Pointer is a fairly large, short-haired dog with an extremely noble, elegant figure, endowed with a nice character, and at the same time an avid hunter and workaholic. Lovers of this breed say that they are infected with an incurable disease: pointers, manifested in the constant love for pointers and the need to have them.
A beautiful pointer is primarily a working dog. As long as we remember it and look at it through the prism of this knowledge, everything will be all right. This animal must have tasks that it will try to meet – it is characterized by high ambition and relentless pursuit of the goal at work.
This trait can be an advantage – for example, for a hunter or a dog sportsman – but it is also a source of potential trouble. An unsophisticated pointer, who is not given the opportunity to develop innate predispositions, can become a disordered, difficult to control refugee.
Pointer is a smart animal who loves and quickly learns. It has a good memory and a great sense of smell. At home, he behaves calmly, he also learns to keep clean quickly.
The name of the breed, derived from the English word “to point” – “indicate”, says a lot about the way this dog works. The main task of the pointer is to carefully search the field – against the wind – and point the hunter at the area of the game, most often pheasants and partridges. The pointer specializes in birds. Pointers work best in so-called dry field, i.e. on land, which does not mean that they can not be taught to work in water. Most representatives of the breed fetch well, although theoretically, their original task was to put animals under the hunter’s shot.
The fixed phenomenon of so-called stand-ups – the dog, feeling the smell of animals in the field, dies in a characteristic position, with its back straight, stretched out like a string, with its front paw raised.
Can a person who is not a hunter somehow use the energy and skills of our hero? Yes of course! All types of sports associated with fast movement – bikejoring, skijoring, canicross – will be appropriate, as well as agility, in which sport a relatively light, fast and efficient pointer will definitely manage.
Training and education
Pointer is a very intelligent dog that learns quickly and easily, but reacts very badly to violence, especially mental. The rough treatment is introverted and does not really want to follow the instructions, which inexperienced guides misinterpret as “stubbornness”. Pointers ripen quite quickly – even compared to their German cousins, pointer – that’s why work on obedience should be started early.
These dogs endure brutality badly, much more will be achieved with them by properly manipulating prizes and praises. It is worth consolidating the dog’s inborn stand-up collar, even if we are not going to hunt with him. We can always take part in hunting dog work competitions.
Who is this race for?
Pointer is a great helper of the hunter. Anyway, many breeders of this breed are also involved in hunting. However, people who do not have much in common with hunting will also find a great companion in it, provided that they are active people and they love trips out of town (or live there).
The pointer is a typical dog of large spaces. It can be a good companion for families with children, but then adults should save enough time to ensure pointer’s occupation and the possibility of running out.
The breed is not suitable for the elderly. It will also not work for someone who wants to have a real protector in the dog – the pointer was not created for such tasks.
Advantages and disadvantages
not very high resistance to adverse weather conditions, mainly to frost
too sensitive in some individuals
strong hunting drive, which is a disadvantage in “civil” conditions
lack of control when the prospect of work arises
tender and gentle towards children
fast and efficient
strong hunting drive, which is an advantage for hunters
As with most large dogs, hip dysplasia should be taken into account. There are lines affected by cataracts or PRA (progressive retinal atrophy). There are also heart diseases such as congenital aortic stenosis. It is worth paying close attention to the skin, this is the Achilles heel of pointers – there are: folliculitis, pododermatitis, dysplasia of black hair follicles.
In general, however, pointers are healthy dogs and, as the saying goes, the vet is usually seen only during vaccinations.
A busy and energetic pointer has a lot of energy expenditure, so his karma should come rather from the top shelf. But beware! In those periods when the dog has less movement or activities, you need to be very careful about the portions given to him, because then he has a tendency to gain weight and in a short time can become very round.
The pointer is not troublesome in terms of care. During the molting period, brush the dog (e.g. with a special rubber brush), and once in awhile – bathe him. Molting can be problematic for people who care about their surroundings, because short, sharp hair of the pointer can stick to all fabrics. However, this dog has practically no characteristic “dog” smell.
What we will definitely need as the owners of a young, promising pointer, is a long training link to teach our pet the perfect recall. Only if he masters this art can you unleash the dog on a leash. An emergency whistle will also be useful.
However, even if our pointer gives the impression of the best-ordered dog in the world, he should permanently wear an address with a phone number, or possibly an address. Just in case.
Cynologists are inclined to the opinion that the pointer’s ancestors were from Spain. The British Isles came to the British Isles in the 17th century along with soldiers of Prince Peterborough returning home from the Spanish War of Succession. Here, some pointer was given blood of local races, including Greyhound , which significantly increased its speed, and – apparently – bloodhound , which improved the sense of smell.
On the European continent, pointers were not popular until the nineteenth century, when several large kennels were founded, including in Belgium, Germany, France. The war destroyed the efforts of breeders trying to propagate pointers as reliable hunting dogs, and at the same time good companion animals (which does not always go hand in hand), but – due to the island’s location – it turned out that Great Britain saved the breed from war conflagration. The second place where pointers survived virtually unscathed was the United States.
Pointer (British pointer) – G VII r. FCI, section 2, reference number 1
Country of origin: Great Britain
Size: dogs: 63-69 cm, bitches: 61-66 cm
Weight: approx. 25 kg
Coat: short, shiny, smooth, close-fitting hair
Ointment: lemon-white, orange-white, black and white, liver-white; there are three-colored and one-colored dogs – this is not considered a disadvantage
Lifespan: 12-14 years
Weather resistance: medium
The most famous pointer was undoubtedly Judy, a female mascot of the Royal Navy. Born in 1937, Judy belonged to the crew of HMS Grasshopper and took part in the battles with the Japanese on board this gunboat. After torpedoing the ship, the survivors of the crew and the pointer got to a desert island where their four-legged friend helped them find a source of fresh water.
After many adventures, the crew was imprisoned by the Japanese, who first ordered to kill Judy, but thanks to the courageous attitude of British sailors gave up their intentions, instead granting the status of prisoner of war to the bitch. After the liberation, Judy received the Dickin Medal from the British Queen – the equivalent of the Victoria Cross award for outstanding courage.