Portuguese Pointing Dog

Other names: Perdigueiro Português

Portuguese Pointing Dog

The Portuguese Pointer is considered to be the ultimate gun dog. An athletic animal with a combination of speed, strength, and stamina, the Portuguese Pointer is a highly prized hunting companion. Experts believe it’s a direct descendent of an ancient Iberian Hunting dog from the 12th Century. As well as being an excellent retriever, this breed can make a great family pet. They’re affectionate, playful, and have an instinctual desire to please their favourite humans. 

Key facts about the Portuguese Pointing Dog

Life expectancy :

7

19

12

14

Temperament :

Affectionate Playful Hunter

Size :

Origins and history

Bred from ancient Iberian hunting dogs, the Portuguese Pointer became very popular during the 18th century. While the ruling nobility preferred more fashionable hunting breeds, many ”commoners” saw the potential of this under-appreciated gun dog. During this time, English wine merchants moved into the Oporto region of Northern Portugal. They also spotted the dog’s excellent tracking skill and began exporting the breed to the UK. Unfortunately, like many hunting breeds, its numbers diminished during the first half of the 20th century. New technologies and wide-spread industrialisation made many of these dogs redundant, pushing them to the brink of extinction. However, a group of diligent dog lovers rounded up the surviving dogs and established breeding clubs in the UK and Northern Portugal. Although still rare, the breed’s numbers are slowly rising. 

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 7 - Pointing Dogs

Section

Section 1 : Continental Pointing Dogs

Physical characteristics of the Portuguese Pointing Dog

Adult size

Female : Between 19 and 22 in

Male : Between 20 and 24 in

Weight

Female : Between 35 and 49 lb

Male : Between 44 and 60 lb

Coat colour

Sand

Type of coat

Short
Hard

Eye colour

Brown

Description

Medium sized dog. A well-built animal with an elegant and proud posture. Long, muscular neck and a high head carriage. Short, compact muzzle. An endearing and quizzical expression. 

Good to know

These dogs love being outside. They love running through fields and forests. Not suited to inner-city life. They require lots of attention and even more affection. Can be quite “needy.” Needs a committed owner with lots of free time.

Temperament

  • 100%

    Affectionate

    Extremely affectionate animal. Often referred to as a “velcro-dog”, the Portuguese Pointer likes to stick next to its owners. 

  • 100%

    Playful

    This dog has a playful nature that will keep you entertained for hours at time. Favourite games include fetch, tug of war, and find the treat. 

  • 66%

    Calm

    A boisterous and excitable dog. Has lots of energy to burn. May quickly tire out less active owners. 

  • 66%

    Intelligent

    A smart dog that responds really well to reward-based training methods. Like any hunting breed, the pointer needs to be mentally stimulated. 

  • 100%

    Hunter

    This dog was bred to track and retrieve water birds. They have a real hunter’s instinct. 

  • 33%

    Fearful / wary of strangers

    A trusting dog that loves all types of people, including strangers. Enjoys meeting new people. Always enjoys being the centre of attention.

  • 33%

    Independent

    Fairly independent, but still very dependent on its owners. This dog needs to feel part of a pack.

    Behaviour of the Portuguese Pointing Dog

    • 66%

      Tolerates solitude

      Not suited to long periods of solitude. These social dogs form lifelong bonds with their main owners. A lack of human or doggy contact will have a damaging effect on the Portuguese Pointer’s mental health. 

    • 100%

      Easy to train / obedience

      Very easy to train, even for an inexperienced owner. Just stick to the basics - reward based training that includes lots of treats and praise. 

    • 100%

      Barking

      No issues with excessive barking. The Portuguese Pointer will only bark for a good reason. Repeated bouts of excessive barking may be a sign of an undiagnosed mental health issue.

    • 100%

      Tendency to run away

      High-energy working dogs pose a definite flight risk, especially if they weren’t socialised from a young age. These dogs need to learn the “heel” and “recall” commands at the earliest opportunity.

    • 66%