The Portugese Pointer is a very old breed, believed to date back thousands of years. They hail from, as the breed's name would suggest, Portugal. They were bred as gun dogs, used by hunters to locate and point to birds for the hunters to catch. They were originally only bred in royal kennels, but they soon became popular amongst the lower classes. They were mainly used to hunt partridges. Over the years their numbers slowly declined, but a few animals were found in northern Portugal and a breeding program was started. Nowadays they are still classed as rare, but their numbers are steadily rising.
Portugese Pointers are loyal and devoted to this close to them. They will be friendly towards other dogs if socialised properly from a young age. They have a tendency to bark when someone is at the door, making the good watchdogs. They are very affectionate towards children and almost never show any signs of aggression towards humans. Like with all dogs, introducing them to as many new people, dogs and places from a young age will help produce a well rounded animal. They can live with cats and other pets, though due to the fact that they were bred to hunt birds, they can have problems living with any avian pets.
Training with this breed should be started from a young age. As a working breed they enjoy the challenge and mental stimulation of training/working. If they’re not being used a sgun dogs, some other activity needs to be found to keep them stimulated and happy. Agility or obedience work well for this. They like to please their owners and respond well to praise. Harsh words or treatment can make them upset and hold back training, so it should be avoided. Lots of praise, positive reinforcement and some food rewards will all go down well with this breed. They will want to do what you ask of them, knowing that they will get affection from you for it.
This is an active dog, but does not require hours of exercise. A long walk and a play session, such as a game of fetch, will be enough for them. Their recall is good and when out and about they will tend to stay close to you, even if they are hunting. They will enjoy games like frisbee and like to run around. They have masses of stamina and will happily accompany you for a long hike on the weekends, though be sure to walk them everyday. One walk on the weekends won't be enough. A bored pointer will destroy your home.
Their short coats require brushing a couple of times per week. Despite having a general neat and tidy look, they still shed a lot of fur.
The Portugese pointer is a sociable dog that will enjoy spending a lot of time with their families. Their lively nature makes them a good playmate for children, but be sure to keep an eye on them when they are playing together just in case it gets a bit rough.
Health problems are rare in Portugese Pointers, but can include canine hip dysplasia (CHD), epilepsy, heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disease, hypothyroidism, diabetes, allergies, luxating patella (dislocation of the kneecap) and cherry eye.
- Status: Rare
- Life Expectancy: 12 - 14 years.
- Weight: 35 - 60 lbs
- Height: 19 - 22"
- Rare: No
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