Although the Braque d'Auvergne has been around in the UK for quite a while and has earned the reputation of being a reliable and trustworthy in the field as a hunt/point/retrieve dog. They are also known to be calm and affectionate in a home environment and thrive on being involved in everything that goes on in the home. The breed was recognised by The Kennel Club in 2016 and their numbers are slowing rising in the UK with more well-bred puppies being registered every year.
Although they make wonderful companions and family pets the Braque d’Auvergne is better suited to people who are familiar with the needs of an intelligent active dog and one that needs a lot of daily physical exercise to be truly happy. Braques are also better suited to people who lead active outdoor lives and they benefit from being able to roam around in a secure back garden whenever possible.
The Braque d’Auvergne as the breed’s name suggests is native to a region of France known as Auvergne. It is a mountainous area covered by forests valleys and high plateaus where game birds are plentiful. As such throughout time hunters needed a dog capable of working alongside them which led to the development of the Braque d’Auvergne. The name “braque” means “point” and in France the breed has always been referred to as Braques.
According to many experts the Braque d’Auvergne is one of the oldest types of “pointing” breeds on the planet and that they could well be the ancestors of virtually all other British and European shorthaired “setting” breeds. It is also thought that the breed was developed by crossing the Pyrenean Braque with the Gascony Pointer. With this said there are several “Braque” type dogs native to France but the Braque d’Auvergne is believed to be the oldest of them all.
There are many French legends about the breed one of which is that the dogs were introduced to France by the Knights of Malta also known as the Sovereign Order of the Horsemen. During the 16th Century when Napoleon ousted the Knights from the island and they took refuge in many European countries including Auvergne where they gave up fighting and became priests living in monasteries in the mountains developing their hunting dogs which were to become the Braque d’Auvergne a highly prized and valuable pointing dog.
With this said it is more likely the breed came about by crossing dogs that already existed in Auvergne during that time because many different types of these dogs can be seen in various regions of France with the Braque d'Auvergne being just one of them. More recently a breed club was established in France in 1913 with an end goal being to promote these handsome dogs throughout the land which led to a breed standard being set. However it's thought the dogs seen today do not differ that much to the hunting dogs of days long past.
The Braque d'Auvergne gained popularity not only in their native France during the 1920's and 30's but elsewhere in the world too which included here in the UK thanks to their reputation for being versatile reliable and hardworking dogs in the field. However the Second World War II had a serious impact on the breed with their numbers dropping so low they nearly vanished off the face of the earth forever. Fortunately through the efforts of breed enthusiasts and in particular one person called Andre de Tournay their numbers began to rise albeit slowly when with his wife a breeding programme was established using 20 dogs.
Today the Braque d'Auvergne remains a popular choice both as a working dog and companion in their native France. They are also gaining popularity here in the UK although their numbers are still low compared to other breeds. As such anyone hoping to share a home with a Braque d'Auvergne might find it hard to find a breeder and would need to go on a waiting list for a well-bred puppy after having registered their interest with a breeder.
Height at the withers: Males 55 - 65 cm Females 51 - 61 cm
Average weight: Males 22 - 28 kg Females 22 - 28 kg
The Braque d'Auvergne is a handsome well-proportioned and athletic looking dog that boast a smooth black and white coat with dogs typically having black heads with a small white blaze and lots of mottling ticking black patches and markings throughout their coat. Males are slightly taller than their female counterparts but both are nicely proportioned dogs that boast an athletic elegant and powerful appearance.
Their heads are long but nicely in proportion to the rest of their bodies with females having slighter lighter heads than their male counterparts. The top of their head is domed with dogs having a moderate stop. Noses are always black in colour and quite broad with nostrils being well open. They have nice level muzzles with their upper lips overlapping their lower ones. The Braque d'Auvergne has a strong jaw and perfect scissor bite where their upper teeth neatly overlap their lower ones.
The Braque d'Auvergne has quite large oval dark hazel eyes that are well set in their heads and dogs always have a kind intelligent and candid look in them. Their ears are set towards the back of the head which dogs carry low when at rest but higher when they are working or alert. Their ears turn gently inwards and are supple and velvety to the touch with fairly rounded tips. Their necks are quite long slightly arched and well set in a dog's shoulders.
Chests are long and deep with dogs having well sprung ribs and bellies are nicely tucked up which adds to their athletic appearance. They boast a nice level topline with well-defined withers. Backs are flat short and quite narrow. Loins are wide and slightly convex with females having wider loins than their male counterparts. Back legs are strong with well-muscled upper thighs. Their feet are not quite cat-like nor are they hare-like but somewhere in between. Their tails are set high which dogs carry horizontally.
When it comes to their coat the Braque d'Auvergne boasts a short rather fine and very shiny coat with no undercoat. The accepted breed colours for Kennel Club registration are as follows:
It is worth noting that the accepted breed colours for Kennel Club registration can differ from those set out in the breed standard which are as follows:
Dogs with completely black or white coats or with tan markings in their coats are highly undesirable under the Kennel Club breed standard.
When a Braque d’Auvergne moves they do so with a steady true and straight gait at the trot taking long strides but without ever showing any sort of exaggeration.
The Kennel Club frowns on any exaggerations or departures from the breed standard and would judge the faults on how much they affect a dog's overall health and wellbeing as well as their ability to perform.
Males should have both testicles fully descended into their scrotums and it is worth noting that a dog can be a little lighter or heavier as well as slightly taller or shorter than set out in the Kennel Club breed standard which is only given as a guideline.
The Braque d’Auvergne boasts having a tremendous amount of stamina and as such are never happier than when they are out working or being kept busy by their owners. They are active energetic inquisitive and extremely hard-working dogs by nature and will happily stay on the go all day long. However they are affectionate and kind natured characters that form strong bonds with their owners more especially with the person who usually takes care of them.
Being such active intelligent dogs they need to be given the right amount of daily mental stimulation and physical exercise for them to be truly happy well-rounded and obedient characters. They are not the best choice for first time owners because they need to be trained and handled by someone who is familiar with the breed or this type of hardworking dog. The Braque d'Auvergne thrives in a household where one person usually stays at home when everyone else is out of the house and with people who spend as much time as possible in the great outdoors with a canine companion at their side.
One thing to bear in mind is that the Braque d'Auvergne has an amazing sense of smell which means they can easily pick up an interesting scent when out on a walk. With this in mind it's important for these dogs to be taught a strong "recall" command so they come when they are called no matter how interesting a scent happens to be.
Braques are not the best choice for first time dog owners because they must he socialised handled and trained by people who are familiar with the needs of such an intelligent hunt/point and retrieve dog and one that thrives on being kept busy.
The Braque d’Auvergne was bred to hunt and therefore the instinct is a trait that is deeply embedded in their psyche. As such care should always be taken as to where and when a dog can run off the lead more especially if there is wildlife and/or livestock close by. The good news is that a well-trained Braque d’Auvergne would typically always stay close to an owner and would respond well to recall command.
Braques have a playful side to their natures and love to entertain and be entertained more especially when out and about on a walk. They thrive on being given something to do and because their instinct to “hunt” remains so strong they adore tracking down as scent whenever they can.
The Braque d’Auvergne is a hunting dog and as such they are better suited to people who live in the country and who lead active outdoor lives. They would not be happy living in an apartment because they love to roam around a secure well-fenced back garden whenever they can to really let off steam.
Braques form strong ties with their families and dogs are never very happy when they find themselves left on their own for longer periods of time. They are better suited to people who either work from home or in households where one person stays at home when everyone else is out so they are never alone for any length of time which could see a dog suffering from separation anxiety. This can lead to them being destructive around the home which is a dog's way of relieving any stress they are feeling and a way to keep themselves entertained.
Braques have lovely deep voices but they seldom voice an opinion unless they deem it necessary which is one of the reasons they make such good watchdogs.
Braque d’Auvergne love swimming and will take to the water whenever they can no matter what the weather. However if anyone who owns a dog that does not like water should never force them to go in because it would just end up scaring them. With this said care should always be taken when walking a Braque off the lead anywhere near more dangerous watercourses just in case a dog decides to leap in and then needs rescuing because they cannot get out of the water on their own.
Braques are good watchdogs and always ready and alert when it comes to protecting their owners and their property. However rarely would a Braque show any sort of aggressive behaviour preferring to stand their ground and bark.
The Braque d'Auvergne is an intelligent dog and training them is a real pleasure because it mainly consists of enhancing and developing a dog’s own natural abilities. In the right hands and with the correct amount of training that starts early in a dog's life the Braque d'Auvergne learns quickly and enjoys the one-to-one attention they are given during a training session. They excel at retrieving objects and thoroughly enjoy taking part in lots of interactive games which not only keeps these dogs busy fit and healthy but it also helps reinforce the bond they form with an owner.
Like all puppies Braques are incredibly cute when young and it is all too easy to spoil them when the arrive in their new homes. However once a puppy in nicely settled in owners must start out as they mean to go on which means laying down ground rules limits and boundaries so that a puppy understands what an owner expects of them. It also helps establish a pecking order and who the alpha dog is in a household. The first commands a puppy should be taught are as follows:
The Braque d'Auvergne likes nothing more than to be part of a family and as such they get on well with children both younger and older. However any interaction between the kids and dogs should always be supervised by an adult to ensure playtime does not get too boisterous which could end up with someone getting scared or hurt.
If well socialised from a young age the Braque d'Auvergne generally gets on well with other dogs it's in their nature to be around them in the field where they often work in pairs. However care has to be taken when one of these dogs are around any smaller animals or pets because of their deeply embedded hunting instincts which might just get the better of them. If they have grown up with a family cat in the household they usually get on well together but a Braque d’Auvergne would think nothing of chasing a neighbour’s cat if they ever got the chance to.
The average life expectancy of a Braque d'Auvergne is between 12 and 14 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
Like so many other breeds the Braque d'Auvergne is known to suffer from a few hereditary health issues which are worth knowing about if you are planning share your home with one of these active and handsome dogs. The conditions that seem to affect the breed the most include the following:
Braque d’Auvergne puppies would have been given their initial vaccinations before being sold but it is up to their new owners to make sure they have their follow-up shots in a timely manner with the vaccination schedule for puppies being as follows:
There has been a lot of discussion about the need for dogs to have boosters. As such it's best to talk to a vet before making a final decision on whether a dog should continue to have annual vaccinations which are known as boosters.
A lot of vets these days recommend waiting until dogs are slightly older before spaying and neutering them which means they are more mature before undergoing the procedures. As such they advise neutering males and spaying females when they are between the ages of 6 to 9 months old and sometimes even when a dog is 12 months old.
Other vets recommend spaying and neutering dogs when they are 6 months old but never any earlier unless for medical reasons. With this said many breeds are different and it is always advisable to discuss things with a vet and then follow their advice on when a dog should be spayed or neutered.
Like other breeds some Braque d’Auvergne gain weight after they have been spayed or neutered and it's important to keep an eye on a dog's waistline just in case they do. If a dog starts to put on weight it's important to adjust their daily calorie intake and to up the amount of exercise they are given. Older dogs too are more prone to gaining weight and again it's essential they be fed and exercised accordingly because obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years. The reason being that it puts a lot of extra strain on a dog's internal organs including the heart which could prove fatal.
Braques are not known to suffer from allergies but it's important for a dog to see a vet sooner rather than later if one flares up. Allergies can be notoriously hard to clear up and finding the triggers can be challenging. With this said a vet would be able to make a dog with an allergy more comfortable while they try to find out the triggers which could include the following:
All responsible Braque d’Auvergne breeders would ensure that their stud dogs are tested for known hereditary and congenital health issues known to affect the breed by using the following schemes:
Apart from the standard breeding restrictions that are in place for all Kennel Club registered breeds there are no other breed specific breeding restrictions in place for the Braque d’Auvergne.
Currently there are no Kennel Club Assured Breeder requirements for the Braque d’Auvergne.
As with any other breed a Braque d'Auvergne needs to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.
Braque d’Auvergne puppies are boisterous and full of life which means it's essential for homes and gardens to be puppy-proofed well in advance of their arrival. A responsible breeder would have well socialised their puppies which always leads to more outgoing confident and friendly dogs right from the word go. With this said any puppy is going to feel vulnerable when they leave their mother and littermates which must be taken into account. The longer a puppy can remain with their mother the better although it should never be for too long either.
It's best to pick a puppy up when people are going to be around for the first week or so which is the time needed for a puppy to settle in. Puppy-proofing the home and garden means putting away any tools and other implements that a boisterous puppy might injure themselves on. Electric wires and cables must be put out of their reach because puppies love chewing on things. Toxic plants should be removed from flowerbeds and the home too.
Puppies need to sleep a lot to grow and develop as they should which means setting up a quiet area that's not too out of the way means they can retreat to it when they want to nap and it's important not to disturb them when they are sleeping. It's also a good idea to keep "playtime" nice and calm inside the house and to have a more active "playtime" outside in the garden which means puppies quickly learn to be less boisterous when they are inside.
The documentation a breeder provides for a puppy must have all the details of their worming date and the product used as well as the information relating to their microchip. It is essential for puppies to be wormed again keeping to a schedule which is as follows:
There are certain items that new owners need to already have in the home prior to bringing a new puppy home. It's often a good idea to restrict how much space a puppy plays in more especially when you can't keep an eye on what they get up to bearing in mind that puppies are often quite boisterous which means investing in puppy gates or a large enough playpen that allows a puppy the room to express themselves while keeping them safe too. The items needed are therefore as follows:
All puppies are sensitive to noise including Braque d’Auvergne puppies. It's important to keep the noise levels down when a new puppy arrives in the home. TVs and music should not be played too loud which could end up stressing a small puppy out resulting in them being withdrawn timid and shy.
As previously mentioned Braque d’Auvergne puppies would have been given their first vaccinations by the breeders but they must have their follow up shots which is up to their new owners to organise. The vaccination schedule for puppies is as follows:
When it comes to boosters it's best to discuss these with a vet because there is a lot of debate about whether a dog really needs them after a certain time. However if a dog ever needed to go into kennels their vaccinations would need to be fully up to date.
Older Braque d’Auvergne need lots of special care because as they reach their golden years they are more at risk of developing certain health concerns. Physically a dog's muzzle may start to go grey but there will be other noticeable changes too which includes the following:
Living with a Braque d’Auvergne in their golden years means taking on a few more responsibilities but these are easily managed and should include looking at their diet the amount of exercise they are given how often their dog beds need changing and keeping an eye on the condition of their teeth.
Older Braque d’Auvergne need to be fed a good quality diet that meets their needs at this stage of their lives all the while keeping a close eye on a dog's weight. A rough feeding guide for older dogs is as follows bearing in mind they should be fed highly digestible food that does not contain any additives:
Older Braques don't need to be given the same amount of daily exercise as a younger dog but they still need the right amount of physical activity to maintain muscle tone and to prevent a dog from putting on too much weight. All dogs need access to fresh clean water and this is especially true of older dogs when they reach their golden years because they are more at risk of developing kidney disorders.
The Braque d'Auvergne has a close tight and smooth coat which means they are low maintenance when it comes to keeping things tidy. A weekly brush is all it takes to remove any dead or shed hair from their coats. A weekly wipe over with a chamois leather helps keep their coats glossy too. As with other breeds they tend to shed the most during the Spring and then again in the Autumn when more frequent brushing is typically necessary.
It's also important to check a dog's ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax is allowed to build up in a dog's ears it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short prevention is often easier than cure when it comes to ear infections.
The Braque d'Auvergne is a high energy and extremely intelligent dog and as such they need to be given the right amount of daily physical exercised combined with a lot of mental stimulation for them to be truly happy well-rounded and obedient dogs. This means a good 2 hour's exercise every single day and even more if possible because these dogs boast having a tremendous amount of stamina and will happily run with an owner the whole day long.
A shorter walk in the morning would be fine but a longer more interesting one in the afternoon is a must. These dogs also like to be able to roam around a back garden as often as possible so they can really let off steam. However the fencing has to be extremely secure to keep these inquisitive high energy dogs in because if they find a weakness in the fence they will soon escape out and get into all sorts of trouble.
With this said Braque d'Auvergne puppies should not be over exercised because their joints and bones are still growing and too much pressure on them could result in causing a dog a few problems later on in their lives. They should not be allowed to jump up or off furniture nor should they be allowed to run up and down the stairs for this very reason.
If you get a Braque d'Auvergne puppy from a breeder they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy or finicky eaters but this does not mean you can feed them a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day once in the morning and then again in the evening making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
Puppies need to be fed a highly nutritious good quality diet for them to develop and grow as they should. As a rough guide a Braque d’Auvergne puppy can be fed the following amounts every day making sure their meals are evenly spread out throughout the day and it's best to feed them 3 or 4 times a day:
Once a puppy is 15 months old they can be fed adult dog food.
Once fully mature an adult Braque d’Auvergne should be fed a good quality diet to ensure their continued good health. As a rough guide an adult Braque can be fed the following amounts every day:
If you are looking to buy a Braque d'Auvergne you may have to go on a waiting list because not many puppies are available every year and you should expect to pay anything upwards of £600 for a well-bred pedigree puppy. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Braque d'Auvergne in northern England would be £24.75 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy this would set you back £58.98 a month (quote as of October 2018). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK and a dog's age and whether they have been neutered or spayed among other things.
When it comes to food costs you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry to feed your dog throughout their lives making sure it suits the different stages of their lives. This would set you back between £40 - £50 a month. On top of this you would need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Braque d'Auvergne and this includes their initial vaccinations their annual boosters the cost of neutering or spaying your dog when the time is right and their yearly health checks all of which quickly adds up to over £1200 a year.
As a rough guide the average cost to keep and care for a Braque d'Auvergne would be between £70 to £120 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog but this does not include the initial cost of buying a well-bred healthy Kennel Club registered pedigree Braque d’Auvergne puppy.
When visiting and buying any puppy or dog there are many important things to consider and questions to ask of the breeder/seller. You can read our generic puppy/dog advice here which includes making sure you see the puppy with its mother and to verify that the dog has been wormed and microchipped.
The Braque d’Auvergne is a rarely seen breed in the UK and waiting lists for puppies tend to be long which means that well-bred puppies can command a lot of money. As such with the Braque d’Auvergne there is specific advice questions and protocols to follow when buying a puppy which are as follows: