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Bird Hunting Dog Breeds


Pointer Dog BreedBack in the eighteenth century, English breeders crossed Portugese pointers with foxhounds, bloodhounds and possibly the greyhound to create a big-running, hard-charging, bird dog, the English pointer. Their smooth coat, distinctive long tail and high head are the stuff of magazine covers. Pointers were developed in the 1600’s before guns were used for wingshooting, to point hares for Greyhounds to chase. That original drive served the pointer well when hunters picked up the shotgun and began “shooting flying,” over dogs that naturally stood game, or pointed. Muscular and courageous, of all the bird dog breeds, the pointer is often considered the most “birdy” of the breeds. Our country’s earliest great dogs were pointers . . . and make no mistake: if someone refers to a dog as “pointer,” you can be pretty safe to assume he means English pointer, not one of the other breeds that also point. Field trialers don’t train theirs to retrieve, but hunters know they will, even in water. Pointer owners often work them in pairs – called braces – and it sure makes for some pretty points, with one dog “honoring” the other. Learn more at



21-24" at withers




35-50 lbs.




10th century




Falconer's dog



Hunt Style:

Medium pace