The Braque du Bourbonnais (brock-do-bor-bon-nay) is a breed which dates back to the late 1500’s in France. The word Braque is derived from a French verb, which means to aim or point. It can also be translated as pointer. The breed can be found in the pages of French literature and was known for its amazing hunting instincts. It is thought that the Braque du Bourbonnais originated from the early Spanish pointer. The name of French pointers reflects the region where they were developed. This pointer, the Braque du Bourbonnais is from the Province of Bourbon, a region of central France.
Back in the 1500’s the Braque du Bourbonnais was described as a willing, hunting partner who is very hardy and strong looking. The breed is tailless or has a very short tail. There are two colors of Braque du Bourbonnais, ticked liver (also known as wine dregs) or fawn (also known as peach blossom). The Braque du Bourbonnais was never a very common breed and adherence to strict breed requirements nearly drove the breed to extinction.
In 1925, the first Braque du Bourbonnais club was formed by a group of dedicated breeders. They published the first standards in 1930. Along came WWII and all of the progress made by the club was decimated. The breed was dropped by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) for lack of breeder activity.
No Braque du Bourbonnais were registered from 1963 to 1973 because of strict adherence to color requirements and a naturally tailless dog. It appears that because of these strict requirements, breeders lost interest. In 1970, Michel Comte and a group of breeders banded together to ensure the survival of the breed. A second club was formed in 1982 and in 1985, the Braque du Bourbonnais was recognized by the Society Centrale Canine (SCC) which is the French affiliate of the FCI. The goal of bringing back the Braque du Bourbonnais has been achieved because the breed standard was relaxed. Spots and docked tails are now acceptable and the breed has been fully restored and a Braque du Bourbonnais Club of America has been formed. Today Michael Comte, Michel’s son, maintains the French website and keeps track of all Bourbonnais born in the world. http://www.braquedubourbonnais.info/en/index.htm
The Braque du Bourbonnais is truly the versatile gun dog that every hunter is looking for. This dog has a very keen nose, an eagerness to retrieve, an intense pointing instinct and the energy to track wounded game. All of this plus a calm demeanor make this breed an ideal family companion.
The Braque du Bourbonnais was imported into the United States in 1988. In 1989, Beth Cepil of New Tripoli, PA imported 3 dogs from France. She produced the first litter of Braques in 1991.