Brague Du Bourbonnais.jpg
Breed Group Group 11: Gun Dog Breeds
Sub-group :
Origin Country France
Weight Males: 40-55 pounds. Females: 35-49 pounds.
Height Males: 20-23 inches. Females: 19-22 inches.
Other Name(s) Bourbonnais Pointer, Bourbonnais Pointing Dog
Breed Type Pure
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Braque du Bourbonnais

Breed Group Group 11: Gun Dog Breeds
Sub-group :
Origin Country France
Weight Males: 40-55 pounds. Females: 35-49 pounds.
Height Males: 20-23 inches. Females: 19-22 inches.
Other Name(s) Bourbonnais Pointer, Bourbonnais Pointing Dog
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD

Origins

The French pointing dogs are breeds of antiquity, believed to be descended from the Chien D’ Oysel, and predecessor of many of the modern-day pointing dogs. These pointing dogs, and their ancestors, have been used throughout France since the 14th century.

Known as the Braque Francais breeds, they eventually fell out of favor with hunters, in exchange for the faster, lighter, and racier English dogs that were crossed with greyhounds. However, some enthusiasts of the Braque Francais breeds preferred the larger native dogs to the racier imports, and kept them for generations throughout the centuries in various regions throughout France. Over time, each region developed its own type or variety of Braque Francias.

The Gasgone region kept in tradition with the larger, heavier French hunting hounds. These dogs were also split into the Auvergne region, where the Braque d’Auvergne was developed from the Braque Francais Gascony type. These Auvergne dogs, like the Gascogne dogs, are large, robust hunting dogs. In the Bourbon province of central France, the Braque du Bourbonnais was developed. In the Pyrenees region, a smaller, lighter dog with more stamina was favored. From these dogs, further crosses were made to produce more regional dogs, such as the Braque de Ariege, when the local French hounds were crossed with ancestors of the Bracco Italiano and Perdiguero de Burgos in the Ariegois region. The Braque Saint-Germain was the result of the Braque Francais ancestors crossed to the English Pointers of the time in the Paris/Saint-Germain area of France.

The Bourbonnais Pointer almost fell out of existence in the 1930s, when breeders decided to throw hunting ability to the wind in favor of docked tails and an Isabella coat color. Breeding for superficial appearances over performance caused the breed to lose favor with prominent hunters. World War II took a particularly hard toll on the breed, with numbers dwindling. By the mid-1960s to mid-1970s, the breed was virtually extinct, with none registered into the French Studbooks, which require a working title to be entered.

A French gentleman by the name of Michel Comte decided to take up the breed’s cause for himself in 1970. He scoured the French countryside and was able to locate a few French pointing dogs with some Bourbonnais blood in them. From these dogs, he produced several generations of litters, which became the foundation of the reconstructed Bourbonnais breed found today throughout France, as well as a growing number in the United States.

Breed Characteristics

Head: Mesaticephalic skull-type, moderate in size, pear-shaped, and in proportion to the rest of the body. It is neither heavy nor light in substance or size. The topskull is moderately broad and slightly arched on the side and top. The occiput is only slightly pronounced. A faint median furrow starts at the stop and disappears toward the occiput. The brows, zygomatic arches, and parietal bones are well developed. Although the head is lean, it is powerfully equipped with strong, smooth, and well-developed, yet never overly prominent muscle. The head is clean-cut without excess skin or wrinkle.
Eyes: Moderate in size, open oval to slightly round in shape, and hazel to dark amber in color. The eye rims are well fitted and well pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. Any signs of entropion or ectropion are incorrect for this breed.
Ears: Medium in length, may reach to or just beyond the throat. They are set fairly high on the skull, just above the level of the eye. They hang flat and closely to the head and face. The ears are never long, overly large, or fly-away.
Muzzle: Broad, deep, full, and strongly developed. The plane of the muzzle may be straight, or with a very slightly convex curvature. The muzzle tapers from the broader face toward the nose, forming a truncated cone. Upper and lower jaws are equal in length and have good bone substance, appearing strong and well developed, never appearing snipy or weak. Females may have a slightly finer muzzle.
Nose: The nose is well pigmented liver to flesh in color. The nose is broad and nostrils are well opened. The nose may project slightly forward beyond the perpendicular line of the lips.
Neck: Moderate length allows for proud head carriage; it is strongly muscled with a slight arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut and without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows. The forechest is well developed but not protrusive.
Body: The body is that of a canine endurance and agility athlete. It is deep, solid, and of moderate substance. The body is never cloddy or heavy. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.
Tail: Set neither high nor low on the croup, but as a natural extension of the topline. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. Carried horizontally when working, but also kept in accordance to the dog’s mood and energy level, never tucked or carried high above the topline. Tail may be docked short (least desirable), left naturally long, or naturally bobbed short. Docked tails are cut to allow 4 remaining tail vertebrae. Bobbed tails can be almost any length shorter than that of a natural tail. Natural tails are of a moderately long length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. The tail may be straight, sabered, or gently curved.
Movement: The Braque du Bourbonnais moves with powerful and agile motion. His action is effortless, efficient, and energetic. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.
Temperament: The Braque du Bourbonnais is a loyal, intelligent, and devoted hunting dog and companion. He takes his work very seriously and thoroughly enjoys the field. He is steady and consistent with endurance, stamina, and powerful hunting instincts. He is also a calm and engaging companion dog in the home as well. His versatility makes him a favorite among those who know and love him. He should never appear nervous, shy, or fearful. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.
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Breed Standard

BREED GROUP 11: Gun Dog Breeds

Proportions: Somewhat off-square to slightly rectangular, with length of the body, measured from the point of the forechest to the point of the rump, just slightly greater than the height at the withers. The ideal body-height-to-length ratio is between 10:9 and 5:4. Females may be slightly longer. Males should appear masculine, being more substantial in size and mass, while females should appear more feminine and slightly less substantial. Neither should lack overall type.

Head

General Appearance: Mesaticephalic skull-type, moderate in size, pear-shaped, and in proportion to the rest of the body. It is neither heavy nor light in substance or size. The topskull is moderately broad and slightly arched on the side and top. The occiput is only slightly pronounced. A faint median furrow starts at the stop and disappears toward the occiput. The brows, zygomatic arches, and parietal bones are well developed. Although the head is lean, it is powerfully equipped with strong, smooth, and well-developed, yet never overly prominent muscle. The head is clean-cut without excess skin or wrinkle.
Expression: Expressive, kind, watchful, sincere, lively, intelligent, and eager.
Stop: The stop is moderately defined.
Skull: The ideal muzzle-to-skull ratio is 5:4, with the topskull being just longer than the muzzle.
The ideal muzzle-to-skull axis is parallel to just slightly convergent.
Muzzle: Broad, deep, full, and strongly developed. The plane of the muzzle may be straight, or with a very slightly convex curvature. The muzzle tapers from the broader face toward the nose, forming a truncated cone. Upper and lower jaws are equal in length and have good bone substance, appearing strong and well developed, never appearing snipy or weak. Females may have a slightly finer muzzle.
Lips or Flews: Lips are clean and fit well over the teeth and jaws, just covering the lower jaw, giving the muzzle its deep and full appearance. The lips are never pendulous, yet never fit so tightly that the muzzle appears tapered.
Nose: The nose is well pigmented liver to flesh in color. The nose is broad and nostrils are well opened. The nose may project slightly forward beyond the perpendicular line of the lips.
Cheeks: The cheeks are strongly muscled with smooth muscle. They should not appear chiseled or coarse.
Dentition and Bite: Forty-two strong, clean, white teeth. Bite may be level, scissor, or reverse-scissor. Contact must be made between the top and bottom incisors. Missing or broken teeth as a result of routine work is not to be penalized.
Eyes: Moderate in size, open oval to slightly round in shape, and hazel to dark amber in color. The eye rims are well fitted and well pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. Any signs of entropion or ectropion are incorrect for this breed.
Ears: Medium in length, may reach to or just beyond the throat. They are set fairly high on the skull, just above the level of the eye. They hang flat and closely to the head and face. The ears are never long, overly large, or fly-away.

Body and Tail

General Description: The body is that of a canine endurance and agility athlete. It is deep, solid, and of moderate substance. The body is never cloddy or heavy. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Neck: Moderate length allows for proud head carriage; it is strongly muscled with a slight arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut and without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows. The forechest is well developed but not protrusive.
Topline: Straight, and may be level or slightly sloped from prominent withers to croup. The back is of a good length, broad, strongly muscled, and straight, yet supple. The loin is short, taut, flat and level, or slightly arched, yet supportive. The back is never swayed or roached.
Croup: Broad, long, and gently sloped.
Underline: Slight tuck-up present. The underline is taut and firm, without any indication of sagging or excess weight.
Ribs: Long, well-sprung, well-laid-back, and oval-shaped, never barrel-chested or slab-sided.
Tail: Set neither high nor low on the croup, but as a natural extension of the topline. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. Carried horizontally when working, but also kept in accordance to the dog’s mood and energy level, never tucked or carried high above the topline. Tail may be docked short (least desirable), left naturally long, or naturally bobbed short. Docked tails are cut to allow 4 remaining tail vertebrae. Bobbed tails can be almost any length shorter than that of a natural tail. Natural tails are of a moderately long length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. The tail may be straight, sabered, or gently curved.

Forequarters and Hindquarters

Forequarters: Forequarters are always in balance with the hindquarters. Forequarters are well angulated with well-laid-back shoulder blades. Shoulder blades are long and approximately equal in length to the upper arm and forearm.
Elbows: Elbows are close to the body. The point of the elbows is approximately half the dog’s height at the withers.
Forelegs: Frontal View: Straight, of good muscle, of medium to moderately fine bone, and parallel to one another.
Side View: The forelimbs appear straight with strong pasterns.
Pasterns: Frontal View: Straight, of good muscle, of medium to moderately fine bone, and parallel to one another.
Side View: The forelimbs appear straight with strong pasterns.
Hindquarters: Upper thigh and lower thigh are equal in length, strong, sturdy, of medium to moderately fine bone, and well-muscled.
Rear View: When viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are parallel to one another.
Side View: Good angulation will allow the rear toes to align with the point of the rump or within one to two paw-lengths behind the point of the rump, with the rear pasterns remaining perpendicular to the ground and parallel to one another.
Stifle Joint: Well-angulated with a good bend to well-let-down rear pasterns.
Angulations: Angulation of hindquarters is always in balance with angulation of forequarters.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.

Coat

Skin: Well-fitted, yet supple. The skin should never obstruct the outline of the dog.
Coat Type: Short, hard, rough, dense outer coat with a short, dense undercoat.
Coat Color or Pattern: Extreme white, or color-headed white on liver, chestnut (wine dregs), or liver-red (fawn, or “peach-blossom”) base color, all with ticking, roaning, or spotting. Patches of color on the body are acceptable if approximately the size of a man’s palm, or smaller. Patched or solid colored ears are permissible.

Movement

The Braque du Bourbonnais moves with powerful and agile motion. His action is effortless, efficient, and energetic. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.

Temperament

The Braque du Bourbonnais is a loyal, intelligent, and devoted hunting dog and companion. He takes his work very seriously and thoroughly enjoys the field. He is steady and consistent with endurance, stamina, and powerful hunting instincts. He is also a calm and engaging companion dog in the home as well. His versatility makes him a favorite among those who know and love him. He should never appear nervous, shy, or fearful. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.

Faults

All dogs should be in proper healthy condition, free from disease or defect. Any departure from this description is considered a fault. Unless altered, all male dogs should have two fully descended testicles.