POINTERS – Gun Dog Breed, Hunting dog

English & German Pointers in a parkPOINTERS – Gun Dog Breed, Hunting dog

Pointers are one of the main Gun dog breeds:

  • Pointers
  • Retrievers
  • Setters
  • Flushing Spaniels
  • Water dogs

Some sites suggest that there are only three categories: flushing, pointers and retrievers.

Besides dogs with pointer in their name, such as English Pointer, German Pinter and Italian Pointer dogs, there are pointer breeds such as: Weimaraner, vizsla, Brittany spaniel, and spinone

You will notice that the English & German pointers and Weimaraner & vizsla, ALL have a similar physical appearance, a generic but slender and tall dog look.

A gun dog is also classed in the sporting breed group (if you consider hunting animals sporting).

Pointer dogs hunt and point game. In America, pointer dogs hunt and POINT to the prey, the may also flush and retrieve the prey depending on how they are trained and if the hunter has other dogs to do these tasks.

In non American countries pointer dogs are more likely to be trained to flush on command. Americans often use specific Flusher dog breeds to do the flushing of birds from hiding places.

Pointers must retrieve on both land and water. The issue for this is their thin coat, so in cold areas of the hunt, these dogs need to be kept continually active or coated.

HUNTING DOG Pointer personality

At work they are high energy and focussed. They have great endurance and relatively high speed, though due to their height, extreme fast turns (such as in chasing rabbits in thick growth) can be difficult for them.

By the age of two these dogs are often ready for hunting training and are raring to go, but still they must have a patient trainer. Pointer dogs can have a tendency to want to do things their own way, flushing or retrieving before commands are given.

Be aware that the age of two is when the dog is mentally mature enough and often willing to hunt, and this is often the age where the bones and joints of the dogs are considered mature enough to stand the rigours of endurance hunting. If in doubt get your pointer VET checked, because over working these breeds too young can lead to costly surgery that may not have the dog be right for life.

Stamina and exceptional nose has many hunters use these dogs multipurpose (rather than using separate scent dogs etc.

The pointer dog AT HOME

At home they Pointer dogs can be fun loving and occasionally naughty taking advantage of left out food on counter tops. They tend to be gentle with all family members (unless they are being goofy) but like many sporting dogs, come nightfall their protective nature kicks in and they make great watchdogs.

Anyone who has gotten this dog in an urban area and doesn’t have time to walk them off lead should give them back. These dogs get very restless and bored when not walked, with the ability to bark loudly. Their high stamina means that unlike many dogs that can be walked off lead for 45 minutes, they prefer an hour to two hours of running.

Tread mills are an option, but often lead to more boredom and wont socialise your dog. Unlike hunting dogs meant to kill be game, and thus be aggressive, the pointer in general is a pacifist and a gentle retriever so if you have an aggressive pointer, it has clearly been mistreated.

Like many dogs, a hunter will often find that a type of dog chooses them. Unless you are after a very specific hunting trait, for very specific hunting conditions the pointer dog makes an excellent pointer (identifying prey without scaring it off) and a retriever (if trained to fetch after the prey is shot).

In all my travels to dog parks, I have not come across a pointer that had anything but love and fun in its personality. Yes they can be pushy (for you to throw a ball) and sometimes they dont tolerate dogs that are not as social as they are, but for a pure hunting dog, they have a remarkable adaptable personality.

One of the truly exceptional hunting dog & family dog breeds on this earth.