French pointing dog Gascogne type

FCI standard Nº 133

Mrs. Peggy Davis
Group 7 Pointing Dogs
Section 1.1 Continental Pointing Dogs « Braque » Type
With working trial
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
Monday 17 January 1955
Publication of the official valid standard
Tuesday 01 August 2023
Last update
Friday 22 September 2023
En français, cette race se dit
Braque français type Gascogne
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
Französischer Vorstehhund typ Gascogne
En español, esta raza se dice
Braco Francés tipo Gascuña
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd
Franse braque type Gascogne


Pointing dog.

Brief historical summary

There are two different types of French Pointing Dogs : the large size « Gascogne type » and the small size « Pyrenean type ». Both types are originally from the South-West of France and the Central Pyrenees where they stayed in pure state.

General appearance

Pointing dog of medium proportions with « Braque » type, noble appearance, powerful but without excessive heaviness, robust with strong bone structure. The females are finer. The skin is supple, quite loose.

Important proportions

Length of muzzle somewhat shorter than that of the skull.


Cranial region

Quite important but not too heavy. In profile, the lines of the skull and the muzzle are slightly divergent.
Almost flat or very slightly rounded; shows a medium furrow only lightly marked. The occipital protuberance is barely prominent. 
Neither shallow nor accentuated.

Facial region

Broad, brown in colour, nostrils well opened.
Pendent; the labial commissure is quite folded.
Nasal bridge
Broad and rectangular, sometimes a little convex.
Jaws and teeth
Must be complete. Pincer bite is tolerated.
Well open and well set into the eye socket, chestnut brown or dark yellow. The expression is frank.
Of medium length, set at eye level, not too broad at their set on, framing the head well, slightly folded and rounded at their tip. One or two vertical folds may be on the cheek at level and a little above the attachment of the ear. The tip of the leathers must reach the rear rim of the noseleather.


Of good length, slightly arched in its upper part, always with a slight dewlap.


Broad, straight, sometimes a bit long but always well sustained.
Short, muscled, slightly arched.
Slightly oblique in relation to the topline.
Broad seen from the front, long in profile, reaching to the level of the elbow.
The ribs are rounded without exaggeration.
Underline and belly
Belly only slightly tucked up.


Generally docked and continuing the convexity of the line of the rump, although the long tail, if well carried, is not a fault, no more than the naturally short tail.



Legs vertical, straight and muscular.
Very muscular and moderately oblique.
Upper arm
Strong and well muscled.
At level of the sternum.
Toes are tight and well arched, giving a compact ensemble, nearly round. The nails are strong and the pads thick and fleshy.


They are really vertical and straight.
Upper thigh
Fleshy, muscular.
Lower thigh
Rather short.
Moderately angulated.
Hind feet
Compact, almost round.


Rather thick and well furnished; finer on the head and ears.
Chestnut brown, chestnut brown and white, cestnut brown and white strongly speckled, chestnut brown marked with tan (above the eyes, at the lips and on the legs).

Size and weight

Height at withers
Male 60 to 69 cm, female 58 to 68 cm.


• Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and its ability to perform its traditional work.
• Faults listed should be in degree of seriousness.

General faults

 Dog too heavy or too light.
 Occipital protuberance too pronounced.
 Lips too thick or not let down enough.
 Eyes round caused by exaggeration of the zygomatic and superciliary arches.
 Leathers flat and too short, or too curled.
 Belly too tucked up (whippety).
 Splayed feet.

Disqualifying faults

 Aggresive or overly shy.
 Skull/muzzle lines converging or too divergent.
 Split nose, pronounced depigmentation.
 Over- or undershot mouth.
 Entropion, ectropion, pink spots on the eyelids.
 Absence of tail.
 Syndactyly (toes grown together), surplus toes, absence of toes.

NB :

• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
• The above mentioned faults when occurring to a highly marked degree or frequently are disqualifying.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.



Detailed history

Braque type most widespread today in France, the French Braque is also the direct representative of the oldest strains of dogs. From the early Middle Ages, indeed, hunting is the favorite pastime of lords; and their appanage, one might say, since a hunting right, which existed neither in the Gallo-Roman laws nor in the Germanic law of the Franks, was established in the eighth century. The most popular type of hunting at that time was the hunting of big game in the forest, with the help of packs of common dogs, to which others were added, and greyhounds. Hunting is also considered a veritable school of courage preparing young "bachelors" for the profession of arms.

The pleasure of the table is not, however, exempt from the concerns of the feudal nobility, and, as such, game birds are particularly popular. But it is also the most difficult to take. To catch the birds, the lords thus have the nets in the most game-filled places, a practice known since the Antiquity but that the hunters of the Middle Ages perfected by resorting to dogs "socks"; they also use hawks and "calling" dogs to hunt game, fly it, and eventually help the hawks to control large-sized birds (like the heron). As call dogs or dogs, the lords use "Brachets", which are quite close to the common dogs.

Some animals are also trained to hunt "dumb", that is to say, they provide game to their master without their barking betray them. From silent hunting to poaching, so there is only one step that some people easily cross, and if the right to hunt is strictly respected in many areas, "there are still many places, as clarified Robert Delort , renowned medievalist and specialist in the history of animals, where hunting is free, especially from the Iberian Peninsula to northern Italy, where poaching is not pursued ". It is therefore quite naturally in southern Europe that the Brachet will develop, where the lord is not fortunate enough to maintain large packs and where the wealthy peasant can possess with impunity, or almost, a dog of hunt.

The Brachet thus becomes quickly the Braque, a versatile dog which, by its origins, is as well dog running to run the hare, dog of call, dog lying for the hunting of the birds than the auxiliary of the shooter then of the arquebusier, finally poacher's dog (the poacher is the one who heals the Braques, poaching meaning to hunt with the Braques).

From the fourteenth century, hunters add another type of dog, the Spaniel, more specialized than the old Braques. It was at this time that the great traditions of hunting began to be codified and that the great lords take for auxiliaries dogs more and more diverse. Like Gaston Phoebus, count of Foix and lord of Béarn, the kings of France and all the great characters of the kingdom will therefore maintain several hundred hunting dogs, including French Braques if we judge after some paintings of the eighteenth century. François Alexandre Desportes and Jean-Baptiste Oudry, who are the official painter of the dogs of Louis XIV and Louis XV successively, reproduce various scenes of hunting where are portraits of Braque dogs, while Sélincourt, from 1683, describes the Braque as "a dog generally of rather large size and robust format: big head, long ears, square muzzle, big nose, hanging lips, thick neck, white coat with brown spots". In a word: a typical French Braque.

The Braques are also valuable auxiliaries for small hunters, who are numerous in southern Europe not only because poaching is little repressed but also because hunting, due to lack of forests, is there. little practiced. This explains why Spain, Italy and the south of France will retain the three oldest Braques breeds, all of which have retained in their morphology certain characteristics of the Brachets of the past.

The French Revolution, which allows many citizens to access hunting, then the generalization of firearms will encourage the spread of Braques throughout the country. In the first half of the nineteenth century, these dogs will tend to regionalize; each adapted to its terroir; even if their characteristics are still only superficially fixed, especially as regards those of Braques d'Anjou or those of breeds created by crosses, such as Braque Dupuy. Taking the example of the first zootechnicians, dog-lovers try to study the different dog breeds, seeking to attribute to each type of dog a specific region. But if this approach is entirely justified as regards the Braque du Bourbonnais, it seems more questionable with regard to Braque d'Auvergne or Braque de l'Ariège; also called Braque de Toulouse; who are both types of the French Pointer, but one with a white and black-blue coat, the other with a white dress, spotted with orange.

In the second half of the last century, the French Braque will suffer from the enthusiasm of French dog breeds for English breeds, and at the beginning of the 20th century the best subjects are only found in regions where hunting remains a strong tradition. . Moreover, in these very beginnings of the cynophilia, the distinction between French Braque and Braque "of country" is not always easy to make. In his book published at the end of the nineteenth century, The Races of Dogs, A. Reul even goes so far as to describe under the name "Braque de pays" the old French Braque: "The essential characteristic is its large size with the consequence a very strong frame and a very high weight. His limbs are large, his feet wide and open, his muzzle wide, his head bulky and heavy, his ears very strong and dangling, his tail shortened. This dog is also the subject of sharp criticism. In an article published in L'Acclimatation in 1898, J. de Conynck, while recognizing that he was born almost ready, found the French Braque much too slow, while Oberthur, a few decades later, will not hesitate to speak from this dog to the past: "He had an excellent nose that kept his power through drought and heat, good paces, but he feared spiciness and did not like water. He sometimes had a hard tooth and was more difficult to train than our Spaniels, whose softness and suppleness he had neither. "

It was not until the inter-war period, during which Pyrenean and Gascan dogs decided to take charge of their endangered regional breeds, so that the French Braque was once again at the heart of dog-eating concerns. Dr. Castets, president and founder of the Club, directs the breeding of the old French Braque; breeding that his father began in 1875; towards a slightly lightened but good-sized type, rather close to the ancestral type; he is soon followed by Senac-Lagrange, another great connoisseur of Southwestern dogs, who is looking for a smaller, much lighter type, better able to support the comparison with the English dogs, whose fashion is then at its peak. Thus, and whatever the efforts of cynophiles to adapt the French Braque to the twentieth century and thereby lead to a truly satisfactory synthesis, two types will continue: Gascony, more classic, and the Pyrenees, more modern.

The breed will not be more popular so far, and in the sixties, this dog is less well represented than his cousin, the Braque d'Auvergne, himself greatly exceeded by the German pointer. Little by little, however, and thanks to Dr. Servier who defines a "standard of work" aimed at clarifying the "inherent" style of this dog in the field-trials, the French Braque is more interested. In the exhibitions first of all, the two types (now subject to two standards) are better known; Welder Rallie (Gascony type) and Sirex Arrieussecq (type Pyrenees) will prove two outstanding champions; and in field trials later, especially in the autumn fields on game shooting, many subjects stand out.

The French Braque is a dog with a very sweet, sensitive character, to the point that some subjects may even seem shy. What is certain is that this animal does not support brutal people and that he feels very bad punishment undeserved or too frequent mood swings in his master. The French Braque is nothing like a dog that is mechanized, that one "raises to the button" without having first understood what is expected of him.

It is also when he is a puppy that it is important to develop his sociability, to accustom him to noises, to the crowd, especially as, for him to become a real auxiliary, it is necessary to first make it an accomplice. His master will have him perform the necessary exercises before taking him to the hunt, such as walking without leash and recall, but, above all, he will not hesitate to congratulate him if successful. The French Braque declares himself quickly and all alone, provided he has the opportunity to use his flair. He puts such good will into satisfying his master that it has been said that he was born "trained". He has an instinct of submissive submission and a sense of hunting just as developed. It can be found, however, that it lacks style with respect to certain English races, and sometimes of celerity in the execution of orders or in the report. It's misunderstanding the way he works. He has never been selected in the field-trials to distinguish himself by a dazzling brilliance during the quarter of an hour that lasts the test, but he is asked to support a good pace a whole day. Thus, if the Setters and Pointers are athletes with a very good resistance, able to extend their sprints in middle distance races, the French Braques, they are "founders", that is to say they prove to be very enduring. Indeed, if the selection has made the Braque modern faster than the Braques of yesteryear, it has kept most of its rusticity.

As Jean Servier pointed out, he "gives the impression of maximizing his strength and running for the performance index", in other words, he works with regularity and without fatigue. Should we be surprised, for a race that had for centuries hunted on very fragmented terrain that we had to explore thoroughly, on stony soils, in hot and dry weather, in the mountains where the altitude difference is more demanding than the number of kilometers?

His stops are known for their firmness. However, he knows how to "sink" to the game, especially after his master has given him the order. The French Braque, moreover, is a "galloping trotter", his gallop, supple and economical, being frequently interrupted by a trot; the animal can pass several times in the same places (or almost) when it has the intuition that the game is not far and that it is likely to make it fly away. The French Braque can still track and recover the injured parts, and is an excellent retriever. The vast majority of subjects have a natural relationship; However, it is advisable to obtain firm stops before asking for the report and to have the hair only brought back to a dog that is perfectly "routine", because, if the French Braque is the ideal auxiliary for the hunter who only has 'a single dog, it is above all a stop dog. It adapts to game and to the most diverse territories.

Easy on the field, rough to the task, pleasant at home, venerating his master, this companion also knows how to be discreet when the situation requires it, and especially not very demanding. He can be taken to town or left alone at home without worry. Her exercise needs are moderate compared to those of some other hunting dogs, impetuous and nervous. He is finally very patient and playful with children, and tolerant with his peers.

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