Picking a Pointer

We’re a little biased in this department. Certainly there are many different breeds that will do the trick if you’re looking to pick a pointer.

If you chose a Brittany, you’ll defend it until the last beast has been flushed from the brush. Same for those who picked an English pointer. The choices – and there are a slew – started in Europe.

Shorthaired German and wirehaired pointers didn’t come to the party ready to celebrate. Took years by breeders to ramp-up the various lines. They needed to be infused with speed and a hunger for birds.

But the issue with the pointers from across the pond, they just don’t seem to have the focus, the laser-like intensity of the American breeds. Maybe it’s because they favor a cup a tea over a mug of coffee. Who knows? But there is that difference between their U.S. counterparts. Except in one case. More on that later.


At one time the red Irish setters were the cat’s meow – if you will. Something went kerflooey, though. While there are some breeders attempting to bring these friendly, gorgeous animals back to their previous stature, it’s not going to be an overnight success. Maybe in the middle of the 21st century we’ll see these magnificent beasts regain their crown. But, as the comic who makes a joke about something that’s too fresh in the minds of many to be funny, “Too soon?”

What screwed everything up for the setter were dog competitions. These canines were no longer being bred for the field. They were being assembled to prance around a stadium. Effectively, the country was removed from the animal.


When picking a pointer, ask yourself, “What are my plans for this dog? Are you going to be heading into the deep woods? Do you have a hunkering for a Sharp-tailed Grouse?”

Your needs should dictate your choice. And don’t expect to just visit a breeder, taking home a pup with you the very same day. There are waiting lists. The upside to that delay is that it gives you some additional time to think about things. When you plunk down your money, you want to make the right decision. Use that extra time to ask questions of other interested parties, other breeders, experts and the like.

Out on a Limb

Here’s where we’re going out on a limb. We said at the beginning of this article, we had our druthers. Get ready for the big reveal.


There are quite a few that may disagree with us that putting the Vizsla into the mix is foolhardy. This is a canine that originated in Hungary. Not only are the Magyar Vizsla or regular Vizsla loyal, great house pets, excellent family dogs, they are the smallest of the all-round pointer-retriever breeds.

That size is what sets us ablaze. It’s a super hunter upland game and fowl mutt.

Not dumb beasts by any means, the Vizsla is easily trained, has a natural hunting instinct, a nose to die for and one of the warmest best friends you’ll ever share your home with. They are full of life, gentle, sensitive, protective and are practically fearless.

The final choice remains in your alley. For our money, we think that Vizslas will hit a strike every time and spare you the heartbreak of picking a pointer that rolls balls down the gutter time-after-time.

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