Old Danish Pointing Dog

Other names: Old Danish Bird Dog, Gammel Dansk Hønsehund

Old Danish Pointing Dog

The Old Danish Pointer is a solidly built dog belonging to the agile and intelligent Pointer group of dog breeds. The dog is still used in some parts of the world as a hunter because of its excellent sense of smell and ability to move almost silently across the ground. The usual prey of the Old Danish Pointer is avian.

Key facts about the Old Danish Pointing Dog

Life expectancy :





Temperament :

Affectionate Calm Hunter

Size :

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Origins and history

The Old Danish Pointer is thought to have come about as a breed following the merger of several other farm dogs over the course of eight generations of breeding. The recognisable breed is said to have arrived in 1710 in northern Jutland (modern-day Denmark).

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 7 - Pointing Dogs


Section 1 : Continental Pointing Dogs

Physical characteristics of the Old Danish Pointing Dog

Adult size

Female : Between 20 and 22 in

Male : Between 21 and 24 in


Female : Between 57 and 68 lb

Male : Between 66 and 77 lb

Coat colour

Type of coat

Eye colour



A strong and solid dog is the Old Danish Pointer. It is a well-proportioned dog with large feet ideally suited to move quietly and effortlessly across marshy land. The male of this breed is considerably more muscular than the female.

Good to know

The Pointer is traditionally employed to locate game. Its three main skills of hunting are: 

1. To point (the location of prey)
2. To honour (its instructions)
3. To retrieve (dead or wounded game)


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    An affectionate dog despite its hunting heritage, the well-adjusted Old Danish Pointer does not tend to be aggressive.

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    An active dog that likes to play and interact, and will do so all day long if given the opportunity.

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    This is a quiet and stable dog; one that is not easily upset or nervous.

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    This dog is highly intelligent, well-adjusted to its living with humans and generally sensible; it needs positive and regular interaction to remain thus.

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    This dog is more a helper than a hunter; its purpose during a hunt is to point to and retrieve the prey rather than kill it. As a result the Old Danish Pointer does not have a high prey drive.

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    Fearful / wary of strangers

    The Old Danish Pointer tends to be wary of new people visiting its domain.

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    Old Danish Pointers were bred to work together with their master. They are not overly independent and rely heavily on positive feedback and praise from their owner.

    Behaviour of the Old Danish Pointing Dog

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      Tolerates solitude

      This dog does not tolerate solitude. Separation anxiety is seen of Pointers that are left alone for long periods of time.

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      Easy to train / obedience

      The dog is reasonably easy to train. However training must be done properly and consistently and at all times the trainer must make an effort to hold the attention of the Pointer.

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      This dog doesn't bark to excess and soon settles once a perceived ‘danger’ has passed.

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      Tendency to run away

      A well-trained Pointer can be recalled; of untrained dogs and puppies there is observed a tendency to chase a scent or moving object.

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      The Old Danish Pointer can be destructive if left on its own for long periods of time.

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      Greedy / Gluttony

      To own an active dog does not preclude someone from administering a strict dog food diet. Old Danish Pointers need two meals a day of high-quality dog food.

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      Guard dog

      This breed is an excellent watchdog; it will alert you to there being someone near the house and will bark. Its ‘big dog’ bark has a tendency to ward off undesirable callers.

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      First dog

      It is a very good choice for a first adoption by someone who likes hunting and / or sports.

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        Old Danish Pointing Dog in a flat

        Even a well-fenced shared garden is an insufficient provision for this dog. Pointers need to be outside often, and can jump very high.

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        Need for exercise / Sporty

        The Old Danish Pointer needs a lot of exercise; exercise must be vigorous and prolonged.

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        Travelling / easy to transport

        Once trained, an Old Danish Pointer is exceptionally obedient and comfortable with new experiences. It is a dog that thrives on adventure and travel.


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          Old Danish Pointing Dog and cats

          The Old Danish Pointer is tolerant of other animals, especially those with who he has been brought up. Take care when introducing him to new animals.

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          Old Danish Pointing Dog and dogs

          The male of the breed is usually more dominant. But, generally speaking, the Pointer is amicable and responds well.

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          Old Danish Pointing Dog and children

          On the whole this breed is good with children, in that the dog does not harm children deliberately or bare malice towards them. However, Pointers are boisterous and energetic, and may accidentally knock over even a large child over (incidentally, do not berate the dog for doing this).

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          Old Danish Pointing Dog and the elderly

          Because it is a dog that requires such a lot of exercise the Old Danish Pointer is not the right dog for people of senior years.



          We do not have enough data to set an average price for an Old Danish Pointing dog. You’re also looking at between £150 to £190 per month to care for this dog.


          Minimal grooming is required of the Old Danish. Half an hour each week of brushing keeps the dog’s coat well-conditioned. Use a slicker brush and metal comb. It is worthwhile to examine the ears of the Pointer on a regular basis to check for mites, fungal infections and a build-up of wax.


          Pointers moult only a moderate amount and may not excite a human allergic reaction.

          Nutrition of the Old Danish Pointing Dog

          It is always worthwhile to feed a Pointer a high-quality and specially formulated dog food.

          Health of the Old Danish Pointing Dog

          Life expectancy

          11 to 13 years

          Strong / robust

          This is an active and courageous dog that likes nothing better than a day of outdoor exploration.

          Withstand heat

          The short coat of the Old Danish Pointer allows it to be more tolerant of hot temperatures than most.

          Withstand cold

          The Old Danish Pointer is robust enough to withstand walks in the snow and rain, but care should be taken after cold walks to dry the dog’s coat.

          Tendency to put on weight

          Weight gain is not usually a feature of a well-exercised Pointer. But if your Pointer is not exercised as regularly as it should be and is fed too much human or substandard food it will quickly become obese.

          Common illnesses

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