs died. Numbers plummeted and the breed was very rare. Just as it was recovering the second world war came and it was now close to extinction.
New Lease on Life
The Braque Saint-Germain did survive but barely. Where there had been two versions there was now one as they had been merged. Breeders dedicated themselves to reviving the breed and by the late 1950s and 1960s numbers were getting better partly due to its popularity amongst French hunters. At the same time some success in show rings and at field trials drew attention to it but it still was not gaining mainstream success. It seemed it was too blurred, being too much about appearance for sportsmen and too much about working ability for show dog fanciers. The breed club had problems with this conflict and the lack of interest and in the 1980s there was a period where the club stopped for a few years.
In the 1990s popularity improved somewhat, over 100 dogs were registered each year and in 2001 it was agreed to allow some English Pointer crossing to improve the small gene pool. But more dissension came and more breeders quit on the dog. In 2009 numbers improved again but the dog still faces the same issues it always has, not enough breeders, in fighting, not enough dogs in trials or the field. Almost all of the breed that exists lives in France and all breeding occurs there too. While individual dogs may have made their way to different countries it is not recognized by the AKC. It is though by the UKC and the FCI. If things do not improve it may still face extinction.
The Dog You See Today
The Braque Saint-Germain is quite similar in looks to the English Pointer but a bit heavier. It is medium to large weighing 40 to 60 pounds and standing 21 to 25 inches tall. It is lithe and muscled with a low set tail that tapers to a point, is medium length and is held out straight when it moves. Its back is level and it has a tucked up belly and a deep chest. It neck is long and arched and there is a slight dewlap. Its coat is smooth, short and not too fine and is a dull white color with fawn or orange markings. The ears should be mostly fawn too though a little white is allowed. The markings are usually large oval or circular in shape. Ticking can happen but is not as acceptable. Some dogs are born with some black coloration and while that is fine in a working dog or companion it is not good for show dogs.
Its skull is rounded and the muzzle is fairly long with a pink broad nose that has nicely opened nostrils. The eyes are large and golden or yellow in color and over them is a prominent brow. Its ears are medium length and hang down but should not fall very close to its cheeks. They have rounded tips and are set at the same level as its eyes.Advertisement
The Inner Braque Saint-Germain
The Braque Saint-Germain was bred primarily to be a hunter as well as a companion but if raised well and given enough activity can be just a companion in the right home. It is a friendly and social dog, and it is very loyal to its owners. It is also very affectionate and loving, it likes to lick your face and it wants to be close to you wherever you are in the home. It is not good at being left alone and can suffer from separation anxiety.
Mostly when around strangers they are polite but reserved or wary but once they have been properly introduced and get to know them they are very friendly. However some individual dogs can be more than that, being shy and suspicious so socialization is important. Most of these make a good watchdog as it will bark to let you know if something is wrong or an intruder is trying to enter the home. A few though may not bark at all and not being aggressive will not act against them. If being a good watchdog is an absolute essential need from your dog this may not be be best option. It is an energetic dog and it likes to be busy though some are more driven than others.
Living with a Braque Saint-Germain
What will training look like?
Training this dog tends to be easy to do when you have the right approach and manner. It does best with positive techniques, offer it encouragement, motivate it and reward it. Some gentle and fair correction can be done though as it is not as sensitive as other French pointer types. It tends to be eager to learn and it is also eager to please which will help. As well as starting early obedience training as soon as you get it, also start early socialization. It will learn appropriate reactions and how to deal with different people, situations, sounds, animals, places and so on. Keep in mind it does have a stubborn side to it so patience, firm leadership and consistency are needed.
How active is the Braque Saint-Germain?
This is a very active breed coming from a working background. It is not suited to apartment living and needs space and a large yard at least to explore and play in. Even better would be a rural setting with land to roam on. Expect to have to give it two goo long walks a day, play time with you too and then regular opportunities in the week for safe off leash time. It will also need mental stimulation. I can join you for a jog too, go for weekend hikes and will need ideally at least 2 hours a day. A dog of this type that is not exercised enough will be hyper, excitable, destructive and hard to live with.
Caring for the Braque Saint-Germain
There is not a large amount of grooming required for the Braque Saint-Germain and it should not need any kind of professional grooming either. Brush it once a week if its shedding is not too heavy, but more often if you need to control the loose hair more. Give it a bath as needed, it usually ends up to be about once a month. This dog usually likes a bath so it should not be much of a chore. Just use a dog shampoo to wash it with so you do not damage its natural oils.Advertisement
It will also need its nails clipped when they get too long though active dogs do wear them down naturally somewhat. When it is time to cut them make sure you do not cut too far down where there are blood vessels and nerves as cutting there will hurt the dog and cause bleeding. Its ears need to be checked regularly, at least weekly, for infection signs like redness, a bad odor and irritation. Clean them too by wiping with a dog ear cleanser or damp cloth. Do not insert anything into the ears. The teeth should be brushed using a dog toothpaste and toothbrush two to three times a week at least.
It will eat about 2 to 4 cups of a high quality dry dog food a day, split into at least two meals. The amount varies because it can depend on size, health, level of activity, age and metabolism. Make sure it has access to water that is freshened often.
How is the Braque Saint-Germain with children and other animals?
With good socialization and training this dog gets on well with children, especially if raised with them. It is happy to play, it can be affectionate and quite tolerant. However as a puppy its rambunctiousness can mean toddlers get knocked over accidentally and so may be better in homes with older children. While this dog is a hunter it was bred to point the prey out and retrieve rather than attacks, so in most cases with good socialization it can get along fine with other pets, though may still want to chase small strange animals. It gets along well too with other dogs when socialized, without that socialization there can be some dog aggression issues.
What Might Go Wrong?
This is mostly a healthy dog but some issues might include joint dysplasia, cleft lip, skin problems, epilepsy, ear infections, eye problems and aortic stenosis. It has a life span of about 12 to 15 years.
When looking at reports of dogs attacking people over the last 35 years in North America there is no mention of the Braque Saint-Germain, though this is not a surprise seeing as how there are hardly any of these dogs living there! However it is not a people aggressive dog so even if there was a higher presence in North America it would still have a low incidence of events. While no dog is completely sure to never be drawn into such a thing, there are things we can do as responsible owners to help lower the risks. Socialize and train your dog, feed it well, make sure it is stimulated and exercised and give it the attention it needs.
Your Pup’s Price Tag
A Braque Saint-Germain is going to cost perhaps around $600 though since most breeders are in France there may be additional costs if you need to bring it to a different country. Finding and getting this dog will not be easy and make sure you use trustworthy breeders rather than less scrupulous ones like backyard breeders, pet stores or puppy mills. If you do not have to have a purebred there are plenty of mixed dogs in shelters and homes that are desperate for a new home and have a lot of love to offer. Adoption costs between $50 to $400 and some medical concerns will be dealt with for you like shots and getting fixed.Advertisement
Once you have found the puppy or dog that you love and are ready to bring it home there are some medical needs that should be dealt with as soon as you bring it home, and it will need some things at home too. These include a crate, carrier, collar and leash, bowls and such and will cost about $240. The medical concerns includes vaccinations, deworming, blood tests, a physical check up, spaying or neutering and micro chipping for about $290.
Other ongoing costs to prepare for include a high quality dry dog food and dog treats which each year will cost about $270. Miscellaneous items, license, basic training and toys will be another $265 a year. Then basic health costs like check ups with a vet a couple of times a year, shots, flea and tick prevention and medical insurance will cost another $485 a year. This gives a total annual estimated starting figure of $1020.
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The Braque Saint-Germain is not an easy dog to get a hold of, it is still facing difficulties with its numbers and with disagreement in its club in France. If you want this dog though you will need to either keep it as a dog you hunt with or give it lots of exercise and stimulation, so you will need to have time you can devote to it every day. It is loyal, very affection and expressive of its adoration and can be a good companion and family dog in the right home.