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Pointer


General Information - Pointer


Group:
Gundog

Size:
Large

Lifespan:
12-15 years

Exercise:
High

Grooming:
Very low

Trainability:
Medium

Watchdog Ability:
High

Protection Ability:
Medium

Area of Origin:
England

Date of Origin:
1600s Other

Names:
English Pointer Original

Function:
Pointing



History

Although the modern Pointer has existed for about 100 years, its development began in the late 17th century in England. The Spanish Pointer, no longer able to keep up with the fast pace of hunters using advanced rifles and guns, was crossed with the Foxhound to create a dog with more speed and endurance. Others have also suggested that crosses with Setters, Bloodhounds, Greyhounds and Bulldogs were used to provide qualities such as scenting ability, concentration, nerve, stamina and amenability to training. While many of the crosses proved disastrous, breeders persisted until the Pointer was perfected; it has since then earned the reputation of "gun dog par excellence." On the hunt, the dog carries its head high, searching out the scent of game in the air and freezes "on point" when it has located the quarry. The Pointer was one of the original breeds shown at the first dog show ever held. The event took place in Newcastle-on-Tyne in England, in 1859. By 1877, there were over 100 Pointers exhibited at the Westminster Kennel Club show. Since then, it has remained an extremely popular hunting dog and a moderately popular show dog. The breed in New Zealand has a long and honorable history both in the field and at shows. They were certainly active in New Zealand in the 1800s and probably had their heyday from the 1930s to the 1960s when they were considered world class both as working and show dogs by overseas judges. As a working gundog here, their place has been taken over by the continental utility dogs such as the German S/H Pointer and the Weimaraner, and consequently they nearly died out at the end of the 1960s. In the 1980s there was a resurgence of interest in the breed and it is slowly increasing again in numbers.

Temperament

The Pointer is affectionate, good with children, loyal, intelligent, and clean. It is eager, alert and responsive in the field and requires regular exercise off-lead. The Pointer is well adapted to life in the home, but enjoys life most when it can perform the duties for which it was created. Its oft mentioned stand-offishness is a myth.

Upkeep

The Pointer needs exercise, and lots of it. It needs at least an hour of exertion every day. It is best when it has a regular opportunity to hunt, but it also enjoys running and searching the wilds on long jaunts a field. At home, it needs space to exercise outdoors and should not be expected to sit inside all day. The pointer can live outdoors in temperate to warm climates, as long as it is given a soft bed and warm shelter. It needs canine or human companionship, however, and does far better when allowed to spend time with its family. It requires only an occasional brushing to remove dead hair.