The Portuguese Pointer is a well balanced, muscular and athletic dog of almost square built. This breed has a very distinctive square face, little bit similar to Boxer. The ears hang down, black or brown nose with wide nostrils and brown oval eyes which are alert and expressive. They also have a very elegant movement, short and broad back, muscular hindquaters and very strong jaws with perfect scissor bite.
This is a medium sized dog breed with average height between 48-56 cm, which is 19-22 inch and weight is typically between 16-27 kg, which is 35-60 pounds. The females tend to be slightly smaller and lighter, but the difference is not extremely big.
The Portuguese Pointer has a coarse, dense and short single coat, which is finer on the head. The ears are very velvety. They can be found in different shades of yellow and they can be in either solid color or in yellow color with white patches, which can be found on the head, chest, legs and on the tip of the tail.
According to the official breed standard, the Portuguese Pointer is Extremely kind and affectionate dog breed, which is hardy, capable of great endurance and devotion. It should be a calm a very sociable dog with very curious temperament.
And indeed, the Portuguese Pointer makes both, excellent hunting dog, but also affectionate companion. When they are on the hunt, they are typically very dedicated and enthusiastic. They just enjoy it. They love to work with its master and is totally devoted. This breed has a high prey drive, which is great on the hunt, but it might be little bit problematic if you have smaller household pets in your home.
Today, more and more Portuguese Pointers are companion dogs. And they are perfect companions for active people and families. They love human companionship and thrive for our attention. It is almost impossible to be bored with this breed, because they are pretty active, curious, playful and sometimes little bit mischevious. They definitely need daily longer outdoor walks, jogs or some other activity, where they will exercise their body and also mind. This breed can succesfully compete in field trials, but also in agility and some other dog sports.
When they are provided with enough exercise, than the Portuguese Pointer tends to be pretty calm and gentle when they are at home. Thanks to their gentleness, they are good partners for kids, but of course, just like with all dogs, you should always supervise them with very young child.
It is true, that the Portuguese Pointer is a very friendly dog, but they are somehow reserved and alert towards strangers, which actually makes them perfect watchdogs. They will most likely alert you by barking when they will hear or see something suspicious around your home.
In the 16 and 17th century, many English families were living in Portugal where they mostly worked in wine production. During this time, they got to know this breed and they took some of them back to England where they played an important role in developing the famous English Pointer.
This is a very old dog breed originating from the Iberian Peninsula. Their direct ancestor is the old Peninsular Pointing dog and it is believed, that the Portuguese Pointer is one of the oldest hunting breeds we know today.
According to the FCI breed standard, the Portuguese Pointer evolved by adapting to the climate, terrain and game and from the selection imposed by the socio-cultural specificity of the Portuguese, who have been breeding it for centuries for hunting purposes and its existence in Portugal can be traced back to at least the 12th century.
Since the 14th century, the Portuguese Pointer was bred in royal and nobility kennel and it was used in falconry. During this era, they were already known for their excellent pointing abilities.
Health and grooming
The Portuguese Pointer is usually a healthy breed with good average lifespan around 14 years. They dont suffer much from any health issue, but they can ocassionally suffer from hip dysplasia, joint conditions and ear infections.
The maintenance is also not very hard and they can keep their coat in great condition even without almost any grooming or bathing. They do shed, but it is nothing terrible. Just like with all dogs, you should regularly check their ears, eyes, teeth and nails and clip them or clean them if needed.