Athleticism. Stamina. Courage. An instinct to go, go, go.
These qualities are the essence of the Pointing breed, and why they’re naturally superior hunters. As a dog owner, it’s important to consistently find new ways to stimulate your dog’s natural’s instincts. If you have a Pointing breed, training for and participating in a Pointing Field Trial (“competition”) is a perfect way to do it.
Pointing breed field trials allow a dog to work in the field and be judged in a competitive setting covering a lot of open ground in a short time. These trials allow dogs to display qualities like their keen desire to hunt, their intelligence, ability to find game, style and courage. Some trials will have handlers on horseback while others are considered a walking trial. Pointing Breed field trails are one of the oldest and most traditional of the field events and thousands of dogs have earned titles since its inception. When you and your dog compete, you’re not just having fun with your dog; you’re also carrying on a tradition rich with history and excitement.
All dogs six months of age or older from the following breeds are eligible to participate in Pointing Field Trials:
- English Setters
- German Shorthaired Pointers
- German Wirehaired Pointers
- Gordon Setters
- Irish Red & White Setters
- Irish Setters
- Spinone Italiano
- Wirehaired Pointing Griffons
- Wirehaired Vizsla (7/1/14)
To compete, your dog must be:
- At least 6 months of age.
- Physically sound and up-to-date on all inoculations and health check-ups.
- Have an AKC number.
- Dogs of these breeds recorded with the Purebred Alternative Listing Program/Indefinite Listing Privilege (PAL/ILP) are not eligible to participate.
- Dogs of these breeds with Conditional registration are not eligible to participate.
- Spayed and neutered dogs are eligible to participate.
- Blind dogs are not eligible.
- No dog may compete if it is taped or bandaged or in any way has anything attached to it for medical purposes.
First, choose which type of trial you should participate in:
- Puppies who are 6-15 months of age and show a desire to hunt; indicate the presence of game if the opportunity is presented; and a reasonable obedience to their handlers’ commands.
- Derby is open to dogs 6 months – 2 years of age and dogs are judged on their future promise as a high class bird dog for Gun Dog or All-Age stakes.
- Gundog is open to dogs 6 months and older. The dog must hunt for its handler at all times at a suitable Gun Dog range, and should show or check in front of its handler frequently.
- All Age – (Open and/or Amateur) for dogs six (6) months of age and over on the first advertised day of the trial. The dog must find game, must point staunchly, and must be steady to wing and shot.
Most Pointing field trials are held at local AKC clubs, and there are often classes you can take to prepare. Some clubs offer practice sessions or someone might be willing to take you out to work your dog.
We also recommend you attend a few Pointing field trials in person and get the rulebook so you can understand how the judging works.
Find An Event
With over 22,000 annual events, there is a sport for you.
- Rules and Regulations for Pointing Breeds Field Trials
- Pointing Breed Field Trial/Hunting Test Procedure Manual
- Pointing Breed Field Trial Eligible Breeds
- Approved Tracking Collars
- Performance Department Contact Info
- Participants with Disabilities
- Downloadable Forms
- Find a Club/Trainer
- Find an Event
- Points and Awards
- Titles and Abbreviations
- Judges’ Directory
- Judges’ Resources