The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.
The Braque Francais Pyrenean is a well-proportioned, medium-sized dog with a soft, shorthaired coat. He was bred to hunt the very rugged and arid Pyrenees Mountain range on the border of France and Spain. The breed dates back hundreds of years and is considered the common ancestor to all of today’s shorthaired pointing breeds. There are actually two types of Braque Francais: the Gascony Type and the Pyrenean type. The Braque Francais Pyrenean is the smaller and more popular of the two. He has a natural retrieve instinct and loves water. He is gentle, friendly sociable, and submissive.
The Braque Francais Pyrenean should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
Beyond regular weekly grooming, the occasional bath will keep the Braque Francais Pyrenean clean and looking his best. Grooming can be a wonderful bonding experience for you and your dog. The breed’s strong, fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, splitting and cracking. Ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris, which can result in infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly.
Options for exercise include play time in the backyard, preferably fenced, or being taken for walks several times a day. Exercise can also come in the form of indoor activities, like hide-and-seek, chasing a ball rolled along the floor, or learning new tricks. Certain outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, retrieving balls or flying discs can provide a good outlet for expending energy. Training for dog sports like agility, obedience and rally can also be a great way to give your dog exercise.
Most Pyrenean Type French Pointers are healthy dogs, and responsible breeders screen their stock for common health problems. Good breeders utilize health screening and genetic testing to reduce the likelihood of disease in their puppies.
The Braque Français, in general, descends from an old type of gun dog used to point the location of game birds, specifically the Old Spanish Pointer and the now extinct Southern Hound. They have existed since the 15th century.
Over time, this hunting breed was taken to other countries and crossed with other breeds. At the end of the 19th century, a search began to find the original dogs and two separate varieties were found. The Gascony type were the heavier, larger size and were considered truer to their classic gun dog fathers and grandfathers. The Pyrenean type dogs were bred by hunters wanting a leaner, faster version of the classic Braque Français.
Interest grew in these rustic hunting dogs, so by the early 20th century, the first breed club formed. They decided to support both varieties of Braque Français with separate standards for each.
Today, the Pyrenean Type is the most popular French Pointing Dog in its native country of France, with small, devoted followings in Canada and the US as well. He is recognized by the French Kennel Club at home and the FCI internationally.