Pointing dogs are unique individuals who by nature are both independent thinkers and team players. They hunt with courage and high spirit, searching for upland game birds in all types of cover and in all kinds of weather. They often range well out from their handlers in their quest, yet they keep in tune and respond to their human’s commands. A pointing dog must have a good nose to find scent and the intelligence to use the wind; it must also have the fortitude to search the terrain and cover that birds prefer. Once game is located, they point with great intensity, focused on the bird with muscles taut. It is an awe-inspiring sight! The well-trained bird dog stands steady, waiting for its handler to arrive. When the handler flushes the bird, he or she fires a gun; the dog holds point until the handler signals that it is time for the team resume the hunt.
There are numerous pointing breeds with varied hunting styles which means that for every type of upland bird hunter there is a suitable breed. The AKC Hunt Tests and Field Trials for pointing breeds give owners a chance to showcase their dogs’ abilities.