Bird hunters have always cross-bred dogs with the hopes of creating better four-legged companions. The Braque Français is a perfect example of this process. In Craig Koshyk’s superb book Pointing Dogs: Volume One, The Continentals, he explains how hunters modified this breed and developed two types of pointing dogs with a shared ancestry and the same first name.
Back in the early days of bird dogs, the Navarre region of Franch/Spain was ground zero for some of the earliest Braque Français pointers. These dogs were big bodied and short haired, with large ears, loose skin, and a hound-like look overall. They hunted close, at a trot, and were known for their all-day stamina in the field.
Of course some people thought these dogs could be improved. These hunters developed a smaller, quicker line of Braque Français, with a wider range and more athleticism. Soon fanciers had a dilemma: which dogs were the true Braque Français?
To solve the problem, the Braque Français club established two sub categories: the Braque Français Gascony and the Braque Français Pyrenean. You can read more about these dogs here on Craig’s blog.