Ariege Pointer

Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
Photo of adult Ariege Pointer
Canarian /

This elegant and well-proportioned Pointer should be muscular and lean with a patterned white coat that may have fawn, brown or orange markings. Developed in the 19th and 20th century, they are a relatively new addition to the French Pointer collection. This breed is still used as a gun dog to hunt game in the south of France today, though is not well-recognised elsewhere in the world.

Practically, all Ariege Pointer dogs are employed as gun dogs, and it would be unusual for an individual to be kept solely as a companion animal. Despite this, this breed can settle well into the family home, though often acts aloof in human company. Happiest when in the field, the Ariege Pointer has strong hunting instincts.

About & History

The Ariege Pointer is also known as the Braque de l’Ariège or the Braque du Midi. This breed was developed in the south-western region of France called Ariege not too long ago. In the late 1800s and early 1900s its story began, when a number of French dogs, including the Braque Francais and Braque Saint-Germain were bred together. These breeds were then mixed with local pointing dogs, resulting in a unique hunting dog that would become known as the Ariege Pointer.

During its first few decades of existence, the Ariege Pointer enjoyed some local popularity, and was appreciated by the huntsmen in southern France. Breed numbers, however, declined rapidly during the Second World War. With a small population size, the breed continued to struggle until the 1990s, when concerted efforts began to attempt to revive this handsome French dog. A breeder named Mr. Alain Deteix has been largely credited with the recovery efforts. One method that has been employed to increase breed numbers has been to relax the breed standard, ensuring a greater number of dogs are accepted and can contribute to the small breeding pool.

The Ariege Pointer was recognised by the UKC in 2006 within their Gundog group. Outside of France, this breed remains largely unknown.


Ariege Pointer Large Photo
Canarian /

This noble pointer has clean lines and a strong body. Their long skull is rounded and leads to a straight muzzle that has pendulous lips. Their large nose may be brown or flesh-coloured and sits prominently on the tip of their muzzle. Their oval eyes may be amber or brown and portray a sincere expression. The long ears start at the level of the eyes (or just below) and hang away from the face, curling inwards. Their neck is short and compact with a slight dewlap. The rectangular body of the Ariege Pointer is composed of a level back and a deep chest. Their sturdy, long limbs end in well-arched toes and thick paw pads. It is common among working dogs for their thick and tapering tail to be docked.

The shiny coat of the Ariege Pointer is short and close-fitting. The primary coat colour is white, and dogs will have speckles or patches of orange, fawn or brown. Black fur is not accepted in the show ring, and neither are black noses or claws. The male dogs reach heights of between 60cm and 67cm and females stand at between 59cm and 65cm. Most individuals weigh from 25kg to 30kg once mature.

Character & Temperament

It is important to note that the Ariege Pointer is not seen as a companion animal today and is primarily kept as a gun dog. Their acute sense of smell and strong retrieval instinct ensure they perform their job to a high standard. Traditionally, the Ariege Pointer has been used in the pursuit of game, such as partridge and quail, though are adaptable enough to be taught to hunt a wide range of quarry.

Incredibly fit and speedy, these athletic animals thrive when active and need to be given tasks to do to feel content. Notably independent when on the hunt, the Ariege Pointer does not rely on the companionship of other animals or humans.

Probably due to the fact that this breed has not typically co-existed with families, the Ariege Pointer tends to be reserved and shy with people. While they are not usually aggressive, they are rarely affectionate with family members and can be particularly wary of new people. Most breed members will tolerate children as long as they have been introduced to them from a young age and the children are not too boisterous.


The independent nature of the Ariege Pointer makes training essential. They show a good level of respect to a decent trainer and can be taught a wide array of commands. The intelligence of this breed means that trainers need to put extra effort into the methods used to avoid boredom or frustration.

This breed is happy to be the submissive one in the relationship as long as their trainer is fair and kind. If they sense that they are not being treated correctly, they will tend to ignore commands and make up their own rules.


A fit and active dog, the Ariege Pointer is usually a healthy breed. Analysing data from similar breeds would make it likely that the following conditions could be potential issues in this dog:

Ear Infections

Keep the long ears of the Ariege Pointer away from water when possible to reduce the likelihood of them developing ear infections. If this is not possible, ears should be thoroughly dried both inside and out after any wet excursions.

Hip Dysplasia

Responsible breeding can reduce the incidence of hip dysplasia within a population. ‘Hip Scoring’ is a technique that utilises X-rays to assess a dog’s hips and assign them a score. Animals that are deemed to have poor hips should not be bred from.

Patellar Luxation

Patellar Luxation is most commonly seen in small pedigree dogs but can occur in a wide number of canines. The classical presentation is a dog that will skip on its back leg for a few steps, before walking again as though nothing has happened. Vets can often check for patellar luxation by performing a simple, conscious orthopaedic exam within the consult room. The severity of the defect will determine if a dog should be managed with surgery or not.


Bloat is a condition that can strike at any time and has left many experts scratching their heads. While we do not understand completely the cause of this potentially fatal condition, it is known that those dogs with deep chests, such as the Ariege Pointer, are more at risk.

Affected animals will suddenly develop a ‘bloated’ belly, will pant and may salivate or retch. They will look uncomfortable and will be unable to settle. Owners should be aware of the symptoms, as early recognition and prompt veterinary treatment can be the difference between life and death.

Exercise and Activity Levels

With a great deal of stamina and a natural athleticism, the Ariege Pointer was born to hunt. They excel at their work and enjoy traversing uneven ground for miles and miles in eager anticipation of catching their prey. When not hunting, this breed benefits from daily hikes and makes a superb running companion.

A dog that relishes the opportunity to explore off lead, they should be given the opportunity to do so when possible. Large, fenced-in land in a rural setting is the ideal set-up for this dog. Attempting to keep them in a small house or apartment would not be fair or practical. Confining the Ariege Pointer or failing to meet its substantial exercise requirements will surely result in unwanted behaviours, such as hyperactivity.


The short fur of the Ariege Pointer does not get tangled or matted and only requires brushing a few times a month to keep it in good condition. Equally, they do not require frequent baths.

Owners should trim the claws of the Ariege Pointer if they become long or thick. This chore becomes particularly necessary in older or less active Pointers but should be introduced to the breed when they are a puppy, to ensure acceptance. Even if a young dog does not require their claws clipped, an owner can mimic the action once a month or so, which prepares the dog for the task when they are elderly.

The ears of the Ariege Pointer require more attention than the rest of their body, as they can be prone to infection. They should be kept clean and dry at all times and some dogs will require the use of an ear cleaner every week or two if they are prone to wax.

Famous Ariege Pointers

While a superstar in the field, there are no celebrity Ariege Pointers.


There are no well-defined Ariege Pointer crosses.

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