Continental Pointers

Chart the origins of some of our favorite and lesser-known Sporting breeds.


A lean dog lifts his nose to the breeze, admitting airborne messages to his senses. Taking slow, measured steps forward, he stops with one front leg elevated, seemingly frozen in mid step, while his keen nose points directly at a clump of bushes where game birds sequester themselves. He's a pointer. But what exactly is a pointer?

The concept of hunting dogs indicating the presence of game birds by immobilizing themselves rather than rushing in pursuit is nothing new. As early as the 6th century B.C., a Greed historian noticed and commented on the action of certain dogs to scent and point birds. Later, this trait proved to be a boon for those who hunted with nets as well as those who used falcons and hawks. At that time, firearms had yet to be invented.

As the centuries passed, training for this attribute and selectively breeding for it resulted in the creation of pointing breeds. Quite naturally, certain scenthounds morphed into pointers.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the September 2007 issue of DOG WORLD today, or subscribe to receive the best dog articles, dog news, and dog information every month!


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