Pointer hunting dogs have their job description in their name, as they have been used to point game for centuries.
The pointer hunting dogs are a specific group of Gun dogs that describes a type of dog breed that tracks the scent of a prey item, and then instinctively freezes once it has located its quarry.
Bird hunters especially find these dogs as very useful companions, and they are sometimes referred to as bird dogs.
Unlike typical gun dogs, such as retrievers and flushing dogs, pointers would “point” to their prey with their noses.
Instead of actually fetching or flushing out prey, pointers assisted in leading the hunters toward the game by directing them with their muzzle with the dog’s body stiffening, holding one paw up in the air and the tail pointing upwards.
So, technically they are not hunters as they will not chase or kill prey, I guess you can call them very skilled guides or assistants for bird hunters. They are very active, enthusiastic, intelligent, and eager to please.
They often excel in tracking and nose work sports, and, invariably, they can be trained and moulded into skilled retrievers with a great love of water.
Ask bird hunters about their favourite pointer breed, and you’re bound to get different answers and reasons. None is necessarily wrong, as different hunters prefer different breeds for different reasons.
But knowing what each hunting breed has to offer can narrow down your search for the perfect companion.
Five best pointer hunting dogs in the world.
German Short-haired Pointer
- Height: 21 to 25 inches
- Weight: 45 to 70 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years
Known for its power, speed, agility, and long-standing endurance, the German pointer is an excellent duck hunting dog and was bred in 19th Century Germany for the specific purpose of hunting.
They possess webbed feet and a water-resistant coat that make them highly suited to water and hence are revered for their ability to hunt in water and on land. They are well adapted to long working days on land and in water.
Germany is well-known for its diligent development of skilled hunting dogs. Some experts believe them to be the most versatile and capable all-around hunting dog as they can be trained to flush or retrieve.
- Height: 22.5 to 27.5 inches
- Weight: 65 to 90 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
These dogs hail from the country’s Piedmont region and got their name from the thorny “spino” undergrowth they had to negotiate when hunting.
Their coarse fur and thick skin helped protect them when they were tracking in rough terrain. Their numbers greatly reduced around the period of the world wars but have steadily increased in recent times, becoming a top option for hunters.
The Spinoni are muscular and powerful, built more for endurance than speed. The Spinone Italiano is a patient and docile dog that is a pleasure to have around the home.
- Height: 17.5 to 20.5 inches
- Weight: 30 to 40 pounds
- Life expectancy: 12 to 14 years
The stylish and versatile Brittany is a popular companion among bird hunters since the 17th century.
Brittanys are smaller than setters but leggier than spaniels, standing about 20 inches at the shoulder. The American Brittany’s skin and coat armour protect them from sharps in the field, so they’re a great choice for rough terrain and thick brush.
They are very intelligent, eager to please and easy to train, making them a top choice for hunters and prime candidates in dog sports.
Most importantly, the American Brittany is a loyal and loving companion that will come home at the end of a hunt and fit right in with the whole family.
- Height: 22 to 23 inches
- Weight: 45 to 50 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years
The Hungarian Vizsla (meaning “tracker”) can be traced to the 8th century, when ancient Magyar clans roamed the country.
These agile dogs had great endurance, making them invaluable hunting partners for the tribesman. They were highly prized by the nobleman of the country for their speed and versatility.
They sport a short coat without an undercoat, meaning they will perform best in warmer conditions. As a hunter expected to work closely with humans, Vizslas form a tight bond with their owners and hate to be left alone.
They have boundless energy and will endure long hours of hunting without breaking a sweat.
- Height: 20 to 24 inches
- Weight: 40 to 70 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 12- 15 years
The hard-working Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, renowned as the ‘supreme gundog, is known for the harsh, low-shedding coat the breed is named for. Outgoing, eager, and quick-witted, Griffs are incomparable in the field and a prized asset for hunters.
They do well hunting anything from small game to game birds, track well, point well, retrieve naturally, and love both water and dry land.
Their medium size and flexibility to all different hunting types make them a great all-around choice for anything you’re hoping to do.
Whichever pointer dog you choose as your hunting companion, do your research and preferably choose a dog that suits your field and home needs.
Whichever dog you choose as your hunting companion, please do your research and preferably choose a dog from a long line of hunters as they are easier to train. Enjoy your pointer hunting experience!
This article discussed everything you needed to know about the best pointer hunting dog.
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