The Braque du Bourbonnais is one of the oldest French breeds, with its history dating back at least to the 1500s. The first written evidence about this breed is from 1598 in the book Natural History from Aldrovandi. We do not have enough information about the breeds ancestry, but it is very likely that they were developed from the early Spanish Pointer. The Braque de Bourbonnais from 16th century was described as a pleasant companion of the hunter, of hardy and healthy appearance.
2) Almost extinct
In the 20th century, the Braque du Bourbonnais breed was very close to extinction. The reasons were of course the two world wars, but also the strict breeding requirements on appearance of the dog. Up until the 20th century, this dog was bred mainly for utilization, but after establishemnt of the first breed club in 1930s, there were also very strict requirements on color and taillnessness. Because of these strict rules, it was hard to keep breeding these dogs and no Braque de Bourbonnais was registered between 1963 to 1973. The person who is credited for reviving the breed is Michel Comte, who in 1970s started looking for the last living Braque de Bourbonnais dogs. He only found some mixed breeds with characteristics of this breed and from these mixes he recreated the breed as we know it today.
The main purpose of this dog breed is of course hunting. And this is very good versatile hunter! The Braque du Bourbonnais is a very athletic and endurant dog with extraordinary sense of smell, pointing instict, high prey drive and retrieving ability. Their intelligence, adaptability to various terrain and passion for the hunt, make this dog just amazing hunter.
When the Braque du Bourbonnais is not on the hunt, they make kind, gentle and affectionate companions. If they are provided with enough work and exercise, they tend to be pretty calm at home. It is truly a great combination of an active hunter and gentle family companion dog. These dogs tend to attach very closely to its owner and they want to follow the owner everywhere. They are also known for being very good around children, but of course, you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised.
As you can probably imagine, these dogs are very active and they have high exercise needs. They are workers and they want to have some kind of a job or activity in their life. If you are not using this dog for hunting, you must give them enough outdoor activity, such as long walks, hikes, camping, fishing, jogging, swimming, just any outdoor activity really. These are also quite playful breeds, so you can try to play hide and seek, fetch or you can always teach the dog new tricks. You just must keep their body and mind stimulated everyday so the dog stays healthy and happy.
The Braque du Bourbonnais is famous for its beautiful and quite unique coloration and ticking patterns on its coat and also for the freckled face. These dogs come in two color variation, the first one is faded lilac, which is similar to liver color and the second is peach blossom, which is similar to fawn color. Overall, the coat is quite short and fine.
This is very strong and athletic sized dog breed, with average height between 48-57 cm, which is 19-22 inch, and weight is typically between 35-55 pounds, which is 15-25 kg. Females are naturally little bit smaller than males.
In the past, these dogs had to be born without a tail or with a very short tail. They were even sometimes named as short-tail pointers. Because of the recent history and the fact that the breed was recreated not so long ago, the requirements about the tail are not that strict these days and docked tails are allowed by breed standard as well. But the short tail is very typical for this breed.
This is very low maintenance dog breed when it comes to grooming. They do shed some deal and if you want to minimize the shedding, some brushing is recommended to remove the dead hair. No other grooming is needed and the dog is quite self manageable. Just like with all dogs, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clean them or clip them if needed.
The average lifespan of this breed is between 12-15 years. Just like all dogs, even this breed can suffer from some health issues and it is predisposed for the same health problems as majority of other pointing breeds, which include hip and elbow dysplasia, congenital heart disease, patellar luxation or progressive retinal atrophy.