• Millies Wolfheart
  • Fieldsports Guide to Gundogs
  • Fieldsports April May issue
  • Fieldsports April May issue
  • Fieldsports April May issue
  • Fieldsports April May issue
  • Subscribe to Fieldsports Magazine

Breed profile: Braque du Bourbonnais


The Braque du Bourbonnais is a pointing breed that hails from the Bourbon region of central France. The breed is typically strong and 'cobby', and traditionally used for rough shooting.

It has never been a common breed but the Braque du Bourbonnais almost disappeared completely after the Second World War. In 1970, a group of dedicated breeders led by Michael Comte formed the Braque du Bourbonnais Club. The standard for the breed was drafted and is now firmly established in its native France.

Physical characteristics

The Bourbonnais is a medium-sized dog, which stands roughly 18–22.5 inches at the shoulder. Weights typically range between 18–24kgs for dogs, and 16–22kgs for bitches. Thicker set than a typical English pointer, they have short necks and are very muscular.

The breed has a smooth, tight coat which is easily maintained. Some dogs are bred naturally tailless, others have very short tails. The coat colours are fawn, liver, and white, lightly or heavily ticked (see images).

braque–huntingTemperament and working ability

Today the breed is gaining popularity as an all-purpose gundog, known for its intelligence, trainability and loyalty. The Braque du Bourbonnais is a versatile working dog, with the stamina to work all day in the field. They are natural hunters, used to hunt, point and retrieve, and make ideal working partners for falconers and rough-shooters alike. They work steadily, in a methodical manner, and tend not to range as far as other pointing/HPR breeds.

In France, Bourbonnais' are also used to find truffles. The breed is known for being very affectionate and a devoted companion. They make very good family dogs but do not enjoy long periods of isolation, and require regular exercise. They are also proficient swimmers. 

The Bourbonnais has no specific health issues.

braque_dogAn owner's opinion

Mark Pauline is a passionate Braque du Bourbonnais owner and handler who has worked the breed now for four years. He is one of the very few owners of the breed in the UK. “They are the best-kept secret in the working dog world,” he says. “They are so versatile and, for a pointing breed, very trainable. I know of several people who work the breed in the USA on everything from Mearns quail in Nevada, and partridges and pheasants in the mid-West, to woodcock and snipe over vast areas in the Great Lakes states.

“I use them exclusively on grey partridges and snipe with falcons in the UK, and the partnership they have developed with the falcons is quite remarkable. My dogs work steadily and don't put too much pressure on the birds. And it has all come very naturally to them. I often see them stealing a glance up at the falcons when they're onto something.

“It is no surprise that they are gaining popularity with rough shooters in France – they also make excellent and loyal family dogs.”

braque_puppyPuppies available

Mark imported his dogs from breed club members abroad; enthusiasts keen to keep the working characteristics of the breed at the forefront of their breeding plans.

He has recently had a litter of Braque du Bourbonnais pups from his dog Hugo and one of his bitches; puppies will be available to suitable homes in early April. They are French KC registered and, being the first litter born in the UK, Mark is keen to promote the breed, which he has every confidence will gain popularity and establish itself with the many other European HPR/gundogs that have arrived on our shores in the past.

For more information, please contact Mark Pauline.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Tel: 07796446923





Vaynor, Wales/Shropshire Border

vaynor bettws hallWant to know what a shoot is really like? Ask the opinion of a well-travelled 90-year-old who's been shooting there for over 40 years, says Will Pocklington.

Read more ...

Top tips for walked-up grouse shooting

top tips for walked up grouseJames Chapel shares his top tips for walking-up grouse...

Read more ...


Problems with pickers-up

pickers-upGeorge Padley acknowledges the vital role that pickers-up play on shoot days, but argues that they should be conscious of Guns who have a dog of their own.

Read more ...

Tips for working a dog on a grouse moor

lab in heatherJayne Coley offers her advice for those who will be working a dog on the moors for the first time this season.

Read more ...

Latest features

Delicious game pies

game piesJust as a thieving magpie will steal odds and ends to hide in their nest, so we can hide our meaty odds and sods under a layer of tasty pastry, says Sarah Monier-Williams.

Read more ...

Chamois stalking in the Austrian Alps

austrian chamois huntingOur sports take us to some remarkable places, says Marcus Janssen who reflects on his first chamois hunt high in the Austrian Alps.

Read more ...

Fieldsports uses cookies. If you continue we assume you are happy to receive cookies. Cookie policy.