The alert and even-tempered Pointer is an amiable companion, both when out hunting in the field and when relaxing with their owners at home. Here are nine fascinating facts about this athletic and biddable member of the Sporting Group.
1. Recent Ancestors May Have Come From Spain
Pointers’ 18th-century ancestors are thought to have originated in Spain. At the end of the War of Spanish Succession in 1713, British army officers returned home from Spain with Spanish Pointers. Later, Italian Pointers found their way to England and were crossed with the Spanish Pointers, leading to the Pointer of today. America most likely didn’t see the introduction of Pointers until the time of the Civil War.
2. The Pointer Can Trace Their History to Antiquity
For the art lover, the history of the Pointer’s ancestors can be traced through various works of art. From dogs identifiable as early Pointers on the walls of 3,000-year-old Egyptian tombs to French and English paintings from the 17th through 19th centuries, to 19th-century bronze figures, the evolution of the breed is brought to life.
3. They Have a Long History as Hunters
3. Even before the invention of guns, Pointers were used for hunting birds. The dog would be sent out to locate prey, and then the hunter would throw a net over the dog and any birds the dog had found, as a way of catching them. The Pointer is often called the “Cadillac of Bird Dogs.”
4. Pointers Adapted With the Times
After guns changed the hunter’s methods, the Pointer was taught to be “steady to wing and shot.” That means the dog stands still after the bird has been flushed and until the gun has been fired, waiting for further instruction before carrying out retrieval of the bird. This ensures the hunter can get a clear shot at the quarry without risking the dog’s safety.
5. They Are Single-Minded When in the Field
Pointers are bred primarily as hunting companions, and as such, they are focused when out in a field environment. Their sole purpose is locating birds, and they will run hard and fast to do so. Many Pointer owners take advantage of this high-spirited instinct and participate in field trials with their dogs.
6. Obedience Training Is Helpful For Pointers
Because this breed has a willingness to learn and natural athleticism, Pointers can be successful in the obedience ring. Even if you don’t intend to compete with your dog, proper obedience training is a must to keep your Pointer out of trouble. They are fun-loving dogs, even in adulthood, have a tendency toward mischief, and love being the center of attention, so teaching them the rules of your household will go a long way.
7. They Appreciate Creature Comforts
Pointers love creature comforts. They don’t think of themselves as dogs, but rather as part of the family. Even this hunting companion will flourish when allowed to enjoy a few luxuries.
8. Pointers Often Love Children
Children and Pointers can make a great combination. These dogs will play all day with their young companions. But as they should be with any breed of dog, very young children need to be taught how to properly and respectfully interact with a Pointer. Supervision is also essential, as small kids can be accidentally knocked over or smacked by the swinging tail of an enthusiastic Pointer.
9. Pointers Are Dignified and Protective Dogs
According to the breed standard, Pointers are dignified dogs that are never timid with strangers or other dogs. They are also protective of their territory and family. This makes them fabulous watchdogs that will alert you to anything amiss.