The Portuguese Pointer is a breed of gun dogs that developed in Portugal more than a thousand years ago and were used for hunting birds especially partridges. This dog has a squarish head with triangular, hanging ears, a broad muzzle, a marked stop and slightly loose skin around the neck and the shoulder region. They have a compact built with strong legs and a straight, slim tail.
|Other Names||Perdigueiro Português (Portuguese), Portuguese Pointing Dog|
|Coat||Flat, Harsh, Rough, Dense, Fine, Short|
|Colors||Yellow, Light brown, Unicoloured, With white markings|
|Type||Gun Dog, Pointer, Hunting Dog, Working Dog|
|Group (of Breed)||Purebred|
|Weight||Males: 18–27 kg (40–60 lb);
Females: 16–25 kg (35–55 lb)
|Height (Size)||Medium; 48–56 cm (19–22 in)|
|Personality Traits||Brave, loyal, playful, affectionate, alert, protective|
|Litter Size||5-8 puppies at a time|
|Good with Children||Yes (if socialized from early age)|
|Good with Pets||Yes (including dogs, if socialized)|
|Good for New/First-time Owners||Yes|
|Country of Origin||Portugal|
|Time of Origin||5th to 6th century AD|
|Competitive Registration/ Qualification Information||AKC Foundation Stock Service (FSS), UKC, FCI
Believed to be thousands of years old, the Portuguese Pointer, as the name suggests, originated in Portugal as a gun dog. Its original name Perdigueiro Português was derived from the Portuguese word ‘perdigon’ that meant partridge bird. This indicates that the dog was developed mainly to assist the bird hunters in locating their games, especially the partridge type. However, they were also used for hunting small animals like the rabbit.
It is thought that this breed originated from the Iberian dogs used by the Portuguese bird hunters around the 5th and 6th century AD. Initially, they were bred in the royal kennels; however, they gradually started to spread among the lower classes as well. This breed has also been mentioned in a Portuguese hunting book written in the 12th century by Joao I and has been found in the 13th-century paintings of artist Alfonso III.
Since the Portuguese people are known to be seafarers, some dog experts also suggest that the Portuguese Pointers influenced many of the then European gundogs. Even today, the influence of this breed is visible in the British dog English Pointer, who is also termed as its “son”.
On 1 January 1996, the breed was officially recognized by the UKC, later introduced in AKC’s Foundation Stock Service (FSS).
The Portuguese Pointer makes a very loyal and dedicated pet. So much so that it would not even tolerate any outsider raising voice against its family members and would bark to alert its owner if it finds anything or anyone suspicious around its house. This also makes them an excellent guard dog. However, they are not noisy in general.
They are good with kids as well as other pets, especially if they are brought up together and socialized from their puppy days. This dog loves to play running games like with balls, fetching things or hide and seek. As a gundog, they have a natural drive for birds since childhood and love the outdoors.
The recommended daily quantity of meal for the Portuguese Pointer is 2½ to 3 cups of dry food per day.
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