Key Breed Facts
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Braque d Auvergne
Average Cost to keep/care for a Braque d Auvergne
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 dog in the field and home environment, the breed has only just been recognised by The Kennel Club. The Braque d’Auvergne is known to excel at the job they were bred to do which is to hunt, point and retrieve, but they are now becoming a popular choice as both companions and family pets, more especially with people who live in rural areas and who enjoy spending as much time in the great outdoors as possible with a canine companion at their side.
The Braque d'Auvergne is one of the French bred pointing dogs named after the region of France where they were first bred to hunt, point and retrieve, a job these dogs are known to excel at. They are often called the Blue d'Auvergne thanks to the blue/grey speckles in their coat. Although the actual origins of the breed are unknown, there are those who believe these elegant hunting dogs have an illustrious ancestry with their foundation stock having been introduced into the Auvergne region of France by the Knights of the Order of St. John when they were driven out of Malta in 1798 by Napoleon who took control of the island.
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 the French breed club, their numbers began to rise albeit slowly. 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 colour is as follows:
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.
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.
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.
For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.
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:
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.
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.
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 £21.59 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £56.80 a month (quote as of June 2016). 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 or not they have been neutered or spayed.
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 all 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 pedigree puppy.
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