The Portuguese Pointer was basically developed to be a gun dog, and is one of the many Pointer breeds that are mainly used in hunting of grey partridges. Though having arisen from ancient Iberian hunting dogs, the Portuguese Pointer has its Portugal presence traceable all the way to the early part of the 12th century.
The Portuguese Pointer was first bred in royal kennels only to become popular as a hunting dog for those belonging to the lower classes of society. However, in the 19th century the social hardships of Portugal had led to a progressive decline in the Portuguese Pointer breed. And it was the efforts of some breeders that salvaged these Portuguese Pointers in the 1920's, by locating some ancient Portuguese dogs in inaccessible parts of northern Portugal, that led to the establishment of the Portuguese breed standard in 1938.
The Portuguese Pointer is basically a dog of medium proportions that should be well balanced. It has a coat that is short and coarse, covering most of the dog. However, the coat is more velvety in texture on the ears and face. It is usually yellow or light brown in color, being both unicolored or with white markings. The Portuguese Pointer has a height of about 22 inches and male dogs weigh about 59.5 lbs while females, about 46.3 lbs.
The Portuguese Pointer is more of a sociable dog, with a lively temperament. Presently, it is the most registered hunting dog found amongst Portuguese hunters. The Portuguese Pointer is the best choice as a mate for children, and is one of the most popular and famous breeds of dogs found in Portugal.
At a point, Portuguese navigators used to carry Portuguese Pointers with them on their ships during their discovery of the Americas. This was to serve the purpose of forming popular breeds of dogs like the Labrador Retriever and the English Pointer. The Portuguese Pointer is a dog that has been assigned the designation of Sporting Group.
The Portuguese Pointer is so affectionate in nature that they are often described as "inappropriate and inconvenient" by those following Portuguese standards. They are usually used in the hunting of upland game birds, rabbits, and waterfowls. Portuguese Pointers are great dogs for competing in dog shows because of its muscular build.
When evaluated for a conformation show, the Portuguese Pointer has to be judged for conformation that tends to benefit its working ability. However, any deviations from the standard have to be penalized with the amount of interference on working ability. The Portuguese Pointer should also be square in build where the height to length ratio is about 10:10.5. The tail of the Portuguese Pointer is docked into half or two thirds the natural length and should be level with its spine when it is hanging down, excited, or otherwise.