The Portuguese Pointer: A Complete Guide

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The Portuguese Pointer is a purebred dog of middling stature considered to be very quick on its feet.

The breed is also a superlative gundog and proves to be an essential companion to any bird hunter for it is both agile and extremely good at hunting.

This purebred dog is also known for its lively nature and an innate desire to please its owner by following commands quite eagerly.

With great amounts of energy and a very dynamic personality, the Portuguese Pointer is bound to keep all kids in your family engaged by playing with them.

The Portuguese Pointer is also a very spirited dog and a very faithful watchdog that would look after your home and your family, barking instantly if it senses any danger.

Like all other dogs, proper socialization necessitates this breed’s welcoming nature towards strangers.

However, proper care should be taken when approaching this dog to avoid any unwanted accidents.

Strangers should be warned not to raise their voice too loud or make any sudden movements towards the Portuguese Pointer as that would make it uneasy and feel threatened.

With a square frame and a very flush coat, this dog is very low maintenance and can be kept properly groomed by brushing every two days and bathing once every month.

In order to know the Portuguese Pointer at a more personal level and to see whether you should consider getting this dog breed for yourself or not read this very handy guide!

This guide will not only help you finalize your decision about the Portuguese Pointer but will also ensure that you know what you’ll need to buy and raise a healthy best friend.

The Portuguese Pointer Puppies – Before You Buy…

A brown and white Portuguese Pointer on a lead
The Portuguese Pointer has high activity levels.

Before you move on to discover more about this amazing breed take a minute to see if you can answer the following three questions:

After you’ve successfully answered these questions you are then ready to move on to the next step and learn more about the Portuguese Pointer.

What price are the Portuguese Pointer puppies?

Since this purebred dog breed is pretty uncommon the price of the Portuguese Pointer puppies is substantially high than most other puppies.

On average a Portuguese Pointer puppy would cost you between $800 and $1000. This price is subject to the quality of the puppy as well as the breeder you are buying your puppy from.

How to find reputable Portuguese Pointer breeders?

Finding a reputable breeder is not as intimidating a task as most people make it out to be.

Once you know all the appropriate steps to be taken on your hunt for a good breeder you’ll be more than ready to make the best choice on your own.

The first step on this journey is, always, to avoid fraudulent and disreputable breeders who are only money hungry and don’t really care about the breed that they are selling.

For this, you would have to research on your own, ask around your neighborhood and friends to find a breeder with good reviews.

It is also important that you avoid impulse internet purchases for you can never guarantee what you are going to get in return for your money.

Hence, it is very important for you to take a trip to the breeder’s kennel from where you want to buy your Portuguese Pointer puppy.

Upon your visit you need to make sure that the following conditions are met before finalizing your decision:

  • The kennel is clean and has no bad odor.
  • All the dogs are happy, ecstatic and don’t seem to be jaded.
  • There are no signs of malnutrition amongst other dogs.
  • All dogs seem to be excited to see their breeder and are very playful with him.

After these conditions are satisfied you can move on to asking your breeder a plethora of questions about the breed to make sure that your breeder knows what he is doing.

Asking a lot of questions also enables you to build a relationship with your breeder, which is very important since it would help you in the upbringing of your pup.

One of the biggest signs of an excellent breeder is that he would never rush the sale and instead make sure that you and your pup are a perfect fit.

Once you have all of these tells in mind you are then ready to visit your breeder and ensure that the puppy you’re selecting is both healthy and a perfect fit for you.

3 Little-known facts about the Portuguese Pointer puppies

The Portuguese Pointer is a very interesting breed that has a lot of hidden qualities that might surprise you.

Here are just three of them to give you a little more insight into just how astounding this breed is.

  • The Portuguese Pointer will do anything to please its owner

A very dedicated and devoted dog, the Portuguese Pointer would do almost anything in its power to please its owner.

Whether it’s fetching the ball real quick or doing a trick, it’ll do anything to put a smile on its owners’ face.

  • Hardly any examples of the breed in popular culture

Since this breed is considered to be quite uncommon and is hardly ever found outside of Portugal, it is not as famous as many other dog breeds of the gundog club.

  • Not a guard-dog by nature but still barks when senses danger

The Portuguese Pointer is not naturally a guard dog, this means that it does not innately have the characteristics to stay alert and stand guard.

However, this dog has a special barking ability, which allows it to alert you as soon as it feels danger nearby.

Physical Traits of the Portuguese Pointer

The Portuguese Pointer catching its dinner
The Portuguese Pointer is a perfect companion for bird hunters.

The Portuguese Pointer is considered to be a medium-sized dog with a square frame that helps it when it goes out hunting.

How big is a full-grown Portuguese Pointer?

Since it is a medium-sized dog, the average height that a Portuguese Pointer can grow up to is between 16 and 22 inches.

Whereas the average weight that a Portuguese Pointer can gain in its life is between 35 and 39 lbs.

Females can grow up to a maximum of 20 inches in height and 36 lbs. in weight whereas the males can reach their full potential at 22 inches and 39 lbs. at maturity.

What is the life expectancy of the Portuguese Pointer?

The average lifespan of a Portuguese Pointer ranges from 12 to 14 years, which is considered to be very good in dog years.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Portuguese Pointer

The Portuguese Pointer is a very lively, smart and affectionate dog that would do anything to win your heart.

To avoid shyness with stranger’s early socialization is very important, this would also help your dog a lot when dealing with children.

A very amicable breed, the Portuguese Pointer has a knack for mixing up well with both people and other pets in the house.

However, they might not be as friendly with birds since they are genetically inclined towards hunting them.

The Portuguese Pointer is also highly intelligent; it knows what you want and when you want it.

Highly affectionate, you can expect it to be in between your legs running circles around you wherever you go.

It should be noted that this dog requires medium to high levels of exercise without which it can become jaded.

Hence, you need to take it out for an hour-long walk every day to keep them happy and satisfied.

Coupled with this, other playful stimuli are also important to keep this dog interested and playful.

Since it has high levels of energy, it is not at all suited for apartment living or a small house.

It is also not great at adaptability so it is important that you keep them in a family home that you know you are going to live in for a long time.

This dog breed can also suffer from separation anxiety quite easily, so you must train your pet to stay alone for short periods from a very early age.

The Portuguese Pointer is also very easily trained with the help of treats and positive reinforcement.

It should not be yelled at during training for this may make it apprehensive and may shatter its confidence.

Although this dog is not a natural guard dog, what it does really well is to bark whenever it senses danger.

Hence it is considered to be a great watchdog for you and your home, barking if it senses something is wrong.

The Portuguese Pointer Diet

A brown and white Portuguese Pointer on all fours
The Portuguese Pointer is not recommended for first-time dog owners.

All dogs require different nutrition to function best; this is because not all dogs have the same amount of energy and activity levels.

The Portuguese Pointer, being a highly active dog, requires top quality and well-balanced meals throughout the day to keep him healthy and satisfied.

You should also feed your puppy dry kibble regularly; this will keep both its teeth and gums in fine fettle.

You can refer to your vet about the best nutrition that you can give your dog as well as the frequency at which to feed it.

You also need to keep at least a $40 to $50 budget aside every month for your dog’s nutritional needs.

How much Exercise does a Portuguese Pointer need?

Being part of the gundog club, the Portuguese Pointer has a natural ability to stay active and find activities to keep itself busy.

Although it can be quite satisfied during hunting season, special care must be taken even after hunting season is over.

Activities and games should be arranged for the Portuguese Pointer to keep its brain stimulated and active.

A daily hour-long walk is also absolutely necessary to keep this dog contented and pleased.

If indoor games and activities cannot be arranged then a great alternative is to frequently visit the dog park with your dog, which is bound to keep it happy.

The Portuguese Pointer Health and Conditions

Having been classified as Category 1 by the UK Kennel Club, the Portuguese Pointer can be considered to be a healthy dog breed.

There are no distinct health issues associated with the breed overall.

However, like with all dogs they are prone to some common health conditions and to avoid these you must get your puppy tested for the following:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Eye Examination
  • Autoimmune thyroiditis
  • Patella Evaluation

Special Treats

Because the Portuguese Pointer is descended from a hunting dog, and because that role involves so much training, this breed is especially easy to encourage with food and snacks.

However, if you’re looking to give your pet something a little out of the ordinary, but also a little more healthy than the norm, look to something like a little chunk of banana.

The vitamins, sweet scent and mushy texture of banana slices are very appealing to the Portuguese Pointer, although don’t give more than one or two per day, even if they’re used for training – bananas, like strawberries, are high in natural sugars that lead to weight gain in dogs.

Frozen fruit pieces, especially of melon, banana or apple, can help your dog to cool down and stay hydrated on a hot day – with a crunchy feeling that makes them fun to eat.

Just make sure the pieces aren’t too big, or this can cause a choking hazard.

The Portuguese Pointer isn’t very fussy when it comes to special treats, so you may have to steer them clear of genuinely dangerous snacks like chocolate or grapes – these are toxic to all dogs.

Avoiding both natural and processed sugars altogether comes highly recommended, but you can overcome this with a vitamin-rich, sweet and sticky alternative – honey.

A couple of nuts, or a piece of fruit, dipped in honey makes a delicious and sweet treat for your Portuguese Pointer, best saved for a rare and special reward for good behavior or a job well done.

My final thoughts on the Portuguese PointerA Portuguese Pointer running through a field

As we reach the end of our guide we can be sure of one thing: The Portuguese Pointer is one amazing dog breed!

Not only does it not have a plethora of health issues that are generally associated with most other dogs, but it is also a very low maintenance dog breed.

A perfect companion for bird hunters, this dog is your perfect companion when going out of your house hunting or otherwise.

It’s high activity levels will always keep you intrigued and you will never get bored or feel alone with this dog in your house.

One thing to keep in mind though is that if you are someone who has a job and has to stay out of the house for extended periods then this isn’t the dog breed for you.

This dog is also not recommended for first-time dog owners because it requires a delicate balance of diet and activity that only veteran dog owners can handle.

If you live in a small house or an apartment, then this isn’t the dog for you either.

However, if you are someone who lives in a big house with loads of children and has a lot of time on your hands to spend with your puppy then go for this breed.

You won’t regret it!

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