by Doris Donnerman
(last updated February 24, 2009)
It is often believed that the Pointer originated in Spain, yet dogs with similar characteristics can be found during the same period in France, Belgium and other countries. Paintings by French artists during the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries show the Pointer. The Pointer may have been brought into England from both France and Spain, where it has developed in to the breed that is known today. Early breeders kept meticulous records that allow a long history to be documented.
Pointers have been a popular breed at many dog shows. This popularity probably has to do with the fact that the Pointer develops faster then the Setter and is brought to his peak ability at an earlier age. A person can use more force when training a Pointer than can be used with an average Setter. However, if too much force is used the dog can be ruined or will turn into a mechanical performer unsuitable for field trials and undesirable in the hunter's field.
The Pointer is a dog of rugged constitution, where the desire to hunt along with a well-defined pointing instinct is deeply ingrained. The shortness of the coat allows the dog to more easily tolerate hotter weather and arid terrain than will a Setter. The Pointer was developed for a hunting dog and as a gun dog.
The Pointer does not have the affectionate disposition of a Setter and is much less likely to be a one-person dog. Still, there are some Pointers who are loyal to the extreme. While the Pointer is not unresponsive to kind treatment, it is still not as affectionate as the Setter.
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