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French Pointing Breeds in North America and Beyond

Craig Koshyk

Did you know that France has produced the largest number and widest variety of pointing dog breeds? It's true. French hunters developed close to twenty different pointing breeds, and while some of them went extinct or never really got off the drawing board, 12 of them are still with us today.

Yet despite the large number of breeds created by French hunters, only two became well known outside of France. The Épagneul Breton (Brittany) is one of the most popular pointing breeds in the world, and the Korthals Griffon (wirehaired pointing griffon), is popular in some areas of North America and Europe.

Some of the other French pointing breeds have gained small but loyal followings outside of France. The Épagneul Français (French Spaniel) for example is relatively popular in Québec. There is an official breed club there and a small but dynamic group of enthusiasts have been producing solid hunting dogs, and achieving excellent results in hunt tests since the late 1970s. The Braque du Burbonnais has also been in North American for several decades and there is now a club for the breed.

But some breeds remain almost completely unknown outside of France. And that is a shame. I believe that the French produce some of the very best pointing dogs in the world and that dogs from their native breeds would be perfect matches for a lot of North American hunters. So in order to get the word out and help North Americans and others find out more about the French pointing breeds, I set up a Facebook group called French Pointing Breeds in North America and Beyond.

The group's goals are:
  • To engage in an open, honest, and respectful exchange of information, expertise and resources.
  • To promote the French pointing breeds as versatile, upland hunting dogs in North America and beyond. 
  • To assist hunters seeking a hunting companion from one of the French pointing breeds find well-bred pups from proven stock.
  • To provide information about the French pointing breeds, their history, clubs, current situations, availability etc.
  • To facilitate the exchange of information between breeders, club members and hunters with French pointing breeds in France and North America...and beyond!

The French pointing breeds are:
Épagneul Breton (French Brittany)
Épagneul Picard (Picardy Spaniel)
Épagneul bleu de Picardie (Blue Picardy Spaniel)
Épagneul de Pont-Audemer (Pont Audemer Spaniel)
Épagneul Français (French Spaniel)
Épagneul de Saint Usuge (Saint Usuge Spaniel)

Braque d'Auvergne
Braque Francais (Gascony type and Pyrenees type)
Braque du Burbonnais
Braque Saint Germain
Braque de l'Ariege

Griffon Korthals (Wirehaired Pointing Griffon)

Extinct French pointing breeds and/or breeds that never really got off the ground:
Griffon Boulet (Boulet Griffon)
Griffon Guerlain (Guerlain Griffon)
Braque Dupuy
Épagneul de Larzac
Braque de Mirepoix
Braque Charles X

Notes: Posts to the group may be made in English or in French. Translation services beyond those offered by Google and Facebook are available upon request.