Little known outside Portugal, this versatile dog is a magnificent specimen to be discovered. Since there are few of them and they are exclusively found on Portuguese territory, it is not easy to get hold of such a dog, so you have to plan ahead and travel to Portugal to discover the Portuguese Pointer in all his splendor.
Quick Overview of the Portuguese Pointer
- Active and tenacious
- Slow but meticulous
- Affectionate and calm
- Slim and solid silhouette
- Good looks, solid structure
- Short, even, dense and strong coat
- Large dark oval eyes
- Generally healthy
- Rarely ill
- No particular pathology
Temperament of the Portuguese Pointer
The Portuguese Pointer is an active, tenacious, enduring dog, not very fast but meticulous, affectionate, calm and extremely loyal. This superb hunting dog has great aptitudes both as a worker and life companion.
His sense of smell is excellent and he is always in perfect harmony with his master hunter. Intelligent and rather docile, he is not, on the other hand, very sociable with his peers. His education must include socialization at a very early age.
He is a dynamic and athletic dog, not at all sedentary.
Pointer type, his whole constitution is harmonious and well built. Slim and solid, his well-proportioned silhouette leaves an impression of power and great solidity. The Portuguese Pointer has a beautiful gait and reveals a solid structure, yet with a nice flexibility of movement.
Between 52 and 60 cm (20.47 to 23.62 inches) for the male
Between 48 and 56 cm (18.90 to 22.05 inches) for the female
Between 20 and 27 kg (44.09 to 59.52 pounds) for the male
Between 15 and 22 kg (33.07 to 48.50 pounds) for the female
His dress can be mottled white or totally plain. It is generally in shades of brown or yellow.
His short coat is uniform, dense, strong and slightly velvety on the ears and head.
His powerful head, with a slightly domed skull, has a clearly visible stop. His large dark eyes are oval shaped. His medium size drooping ears are triangular. His nose may be black or brown, depending on the coat colour. His tail is usually shortened, but when it is whole, it almost reaches the hock.
According to the FCI breeds nomenclature, this breed belongs to group 7, section 1 and is #187
Tips About this breed
This magnificent versatile hunting dog has great qualities to become the perfect companion dog as well. However, he must be able to benefit from a good education. Even if he is very docile and easy to live with, he is rather difficult with his fellow creatures.
Cohabitation with his peers is not natural, therefore his education must begin early, be firm and adequate in order to remedy this lack of canine socialization.
He can live indoors but his need for exercise is great and daily. Living in an apartment may not be the ideal solution, but if the owner is sporty and goes out every day and his dog can benefit from good, intense daily exercise, he will be able to adapt to the situation.
This pleasant dog has an extraordinary liveliness and energy. He is loyal and very affectionate. The Portuguese Pointer is a hunting dog at heart but not a guardian.
He loves almost everyone except his fellow creatures. Humans, on the other hand, do not cause him any problems and he is very family-oriented.
Health of the Portuguese Pointer
With a good life expectancy, this superb dog generally enjoys excellent health. He is robust and powerful and rarely sick. Fortunately, the breed is not affected by any particular genetics or pathology.
Even if his drooping ears are quite open, they need to be monitored regularly and his coat requires regular brushing to keep it healthy. Ear check and brushing should be done after every hunting episode. No other special care is however required.
History of this breed
He is thought to have arrived in Portugal at the end of the 14th century, but no information exists before that time. His official origin is Portuguese, but he would be the result of an indigenous evolution that led to the development of a very specific local breed.
It is possible that his origins may have been oriental, but there is no confirmation of this. His first sightings took place in Portugal yet his first origins remain unknown.
The breed lost popularity around the 19th century and almost disappeared completely at the time, but rehabilitation efforts were made in the 1920s and the breed survived ever since.
The Portuguese club was founded in 1985 and the French club made its debut in 1999. Even today, he is little known outside the borders of his country, Portugal.
Originally a pointing dog, the Portuguese Pointer later became a versatile hunting dog that is highly appreciated for his great ability to work on all types of terrain, even the most difficult.
He can also withstand particularly high temperatures, which is a considerable addition to his already appreciated abilities.