1) Two breeds
There are two breeds of Braque Francais. Both are very similar in appearance and temperament, and the main difference between them is the size. The smaller and more compact is Braque Francais, type Pyrénées, the larger is type Gascogne. Vast majority of the dogs you will see in this video are type Pyrénées, which is little bit more popular. Other than the size, the type Gascogne has thicker coat, slightly broader head and shorter ears.
It is believed that the Braque Francais is a very old dog breed with its history dating back to as early as 1500s, when French literature mention a dog from the western Pyrenees mountains with a natural pointing instinct and with similar appearance as todays Braque Francais. But the breed most likely existed even earlier than 1500s when it was first mentioned. It is also believed, that the Braque Francais played a role in development of many other European pointing dog breeds as well.
Because the Braque Francais originated and lived in mountainous region of Pyrenees Mountains, the dogs were often times separated and which led into differences between Braque Francais dogs from different regions. As you already know, today, we recognize two different Braque Francais breeds from neighboring regions, the Pyrenees and Gascogne region. This happened in the end of 1800s, when search was made to find the original dogs, two separate regional varieties were found, which led into establishment of two separated breeds.
As you already know, the Braque Francais is pointer at the first place, but it is a versatile hunter, that is capable of flushing, retrieving or trailing the game as well. They use their athleticism, speed, strong senses, intelligence and higher prey drive when they are on the hunt and they do make excellent companions for hunters.
Of course, the Braque Francais is not only a great hunter, but it also makes amazing active family companion. They will love and be affectionate towards the whole family, including its owners, kids or other dogs. Other smaller household pets might be problematic due to the dogs hunting heritage, but it can be vastly influenced by early socialization. The Braque Francais is known for its eager to please, playful, lively, loyal nd people oriented personality, which makes the dog just very good family companion.
I just mentioned that this is a great family comapanion, but it is not a companion for everyone, mostly due to the dogs higher exercise needs. Just like all the pointers, even the Braque Francais requires daily longer walks accompanied with as much playtime as possible. They also enjoy shorter and fun training sessions, long hikes or jogs. It is absolutely essential to provide this breed with enough exercise, otherwise they may develop some unwanted behaviour, most notably excessive barking or destruction.
The Braque Francais is on the first sight very athletic and muscular dog breed. The smaller Pyrenees type has height between 47-58 cm, which is 19-23 inch, while the larger Gascogne type height is typically between 56-69 cm, which is 22-27 inch. Females are naturally slightly smaller than males.
This dog is known for its great looking coat with amazing coloration. They come in chestnut brown color, either solid, or mixed with white. With or without ticking or roaning or tan markings. The coat is relatively short, but pretty dense and practical for working as a hunting dog in different terrain.
Speaking of the coat, it is important to mention grooming and maintenance as well. And luckily, it is not a hard task with this breed. They do shed some deal all year long and if you want to minimize the shedding and keep the coat as clean as possible, regular, lets say weekly brushing, is recommended. No other grooming is required. Just like with all dogs, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.
This is relatively healthy dog breed with okay lifespan which is typically around 13 years. Of course, they may suffer from the typical health issues which are common for larger breeds, which include hip and elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, bloating and some eye problems or allergies.