Pointers are the kind of dogs used by hunters to help track and flush game. They belong to gun dog category which also includes the Retriever and Flushing dogs. Pointers are trained to point; they detect game and drive them out of their hiding places so that the hunter can aim and shoot. Pointing breeds have a variety of coat types like wirehaired, silky coats etc. Let us study different types of pointer dog breeds available out there.
Types of Pointer Dogs
Bohemian Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
The Bohemian is also called Cesky Fousek. It is a medium sized dog that stands up to 23 to 26 inches with an average weight between 50 and 75 lbs. They have a coarse wiry coat and the same beard and moustache as the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon. The Cesky Fousek was also used for developing the Slovakian Rough Haired Pointer. These versatile dogs can adapt to any hunting style and any kind of terrain. They can track waterfowl and even larger game. Their temperament is friendly, affectionate and loyal. Bohemians get along well with other dogs and house pets.
Italian Griffon Pointer
The Italian Pointer is known as Spinone Italiano. They are a taller and larger than other pointers, standing between 24 and 28 inches. Their average weight is between 75 and 86 lbs. The Griffon type rough coat is tough and close fitting. These dogs also have facial hair like the typical griffons which gives it a beard like appearance. Italian Griffons are muscular dogs with white, orange, brown, cream, tan coats. This gentle affectionate dog loves kids and also gets along well with other pets. Italian Griffons also make good therapy dogs. This is a talented swimmer that can retrieve water fowl.
German Shorthaired Pointer
The German shorthaired pointer makes an excellent pet as well as a hunting companion. This is a medium to large sized dog that has been developed using many different breeds including Pudelpointer, Deutscher Kurzhaar etc. in the 19th century. By the 20th century, this breed became a leading gun dog, affectionate and lively family pet. These pets love their humans and mostly get along well with other dogs as well. Height of the German is about 26 inches and weight is between 45-75 lbs. In appearance, they sort of resemble the wirehaired pointer. Their water resistant coat is wiry and comes in different colors like roan, spotted or ticked.
Slovakian Rough Haired Pointer
The Slovakian resembles the Wirehaired pointing griffon and that makes it very confusing sometimes. However, their coat is shorter than the wirehaired. Both breeds are used for pointing, tracking and retrieving prey. Developed in Slovakia, this breed has many names like the Slovak Pointing Griffon, Slovak Wirehaired Griffon, Slovak wirehaired Pointing dog and Slovak wirehaired pointing griffon. This medium sized dog measures about 22-27 inches and weighs between 55 and 75 lbs. If you plan on keeping this dog as a pet, you must be prepared to exercise daily with him. In the field, they display great stamina and endurance. Slovaks have coats of varying lengths and it comes in different shades of gray brown, white, or light colored markings.
While the breed was developed in England, it is a result of many Spanish crosses. This medium sized well balanced dog is elegant, intelligent, hard driving and displays great stamina in the field. Desirable height in males is 25 to 27 inches and usually, females are shorter. Weight 55-75 lbs. Coat is short, dense and close fitting. These dogs come in different colors like black, liver, and yellow. The pointer has a hallmark ‘dish face’ with a pronounced stop and a muzzle that rises to the tip of the nose. English Pointer’s alert sense and mild temperament make it a wonderful companion in the field and at home.
Hungarian Pointer – Vizsla
The word Vizsla means pointer in Hungarian. This dog breed is often crossed with German wirehaired pointer to form the wirehaired vizsla pointer. The outer coat of this breed is coarse and hard and shorter and smoother on the legs. Hungarian Vizsla and Hungarian wirehaired vizsla are seen as separate breeds. Their protective wiry coat protects them from cold. The wirehaired vizsla also has two distant cousins: smooth coated and longhaired vizsla. Lifespan of all vizla breeds is between 13-15 years.
Bracco Italiano is the Italian pointer and it is different than Italian Spinone described above. Italian nobility took these hunting dogs with them on their game hunts. Soon, well meaning breeders took interest in the breed’s line and that contributed to a rise in its popularity outside of Italy. This hard working dog makes a great family pet and both the Spinone and Bracco are held in high esteem around the world. Frescoes from the 14th century have shown that Bracco breed may have existed since that period. This is a stylish hunter that is elegant, versatile and quite like the Bloodhound or Basset hound in appearance. In the beginning, the breed was developed specifically to work: drive the game into the hunter’s nets. With the invention of the gun though, Braccos were developed further to accommodate the needs of hunters. They soon became one of the most important hunting dog breeds in the country.
Old Spanish Pointer/Burgos pointing dog/Perdiguero de Burgos
Old Spanish pointer is a breed that may have been involved in the development of the German Pointer. This is a heavy muscled dog with a short and smooth coat that comes in a variety of colors like dark brown, liver, red and white, white and black, and sometimes with a tanned face. They measure about 22 inches in height. They weigh about 70 lbs. Now popular in Spain, this breed was almost on the verge of extinction. Their temperament is friendly and easygoing. These intelligent dogs are willing to please. Spanish pointers get along well with kids and other pets but have the tendency to roam.
Saint Germaine Pointer/Barque St. Germaine/Compiegne Pointer
This breed is the cross between the English Pointer and French Braque. They are medium sized dogs with yellow eyes and their pointing skills made them popular with early French/Parisian hunters. Later, by 19th century, they became show dogs. Saint Germaine dogs are gentle and sensitive. They measure about 21-23 inches in height and weigh between 40-55 lbs. St. Germaines are easy to train and thrive on love and affection.