Activities For A Braque Francais

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Introduction

The Braque Francais is a rare variety of medium-sized pointing dog that hails from France. They look very similar to a German Shorthaired Pointer, with long legs, drop ears, and a white coat with brown markings that frequently include a great deal of ticking or roaning. They tend to be very even-tempered and are extremely loyal to their family. This breed is known to be extremely easy to train due to their eagerness to please, but should be handled with care and compassion as harsh training methods can result in a dog that frequently cowers from you.

Hide and Seek

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Any Day
Free
Easy
5 - 45 min
Items needed
Leash
Activity description

 Hide and Seek is a fun childhood favorite that can be easily modified to accommodate most canine family members, and can include both adults and children in the household. The Braque Francais dog is a very friendly canine that is devoted to their family members and is often somewhat submissive. They enjoy tracking of all sorts, whether they are destined to be gun dogs or not, and Hide and Seek is a great way to allow them an outlet for those instincts while also giving them a chance to use their critical thinking skills and possibly even increasing the bond between your Braque Francais and the family members they seek.

Step
1
Choose a target
This can vary somewhat based on different circumstances including the number of people available, the environment, and your dog’s experience with the game. When first starting out with this game or when playing in unfamiliar surroundings, it may be a good idea to start with just one familiar person, but as your dog gains experience you can enlist other family members or trusted friends to hide as well.
Step
2
Pick a place to hide
When first starting with this game the hiding places should be fairly simple, possibly even partially visible, but you can get more creative as your dog masters the concept. You can also increase the challenge by choosing a different environment to hide in by taking the game out to the backyard, to a nearby dog park, or you can enlist a partner to either hold the leash or hide while you do so that you can even take the game to an unfamiliar but safe area. Places like the woods may increase your dog’s ability to find things in the out-of-doors, while choosing a dog-friendly city center environment may help to improve socialization, giving the dog something fun and familiar to concentrate on.
Step
3
Praise and reward
While the first instinct for many pet parents when their dog is to give them a treat as a reward, in many cases, this is not only unneeded, but it can set up an expectation for your pooch that makes the game about finding the food rather than the person. For many dogs, receiving praise and excitement when they find you is enough of a reward to continue playing the game for quite some time.
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Teaching "Whoa"

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
15 - 60 min
Items needed
Bench
Whoa board
Activity description

While the Braque Francais makes an excellent family pet, the majority of these dogs are still employed as gun dogs as well. Some hunters claim that these dogs are born half trained and they have proven to be capable trackers, pointers, and retrievers in the field. Two of the most essential commands for any pointer breed of dogs are a reliable recall method, such as here or come, and whoa, a command used to tell your dog to hold their position so that a good point doesn’t turn into them flushing the bird out of cover when you aren’t expecting it. 

Step
1
The bench
Give your dog the command to jump up on the bench or lift them up onto it. Once they are properly positioned on the bench, give the command of “whoa” and then slowly walk away. If they stay where they are, return and give them a high-value treat reward. If they move off of the bench, repeat the command to get on the bench, or if possible, physically but gently place them back on the bench. The Braque Francais should always be treated gently when training as they are extremely sensitive to harsh corrections. It is best to continue this step for several days to ensure mastery before moving on to the whoa board.
Step
2
Whoa board
Once your future hunting hound has mastered the whoa command when on the bench, they can graduate on to the whoa board, a flat wooden board that provides a similar surface to the bench, but can be more easily moved to different places. When your pup is on the whoa board, give the command. Like with the bench, those that stay receive a treat and those that move should be placed back on the board. Reinforce the training over several days or weeks, preferably in different spots.
Step
3
Introducing the bird
Introducing your dog to a game bird while training the whoa command helps to retain the lesson even when faced with a bird to chase. Once your dog has mastered the whoa command in the face of the ultimate distraction, the bird they are supposed to find, they will be ready for more advanced tracking training.
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Doggie Daycare

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
1 - 8 hrs
Items needed
Leash
Daycare Facility
Activity description

The Braque Francais breed was developed to work closely with their handler and they have a tendency to be very attached to their family. While this trait makes them quite sociable and very easy to train, it also makes them more prone to separation anxiety, a problem behavior that can be not only annoying, but also destructive. One way to help prevent problems due to separation anxiety is to ensure that your dog isn’t left home alone too long. Another way is to find another place for them to be when you are out of the house for long periods of time. Many pet parents find that taking their dog to a doggie daycare both minimizes the problem behaviors associated with separation anxiety and helps to improve socialization. 

Step
1
Choose the facility
There are several things to consider when choosing the facility that you will be leaving your dog at. There are both private doggie daycares, usually held in another person’s home where your dog will interact with just a few other dogs, or a commercial daycare, with several other dogs in a larger, more public building. Either way, the safety of your dog is the most important priority so learning about the cleaning protocols as well as which safety certifications the staff members have is essential. A well-run doggie daycare will generally have at least one person available at all times who is both CPR and first aid certified to help deal with any emergencies that may arise.
Step
2
Prepare your dog
Once you have chosen the best facility for your dog, you will have a few more steps before they can start with the group. Most doggie daycares require an evaluation to ensure that your dog is a good fit for their facility before allowing your dog to attend. You will also need to ensure that your dog’s vaccinations and other requirements are up to date as well as providing the daycare with the information required to contact you if something goes wrong.
Step
3
Evaluation
Almost all doggie daycare centers will perform an evaluation on your pet as well. This is done to ensure that your canine companion, as well as the other dogs in the facility, will get along with everyone at the daycare. This evaluation is normally done without you present and may include introducing your dog to other dogs, petting and touching your dog to see where they might be sensitive, and how they respond to a crate.
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More Fun Ideas...

Scent Work

The keen Braque Francais generally has a very good sense of smell and may excel at competitive scent work trials. Consult a club to see how you can give your dog a trial run at the sport. 

Swimming

Braque Francais breed dogs are typically used for game birds on the ground, but they do typically enjoy the water making swimming an excellent way for them to get in some extra exercise.  

Conclusion

This is an active and intelligent breed that is known to be extremely docile with their families and easy to train. They enjoy being with their families and can be prone to developing separation anxiety, so activities that make them feel close to their families and less alone are excellent for their mental and emotional health, as well as their physical health.